ECMI to confer award to OFW children in Luzon

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MANILA, March 8, 2013—The absence of one or both parents from the family should not be a deterrent for children to excel and become productive members of society and the church.

An upcoming awarding ceremonies for children of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have excelled in their studies and involvement in socio-civic affairs will highlight just that.

Started in 2008, the search for outstanding children of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in Luzon was initiated by the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) aiming to prove that teenagers can be productive members of the society, even in the absence of one or both parents.

The Gawad Anak OFW for Ten Outstanding Sons and Daughters of OFWs Student Achievers (TOSDOSA) awards youth who have shown excellence in academics, leadership and socio-civic involvement.

According to ECMI, ministering to Filipino migrants does not happen only at the countries where they are employed but also involves taking care of the families left behind.

“The search for the lucky student [from] various secondary schools in Luzon that had organized and sustained a program for the migrants’ children has in fact awarded more than 50 students since it was born in 2008,” they said.

“If OFWs are hailed modern heroes by the government, children of migrants deserved to be given the same recognition, especially when they contribute to the development and enhancement of their family relationship,” they added.

Twenty students have been nominated as finalists for TOSDOSA but the number will be trimmed down to 10 in the morning of March 15 prior to the final awarding in the afternoon of the same day.

Finalists are Russel Guadilla of Saint Louis School of Pacdal and Bea Lizelle Caguioa of Saint Louis School of Aurora both from Benguet Province; Ma. Angelica Dulay of Mangatarem Catholic School in Pangasinan, Ari Steve Zeus Florendo from the Diocesan Seminary of the Heart of Jesus in San Fernando City, Marizol Marie Bautista of Bacnotan National High School in Bacnotan, Claiven Keith Fontanos of Christ the King College in San Fernando City and Frenz Aivereen Flores of La Union National High School in San Fernando City from Region 1; Kimberly Mae Leano of the Our Lady of Fatima School of Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya, Cloie Anne Rabinetas from School of Our Lady of Atocha in Alicia, Isabela Province, Nicole Jane Gimarino of St. Loius School in Solano, Nueva Ecija and Bryan Joshua Bacani of Nueva Vizcaya State University also in Nueva Vizcaya all from Region II.

Contenders from Region III are Jose Gabriel Bautista of St. Mary’s Academy in Guagua, Pampanga, Patricia Jem Pangan of Angeles University Foundation in Angeles City, Queenie Arielle Basilio of Holy Family Academy in Angeles City and Clarence Laxamana of Holy Angel University-Angeles City. Kenneth Earvin Chan of the Southridge Private High School in Antipolo, Rizal, Kristine Leizel Guimba of Antipolo Immaculate Conception School in Rizal, Samantha Poblete of the Infant Jesus Academy of Silang, Inc. in Cavite, Meryll Delos Reyes of Canossa Academy in Lipa City, Batangas and Lara Denielle Zuniga of St. Michael’s Institute in Bacoor City, Cavite came from Region IV-A.

The venue of the awarding ceremonies of the 6th Gawad Anak OFW Luzon wide search will be at the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) at Intramuros, Manila on March 15. (Jandel Posion)

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