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Department of Foreign Affairs-updates

TASK FORCE ONDOY

Posted: 01 Oct 2009 07:39 AM PDT

TASK FORCE ONDOY

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PCG San Francisco Gives US$5,000 for Typhoon Ondoy Victims; Mobilizes Filipino Communities In the Bay Area

Posted: 01 Oct 2009 02:44 AM PDT

PR-778-09, 01 October 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco donated US$5,000.00 as part of its assistance to the victims of Typhoon Ondoy (international code name: Ketsana).

Philippine Consul General to San Francisco Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. reported to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo that the donation was collected from the individual contributions of consulate officers and staff, including those of the DTI, DOT, and the Philippine Center.

“This donation is our small contribution to the ongoing relief effort for the flood victims. It is a voluntary gesture that was agreed upon by all consulate personnel in response to the devastation brought by the heavy rains and floods that hit Metro Manila and other parts of the Philippines during the weekend,” said Consul General Paynor.

Consul General Paynor also met with the leaders of the Bay Area Filipino American community to come up with a coordinated strategy in the relief effort for Typhoon Ondoy victims.

The meeting was organized by the Philippine Consulate General together with National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA).

Consul General Paynor said that the Bay Area Filipino American community should organize themselves in order to maximize the relief drive being planned for the families affected by the recent storm and floods in the Philippines.

“Since such calamities have been recurring in the Philippines, it is necessary for our community in San Francisco and the Bay Area to create an organization that will coordinate relief efforts during times of crisis and natural disasters,” he said.

In support of this proposed organization, Consul General Paynor committed the Philippine Consulate General to serve as its secretariat and reserved several rooms at the Philippine Center where the members can meet on a regular basis.

“The personnel of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco are ready to help our community in coordinating efforts for the relief drive. We will utilize several rooms at the Philippine Center to serve as drop off points for the collection, packing, and sending of donated items for the benefit of the flood victims,” he said.

The meeting ended with an agreement by the participants to establish and select the heads of the various committees that will be involved in the relief effort. An organizational structure was recommended by Consul General Paynor for the proposed organization to be composed of prominent leaders and members of the Bay Area Filipino American community. END

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Filipino Community in Brunei Darussalam holds Ecumenical Prayer for the Nation

Posted: 30 Sep 2009 11:00 PM PDT

PR-777-09, 01 October 2009 – In response to the suffering brought by typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines, an Ecumenical Prayer for the Nation was held on 30 September by members of the Filipino Community at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippine Embassy in Brunei reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Righteous Reverend Bishop Cornelius Sim of the Vicariate of Brunei Darussalam welcomed the members of the Filipino community from various religious denominations attending the Ecumenical Prayer for the Nation. In his welcome remarks, Bishop Sim expressed solidarity with members of the Filipino Community in Brunei Darussalam and assured them of the parish church’s support for the flood victims, both spiritually and materially.

This was immediately followed by a slide presentation showing the devastation wrought by typhoon Ondoy in the key cities of the National Capital Region.

Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat provided a situation report on the conditions in the Philippines, particularly in the areas badly affected by tropical storm Ondoy. In her presentation, she highlighted the government’s shift from rescue and evacuation to massive relief operations. She also informed members of the Filipino Community of the government agencies that would be accepting donations in cash and in kind.

Information on the bank accounts, names and respective contact details of the focal points of the National Disaster Coordinating Council, Department of Social Work and Development, and Philippine National Red Cross was circulated during the gathering.

Community prayers for the protection of the environment and natural resources were led by Architect Ed Feliciano (Agape); prayers for the victims, the homeless and affected families were led by Mr. Cris Medrano (San Lorenzo Ruiz); for the assistance from various government agencies and non-governmental organizations led by First Secretary and Consul General Raymond R. Balatbat (Philippine Embassy Brunei Darussalam); and for the OFWs worldwide for their contributions to the national development and support especially during this time of disaster, led by Mr. Dan Roxas (Filipino Association in Brunei Darussalam). END

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Philippine Consul General in Xiamen visit Fuzhou

Posted: 30 Sep 2009 10:49 PM PDT

PH-163-09, 01 October 2009 – Xiamen PCG joins in celebrating the 60th Founding Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China in a reception hosted by the Fujian Provincial People’s Government in Fuzhou City. In this photo (L-R) are Mr. Lin Yaohua, Ms. Ma. Dolores C. Sales, Vice Consul Ambrosio Brian F. Enciso III, Mrs. Ana A. Hernandez, Vice Governor Hon Jiexu, Consul General Raul S. Hernandez, Mr. Carlos P. Garcia and Mr. Lin Junjie.

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The Moscow Asia Pacific Charity Bazaar 2009

Posted: 30 Sep 2009 10:30 PM PDT

PR-776-09, 01 October 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Moscow reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the Asia Pacific Charity Bazaar 2009 which took place on 26 September at the Glav UpDK Cultural Center of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow, Russia was a resounding success. Members of the diplomatic corps as well as locals from Russia attended the event.

The success of the Bazaar was made possible through generous donations and support of the 21 embassies representing the different countries of the Asia Pacific region. Native handicrafts, fashion accessories, exotic foods, colorful cultural performances, and a fashion show by Russian designers were featured during the Bazaar.

The proceeds of the Bazaar will be donated to two Russian orphanages, i.e., Orphanage No. 51 and Special Education School for Children with Learning Disabilities. The Bazaar was organized by the Asia Pacific Women’s Group, Moscow headed by Mme. Concepcion G. Garcia, spouse of the Philippine Ambassador to Russia Victor G. Garcia III. END

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PCG Honolulu at the 3rd Annual “Taste of Kalihi”

Posted: 30 Sep 2009 10:15 PM PDT

PH-163-09, 01 October 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that it participated in the 3rd Annual “A Taste of Kalihi,” an all-day street festival held on 26 September 2009. The event was part of the City and County of Honolulu’s revitalization of Kalihi, a historic district with Filipinos as majority residents, and was organized by the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii Foundation (FCCHF) in cooperation with the City and County of Honolulu, Filipino talents, and various Filipino businesses. The Consulate managed a booth and disseminated information on business and investment opportunities in the Philippines as well as information on consular and other services. END

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Philippine Martial Art Flourishes in Russia

Posted: 30 Sep 2009 09:30 PM PDT

PR-775-09, 01 October 2009 – The indigenous Filipino fighting system commonly known in the Philippines as Arnis or Eskrima, and better known by martial arts practitioners elsewhere as Kali, has gained a foothold in the biggest country in the world, Philippine Ambassador to Russia Victor G. Garcia III reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The gains made by the self-defense system were evident in a public demonstration held by leading members of the Pikiti-Tirsia Kali Russian Federation (PTK-RF) at a cultural program organized by the Asia-Pacific Women’s Group at the Asia-Pacific Charity Bazaar held at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Main Administration for the Diplomatic Corps (GlavUpDK) Cultural Center on 26 September 2009.

“It’s exciting that Philippine martial arts is being promoted in Russia,” Larisa Boldyreva, head of the GlavUpDK Cultural Center Protocol Department, enthused after seeing a flowing demonstration of thrusts, slashes, kicks, leg and arm sweeps performed by PTK-RF Vice President Ruslan Mashinistov and Grigoriy Shein. “It’s something totally new,” Boldyreva added.

Founded in 1897, Pekiti-Tirsia Kali (PTK) is one of the most prestigious and effective forms of weapons-based Filipino martial arts commonly known in the Philippines as Arnis de Máno or Eskrima. The name means “to cut into pieces at close range”, although the system includes techniques for all ranges.

Recently, Leopoldo T. Gaje Jr, Grand Tuhon (master) of the Pikiti-Tirsia Kali, came to Moscow to oversee the training of both Russian Special Forces officers (Spetsnaz) and civilians. Gaje is the sole heir and guardian of the PTK system, which is more combat-oriented rather than sport-focused.

On 4 September, Gaje and Baguio-born Kali Guro (Filipino equivalent of Sensei) and PTK-RF Director Daniel Mumbakki Foronda II, who conducted seminars in March and May this year with Rommel Tortal, Jasper De Ocampo and Robert Baranda, attended the opening of the second PTK Filipino Martial Arts Center at the renowned Russian dojo Sambo-70 in the southwest part of Moscow.

Two days later, civilian kalistas learned about counter-attacks using rattan sticks in a seven-hour seminar on Advanced Contradas at the Domodedovskaya School. “The seminar was very useful especially for understanding the methodology of formulating counter-attack. (Gaje) has enlightened us with new techniques and broadened the application of Pekiti-Tirsa basics,” said PTK-RF President Sergey Sovolev.

On 20 September, Guro Samantha Foronda-Pinder, led six Russian women in a six-hour seminar on Badyak, an indigenous form of self-defense for women which evolved from a simple but effective counter-attacking technique traditionally employing a spear tip to a plexiglass cutter, durable and invisible to X-rays.

Filipino martial arts have gained widespread popularity in recent years, being employed by Hollywood celebrities in popular U.S. movie franchises like Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, Christian Bale as Batman, Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft and Ukrainian-born model Milla Jovovich in the Resident Evil series.

Regardless of teaching methodology, these arts – mandatory for instruction in the Philippine military and police – are considered so deceptively simple, effective and easy to learn with sufficient practice that the U.S. military teaches it to some varying degree in all of its branches, particularly U.S. groups like the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, and Delta Force.

The three major branches of Filipino martial arts are Arnis typically from the northern Luzon regions, Eskrima from the central Visayas regions, and Kali from the southern Mindanao regions. At its peak, more than 200 styles of Filipino martial arts are supposed to have existed prior to the arrival of Spaniards in the Philippines.

Records suggest that the warriors of Mactan led by Lapu-Lapu used a form of Eskrima, with bows and arrows, spears and swords (also called kali) to defeat Ferdinand Magellan’s more heavily armed and armored retaliatory force of Spanish conquistadores in April 1521. However, Spanish colonial era prohibitions on the teaching of weapons fighting led to the art’s decline.

It enjoyed a revival in the 1960s and 1970s, thanks to the efforts of brothers Ernesto and Remy Presas, who opened training centers in the US West Coast. There, Dan Inosanto practiced Arnis with Bruce Lee, who used some of the principles to found his own style, Jeet Kune Do, in 1967.. Jeet Kune Do uses the same weapons as Arnis.

In Russia, the earliest attempts to practice Arnis trace back to 1998. It became established after master Aleksander Britenkov returned in 2000 from studying in the US under Grandmaster Ernesto Presas. Britenkov then set up the Baylun Martial Arts School in Moscow’s Yugozapadnaya District in 2001 and registered the Moscow Federation of Martial Arts, Arnis, Escrima, Kali and Jeet Kune Do (FAEK) in 2004.

Pikiti-Tirsia Kali was first introduced in Russia in 2005, with the establishment of the Russia chapter of the school and publicity in the TV channel Boets. Apart from Russia and the Philippines, Pikit-Tirsia Kali is practiced in Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, France, England, Netherlands, USA, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Argentina and Canada. END

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