BARCELONA – The party sounds very Filipino but the event was also open to Catalans and other nationalities who wished to partake in the launching of a new Filipino-Catalan association, and have a taste of pancit, chopsuey, leche flan and all the best things Filipinos can offer.
The newly formed association ‘Philippines Club de Catalunya’ dares to take the challenge of uniting Filipinos and Catalans in Barcelona.
In a jam-packed crowd at Philippines Club, Philippine Honorary Consul Jordi Puig and coordinators of the association presented the projects which aim to strengthen the relations between the Catalonian region and the Philippines and intensify the promotion of the country in Barcelona.
“I hope this club can help many people. We hope that many people join, especially, Filipinos and Catalans,” Puig said.
The Club plans to put up a weekly market for Filipino products in Barcelona, hold cooking classes which showcases Filipino cuisine and introduce Tagalog in its language classes.
Seminars on labor, immigration and health related issues will also be organized. It will also provide assistance to Filipino professionals to have their college degrees recognized in Spain so they can have better chances of accessing the job market.
“What we want is to open their mind and to feel that they belong here, that they can actually be part of Catalunya, and integrate and participate in all our activities, that’s our main goal in Philippines Club of Catalunya to make them active in the society and so they feel that they are part of us with the same rights and with the same responsibilities,” Catalan businessman and Club’s manager Gerard Lorente said.
Aside from services to Barcelona-based Filipinos, the Club will come up with projects that aim to address the needs of the less privileged in the Philippines. The Club, through its ‘Ayuda en Balikbayan’ program, will send balikbayan boxes of school supplies and toys to the Philippines.
It will also help in campaigning for Philippine tourism by putting up a permanent information booth and participating in tourism congresses.
Catalan Arcadi Sala finds these projects very interesting, “It’s a way that people can be together.”
Filipina Dolores Espinosa, aware of Spain’s economic crisis and unemployment problems, find these projects very helpful.
“Napakaganda ang proyekto nito para sa mga Pilipino. Itong mga organisasyon na ito ay maganda para magtulung-tulungan at nang sa ganon ay yung iba pa ay matulungan, katulad rin ng mga walang trabaho.”
Barcelona, the capital of Spain’s Catalonian region is home to more than 25,000 Filipinos who are mostly employed in domestic work and hospitality industry. The euro crisis has hit Filipino immigrants due to closure of many businesses especially restaurants and the devaluation of Euro. ABS-CBNnews.com