Leni features inspiring OFW stories

By Raymund Antonio

Amid the political noise, Vice President Leni Robredo’s Istorya ng Pag-asa project has featured moving life stories of 11 more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Hong Kong.

From the initial of three, Robredo said there are still many stories of hope and triumph of Filipino workers abroad that are worth sharing to inspire their countrymen.

Vice President Leni Robredo with Filipino OFWs in Hong Kong featured in Istorya ng Pag-asa project (OVP / FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)
Vice President Leni Robredo with Filipino OFWs in Hong Kong featured in Istorya ng Pag-asa project (OVP / FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)

“May napili kaming 14 na mga Filipinos na tingin namin karapat-dapat iyong stories nila isabi again and again, ikuwento again and again,” she said.

(We had chosen 14 Filipinos, whose stories we think are worthy to be told and shared again and again.)

The special episode of the Vice President’s radio program “BISErbisyong Leni,” which was aired live via her Facebook page on March 10, featured the success stories of John Paul “JP” Adena, Manny Portugal, and Noemi Selomenio.

Robredo met the three overseas Filipinos during her visit to Hong Kong last weekend as part of her INP project that aims to promote stories of hope to counter the prevailing trend of negativity and hate.

The project is part of the Office of the Vice President’s flagship anti-poverty framework “Angat Buhay.”

The first story was about JP, who is a performer at Hong Kong Disneyland and is co-owner of GoGoBaon, a food delivery service specializing in affordable Filipino food.

The others were Manny, who founded Backstage Productions, the go-to sound system for Filipinos in Hong Kong, and Noemi, founder and chairman of Hong Kong-based umbrella organization of Filipino groups called Global Alliance.

Included were INP champs namely Melda Bustinera, Glady Ayo, Marieta Dizon, Melba Bumadilla, Virginia Vigo, Dioscoa Barbarona, Melody Sotero, Virginia Rosario, Natividad Arcega and Jalyn Navio, among others.

“Parang ito iyong mga buhay na bayani. Iyong kabayanihan talaga—iyong iniiwan iyong pamilya, tapos hindi nakukuntento na hanggang dito na lang sila, pero naghahanap pa ng, parang, better ways to improve themselves,” Robredo said.

(They are like the living heroes. Their heroism—they left their families, then they are not contented for what they have reached so they look for better ways to improve themselves.)

The Vice President said she would return to Hong Kong to gather and feature more inspiring stories of OFWs.

“When we saw the kind of stories they have, we felt like we need to come back because we have too many stories of Filipinos to tell,” she said.

Apart from Hong Kong, Robredo went to United States, Canada, Germany, and United Kingdom in previous years to promote success stories of OFWs.