By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo is mulling going on a trip to the Middle East for her Istorya ng Pag-asa (Stories of Hope) project.
Robredo, a former housing chief, announced plans to visit overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East as part of her INP project that promotes inspiring and success stories of Filipinos.
“May balak tayo sa Middle East, di ba, na magkaroon ng Istorya ng Pag-asa (We have plan in the Middle East, right, to have Istorya ng Pag-asa,” Robredo said.
“Iyong mga kababayan natin sa Middle East kasi mukhang sunod natin na Istorya ng Pag-asa (Our countrymen in the Middle East will be next to be featured for the Istorya ng Pag-asa),” she added.
The Vice President was sparse with details of the trip, which have yet to be finalized. There is no final date of the trip yet, according to Robredo’s office.
The objective of her trip to the Middle East is to gather and feature real-life stories of hope of OFWs to inspire people. This aims to spread their hard work, perseverance, and dedication amid life’s adversities abroad.
The Middle East will be the next destination of Robredo after her last week’s visit to Hong Kong, where 14 overseas Filipinos were featured.
“Kulang talaga iyong espasyo kaya sabi natin magkakaroon tayo ng second run (The space is lacking that’s why we said we will have a second run),” Robredo said.
The Vice President, who is a known advocate of the poor and women empowerment, then invited overseas Filipinos from the Middle East to send their inspiring stories.
“Kung mayroon po tayong mga kababayan sa Middle East na tingin niyo po puwede sa Istorya ng Pag-asa iyong kuwento ng kaniyang buhay, baka po puwedeng pa-message sa amin iyong kuwento sa Facebook para po ma-feature natin,” she said.
(If we have countrymen in the Middle East, whose life story is a story of hope, may be they can message it to us on Facebook so we can feature them.)
In Hong Kong, the highest-ranking woman in government met John Paul “JP” Adena, Manny Portugal, and Noemi Selomenio, who were all featured in her INP project.
Robredo spoke of JP, who is a dancer in Hong Kong Disneyland and later became successful in his own business. This is the GoGoBaon, a food delivery service.
Selomenio, who is known as Daddy Leo, starred in the movie Sunday Beauty Queen that won Best Picture in the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival, while Portugal, who was a janitor and waiter, put up a sound system business in Hong Kong, she said.