Sunday, January 24, 2016

Migrants' Stories, Migrants' Voices 5

I became part of this publication - Migrants' Stories, Migrants' Voices Volume 5 of the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW). I served as one of the editors and also as a writer, translator, and lay-out artist. Thanks to Taiwan Foundation for Democracy for the grant they provided to support its publication.

I personally know most of the contributors so it was easy for me to ask them to contribute. My brother's story, Capt. Cecilio E. Rahon Jr. was also featured in this volume.

This is the fifth volume of the Migrants' Stories, Migrants' Voices series. This edition features 10 stories of migrants and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). We have read and learned from similar stories in past volumes. But each story is unique, each tale a testament of the redeeming nature of their triumph. They rose from poverty to what most of them have now - a better life not only for themselves or their immediate families, but for their extended families and community as well.

The Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW) will continue to publish these series of migration stories. It is our hope that with this publication, our stakeholders will have a deeper appreciation and understanding of the nuances and intricacies of migration and the plight of our migrants and OFWs. It is our goal that with these stories, appropriate programs and policies are put into place to uphold and protect their rights. It is also our desire that our OFWs will feel the recognition and appreciation from their loved ones, which they rightfully deserve.

Feel free to download the book at scribd.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

MoveYourDomainDay is January 27

I am subscribing/availing the services of Namecheap and I support this advocacy.




On Jan. 27, join Namecheap and the EFF in the fight for your digital rights!

Hello Pedro,
Welcome to 2015! The new year is in full swing, and Namecheap is once again hard at work helping defend online privacy rights and internet freedom. Read on to learn how you can be part of that effort -- and save big on transfers and hosting plans at the same time. Plus, we'll make a donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundation on your behalf!

MoveYourDomainDay is January 27

Namecheap is all about a free and open internet. If you care about your online privacy rights and are against internet censorship, please join us for the fourth annual MoveYourDomainDay on January 27. We launched this initiative to fight SOPA, a bill that would have introduced censorship on the web.
MoveYourDomainDay began on December 29th, 2011, when Namecheap and Reddit users teamed up to spark a mass exodus from registrars and hosting companies that were pro-SOPA. Every year since then, Namecheap has hosted an annual MoveYourDomainDay, raising funds for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
On MoveYourDomainDay 2015, you can transfer your .com, .net, .biz, .org or .info domain for only $3.98 (plus $0.18 ICANN fee where applicable), using coupon code NC15MYDD. When you transfer, we'll add another year to your domain free. Any shared hosting package (Value, Professional or Ultimate) will be 50% off when you use coupon code MYDDHOST15. This means our Value Hosting plan is just $4.94 for the first year.
For every domain transferred or hosting plan purchased, up to 10,000, Namecheap will donate $0.50 to EFF. The donation amount goes up to $1.00 per domain/hosting plan if we exceed 10,000. And if we exceed 20,000 domains transferred/hosting plans purchased, Namecheap will donate $1.50 for each product purchased.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading non-profit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, the EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation. Visit them at
During the previous years of MYDD, Namecheap has raised a total of $239,138 for the EFF.
"Since 2011, Namecheap's MoveYourDomainDay campaign has helped support the EFF's efforts in fighting for a free and open internet. We are thrilled to see that this campaign is continuing in 2015, and we are grateful for Namecheap's ongoing support."
-- Richard Esguerra, EFF Development Director
Hope your new year is off to a great start!
Thank you for your business.
Team Namecheap

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Name in Mars

Send Your Name on NASA’s Journey to Mars, Starting with Orion’s First Flight
If only your name could collect frequent flyer miles. NASA is inviting the public to send their names on a microchip to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars.

Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency’s Orion spacecraft launches Dec. 4 on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4.5 hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion’s systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph and temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

But the journey for your name doesn’t end there. After returning to Earth, the names will fly on future NASA exploration flights and missions to Mars. With each flight, selected individuals will accrue more miles as members of a global space-faring society.

"NASA is pushing the boundaries of exploration and working hard to send people to Mars in the future,” said Mark Geyer, Orion Program manager. "When we set foot on the Red Planet, we’ll be exploring for all of humanity. Flying these names will enable people to be part of our journey."

The deadline for receiving a personal “boarding pass” on Orion’s test flight closes Friday Oct. 31. The public will have an opportunity to keep submitting names beyond Oct. 31 to be included on future test flights and future NASA missions to Mars.
To submit your name to fly on Orion’s flight test, visit:

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #JourneyToMars.
For information about Orion and its first flight, visit:


Rachel Kraft / Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100 / 202-358-1726 /

Brandi Dean
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Sunday, December 01, 2013

World AIDS Day 2013, How to Survive a Plague

"The number of HIV cases in the Philippines is rising at a “fast and furious” rate, with the rise concentrated among males who have sex with males and people who inject illegal drugs or narcotics, according to the executive director of the Philippine National AIDS Council."

I lost a good friend because of HIV-AIDS. Little did I know that his case was at a very critical stage.

We had our usual lunch and chat, my way of saying good bye to him for a year's study abroad. He was to tell me something of his secret but was too adamant to reveal it. I did not probe further, all the while I thought I knew his character being very open and frank. But he was not with his ailment.

When I was abroad we would have an opportunity to chat once in awhile, I just came to know that he now have a new nickname ( a policy of the hospital he was visiting for confidentiality). Still, he never told me about his condition.

I came back a year after, wanting to meet up with him, having heard that he got hospitalized and now recuperating in a friend's place in the province. Then his revelation - he called me and was crying, telling me that he is dying. He informed me that even the friend whom he is staying does not even know that he has HIV. All I could tell and assure him that he's not going to die, although I do not know his real condition.

He decided to come back to the city and  be admitted to the hospital for HIV patients. I can't believe what I saw when I fetched him at the bus station, he is so thin and frail, his cheeks are hollowed, his deep-set eyes are haunting, and his head more of a skull with hairs sticking out thinly.

I did not recognize him at first since I did not know also his companion. But when I realized it was my friend looking at me in tears, gone was the vibrant person that I used to know. He hugged me and cried, asked me for help. I felt both embarrassed with such scene in  public and  pity with his look and condition.

His stay at the hospital was brief. In the few days of his stay, I met and came to know some members of  his family and helped a bit in tandem with them looking after him. It was my first time to come across terms such as HIV dementia, candidiasis, and all other symptoms and manifestations of HIV.  I witnessed the condition of the hospitals with so young patients and so aged parents looking after them. I pity those parents who at their age have to suffer and labor as well staying dutiful to their kids, days and nights. Some of the parents would suffer hypertension because of their lack of sleep and fatigue. The inadequate facilities at the hospital are not also friendly for the patients caregivers. But at least the medicines and medical care are subsidized by the government.

My friend got cremated and his ashes were brought to the cemetery. Only a few people knows about the sudden cause of his death, although they got to know that he was hospitalized before they found out about his death.

He was such a big lost to me, to his friend and family. Several years passed I still miss my good friend, thinking that he was just away, working abroad and that will be meeting and chatting over lunch sometime soon... am still learning to accept that it is just a wishful dream, those were the good memories I have of my dear friend...

In memory of my friend and the rest of us living who have come to experience first hand confronting HIV-AIDS, I am sharing this video found on the internet about the struggle of AIDS activist to give back life and make them live for those people living with  HIV.

Let us all make our own individual effort to help people get educated about  it and and so prevent  it from further spreading and causing havoc to our lives and the lives of young men!

From wikipedia:

How to Survive a Plague is a 2012 American documentary film about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, and the efforts of ACT UP and TAG. It was directed by David France, a journalist who covered AIDS from its beginnings. For France it was his first film. He dedicated it to his partner who he lost to AIDS-related pneumonia in 1992. The documentary was produced using more than 700 hours of archived footage which included news coverage, interviews as well as film of demonstrations, meetings and conferences taken by ACT UP members themselves. France says they knew what they were doing was historic, and that many of them would die. The film, which opened in select theatres across the United States on September 21, 2012, also includes footage of a demonstration during mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1989.
source -

Published on Jun 14, 2013

In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, the disease was considered a death sentence affecting communities, like the LGBT ones, whom many in power felt deserved it. This film tells the story of how militant activists like ACT-UP and TAG pushed for a meaningful response to this serious public health problem. As the activists struggled against political indifference, religious hostility, corporate greed and apparently skewed scientific research priorities with determination and sheer audacity, they produced a political wave that would lead to not only an effective treatment regime, but would advance LGBT rights beyond anyone's expectations.

How to Survive A Plague 2012 hit Part1

How to Survive A Plague 2012 hit Part3

How to Survive A Plague 2012 hit Part4

How to Survive A Plague 2012 hit Part5

How to Survive A Plague 2012 hit Part5

Related links:

World Aids Day

Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths

HIV cases hit another record high (as of Oct 2013)

PNAC Secretariat on Facebook

AIDS Society of the Philippines on Facebook

World AIDS Day 2008

Friday, November 29, 2013

IloIlo is supported by PMRW

I have seen this film and really deserve all the accolades it continues to reap from different award winning bodies. Would it make it to the Oscars, to think it is competing with two other pinoy related films. Below is the endorsement letter of PMRW for the film IloIlo.

PMRW Invites OFWs and their Families to Watch “IloIlo

BLESSINGS on the hand of women!
        Angels guard its strength and grace.
      In the palace, cottage, hovel,
          Oh, no matter where the place;
      Would that never storms assailed it,
          Rainbows ever gently curled,
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world
n    William Ross Wallace (1819-1881)

They are called yayas, maids or nannies. They are the women whose hands rock the cradle, but are oftentimes not valued for the “unskilled” work that they perform in the homes. By taking on caregiving and domestic tasks that are traditionally assigned to women and girls in families, domestic workers enable their women employers to work in the paid labor market. Moreover, by assuming domestic chores, domestic workers allow families that employ them to enjoy family life unencumbered by mundane tasks.

In the multi-awarded film IloIlo, Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen captures the contributions of domestic workers to the families that employ them, especially the care work that is involved in raising and nurturing children.  The film was inspired by Mr. Chen’s memories of his nanny, Auntie Terry, who worked for his family when he was a child.  One of the things that he recalled about Auntie Terry when memories would flash in his mind is IloIlo, where Auntie Terry hailed from.  The film has received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Camera d’Or in the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, for its honest and poignant portrayal of the interconnected fates of the film's characters.

The PhilippineMigrants Rights Watch (PMRW) is pleased to endorse IloIlo to the Filipino public. Through the lives of Auntie Terry and her Singaporean employers, the film presents the aspirations, struggles and humanity of the characters as they negotiate their encounters initially as strangers, later as worker-employer, and as family members.

Although the PMRW does not encourage overseas employment as a development strategy because of its social costs, the film would be instructive for OFWs, their families, advocates and other stakeholders who work for the promotion and protection of the rights of OFWs, particularly domestic workers.

As a network of migrant advocates, the PMRW was at the forefront in the lobby and campaign for the Philippines to ratify the International Labor Organization Convention 189 (Decent Work for Domestic Workers) and the passage into law of Batas Kasambahay (Domestic Workers Act) or RA 10361.

PMRW will continue to promote and raise awareness about Convention 189 and RA 10361, especially among domestic workers so that they will know and claim their rights.  The film, IloIlo, will contribute to PMRW’s mission to inform and to educate migrant workers, stakeholders and the general public about domestic work and why it is important to provide protection to domestic workers at home and abroad.

It is our hope that the film and others like it will contribute to the appreciation that the nurturing hands that rock the cradle are accorded the respect and dignity that is long overdue. 

Let us all watch, learn from and enjoy IloIlo!


Thursday, November 28, 2013



Nasalihan mo na ang lahat, ito na lang ang hindi! TARA!

Makihalo sa kwentong Halu- Halo!




11.30.13/ 12.01.13

I attended a MASKAY workshop and we produced a film, fun, fun fun!

Watch the trailer - 

Monday, November 25, 2013

2013 Month of Overseas Filipinos - Davao Regional Forum

Hosting the event with Ms. Nova of Pag-IBIG.

More fotos here:

Ms. Mel Nuqui
President, PMRW
“BALIK PINAS: Empowering Returning Overseas Filipinos and their Families.”
 22 November 2013
Ateneo de Davo University

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen a pleasant afternoon to all.

Today’s gathering here at the Ateneo de Davao University marks the launching or the opening salvo for December’s celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos.  We are very happy to be with you today to launch this event.

Let me give you some milestones on the celebration the Month of Overseas Filipinos (MOF).  It was during the administration of then President Corazon Aquino that Proclamation No. 276 was issued in June 1988, institutionalizing the commemoration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos every December. Then in December 4, 2000, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 18 each year as International Migrants Day. And through Administrative Order No. 202 issued in October 2007, the Inter-Agency Committee for the Celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos and International Migrants Day was created.

The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) for the Celebration of the MOF and the International Migrants Day chaired by the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch and co-chaired by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas with other government and non-government agencies as members. Some of these government agencies are here with us and will be speaking about our theme this year.

For 2013 our theme is “BALIK PINAS: Empowering Returning Overseas Filipinos and their Families.” This is a testament to the reality that there’s still so much to be done for returning overseas Filipinos. Our aim is to discuss the programs and services by the government and civil society to returning migrants and their families, mainstream the concept of migration and development in the local level; and highlight success stories and contributions of migrants in the development of the local communities.
While Filipinos leaving the country are increasing through the years, more overseas Filipinos are also coming back home after almost four decades of toiling in foreign lands. Some are retiring due to their age, health conditions, while others are forced to come back because their contracts were short changed or mainly because of circumstances like conflicts or wars. Reintegration is thus the other reality that time and again migrant advocates and stakeholders have to address aside from their constant role of protecting and promoting migrants rights and welfare.

Although this forum is just a half day, and the concerns and issues of our returning Filipino migrants and their families are plenty we definitely will not be able to cover them all. So we have a month long, this coming December to celebrate successes and gains, discussions and figuring out solutions and alternatives to making the lives of our reintegrating overseas Filipinos more pleasant and productive.

I hope that through our speakers they will be able to help us to learn new ideas and learn from their experiences. Let us all benefit from what they will be sharing to us.  I hope that during the open forum we also get to hear your voices on how we can collectively empower overseas Filipinos eager to come back and OFWs who will soon reintegrate.

Allow me to thank all the IAC members present and not here with us this afternoon who were so active and engaged in bringing this forum here to Davao, then to La Union and Manila and also the rest of activities lined up for December.

I also would like to acknowledge the team here in Davao who helped organize this event - Ateneo, Pag-ibig, and the indefatigable staff and officials of CFO as well as PMRW members and all others who in one way or the other made this event possible. And to our speakers who travelled and be with us and to everyone who participated Daghang Salamat, Maayong Hapon sa tanan!

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