Filipinos in Peterborough United
The growing population of Filipinos in Peterborough and its surrounding towns and villages have formed a community association, Filipino Community of Peterborough (FILCOP) last 17 January 2010, which realised the long-standing dream of uniting themselves towards a common good.
Peterborough is a dynamic and thriving multi-cultural city with a population of 167,000 (2007 estimate) located in the county of Cambridgeshire. It is famous for its beautiful cathedral, considered one of the finest in England with a history dating back over 1,350 years and the current building approaching its 900th foundation anniversary. Peterborough is also one of the four Environment Cities in the UK and is now working to become the country's Environment Capital.
Peterborough city and surrounding towns and villages (Greater Peterborough) is host to an estimated 150 Filipino families. The last decade saw a big increase in Filipinos arriving to work and live in the area. Because of the need to promote closer relations and harmony among the growing Filipino community, FILCOP came into being.
The Embassy of the Philippines in London, when told of the group's formation, had sent a congratulatory message. His Excellency Ambassador Antonio M Lagdameo lauded the effort of FILCOP to unite for the common good all Filipinos in Greater Peterborough. He also expressed his hope that the association will continue to grow guided by the principles of integrity, honesty and self-sufficiency in promoting its interests.
Social gatherings and cultural activities have already been scheduled to help realise FILCOP's goals. Not only will it promote closer relations and harmony but it will also promote awareness on, provide opportunities for the expression of, and project a positive image of Filipino culture especially amongst the children of FILCOP members.
A Valentine's party was held last 13 February to kick-start FILCOP's activities for the year 2010. Filipino couples, looking splendid in their suits and dresses, came and rekindled the romance and passion they have for each other. The fruits of their love, their children, were there to make sure that disorderly fun was also brought into the party.
A highlight of the Valentine's party was the induction of officers that comprised FILCOP's first Management Committee (MANCOM), which is responsible for the day to day running of the association. FILCOP's MANCOM for 2010-11, led by its Chairman, Celso Valmonte, includes Jerry Sisican, Lynie Saraos, Faith Lamprea, Ester Walker, Beverley Meriales, Arnold Hidalgo, Margie Belham, Richard Elefante, Lina Jude, Edwin Lagumbay, William Obanil and Jeffrey Evangelista.
The MANCOM members, resplendent in their Barong Tagalogs and Filipiniana dresses, were inducted into office by Mr Emmanuel K Guzman, Third Secretary and Vice-Consul of the Embassy of the Philippines in London. The ceremony was witnessed by Councillor Gul Nawaz from Peterborough City Council.
(Note: This article first appeared in FILCOP's newsletter. I only made minor changes for this blog.)