With the theme: “Makibahagi: Mentoring for Change,” the 6th edition of the Homecoming sa Konsulado (HSK) gathered its largest participation so far with nearly 200 guests attending the whole-day HSK program on October 21. The HSK is a Flagship Community program of the Philippine Consulate General in New York.
The day’s program featured a parade of schools with participants wearing their school colors and carrying their respective banners and introduction of alumni associations.
Special performances took place throughout the whole day program including by UP alumna and pop rock vocalist Michelle Michelle, Line Dancing led by Noel Gamboa of UP, Kinding Sindaw Cultural Group led by Potri Ranka Manis, and several musical numbers by the 2017 New York Bandastiks winner, Band of Brothers of De La Salle University.
New York DOT Officer-in-Charge and concurrent Tourism Representative in San Franciso Ms. Purificacion Molintas also led the pre-launch of the Department of Tourism’s “Bring Home a Friend to the Philippines” project at the event. Ms. Molintas shared the details of the project mechanics and encouraged everyone to be an active Philippine tourism ambassador and join the program.
Alex Esteban, HSK Over-all Chair and Philippine Women’s University (PWU) Alumni Association member shared that “the HSK is truly an event everyone looks forward too as it provides a friendly, warm atmosphere and an opportunity for more community members to connect.”
A highlight of the 6th HSK was the Project Update on “Gabay Mag-aaral” a mentoring program for Philippine public schools being undertaken on a pilot level by volunteers from the HSK Core Group.. The updates on Visayas and Mindanao pilot mentoring programs were presented by Dr. Joie Calub of Cebu Normal University and Dr. Roxanne Cajigas of the
Paaralan sa Konsulado Team, and UP Alumni Association of American President Nelsie Parrado. A 2017-2018 sign-up for the mentoring program was held at the event.
As the project gets bigger every year, Esteban said that they will be busy training the mentor volunteers for our Gabay Mag-Aaral project before the end of the year.
“These volunteers will be mobilized to the different public elementary schools in the Philippines to touch base with Grade 6 students through a pep talk/assembly/convocation who will then emphasize on how they attain success in spite of their struggles and challenges,” he shared.
Consul General Theresa Dizon-De Vega thanked all those who contributed their time and resources to making the 6th HSK possible. She encouraged the participating alumni associations to use the HSK as a venue to strengthen and expand their respective associations and to take part in the HSK collective programs such as the Gabay Mag-aaral.
In July 2012, then Deputy Consul General DeVega invited presidents or their representatives of alumni associations of Philippine colleges and universities to a meeting to discuss a proposed event which would provide alumni associations based in the Tri-State area and the US Northeast a venue to meet and recruit graduates of their respective Philippine colleges and universities to join alumni associations.
The 2017 participating alumni associations were – UP Alumni Association, De La Salle University, St. Scholastica’s College, Assumption, University of Santo Tomas, Philippine Women’s University, Paaralan sa Konsulado, College of the Holy Spirit, St. Paul’s College, Mindanao State University, Maryknoll/Miriam College, University of San Carlos, San Beda College, Letran College, Silliman University, Ateneo Alumni Association, and for the first time, Cebu Normal University. Alumni of other schools such as Mapua Institute of Technology, and Lyceum of the Philippines also attended the event.
Games and raffles also took place during the day-long event adding to the festive atmosphere. Among the sponsors for the event were the Department of Tourism, Philippine Airlines, GMA Pinoy TV, and RIA Money Transfer.