The Filipino Channel (TFC), the premier Filipino network in the world, and regional organization Saudi Arabia Hiligaynon, Inc. (SAHI) jointly celebrate their 20th year with thousands of Pinoys and in partnership with OSN at the biggest event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) this year – the Filipino Community Day, Tourism and Trade Exhibit 2014. With the theme “Bayaning OFWs: Kaakibat sa Pagpapalago ng Turismo at Pagtangkilik ng Produktong Pilipino.”
SAHI welcomed more than 12,000 kabayans for a whole day of family fun and Filipino entertainment last December 5 at the Cobra Amusement Park in Dammam.
“Galing ng Filipino, ituloy mo!”
Kim IdolTFC is celebrating its 20th year of service to Filipinos worldwide. As its overarching anniversary theme, TFC is putting forth the greatness of the Filipino in many forms, including for the culture and the arts. During the highly attended annual “Kansayawan sa Dammam,” TFC’s 20th Anniversary Ambassador Gary Valenciano inspired his kabayans from the Eastern Region: Dammam, Al-Khobar, Abqaiq, Ras Tanura, Jubail & Al-Hassa) and Riyadh to join him sing the anniversary theme “Galing ng Filipino,” which essays this greatness. Joining Gary V was rising comedian Kim Idol who shared his flair for comedy.
SAHI President Eng. Pacifico Legada says that the response of the audience to the performances of Gary V. and Kim Idol was superb. He captures this in words and says, “They really enjoyed and were satisfied. This is why they are anticipating this event every year.”
ABS-CBN Middle East and Europe Managing Director Edgardo Garcia says TFC and SAHI have been joining hands for almost a decade to make this annual event possible but the partnership it seems, have been eternal. Garcia says: “With our mission to accompany Filipinos in their journey in every phase of their lives overseas, it comes naturally for TFC to partner with organizations such as SAHI which aims to propagate the Filipino community and culture. SAHI hopes to weave together Filipinos in the region together through the strings of our culture and we will serve as the thread that will help bind them.”
Tradisyon Naton, Manggad Sang Hiligaynon (Our tradition is the treasure of the Hiligaynons)
SAHI, an organization which hopes to bring together Hiligaynons in KSA, has been mounting the event so Filipinos can relax and enjoy the company of their families, friends and co-workers in a ‘Philippine-like’ atmosphere. Legayada was overwhelmed by the influx of people. He reports: “As early as 7:30 a.m.,kabayans were queuing at the gate to buy the tickets.” Mounting the event has its challenges but with the feedback from the attendees, Legayada is inspired to do his best to organize the event annually together with his team.
Gary V being conferred the plaque of appreciationFor now, Legayada commends the men and women of SAHI, the board and advisory council, who worked tirelessly and brought success to the annual gathering.
It’s More Fun In The Philippines
Labor Attachē Alex Padaen formally opened theTourism and Trade Exhibit 2014 in the presence of SAHI officials and special guests. The exhibit showcased tourist attractions in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia as well as those from back home. Philippine made products were also on display for the Filipinos to enjoy.
“Kansayawan sa Dammam” was made possible by TFC-OSN, The Philippine Embassy/POLO-ERO, NESMA and Partners, Al-Suwaidi Holdings, other sponsors, the local performers and marshals.
To connect with fellow global Filipinos, visit www.facebook.com/TFCMiddleEast or follow @KapamilyaTFC on Twitter and Instagram. (Story/photos by Marianne de Vera)
Gary V with the crowd
SAHI officers hands Gary V a symbolic gift of community