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Overseas Filipinos honored at the ‘Global Pinoy Idol New Zealand’

Twelve overseas Filipinos around the Asia Pacific were recognized at the “Global Pinoy Idol New Zealand”, who may be supporting different advocacies, but all fall to one goal: empowering every Filipino around the world.

  • Overseas Filipinos Uplifting the Filipino Community in Asia Pacific 
  • TFC News showcase in featurettes the inspiring stories of the twelve overseas Filipinos who were honorees of the “Global Pinoy Idol New Zealand”
  • ‘Anyone can be a hero’

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, September 17, 2019— Anyone can be a hero—this is a message that some overseas Filipinos would like to impart to everyone in the world, whose acts of kindness were recognized at the recently held “Global Pinoy Idol New Zealand” that happened at the Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall in New Zealand.

Everyone was welcomed in the event with a ceremonial ribbon cutting done by ABS-CBN Ecosystem Head of Integrated News and Current Affairs Dondi Ocampo, ABS-CBN Global Managing Director for Asia Pacific Maribel Hernaez, ABS-CBN Global Country Manager for Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Territories Jay Santos, and Ms. Chequil Agregardo and Ms. Sarah Lipura from the Philippine Consulate in Auckland, New Zealand.

Twelve overseas Filipinos around the Asia Pacific were recognized at the “Global Pinoy Idol New Zealand”, who may be supporting different advocacies, but all fall to one goal: empowering every Filipino around the world.

One of the awardees is Jenavilla Bibal Shigemizu who moved to Japan in 1987.

She is known to be always energetic and having a positive disposition in life, which she says she draws from the warm smiles of her fellow Filipinos.

So, to keep that smile of her fellowmen, Jenavilla became part of different organizations in Japan that looks after the welfare of the Filipinos in Japan and back in the Philippines.

His journey as an overseas Filipino was not easy, but this served as inspiration for Mark Hermoso from Singapore in extending help to his fellow overseas Filipinos.

He used his influence as a popular model among the Filipino community in Singapore to organize photoshoots with a cause, where the proceeds of the photoshoot are used to provide assistance to his fellow overseas Filipinos.

Meantime, Rodney Queman from South Korea has seen an opportunity on social media to extend help to his fellow overseas Filipinos.

Knowing that social media is a thing in South Korea, he created a Facebook page where he posts different information like new laws and job opportunities that will be of help to his fellow Filipinos in the country.

Life overseas was a challenge for Tess Manalang of Australia, a reality she chose to keep from her family in the Philippines.

Having gone through a lot of hardships in a foreign land, Tess did not want her fellowmen to experience the same, which is the reason she organized “Love in Action”, a group where from donations, selling plants, and lending personal stuff has assisted fellow Filipinos in Australia, especially those who are new in the community.

Opening opportunities for the Filipinos both in New Zealand and in the Philippines has been the advocacy of Geline Bauit Owczarek.

She first worked as an immigration adviser, later bought a healthcare company where she gives an opportunity to health professionals and most recently opened a business with her husband that help the small coffee farmers in the Philippines in exporting their coffee products in New Zealand.

On the other hand, Cesar Cozo Jr. of New Zealand may only see his actions as a mere referral of a fellow Filipino in a job in New Zealand, what he does not know is how much impact this has done to the people he helped.

Coming from a job in Qatar, Cesar moved to New Zealand so he could bring his family with him.

This is a dream shared by other overseas Filipinos, which he helped to turn into reality by referring them to different contractors in New Zealand.

Migrant students in New Zealand have been the focus of Dennis Magcalas.

Struggling himself when he first moved to New Zealand from Dubai in 2006, he passed on the help of a fellow Filipino by helping in return the Filipino students in the country.

He created the Facebook page “Buhay Estudyante sa New Zealand” where he posted essential information that impacts the Filipino students, which sometimes extends in navigating them to find a job.

Being exposed to the different unjust situations of the Filipinos before in New Zealand, Dennis Maga advocated the fair rights for new migrant workers in the country, thus the launch of Migrante International.

Through the organization, they assist overseas Filipinos in New Zealand in the different issues they face like being abused, victims of illegal recruiters, and cases of undocumented workers.

Kristine Bartley’s personal health problem had opened opportunities for her to help not only her fellow Filipinos but also the environment.

After having thyroid problems, Kristine changed her lifestyle and went vegan that led her to open a vegan café in New Zealand, the “Sweet Release”.

Her business has also become a mentoring venue for fellow Filipinos who learn new cooking techniques from her, advancing their career in the food industry.

Uplifting the Filipino Community in New Zealand, Alan Raga features the Filipino’s known trait of bayanihan or communal unity by capturing it in his photos.

From attending and taking photos for different Filipino community events in New Zealand, Alan is now the official photographer of Miss Universe-New Zealand.

Witnessing the damage that Typhoon Yolanda left in the Philippines, Dewy Sacayan of New Zealand was moved to do a relief mission to raise funds for the victims of the calamity.

This has paved the way for her to become a climate activist through volunteering in implementing environmental laws and being a youth representative at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

She also mentors law students, including Filipino students, encouraging them to embrace their passion even in a foreign land.

The success overseas did not make Brent Bautista forget where he came from.

Moving with his family to New Zealand in 2012, Brent has developed an interest in international relations, which even inspired him to pursue master studies in international relations.

Now, he is empowering the Filipino youth in New Zealand by serving as their tutor and writing articles for Filipino publication, Kabayan Magazine, where he encourages fellow Filipino youth to embrace their Filipino roots.

Each honoree received a Global Pinoy Idol medal and a certificate of recognition from DZMM and TFC.

Meantime, providing entertainment that night is “The General’s Daughter” star Arjo Atayde and “Tawag ng Tanghalan sa It’s Showtime” judge Randy Santiago. While served as the host during the pre-show is DZMM anchor Ahwel Paz, and “TV Patrol Anchor” and “Salamat Dok” host Bernadette Sembrano.

Earlier that day, eventgoers also had an informative talk from DZMM’s Tulong Ko Pasa Mo hosts Vic and Avelynn Garcia who tackled topics like starting a business, preparing for retirement, managing relationship with family and friends, and unleashing one’s potential.

Learn the stories of the “Global Pinoy Idol New Zealand” honorees by watching the TFC News Asia Pacific featurettes about them, which can be seen via or TFC The Filipino Channel YouTube Channel.

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