It’s a given fact that Overseas Filipino Workers have long been considered the country’s “Bagong Bayani” or new heroes for their unwavering support, sacrifices, hardwork and love for their country and families. They have literally devoted their lives in improving the social status of the Filipino families in general and in contributing to the economic progress. But in the past decades, it seemed that they have not really been given an important role in nation building that will utilize their skills, knowledge and abilities that they have acquired abroad.
Thus, the Pinoy exodus continues.
Having said that, despite the huge number of Filipinos who went abroad, still, the fact remains that most have not finished their education or have forgotten and sacrificed a passionate hobby or a dream job in favor of higher wages and a better life. They may be categorized for these three reasons:
- For most OFWs, they have graduated with a degree in college but still, they are passionate about something that will unleash their inner creative self expression.
- For some, completing an education has just taken a backseat perhaps due to poverty or other struggles in life and yet, dreaming of continuing it in the future and earn an extra income out of it.
- And for others, they just want to accomplish something that can add not only to their credentials but also for their own self-growth and career development.
But whatever is the reason, one expatriate had a clear and better vision on how to integrate these goals in one complete plan.
That person is Mr. Gabriel John Rimando.
He wanted the Filipinos to have a quality and affordable education abroad so they can perform better in the international community. He – alongside with his wife Ms. Camille Joy Rimando and friends Edjolyn Enriquez and Rommel Malubag – came up with an idea of how to unleash their potentials of becoming better workers, elevate their status and to be at par with other foreign nationals. Because knowing the tenacity and ability of our kababayans, with a little help, this is easier to achieve.
The birth of the Filipino Institute.
Filipino Institute or FI is the pioneering Filipino educational institution in the Middle East that offers quality short-term courses at an affordable price. It was established by Filipinos for the Filipinos.
With the help of fellow kababayans who are armed with their acquired set of knowledge and expertise in their own chosen fields – FI trainers have agreed to teach the students skills and knowledge that are in line with the true spirit of volunteerism, advocacy and service for the Filipinos.
Some of these basic, intermediate and advance short-term courses being offered are: Autocad, Photography, Caregiver, Events Management, Housekeeping, Adobe/Photoshop, IT, Accounting, Business Writing, MS Word and Powerpoint, Human Resources , Secretarial, Customer Service, Social Media Marketing, IELTS and others. These courses are being offered for six consecutive Fridays.
The First Door Opened for OFWs
In December 2015, Filipino Institute opened its doors to the first batch of students in Al Quoz branch in UAE. The success of its initial endeavor paved the way for more opportunities. Soon after, other branches followed in Ajman, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
In establishing FI, it proved two important things. First, we, Filipinos still value education as an effective tool for advancement. Second, our kababayans’ love and sudden interest for education can be likened to a widespread fire that have reached to nearby countries. Not only did FI open in UAE, it also crossed the borders to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.
After the Middle East Invasion, FI will soon conquer Asia. Who knows with unity and cooperation, one day it might become a global success. But success would not be possible without the help and cooperation of Sitespower, Inma and other Middle East training and development centers which have the same advocacy as FI. As they say, it’s the power of two.
Bahrain, being one of the latest Filipino Institute branches to open in late December 2016, held its first batch of trainees’ graduation ceremony in Al Manzil Hotel in Juffair last February 3. It was spearheaded by President Gabriel Rimando and Dean Michelle Linga. FI recognized the students who worked hard on those six gruelling Fridays and on top of that, still fulfilled their respective job duties as OFWs.
Home is Where the Heart is.
Despite the challenges the branch core groups have encountered, FI graduation events were marked with success and joy from the graduates, families and the OFW community. This year, FI is celebrating its first year anniversary and had over 15,000 graduates who successfully jumped over the hurdles.
It is true indeed that in our journey through life, learning is still a continuous process. With a positive mindset and armed with better skills, we hope one day that all Filipinos will go home to become successful entrepreneurs and have the reason to stay for good. Because, as the tagline goes, it’s More Fun in the Philippines!
Congratulations Batch 1 FI BH! Congratulations Filipino Institute!
May your tribe increase.
MABUHAY ANG OFWS!