The Bishop of Antipolo, Most Reverend Ruperto Cruz Santos, D.D. led the celebration of the 37th National Migrants Sunday on September 24, 2023, at the International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (ISOLPGV), Antipolo City, with this year’s theme “Free to choose whether to migrate or stay”. National Migrants Sunday Tribute
The celebration was highlighted by a Concelebrated Mass presided by Bishop Ruperto Santos concelebrated by Rev. Fr Jose Bautista, DACMI Director, Rev. Fr. Bien Miguel, Jr., Social Action Center Director, Rev. Fr. Reynante Tolentino, Rector of the ISOLPGV, Rev. Fr. JD Guillermo, and Rev.Fr. Franz Baasis, and attended by guests and different Migrants Ministry Volunteers from the different Parishes in the Diocese.
This was followed by a National Migrants Sunday program at the Marian Hall of Our Lady of Peace School, which was graced by invited guests and DACMI Partners led by Hon. Hans Leo J. Cacdac, the Officer-In-Charge the Department of Migrant Workers and Undersecretary for Welfare and Foreign Employment, together with Antipolo City Hon. Councilor LJ Sumulong, representing the Hon. Mayor Casimiro Ynares III, CBCP ECMI – Ms. Ma. Ediza A. Pumarada, Voice of the Free-Ms. Sherryl M. Loseño and Center for Migrants Advocacy – Ms. Hazel D. Cotoner gave their inspiring and congratulatory messages. Rev. Fr Jose Bautista – DACMI Director opened the program with his welcome message followed by the Installation and Commissioning of DACMI Officers – Members of the Execom and Vicariate Leaders done by Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, D.D. This was followed by DACMi Overview by Bro. Fernando Abeto – DACMI Coordinator and acknowledging the previous DACMI Coordinators led by the first Coordinator Sis Lualhati Dulaca. National Migrants Sunday Tribute
Highlights of the program include the Launching and Awarding of the First GAWAD LAKBAY TIPULO para sa Natatanging Marino and Modelong Anak OFW 2023. This is DACMI’s award-giving body that commends Outstanding OFWs and their families with their exemplary dedication and commitment to their work along with their active involvement in their respective parishes and communities. Honored that night were Mr. Rossman Garvida Mina from St. Rose of Lima Parish (Natatanging Marino 2023), with special awardees Mr. Angelito L. Perdiguerra (Socio-Political Awardee) and Mr. Jesse Adrian SD Orca (Spirituality Awardee). Awardees of the Modelong Anak OFW 2023 were Francisco Abeto from St. Bernard Clairvaux Parish – for Category 1 Children, Shanley Denine M. Lunar from San Antonio de Padua Parish for Category 2 Teen/Youth, and Emmanuel John R. Concepcion from Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish for Category 3 – Young Professional.
Triumphant and challenging testimonies of OFWs were told during the OFW Stories segment, where invited guests Delia Custodio and Meliza Oñal shared their experiences as repatriated OFWs who were victims of illegal recruitment and how DACMI was able to help them. Also, stories of success were shared by last year’s 2022 Outstanding OFW and Modelong OFW Family Winners – Ms. Rowena R. Concepcion and Mr. Eugene Beato Buenafe and how DACMI inspired them with its recognition.
These unveiled stories of success and trials of OFWs were the base point of Inspiration for Migrants and Migrant Volunteers through a special song composed exclusively for DACMI and Diocese of Antipolo by Composer Mark Anthony Cuevas from WASWABE Records, an independent record label featuring up-and-rising Filipino composers coming from different countries around the world. The song took center stage as it was formally launched with an inspiring music video honoring the Patroness of Antipolo and the Patroness of Migrants and Itinerant People and their Families, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
National Migrants Sunday Tribute – DACMI Honors OFWs
The song SAMAHAN MO KAMI SA PAGLALABAY – interpreted by a Filipino Singer/Composer currently based in Canada Jimi Waswabe with Ms. Jaz Aquino will be the official theme song of DACMI for
Migrants / OFWs and their families will surely inspire Migrants and Migrant Volunteers not only in the Diocese but the entire country. A certificate of Donation and Transfer of Rights of the song was presented to DACMI by Waswabe Records and Composer Mark Anthony Cuevas, giving the full ownership, rights, and royalty of the song to the Diocese of Antipolo Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.
The celebration was never complete without the support of DACMI’s partner BDO Remit who provided a talk about Financial Literacy for OFWs and their families, BDO Remit also sponsored the Gift Certificates for the Winners of GAWAD Lakbay TIpoulo Awardees and the foods for the participants. They also gave instant access to open a BDO Kabayan Account Instantly on-site for all attendees.
Also featured in the 37th National Migrants Sunday Program are the festive performances of Maytime Festival 2023 Hall of Famer – Maharlika Dance Troupe of San Jose National High School and the Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Marikina Migrants Dance Group.
The Messages of guests, stories of OFWs, and awardees of Gawad Lakbay Tipulo became a true inspiration for DACMI volunteers in continuing their mission of providing pastoral care for Migrants/OFWs and their families not only in the Diocese of Antipolo but around the world.