D2D aims to have a permanent forum among Filipinos in Europe, to exchange best practices and cope with the fast changes in both their host and home countries, impacting their social and economic lives and their families left behind.

Rome, August 22, 2012 – The Filipino-Italian Members of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC), in cooperation with Philippine Embassy-Rome and the Philippine Commission of Filipinos Overseas (CFO), are set to hold a conference of Filipinos based in Europe on September 27-29 at the Aran Mantegna Hotel and Conference Center, in Eur,  Rome, Italy.  The conference is assisted by the Comune di Roma, the International Organization of Migration-Italy (IOM), and the Scalibrini International Migration Institute (SIMI).

Dubbed “Diaspora to Dialogue (D2D), 1st Europe-wide Conference of Filipinos in Europe”, the conference will be attended by Filipinos from Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and  Switzerland including delegates from the Philippines,  observers from the United States, the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Israel, among a few) and parts of Asia.

According to Marie Luarca-Reyes, chairperson of the D2D organizing committee and honorary Italy CFO representative, the conference aims to establish a continuing dialogue among Filipinos in Europe,  participate as a regional group in the formation of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council, and contribute its resolutions to the 2nd Diaspora Global Summit 2013 to be held in the Philippines.  The organizational work of the conference is backed by a corps of Filipino volunteers in Rome represented by Sta. Catalina Timpuyog, Pangasinan Overseas Workers in Rome, Marilag, 1-Guardian, to mention a few.

Important personalities in both the government and private sectors are expected to attend the conference opening.  Among them are Rome’s Mayor Giovanni Alemmano; Secretary Ricky Carandang, spokesperson of Philippine President Benigno Aquino; Dr. José Angel Oropeza, Director of International Organization of Migration-Italy;      Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, from the Vatican, Director of Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care for Migrant and Itinerant People; and  Philippine’s Imelda Nicolas, Secretary of  Commission on Filipino Overseas .

A representative of Philippine Vice-President Jejomar Binay will head the list of prominent officials for the closing ceremonies. Others include Fr. Fabio Baggio, Director of Scalabrini International Migration Institute (SIMI) and adviser to the D2D Europe conference;  Dott. Fabio Fanfani, Philippine Honorary Consul in Florence; Ms. Karen Davila, Ambassadress of Goodwill for the World Vision Foundation; and Ms. Loida Nicolas-Lewis, Chairperson of the Global Diaspora Filipino Council.

Side lights of the conference are the General Papal Audience of the delegates at the Vatican,  a fashion show by a Filipino designer Dia Dima Degamo Ates, a dialogue with acclaimed Filipino filmmaker  Brilliante Mendoza at Casa di Cinema, Villa Borghese, and special dinner hosted by Stella Garcia and Aldo Berte of the popular Squisito Pizza.

Some of the generous sponsors of the event are DMCI Homes, Robinsons Land Corporation, The Global ShareResource Foundation, Landbank of the Philippines, Western Union, Megaworld Properties International Srl, Diamond Financing, Lolita Savage, Pag-Ibig Funds, Dr. Barberio Vladimiro, and Pietra Pina.

It is hope that through the D2D conference, there will be a permanent forum among Filipinos in Europe  to exchange best practices and cope with the fast changes in both their host and home countries, impacting their social and economic lives and their families left behind. 

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