MANILA, Philippines - Hundreds of relatives of overseas Filipino workers are expected to attend a free Christmas Party organized by the Blas F. Ople Center on Wednesday in Quezon City.
"The event is free but we will ask our OFW families to contribute whatever they can to help us raise funds for the victims of typhoon Pablo particularly the family of 7-year old Aimee Kay Sayson and to help the family of OFW Joselito Zapanta, " said Susan Ople, president of the Ople Center.
Ople said Zapanta’s mother sought their help to raise P40 million in the period of four months in exchange for his life.
Zapanta's mother Mona and sister Rosemay are expected to attend the Christmas party to receive donation raised during the event.
A separate fund drive will also soon be launched to help OFW victims of typhoon "Pablo" including the family of seven-year old Aimee Kay Sayson who died of hypothermia at the height of the typhoon's onslaught in New Bataan, Compostela Valley. Aimee Kay's mother is a domestic worker based in Hong Kong.
The Second Annual Happy OFW Christmas Party is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Ramon Magsaysay Hall of the Social Security System Building along East Avenue in Quezon City.
"Karamihan sa kanila walang mga opisina dahil ang breadwinner nila ay nasa abroad, kaya naisip namin na bakit hindi na lang kami ang magpasimuno para may Christmas party din naman ang ilan sa ating mga OFW families?," said Ople.
Ople said the party shall have the usual raffle draws with entertainment numbers courtesy of the Hotdog band and late night anchor and performer Jojo Alejar. There is also a "peace parol-making contest" where OFW families will be bringing in Christmas lanterns made out of recycled materials bearing peace messages.
The theme for this year is all about peace as OFW advocates led by Jun Aguilar of the Filipino Migrant Workers Group will take their oath as officers of the "OFW for Peace" movement before Secretary Teresita Deles, the presidential adviser on the peace process, who is also the event's keynote speaker.
The new movement intends to be actively involve in monitoring the ongoing peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and supporting its goals by helping promote livelihood and reintegration services for Mindanao-based OFW families.
OFW families who wish to attend the Christmas party can register by calling up the Ople Center's hotline: 8335337.