Past Conventions

NaFFAA also convenes the Global Filipino Networking Convention (GFNC) to bring the global community together and promote the concept of “community networking”.

2002 GFNC, “Theme?
Moscone Center, San Francisco California

Aware that the Filipino-American community is only a part of the Filipino diaspora, NaFFAA also convened a series of networking conventions to bring the global community together. The First Global Filipino Networking Convention was held in San Francisco on August 31 – September 1, 2002, at the same time as the NaFFAA National “Y2K2 Conference.” The convention attracted at least 4,000 registered delegates attending 20 separate networking conferences held throughout the Moscone Center.

Global Convention Chair Rodel Rodis gave the Opening Remarks, which was then followed by various speakers, namely, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi, Global Convention Co-chair Marivic Bamba, LBC Chairman Carlos Araneta, NaFFAA National Chair Emeritus Alex Esclamado, NaFFAA National Chair Loida Nicolas Lewis, and Philippine Senate President Franklin Drilon.

The proliferation of thousands of Filipino community organizations had been viewed as a problem, as an obstacle to the unification and empowerment of the Filipino community. The convention’s goal was to “turn lemon into lemonade.” NaFFAA realized the key to its empowerment strategy was to promote the concept of “community networking” because there were countless Filipino community organizations that were oblivious to what other Filipino and Filipino-American community organizations were doing, even in their own locales. Theses organization were “living in parallel universes with different realities, existing on the same plane without interaction.”

2003 GFNC, “A Homecoming: A Renewal, the Blossoming of Opportunities
Philippine International Convention Center, Manila, Philippines

The First Global Filipino Networking Convention’s success led to the Department of Tourism Secretary, Dick Gordon, offering to host the second convention in Manila. The Second Global Filipino Networking Convention at the Philippine International Convention Center on December 15-18, 2003, brought in delegates from other countries. Former Tourism Secretary Mina Gabor headed the organizing group. About 500 attendees came from around the world to participate in the forums. A resolution was passed to form the Global Confederation of Filipino Associations.

Realizing that Filipinos world-wide are exposed to new trends, technologies, and lifestyles, the convention sought to emphasize the importance of networking to promote the linking of Global Filipinos across boundaries through the sharing of knowledge, technologies, experiences, and resources to help each other and the Philippines. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 208, created a Public-Private Sector Task Force to support the convention, and directed Government resources to support the planning and implementation of the convention.

2005 GFNC, “Pinoy Power Worldwide
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, Cebu, Philippines

The Third Global Filipino Networking Convention was held in Cebu on January 20-22, 2005, and was truly a global conference in terms of attendance. The Welcome Presentation provided an overview of convention topics including issues of importance to Filipino immigrants, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and Filipino World War II veterans. Problems and opportunities related to Philippine tourism and the environment were presented. Attendees learned about transplanting and nurturing Filipino traditions, culture, and art worldwide; moral and spiritual renaissance; trade, investments, and entrepreneurship; the role of Filipino media in empowerment; unmet needs in Philippine healthcare; moving “from Brain Drain to Brain Gain”; and other topics. The convention sought to harness the Filipino diaspora by bringing together OFWs, immigrants, and those that have taken up citizenship in other countries, and through networking, motivate them to help each other and the Philippines.

In line with the convention’s sub-theme, “A Gathering of Heroes,” the event included the unveiling ceremony for a special exhibit, “The Gallery of Heroes.” The exhibit recognized Filipinos around the world that brought honor to the Philippines or have been of exemplary service to the Philippines and its people.

2006 GFNC, “100 Years of the Filipino Diaspora: Hawaii and Beyond
Hawaii

The Fourth Global Filipino Networking Convention was built on the successes of three previous global conventions and six National Empowerment Conferences. The fourth GFNC and seventh NEC took on a special significance — they were held in conjunction with the Filipino American Centennial. The historic event marked a century of Filipino presence in the United States. The September 28 – October 1, 2006 joint confab, held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, featured a variety of activities and a high-powered list of personalities, dignitaries, and celebrities. Delegates heard from Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, former Governor Ben Cayetano, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), U.S. Representative Darrel Issa (R-CA), Philippine House Speaker Jose De Venecia, Philippine Senate President Franklin Drilon, and former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos. Along with the delegates, state and local officials, business leaders, and a host of other dignitaries attended the event.

The world premiere of “Sandaan,” a documentary film about the history of Filipino immigration to the United States, set the tone for the conference when it was screened on opening night. Produced by noted filmmaker Sonny Izon, the film captured the struggles and triuimphs of Filipino Americans throughout a hundred years of challenge and change – from the arrival of “sakadas” (migrant workers) in Hawaii in 1906 to the emergence of “Pinoy Power” in the 1990s. A Centennial Festival capped the evening.

2008 GFNC, “Fair Go – For Filipino Empowerment
Sidney, Australia

The Fifth Global Filipino Networking Conference was held September 6-9, 2007 at The Holiday Inn Rooty Hill, NSW, in Sydney, simultaneous with the APEC Conference attended by 21 world leaders. The Fair Go in the convention theme is an Australian slang term that means “equal opportunity” and stands for Filipino-Australian Integrated Response to Global Objectives. The conference examined some of the real issues that confront Filipinos globally and addressed them in an effort to give Filipinos a “fair go.” The Convention focused on the socio-economic and political issues surrounding Filipinos working and living outside the Philippines.

Blacktown City Mayor Leo Kelly and the conference organizers Lolita Farmer (Global Filipinos Australia), Malyn Andres-Chun (Filipino Communities Council of Australia), Rozita Lee (National Federation of Filipino American Associations) opened the convention. Mayor Kelly welcomed the delegates, praised the contributions of the 25,000 Filipinos in the prosperity and success of the City of Blacktown.

The convention was attended by 130 delegates from the United Arab Emirates, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Egypt, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Australia. There were 40 delegates from outside Australia and over 300 guests on Gala Night.

The event was an initiative of the National Federation of Filipino Americans (NAFAA), the Global Filipinos Australia (GFA), the Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA), and the Philippine Community Council (PCC) of NSW.

2011 GFNC, “Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora
Philippine International Convention Center, Manila, Philippines

The Sixth Global Filipino Networking Convention was held on September 27-29, 2011 in Manila. The convention was co-hosted by the Philippine Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) headed by Chair Secretary Imelda Nicolas and the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG), whose national chair is Loida Nicolas Lewis.

Bing Branigin coordinated NaFFAA’s participation in the convention. The three issues NaFFAA presented at the convention are the legal defense of Filipinos abroad, human trafficking (particularly in labor) and global coordination of Philippine disaster relief.


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