Kalinga Province Organization
According to Brigette Mazo-Tagure, the Emirates is a country of no homogenous society. “People are demarcated from each other in terms of language, religion, customs and traditions. Filipinos comprise one of the fastest growing nationalities in UAE. As we are highly diverse, with dozens of ethnicities and languages, we often run into challenges to establish cultural identity.”
Officially founded in 2007, KPO is a non-profit cultural organization whose members are natives and kins of Kalinga Province residing in UAE. Kalinga is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region subdivided into several municipalities.
The work that led to formation of KPO began 7 years ago when a small group of “ykalingas” gathered for a talk, as any meeting would be, the conversation included the struggles and joys of working as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
With the leadership of Mrs. Amal Abdulrahman, a native of Kalinga who has obtained her UAE citizenship, this group began to explore the concept of organizing a Kalinga community, as a way of continuing to create relationships and to have a group to whom members can share their concerns.
Starting with handful of members in 2007, the group has grown to more than a hundred registered members. It is the assemblage aim to build social network and sense of community in partnership with a larger group known as Cordillerans UAE.
Undeterred by centuries of foreign colonization, the Kalinga is one of the many Cordilleran tribes who managed to retain its original culture and tradition. In some respects, Kalingas are distinct from the other Cordillerans as to having ardent spirits of tribal affiliation and from this sense, emerged the Kalinga Province Organization-UAE (KPO).
Thus, KPO is dedicated to promoting solidarity and enriching relations among its members, and maintaining strong ties to our ancestral culture. In addition, we struggle to balance traditional cultural ideas with the pressure of assimilating into the foreign society.
The group has been invited to perform in many festivities where they featured the perpetual Philippine highlands culture and tradition. In addition, the group created a greater impact by providing fund raising programs to serve the social needs of its members and poor communities in Kalinga province. One of which is the annual financing of the Lin-awa Rehabilitation Center in Bulanao,Tabuk City.
Elements of success
Initially, outreach was done through get-together events in order to mobilize members from every Emirate. A year later, it has been a consensus to organize a yearly election of officers in conjunction with the celebration of “Kalinga Day” every 14th of February. It is KPO’s pursuit to emphasize and encourage withholding the highland cultures even in another geographical and social context. With this, the new organization achieved recognition from other Filipino associations in UAE as a typical illustration of nationalism.
KPO’s most important element of success is their relationships. The members are expected to work out conflicts that arise, and support each other in doing such when needed. Part of the group’s perseverance is to empower its constituents by helping them to develop vitality and civic engagement. That makes the whole of the organization.
KALINGA PROVINCE ORGANIZATION
OFFICERS FOR 2014-2015
- President – Brigette Mazo Tagure
- Vice President – Rainiel Morales
- Secretary – Joylyn Banawag
- Treasurer – Raquel Wanasen
- Auditor- Maricca Massagan
- Press Relation Officer- Annabelle Balala
- Business Managers – Esther Obar, Leo Calsiyao
- Peace Officers- Jayar Valdez, Rodelia Gallamoy