Batangueño Joseph L. Bautista is many things to an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and to those touched by his magical prowess. He was once a domestic helper who utilized his God-given talent to exercise with passion his profession as an engineer and in the process, he became a mentor, a Martial Arts master, a leader and social worker.
It did not take long for the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to recognize him as a Bagong Bayani for Community and Social Service and to confer the Blas F. Ople Award para sa Natatanging Bagong Bayani in 2014, he being an “an epitome of success attained through hard work and perseverance, and having excelled in the field of community and social services.”
He is a domestic helper turned quality control engineer for a multi-national company in mainland China. His shift from domestic setting to a professional and multinational environment is a successful story that continues to inspire many OFWs around the world.
The Martial Arts Master
Joseph is also known as a “Kyoshi” or a Martial Arts Master to many OFWs in Hongkong and other nationalities all over the world. To his townmates in Lipa City Batangas, he is an Arnis Master as founder and organizer of Arnis Hagupit Laban sa Krimen (AHLAK), a free Arnis training to Barangay Tanod and officials.
He leads the biggest number of OFWs training for martial arts, instilling in them the values of discipline, camaraderie and teamwork. He uses his skill in martial arts in training graduates of martial arts in providing security and protection for dignitaries, diplomats and prominent entertainers, among others.
He heads several martial arts organizations worldwide, such the MUSANG Ryu International Martial Arts Society aka “Musang”, Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karatedo Association (OSKA) Shidokan Hong Kong, International Marshal Society (IMASO), World Medical Support Society (WOMED). He is Chairman of the Board for Hongkong Chapter of the USA-based World Organizer of Martial Arts (WOMA).
A hero and leader
Among his commendable projects was spearheading a fund raising project for the blood money for Primo Gasmen, an OFW in Saudi Arabia, who was sentenced with execution for killing a Nepali co-woker in 2002. Through his selfless efforts, the Filipino community in Hongkong was able to raise USD15,000.00.
He is also an active member of “The Builders”, an Association of Filipino Engineers and Architects working in HK who are giving free house plans, estimates and engineering consultancy to OFWs who are planning to build their own houses in the Philippines.
He presently acts as Commander and Commanding Officer of External Maritime Affairs Division of the Philippine Coast Guards Auxiliary PCGA, 502nd Squadron Coast Guard Auxiliary District Southern Tagalog CGADSTL, Maritime Special Medical Assistance and Rescue Task Force, Maritime Search and Rescue, and Maritime Community Relations. He is also an Ambassador to Hong Kong of International Police Commission (IPC) Philippine Command a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN-ECOSOC), a worldwide campaign for Peace and Order and other socio-civic activities under the UN-DESA.
Joseph holds membership in Free and Accepted Masons of The Philippines, Mabuhay Shriners International-Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Grand and Glorious , Order of The Knights of The Creeping Cerpent, Square and Compass Club Hong Kong, Association of Filipino Builders in Hong Kong
Batangas Varsitarian International HK Chapter, United Group of Batangas HK Association, Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karatedo Association-Shidokan and MUSANG Medical Response TEAM.
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.