119th PH Independence

#mitsamasg.  Hunyo 12. Maligayang Araw ng Kasarinlan ng Pilipinas!

It was a bright and beautiful morning at the Philippine Embassy earlier today as they celebrated a simple flag raising ceremony to commemorate the Philippines’ 119th Independence Day.  Mr. Shaun Acasio, our SAMA External Vice President, attended the event together with a handful of the Filipino community and friends in Singapore.

Maligayang Araw ng Kasarinlan! Mabuhay!


Viva Mapua!!!


FilCom meeting no. 1

#mitsamasg / 2017.01.21

The Philippine Embassy in Singapore organized the first Filipino Community meeting at The Bayanihan Center this year because of the on-going renovation works at the embassy’s home at Nassim Road.

Here are some updates from the respective embassy departments…

From Consul Tony – regarding Philippine passport application/collection

  • A new passport takes about 8 weeks delivery
  • It arrives weekly, every Thursday, via DHL/similar courier
  • You can check your passport availability via the embassy website (link)
  • Since there were issues of delays in passport delivery, the embassy is offering free passport extension as of this meeting. It is provided to those who have an existing passport for renewal in process.
  • E-appointments (link) per day maximum is about 210 but only 30%, on average, turn up. Still, everyone is encouraged to use the e-appointment and come on the date of your selected appointment also.

From Consul Gonar – regarding ASEAN

  •  The SG economy increased by about 2.8%
  • Encourage entrepreneurship in the Philippines

From VC Lala – regarding ATN (Assistance to Nationals)

  • There was a 4% increase in cases in 2016 compared to 2015
  • Below are the common problems of an OFW that the ATN is taking care of

From Labor Attache Mon Pastrana – regarding POLO

  • In Asia, SG has the highest remittances in 2016.
  • The OEC exemption system has been fine tuned.
  • Those dependent pass holders in SG who are given permission to work here are not exempted from OEC because only those registered under POLO are considered OFW.
  • POLO will soon release the new salary range of the household worker in SG.
  • POLO Welfare Officer Rosanna will end here tour of duty on 31st January 2017.

From Consul Mers

  • The Philippines is the ASEAN chair this 2017
  • It is also the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN. Logo and theme below.

The Philippine Embassy distributed the certificates to the organizations and individuals who have volunteered during President Duterte’s visit in Singapore last December. Our own SAMA certificates were received by Mr. Edwin on behalf of our volunteers.


Receiving Certificates from Amb. Morales on behalf of our SAMA volunteers for our volunteer work during President Duterte’s visit in Singapore last December 2016.

We also took the opportunity to invite the FilCom to participate in our SAMA activites as per the lineup presented by Mr. Edwin.


Here are other pictures during the event. Ms. Vhines and Ms. Rochelle were also present and took the traditional photo evidence of attendance.

Other announcements:

  1. FDS – IBM 2017 will be held on June 25. SAMA will be joining this annual dragonboat event. If you are interested to join us, please contact Ms. Vhines thru email.
  2. PIDC 2017 – no theme set yet. Further details will be announced on the next FilCom meeting in March.
  3. Bayanihan Walk 2017 – tentative date in April. SAMA has always participated in this event by volunteering and taking up specific assignments to help the PBSS. Contact us if you would like to participate!

The meeting ended with a delicious packed lunch of chicken rice and drinks courtesy of the usual sponsors.

Viva Mapua!!!

Upcoming events…Sept/Oct


It’s been almost two and a half weeks since our last event – SAMA Family Day 2016. Thanks to our SAMA members, family and friends who came and spent the day (and overnight) of (lotsa) food, drinks and fun with us.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We also had a very interesting presentation of completed projects where BIM was used. Kudos to Engr. Sonny Andalis for doing the presentation and showing the technical details involved without being boring. Both his technical and non-technical audiences voiced their appreciations and further clarified parts where they found very interesting e.g. air conditioning using solar energy, many more. We really appreciate the time you’ve spent with us. Unfortunately he didn’t have the chance to enjoy the pool afterwards. Anyway, binawi na lang niya sa food hehehe.

Now, this September, we will have two sports events – basketball and bowling.

We hope that some of our basketball enthusiasts and friends will be able to join us in this year’s 3-on-3 Basketball Games! In the tradition of our badminton event last May, this basketball games will have a similar inter-school concept. Contact us via the link or thru Mr. Shaun Acasio for details. [Update 18/Sept: 3-on-3 will be held on 1st October in November 2016, tentatively instead of this September, due to schedule conflicts with other basketball tournaments.]

Meanwhile, our weekly bowling tournament will have it’s Masters Event this coming Sunday, 4th of September. Details are posted in our bowling group’s fb page. Cheerers and clappers are most welcome to attend. Our bowlers will surely appreciate it! Interested parties may also contact us thru our contact page or thru Mr. Rico Cordero for details.

This coming October, we will be preparing for a Seminar for our members. The details are still being finalized and we will post it soon here. [Seminar details in the recent post: Industrie 4.0]

Lastly, we are also looking for volunteers to help us with some heavy lifting activities for the Bayanihan Center in October. This will be happening in two or three weekends depending on the turn out of volunteers. More volunteers mean faster completion of the job. Interested parties may contact us thru our contact page or drop a message to Mr. Edwin or Ms. Joy for details. Everyone is welcome. Let us do this the ‘bayanihan’ way.



Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) 2016 starts today in Singapore. The Philippine Embassy has opened it’s doors to registered overseas Filipino voters from today until 9th May to cast their votes for the Philippine elections. The Philippines will elect her President, Vice President, 12 Senators and a Party List Representative.

About one month before the event, the embassy informed the various FilCom organizations for their interest to be accredited as volunteers for COMELEC for this event. SAMA submitted a number of volunteers from our ranks and was eventually granted accreditation after the review.

Today, the right to vote has officially started with a simple opening ceremony in the Philippine Embassy led by Ambassador Morales.

20160409 OAV SG

20160409 OAV SG

Check here if you have registered and is eligible to vote via OAV in SG.  If you are, here is a “Voting 101” guide for you. Here is also a short video on how to vote using the Voting Counting Machine (VCM).

The facebook page of the Philippine Embassy posted this photo to show the simple steps to follow when you cast your vote.

More information can be gathered from the embassy’s website.

A couple of our SAMA representatives are there today to cast their own votes and to see how the process works (and share with the rest of our volunteers).

20160409 OAV SG

SAMA will be volunteering every Sunday starting 10th April. Look out for us in our signature SAMA shirts. See you there!

Be part of history. Go out and vote!

Viva Mapua!