Philippine Embassy Conducts Pamaskong Handog 2021
Christmas amidst the pandemic brings a golden opportunity instead of a challenge. In this joyous season, the Filipino community comes together in the spirit of mutual care and concern, especially as Filipinos in Norway are far from home.
Thus on 22 December, the Philippine Embassy in Oslo, under the leadership of the newly arrived Ambassador, Enrico T. Fos, conducted Pamaskong Handog with the distribution of care packages to a group of au pairs and students who were hit by the pandemic.
At St. Joseph Church in Oslo, the Embassy team was assisted by Mr. Gonzalo Solas, Jr. president of the sacred Heart Filipino Chaplaincy, and Fr. Johan Dumandan, the Filipino Catholic Chaplain, in distributing the pamaskong handog care packages.
The Embassy-led activity signals the Philippine government's unwavering commitment to work with the Filipino community as it fulfills its mandate to serve Filipinos overseas, especially in this time of dire need.
The pamaskong handog care packages contained basic necessities and special goods, and sought to bring joy and to alleviate feelings of homesickness for the au pairs and students present.
The pamaskong handog was the Embassy's modest way of providing assistance to these au pairs and students, many of whom like many Filipinos abroad, were hit hard by the adverse impact of the pandemic' said Ambassador Fos.
The au pairs were unison in expressing their appreciation for the effort of the embassy to seek them out and provide them with care packages.
'This is the first in more than a decade that I've beenhere in Oslo that a gift giving activity for the au pair was done by the Embassy' said Mr. Solas.
'This is but a drop in the bucket', said Consul raul H. Dado, the Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission as he also noted that 5,000 Filipino au pairs in Norway.
The au pairs is a special concern for the Embassy's unceasing assistance to nationals program.
The Embassy expressed gratitude to Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. and the Department for enabling this special assistance to nationals effort, bringing cheer and hope in the midst of the pandemic and the Christmas season.
The pamaskong handog activity strictly observed health protocols such as wearing of facemasks, social distancing and limited in person attendance.