Anakbayan New Jersey Calls on Filipino Community to Demand Justice on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW)


For Immediate Release
Press Statement
November 25, 2015

Laura Emily E. Austria, Anakbayan New Jersey Women’s Committee
Devyn Mañibo, Anakbayan New Jersey Women’s Committee
(470) 309-2265,

Anakbayan New Jersey Calls on Filipino Community to Demand Justice on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW)

The United Nations General Assembly designated November 25th as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) in commemoration of the 1960 assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, who were political activists in the Dominican Republic. The date also marks the start of the “16 Days of Activism” that precedes Human Rights Day on December 10th each year.

Today, on IDEVAW, we join our allies at Action 21, the Jersey City community, and the world at large to stand united for a just society for women, and for all oppressed peoples.

We, Filipino youth from Anakbayan New Jersey, mark this important day by highlighting the conditions that force about 6 million Filipinos to leave the country each day, most of whom are women, in search of economic security abroad. Filipina immigrants often face violence in the countries where they find work. Host governments often turn a blind eye while the Philippine government pursues its Labor Export Policy to maximize profit off of migrant workers’ remittances. These women often cite physical and psychological abuse, discrimination, sexual assault, and other forms of abuse and exploitation such as wage theft, limited access to food and shelter, and not allowed time off from work.

As of 2010, Jersey City’s total population is 7% Filipinos, putting the city at a total of over 18,000 Filipinos, and rising – the second highest number in the state. The Filipino community in Jersey City is comprised heavily of working class and migrant women who face multiple intersecting layers of oppression including, but certainly not limited lack of equal access to employment and living wages, workers rights, immigration and citizenship barriers, and gender-based violence at home and in the workplace. For these reasons, IDEVAW is relevant to the lives of Filipina migrant women who work tirelessly to survive in the name of providing for the needs of their families back home.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a woman is beaten every fifteen seconds. Jersey City in particular has faced increased violence as just last Thursday, November 19th, a woman faced an attempted attack by an ex-boyfriend with an ax, injuring two people at Newport Mall. As of November 21st, the crisis has escalated to five fatal shootings in twelve days. We are raising alarm for these regrettable developments in our neighborhoods.

Further, Jersey City women face multiple forms of violence through socioeconomic disenfranchisement, lack of access to jobs and education, and targeting of migrant workers. As a result of a lack of a living wage, increased student debt, and lack of social services, women in Jersey City experience violence in both explicit and insidious ways.

Violence against women does not solely connote the physicalities of abuse, but rather, accounts for all forms of violence, physical, psychological, and even political and economic. Violence occurs and is sustained through the injustices inherited and perpetuated by systems of patriarchy, upheld by imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism. Violence against women is deep set, but can be uprooted.

Since the founding of Anakbayan New York/New Jersey in 2005, and the formal inception of Anakbayan NJ in 2012, Filipino women have played an integral role in serving the most oppressed people and pushing forward the national democratic movement with a socialist perspective. We must continue to strive in upholding the rights of poor and working class women here and across the globe.

With the launch of the Anakbayan New Jersey Women’s Committee, we renew our commitment to studying the concrete experiences of Filipina immigrants for the purpose of uplifting their stories, and actively participating in mass campaigns that respond to their immediate needs and concerns, while exposing the manifestations of an imperialist system that perpetuates hardship and exploitation.

We call on Filipino youth in the U.S. to join Anakbayan in educating, organizing, and mobilizing our community to fight for fair working conditions, support for victims of domestic violence, an end to human trafficking, the removal of US military bases and personnel in the Philippines and other developing countries. Let us advance the legacy of the Mirabal sisters and our own, Lorena Barros, who wholeheartedly took up the cause of national liberation and genuinely serving the people.


End violence against women!

Justice for Jennifer Laude! US out of the Philippines!

Justice for Mary Jane Veloso! End the Labor Export Policy!

HLI @ 11: The fight for genuine agrarian land reform continues


For Immediate Release
Press Statement

November 9th, 2015




Ian Jerome Conde, Deputy Secretary-General, Anakbayan New Jersey

Laura Emily E. Austria, Anakbayan New Jersey

(470) 309-2265,


HLI @ 11: The fight for genuine agrarian land reform continues


Today, November 16th, 2015, we mark the 11th anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita massacre. Anakbayan New Jersey members in the past have integrated with the basic masses in HLI in the past. We acknowledge the ongoing plight of the farm workers in Hacienda Luisita, as they represent the frontlines for the fight for genuine agrarian land reform in the Philippines. 11 years later, the farm workers of HLI have not been granted access to their lands. As we continue to wage the National Democratic program, we continue the fight against the monopoly of the comprador big-bourgeoisie and landlord classes of the entire country.

As the U.S.-Aquino administration is channelling their energies towards APEC, it is clear that their priority is in appeasing and serving the interest of the landlord and comprador big-bourgeoisie instead of the interests of the toiling masses. As these world powers gather, the increase fascism in the countryside is ever-worsening. The U.S.-Aquino regime is accelerating the worsening crisis of the Philippines into a downward spiral as the economy is barely standing on its crutches as we continue to lay servitude to the foreign multinational corporations.  

Since the Cojuangco family’s acquisition of Hacienda Luisita, the call for genuine agrarian land reform has remained at the forefront of priorities of the BS Aquino administration. 11 years later there have been no attempts to respond to the call of the farmers in Hacienda Luisita. The culture of impunity has remained intact under the BS Aquino administration.  Sham Land Reform remains under the guise of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Under the U.S.-Arroyo regime, farmers’ wages were shrunk to P194.50, and farmers were only allowed to work one day a week. The workers of Hacienda Luisita filed a petition with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in order to have the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) Agreement abolished. Two months later, the petition bore at least 5,300 signatures before being filed by union officers at the DAR. After the union attempted to negotiate wages to at least P225 a day, the Luisita management discarded 327 farmers — including union officers.

11 years later, we remember the martyrs of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre. Bayan-USA states “The political repression faced eleven years ago is the same political repression activists and community organizers face today. Peasants, who make up more than 75% of the population in the Philippines, still demand genuine agrarian reform- a redistribution of the land. Many died defending their rights to the land at Hacienda Luisita and today they continue to fight against the bureaucracy of land distribution after the Supreme Court’s decision to award the farmers a certain percentage of the Cojuangco land.”  The culture of impunity is ever-prevalent in relation to the recent killings of Lumad leaders in Mindanao. Oplan Bayanihan, the current manifestation of US-Arroyo’s counterinsurgency plan Oplan Bantay Laya I & II keeps legal mass activists to be preyed upon the state reactionary forces.  

In 2013, the DAR set up a tambiolo raffle that would determine which farmlands would go to the former workers of Hacienda Luisita. This allocation only served to pit the workers against each other. Then, right before Christmas that same year, goons working for Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) fenced off and destroyed a 260-hectare area in Balete to forcibly remove farmers. Weeks later, the Luisita farm workers picketed at PNP’s Camp Macabulos in Tarlac City to demand the release of illegally arrested and detained farmers. On B.S. Aquino’s birthday in 2014, crops were destroyed, homes were burned, children were mistreated and detained, and supplies and animals were stolen.

Back in 2013, Land Transportation Office chief Virginia Torres resigned from her position. As a result, B.S. Aquino dubbed her “Aryendo Queen,” revealing her large role in the tambiolo scheme. Contrary to the belief that tambiolo ‘land reform’ would protect the farmers’ rights to own and till the land, the papers given to beneficiaries only functioned as collateral in the raging unlawful leaseback operations called aryendo.

On April 25th, 2014, as a response to her effigy being burned at the CAT sugar mill, Kris Aquino said, “Alam ko na pag sinusunog-sunog ka, humahaba ang buhay mo, kaya okay lang, carry.” Her family sold their shares to Martin Lorenzo shortly after Kris Aquino responded. After Lorenzo established CAT Resource and Asset Holdings, Inc., almost 700 CAT workers were forced to sign “voluntary retirement” papers. As a way to continue to cover up their exploitation of workers, Lorenzo and Fernando Cojuangco are planning to rid of more of CAT and LRC’s land assets.

Pooling money with Florencio Abad, B.S. Aquino was able to use the P237 billion to create the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program. P50 million was given to each of the senator-judges to secure a guilty verdict in the Corona impeachment. The Department of Agrarian Reform also stated that the P451.7 million compensation to the Aquino-Cojuangco family came from DAP. P3.5 million from DAP was used to erect a small multi-purpose hall in Barangay Central, Hacienda Luisita by Aquino; this was a favor for an alleged broker of the aryendo, Barangay Captain Edgardo Aguas.

In August 2014, survivors and relatives of those who died at the Hacienda Luisita Massacre filed a motion to reopen the case. The motion was thrown out two months later. Instead of the Philippine government prosecuting military officials involved in the massacre, they gave the officials lovely promotions. The soldier who killed the president of Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union, Ricardo Ramos, was acquitted.

Today, Hacienda Luisita is still in the hands of the Cojuangco family. Today, power is still in the hands of the few. Today, the farmers whose livelihoods are tied to the cultivation of Hacienda Luisita are still suffering. Today, we continue to remember and uplift those whose lives were brutally killed in order to retain an immoral socioeconomic hierarchy. As Anakbayan New Jersey, we remember the Hacienda Luisita Massacre and continue to advocate for a better and just Philippines through genuine agrarian reform.

Justice for the Victims of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre!

Redistribute Hacienda Luisita to the Farmers Now!

Stop Lumad Killings!

Genuine Agrarian Reform Now!

Defend Indigenous Rights to Ancestral Land!


Junk APEC and Imperialist Globalization!




Stand for the Rights and Welfare of Undocumented Immigrants. Unite the Families in the Diaspora.

Statements 11112015.003

Press Statement

November 12, 2015


Melissa Harris, Anakbayan New Jersey


Stand for the Rights and Welfare of Undocumented Immigrants. Unite the Families in the Diaspora: Anakbayan NJ joins Saint Peter’s University vigil for un-documented immigrants

Filipino youth group, Anakbayan New Jersey (ABNJ), joins the vigil held at Saint Peter’s University by the Social Justice Club in vigil to demand “immigration reform and justice for undocumented/migrant people”. Members of ABNJ says many Filipino immigrants similar face harsh conditions here and abroad.

“We join the Saint Peter’s University community in solidarity of all migrants and refugees all over the world who are suffering under inhumane and repressive immigration policies. We demand justice and we stand for a world where families are not torn apart by the need to survive,” said Joelle Lingat, chairperson of Anakbayan New Jersey.

The vigil was called for in relation to the refugee crisis sweeping Europe and the ongoing struggles of undocumented immigrants here in the United States. According to the Organization of International Migration, around 700,000 refugees have arrived in Europe by sea. Most refugees are applying for asylum. Meanwhile, there are around 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and nearly two million have already been deported under President Obama’s tenure. Most of these immigrants are escaping poverty and wars in their home countries.

Similarly, the Philippines has seen 10 percent of its population migrate. Currently, close to 12 million Filipinos either live or work abroad. According to a New York Times article published last Nov.9, “No country exports more seafarers than the Philippines, which provides roughly a quarter of them globally. More than 400,000 Filipinos sought work last year as officers, deckhands, fishermen, cargo handlers and cruise workers.”

“This speaks to the state of employment in the Philippines. Filipinos are forced away from their families, away from their homeland in order to put a roof over their heads and to put food in their mouths. The fact that so many are left to choose a dangerous and uncertain path underscores the desperation for people to thrive economically, even at the most basic level,” says Melissa Harris, ABNJ member.

According to the young activists, these migration patterns are not coincidental, but rather a direct result of “Imperialism”. “There is no one else to blame for the horrible conditions faced by migrants and refugees around the world other than U.S. Imperialism. It is its wars of aggression waged in the middle east that destabilized the region and forced people to flee for their lives. It is its continued economic domination, in the form of various unequal trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the current Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement that continues to impoverish the Third World and creates conditions for forced migration,” says Lingat.

Anakbayan New Jersey says this is more reason for youth and students to advocate for immigrants’ rights. “As seen in the struggle of undocumented students, only through organized struggle can immigrants uphold their rights. We call on immigrant youth and students to educate, organize and mobilize the larger immigrant community to fight for their immediate rights and link this to the global struggle against US imperialism. Only then can we end the system of forced migration,” Lingat concluded.

2014 Year In Review: Lumalakas! Lumalawak! Lumalaban!

Thank you for supporting Anakbayan-USA in another empowering year of serving the people. Let us wrap up the 2014 by going through the highlights of this year.


Early this year, we saw the growing unity among Filipino-American youth and students with the formation of Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network, a national network of Filipino-American youth and students in response to the devastation of typhoon Haiyan.

In March, we were able to launch coordinated actions to condemn the murder of Freddie Ligiw, a member of Anakbayan Abra, and his family by the fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines. Anakbayan chapters across the country scrambled to organize indignation protests. We were able to highlight the ongoing human rights violations and the need to cut US military aid to the Philippines.

In June, we held our first ever national training with the goal of further strengthening our capacity to organize and wage campaigns. This was due to demand from our organizers on the ground and also a necessity as we prepare to contribute in a big way to the advancement of the National Democratic movement. Around 100 Filipino youth and student activists from across the country convened in San Francisco State University on a two-day training and sharing of best strategies and experiences. The workshops ranged from conducting social investigation, solid mass organizing, grassroots fundraising to waging mass campaigns. We also discussed the effects of neo-liberalism on education and the growing problem of student debt.

This summer, our chapters have helped in a big way in the holding of the first youth and student-led relief and rebuilding mission under the banner of Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network. 24 participants joined from Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Mid West and East Coast.

In September, our members have participated in the People’s Climate March, biggest climate action held in New York City to demand system change not climate change. We helped unite and mobilize various Filipino organizations to take a stand.

At People's Climate March in New York City, September 2014

At People’s Climate March in New York City, September 2014

Also in September we have made the headlines by confronting BS Aquino at his speaking engagement at Columbia University. We have exposed the corruption of Typhoon Haiyan donations, the ongoing struggle of farmers in Hacienda Luisita and the continued policy of repression and killing of activists.

In November, we have helped organize a national week of action to commemorate the first year of Typhoon Haiyan with Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network. We also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Kabataang Makabayan. Cultural performances and discussions were held across the country to study and uphold the legacy and revolutionary vision of Kabataang Makabayan.

This year we have seen the strengthening of established chapters and the creation of new ones. We have seen the rise of new leaders in all our chapters but notable are the elections of new Executive Committees of New York, New Jersey and Silicon Valley chapters. We have also established new chapters in the Inland Empire and Long Beach, California.

As an international movement, we also have to mention that this year we were able to convene the leaders of Anakbayan chapters from United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and the Philippines to strengthen coordination and share experiences and best practices.


Anakbayan Philippines, Melbourne, USA, Netherlads and Canada

In recognition of our internationalist duty and the need to build cooperation and unity with other youth and students and people’s organizations, we have advanced our solidarity work. We have sent delegates to United We Dream’s congress in Arizona last February. We have also sent a delegate to the United States Student Association congress in California. We’ve sent delegates to the National Students for Justice in Palestine Conference in Massachusetts and have linked arms with youth and students in various mobilizations on various issues: in defense of refugee migrant children and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We have also established communications with the National Students for Justice in Palestine, Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (MECHA), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and many more.

We have also seen the growing militancy of actions in confronting the enemies of our people. We’ve used sit-ins, mud-stenciling and lightning rallies to expose BS Aquino and uplift the voices of our people back home.

There are lots of challenges to overcome, lessons to be learned and work to be done. We are ever more committed to advancing our people’s struggle for liberation and democracy. Onwards to 2015! Onwards to more victories!

Filipino- American Youth Celebrate Historic Community Victory for New Jersey DREAMers

Filipino- American Youth Celebrate Historic Community Victory for New Jersey DREAMers
Anakbayan Calls to Unite and Strengthen the Movement for Immigrant Rights in the U.S.

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
December 31, 2013
Bea Sabino, Chairperson, Anakbayan NJ, (201) 779 6886
Nina Macapinlac, Member, Anakbayan NJ, (973) 641 9735
Anakbayan New Jersey commends the passage of the In-State Tuition Bill, which was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie on Friday, December 20. Through the sustained efforts of a youth-led movement, New Jersey now joins 18 other states with similar policies, marking a major milestone for grassroots community organizing in the state.
Effective immediately, undocumented youth who have attended at least 3 years of high school in New Jersey now qualify for in-state tuition rates at institutions of public higher education. Commonly referred to as the NJ DREAM Act, the bill had initially opened tuition assistance programs like Tuition Aid Grants (TAG) to undocumented students.
However, the Governor struck provisions for state financial aid following a compromise reached with Democratic legislators. Christie expressed misplaced concerns that such provisions would turn NJ into a “magnet state,” and that access to these programs was an overreach and harmful to the state economy.
These arguments are untrue because financial aid to undocumented immigrant students would make up less than 1% of state aid, with less than 1000 students per year estimated to qualify after completing the FAFSA application and meeting income standards. Moreover, states with similar laws like New Mexico, California and Texas already offer access to state aid and have not experienced negative economic consequences.
Up From the Grassroots
Though only a partial version of the NJ DREAM Act, the successful campaign for In-State Tuition is a historic victory for Filipino youth and other immigrant communities. It is the culmination of more than a decade of community organizing and lobbying. It is a glimpse of what the future can hold for strong, united and organized communities.
Last year, the NJ DREAM Act Coalition (NJDAC), a product of the initial push for tuition equality from 2009, partnered up with New Jersey United Students (NJUS), Anakbayan NJ (AB-NJ) and Wind of the Spirit (WOTS) to build a coalition to revive the campaign following President Obama’s announcement of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program.
By building a grassroots movement of youth, community, faith-based and labor groups, reinforced with engaging with state legislators through lobbying visits, the NJ Tuition Equity for DREAMers (NJTED) campaign demonstrated the power of collective action in challenging unjust and discriminatory policies in the face of legislative bureaucracy and partisan bickering.
Filipino Americans- Cultivating a Culture of Solidarity
Filipinos in NJ had much at stake in this issue. An estimated one in every six Filipinos in the United States is undocumented. With a growing population of 125,000 Filipinos, New Jersey has the fifth largest population of Filipinos in the nation.
Filipino-Americans played a significant role in this year’s fight for the NJ DREAM Act, especially in Jersey City, which is home to the second highest concentration of Filipinos in the state. On February 27, Anakbayan NJ worked closely with then-Councilman-at-Large [now, Council President] Rolando Lavarro Jr. and community allies to bring forth what had been the first municipal resolution endorsing the call for tuition equality in NJ.
Pursuing the legacy of solidarity work from exemplary Filipino-American activists such as Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, Fil-Am youth leaders helped coordinate and organize local and statewide actions that featured the re-emerging immigrant rights movement in NJ. The “NJ DREAM Act Week of Action” in May and “Share the DREAM Rally” in November brought together groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds, united in the mission to uplift immigrant communities from the injustices caused by racism and discrimination.
The In-State Tuition law is a stepping stone towards further progress. Anakbayan NJ and the rest of NJTED coalition remain dedicated to genuine tuition equality and will continue fighting for a complete NJ DREAM Act, which includes the crucial piece of providing access to state financial aid to already distressed undocumented youth and their families.
The next immediate step is ensuring implementation of the law. In time for the spring semester, public colleges and universities must be guided, and held accountable, in the transitional process of adjusting tuition policies for undocumented students.
Resolution: Organize and Fight to End Modern-Day Segregation
AB-NJ also reaffirms its commitment to the broader cause for genuine comprehensive immigration reform in the United States, which must include an end to deportations, family separation, and institutionalized discrimination against all immigrants, while also addressing the root causes of migration.
This New Year, Anakbayan NJ calls on Filipino youth, especially DREAMers, to resolve to be part of this generation’s continuation of the civil rights movement. History has shown that those who dare to come out of the shadows are the ones who stand a chance at overcoming oppression.
Our identity as Fil-Ams takes root in five centuries worth of immigration history and community activism. Become a member or supporter of Anakbayan today! Email Yves Nibungco, Secretary General of Anakbayan NJ, at with “AB NJ Membership” on the subject line.
Higher Education For All!
No Human Being is Illegal!
Fight for Genuine Comprehensive Immigration Reform!!
Dare to struggle! Dare to win!
Makibaka! Huwag Matakot! (Fight! Do not fear!) ###

A Migrant’s Message to Fellow Migrant Workers: Unite and Keep Up the Fight!

A Migrant’s Message to Fellow Migrant Workers: Unite and Keep Up the Fight!

By Cecil Delgado

Mother, Migrant Worker, “Florida 15” Labor Trafficking Survivor, Activist

Speech to NJ youth and students, ex-Braceros at the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees 4 (IAMR4) Information Session at St. Peter’s University on September 14, 2013


Good afternoon everyone, Buenas Tardes a todos los braceros (good afternoon to all the braceros). Ako po si Cecil Delgado (I am Cecil Delgado), a mother of an 11yr old boy, a migrant worker and part of Florida 15, a Human Trafficking Survivor.

A month ago, I was asked by Yves Nibungco [secretary general of Filipino youth activist group, Anakbayan New Jersey] to share our story for the nth time. At first, I was hesitant to do this. I was scared I might say things that people wouldn’t understand. I was scared that I might fail to deliver the message. Then I remembered that around 2007, in front of 10 corporate officers and almost 200 crew members of different nationalities, I put my employment at risk by standing up and asking questions on behalf of the crew members who didn’t have the courage to speak for themselves. I never thought raising questions to management could be a reason to send me home, a reason for them to end my career as a Seafarer.

The company decided to send me home because they considered me as a threat, that I am an activist. At first, I wasn’t sure about that [being an activist], but I was sure of one thing- that I stood up and fought for I what I knew was right.

That is the reason I am standing in front of you- because by telling MY story, or OUR [Florida 15’s] story, I would be able to inspire and encourage 200 more victims to come out of the shadows, or maybe 200 more braceros to seek justice.

I hope that by sharing our story, people will be inspired and encouraged, just as how Leticia Moratal and Jackie Aguirre’s [Filipino survivors of labor trafficking in New York] stories inspired us.

As I was saying, aside from working in different hotels and high-end restaurants in the Philippines, I was a Seafarer before. I ventured into sea-based employment because aside from providing a good salary, I also got to visit different countries. Unfortunately, it ended only after 4 years of working for them.

I was helping my family run a business back in the Philippines when a friend of mine encouraged me to apply at an agency that will send workers abroad. Luckily, after a month of processing, I was hired to work as a waitress. March 2008 was when I first set my feet on Miami, Florida. 2008 was the year I migrated to the United States as a contract worker.

I personally decided to migrate simply because, as what everybody says- “We want a better future for our family”. A future that my country doesn’t offer, a future that you cannot find in the Philippines.

My initial intention was only to work, earn and save, but I ended up to be a Human Trafficking victim or a Victim of Unfair Labor Practices. I couldn’t believe that I can be a victim of such thing, because when i was applying for the job, everything seemed legitimate, fair and legal- complete trainings, paperwork, and documents from the United States were handed to me. I also didn’t know that the term “Labor Trafficking” existed. Before, whenever I hear the word “Trafficked Victim”, sex trafficking came to mind, but I was wrong.

It was only after 3 years after having resigned as an Executive Assistant of Jose Villanueva, a Filipino employer who owned SanVilla Ship, the agency that took us from the Philippines and brought us here, that it hit me- Human Trafficking is really happening here in the United States.

I never worked as a full time waitress, which my contract stated. Rather, I worked as a 24/7 Executive Assistant. In that role, I witnessed everything- payroll discrepancies, tax fraud, visa fraud, forced labor, unauthorized deductions, etc. I was also forced to multitask and maximize my time to minimize my loads. I was working 60-70 hours/wk, no overtime pay, paid less, managing almost 100 employees and attending to their concerns, meeting clients here and there, scouting, driving, managing timesheets- you name it! I did it all by myself. My experience and knowledge of the situation made it easy for me to seek Atty. Vinluan’s [Florida 15’s attorney] advice through the endorsement of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON). Atty. Vinluan then validated that I was a Human Trafficking victim, along with 14 others from SanVilla Ship.

A family member once asked me if working abroad is easy or hard. The answer always depends on one’s current situation. Let’s just say it’s both easy and hard. Easy because you are earning more than what you can earn in your home country, because you can buy what you want whenever you want it, and easy because you can visit different places and meet new friends along the way.

On the other hand, it’s hard because, aside from being away from your family for an indefinite period of time, you are also putting your life in danger or putting your future at risk. Death of a family member, broken families, and separation of husband and wife are becoming part of the “unwritten contract” for migrant workers.

Being in another country is always a gamble. Almost like playing a card game; magkamali ka ng balasa, next thing you know ikaw na ung nasa box (if you shuffle the cards wrong, you end up being trapped in the box). Minsan masarap din maging migrante dahil madalas we send “balikbayan boxes” to our families, pero minsan nakakatakot din, dahil minsan ang MIGRANTE na mismo ang laman ng box (Sometimes, it feels good being an immigrant worker because we can often send “balikbayan boxes” to our families; but sometimes it is scary because many migrants also sent home in boxes [coffins].)

What is most difficult from a Mother’s/ Migrant Worker’s/ Victim’s point of view, is when you fight your battle without seeing your Government in the equation. They always forget the fact that their purpose is to first, protect the migrant workers, ensure that we are safe, ensure that we are getting the assistance and help that we need, and most importantly, to ensure na tayo po ay makakabalik pa ng buhay sa bansa nating pinaggalingan (that we are able to go back home alive, thriving).

Our case has been running for 2 years now and the Philippine government has only helped us once, with our persistence. Until now, we are still waiting for the rest of the legal assistance fund for our lawyer which they promised a year ago.

Being a Migrant Worker is not as easy as what our families, or society, think. The Florida 15 filed its case against our former employer in 2011. February of this year, we received our T-Visa and employment cards. If it wasn’t because of these Community organizations and our lawyer who have been helping and never ceased to support us, if it wasn’t because we decided to engage ourselves with them, if it wasn’t because we decided to be united, maybe we’d still be waiting for nothing to this day.

By acting together, we are now reaping the fruits of our collective efforts. Just recently, around July, I finally signed and filed a petition for my son. A son who I haven’t seen in almost 6 years, a son that I haven’t seen play basketball or soccer, a son that I haven’t watched in his swimming competitions…a son who I begged to have but had to leave.

Our Lawyer said he can arrive before this year ends. I don’t know if I should be excited to see him or scared because we may not have the same old connection as before, but I am sure that my son is one reason I have remained strong through these years.

They say “A woman becomes stronger because of the pain she has faced and won”. I believe this also goes to all the Migrant Workers. Everyday, we are facing unseen battles. Don’t step back, move forward and always think that in fighting a battle you either win or lose; but what matters is you chose to stand up and fight for your rights.

To ALL the Migrant Workers out there, times have molded us. We have had enough pain and suffering. This is the time that we need to put our actions together. It may not be an easy path, but things always get better if we are ALL in the fight together.

Muli, ako po si Cecil Delgado (Again, I am Cecil Delgado), a Mother, a Migrant Worker, once a Victim but now a SURVIVOR, and Migranteng Militante (fighting migrant) in rising!

Marami pong salamat at Mabuhay ang Migranteng Manggagawa (Thank you very much and long live the migrant workers)!


The IAMR4 brings to the forefront the voices of migrants and refugees internationally for a 5 day convergence. The conference will counter the United Nation’s High Level Dialogue on migration and development that has historically excluded the true conditions and voices of migrants and refugees. For more information, visit To register to the IAMR4 conference this coming Oct. 1-5, 2013 in New York City, click here.

We Are Human Beings! We are Not for Sale!
We Refuse to Let Corporate Agendas Plan our Lives!
We Speak for Ourselves!

Info Session on the International Assembly of Migrants & Refugees 4







Come join us for an info session regarding the International Assembly of Migrants & Refugees 4 and learn how you can get involved.

What: Info Session on IAMR4
When: Sept. 14, Saturday | 5pm – 8pm
Where: Pope Lecture hall, Saint Peter’s University | 2641 Kennedy Boulevard Jersey City, NJ 07306

The IAMR4 brings to the forefront the voices of migrants and refugees internationally for a 3 day convergence. The conference will counter the United Nation’s High Level Dialogue on migration and development that has historically excluded the true conditions and voices of migrants and refugees. 

We Are Human Beings! We are Not for Sale!
We Refuse to Let Corporate Agendas Plan our Lives!
We Speak for Ourselves!


Cris Hilo, IAMR4 Coordinator
– For the past six years, Cris Hilo has been educating, organizing, and mobilizing in the Filipino community around immigrant rights and issues of violence against women and children with Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE-NYC) GABRIELA USA. 

Cecil Delgado 
– 33yrs old, from Makati City and a mother of a young 9yr old boy who is currently in the Philippines. She is one of the fifteen Filipino trafficking survivors from Florida now known as the “Florida 15”. She used to work as a shift leader in one of the fine dining spanish restaurant in Manila and had worked as a waitress for four years on board a passenger cruise line bound for Europe. She came here in the US in 2008 and have worked as the Executive Assistant of Jose Villanueva, CEO of Sanvilla.

Coordinadora Binacional de Ex Braceros (COBIEB)
– has been organizing since 1998 for the pensions of the Ex Braceros. COBIEB is a groups of Ex-Braceros and their family members still fighting for justice. To this day, there has been no remittance of their pensions from the U.S. and Mexican governments. Braceros were more than 4.6 million Mexican workers who labored in the fields and construction sites of the United States from1942 – 1964 in order to support the US during and after World War II. “Bracero” comes from the word “brazo” which means “arm” since most of the work was primarily manual labor as farmworkers.


For more information please contact, email us at or callYves Nibungco, 2017376661 or Catalina Adorno, 2013818254

Filipino Youth Overseas Demand an End to Government Corruption in the Philippines


We, Filipino youth and students overseas, stand with our sisters and brothers in the Philippines who are taking to the streets in the “Million People March vs. Pork Barrel”.

We join the call to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the presidential Special Purpose Fund (SPF). For too long, these discretionary funds have been used to fatten the pockets of corrupt politicians at the expense of our people’s welfare.

We demand that the Philippine government prioritize funding our people’s needs and not their own luxurious lifestyles. In the upcoming 2014 National Budget, the Aquino administration is set to allocate P1.2 trillion ($28.2 billion) for the president’s SPF and P25 billion ($565 million) for congress and senate’s PDAF. Despite his “Tuwid na Daan” (“Righteous Path”) rhetoric, the amount of pork barrel fund has actually doubled during Aquino’s administration and government corruption has only worsened. We demand the immediate rechanneling of all these funds directly to vital social services that our poorest sisters and brothers need, such as public education, health, housing, protection and welfare for overseas Filipino workers and even flood control.

We also call for the immediate, independent, and thorough investigation and prosecution of all parties involved in the misuse of the people’s money. The Pork Barrel must be emptied and the stench of all corrupt politicians and public officials must be aired out. Investigation and trial must be led by independent entities and not the politicians in senate and congress themselves. This process must be made public and televised. We want justice and accountability.

We recognize that this is bigger than Janet Lim-Napoles and the corrupt politicians involved in the current Pork Barrel Scam. This is about a system that breeds corruption and serves the interests of the wealthiest few while neglecting the poor majority of our people. We understand that it is exactly this type of corruption that is one of the main root of the ongoing economic crisis in our homeland, which forces millions of migrants like our parents to search for livelihood in other countries.

That is why, though we are thousands of miles away from our motherland, we are one with the people in fighting against systemic corruption in the Philippines. August 26th is only the beginning. No damage control nor deception by Aquino’s public relations team can stop the growing tide of people’s anger. The entire corrupt system must be changed in order for future generations to live in a society that is truly just and free.





United States:

Active Leadership to Advance the Youth (ALAY)

Anakbayan- USA

Anakbayan Los Angeles

Anakbayan San Diego

Anakayan East Bay

Anakbayan Silicon Valley

Anakbayan Seattle

Anakbayan Chicago

Anakbayan New York

Anakbayan New Jersey

Asian American Student Union – Saint Peter’s University

Barkada – Farleigh Dickinson University

Filipino American Student Association at Oberlin College

Filipino American Student Association of the University of Washington

Filipinos Uniting Nations at Kean (FUNK) – Kean University

Filipinos Uniting Students in Other Nations (FUSION) – City University of New York, Baruch College

Kasama – University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Katipunan – University of California Riverside

Laya Migrant Youth for Change and Action, Daly City

League of Filipino Students – San Francisco State University

Maganda Magazine

PEACE – City College of San Francisco

Philippine Union of La Guardia Students Organization (PULSO) – City University of New York, La Guardia Community College

Pilipinos of Hunter (POH) – City University of New York, Hunter College

Kaibigan – Portland State University

Samahang Pilipino – University of California Los Angeles

Youth of Iglesia Filipino Independiente – Diocese of Tampa (Eastern USA & Eastern Canada)



Anakabyan Montreal

Anakbayan Toronto

BAYAN- Canada

Binnadang – Migrante Canada

Filipino Student Association of Toronto (FSAT) – University of Toronto



Anakbayan Melbourne


SAMAKA – Netherlands


To be a signatory now, click here.

Assembly Budget Committee approves Tuition Equality Act/A4225: NJ DREAMers, Students Celebrate First Step Towards In-State Tuition Victory in State Assembly

For Immediate Release

June 18, 2013


Vera Parra, American Friends Service Committee, (917) 519 7657,

Bea Sabino, Anakbayan New Jersey, (201) 779 6886,

Assembly Budget Committee approves Tuition Equality Act/A4225: NJ DREAMers, Students Celebrate First Step Towards In-State Tuition Victory in State Assembly


Trenton, NJ– The New Jersey state Assembly Budget committee approved assembly bill A4225, also known as the Tuition Equality Act, after New Jersey DREAM Act Coalition, New Jersey United Students, Anakbayan New Jersey and more than a hundred dreamers, community and labor supporters packed the hearing this past Monday in Trenton.

Assembly bill no. 4225 or the Tuition Equality Act, was introduced by Assemblyman Gordon Johnson. The bill will allow undocumented students who have attended New Jersey high schools for a minimum of three years to qualify for in-state tuition rates in New Jersey’s public colleges and universities, on the condition that they have earned a diploma or GED from a NJ high school, and sign an affidavit promising to adjust their immigration status if given the opportunity to do so.

More than 20 people, including DREAMers and community leaders, testified in support of the Tuition Equality Act during the committee hearing. Speakers shared personal stories, and presented economic and moral platforms that garnered praises from assembly members.

“This bill is not only the morally correct thing to do, but the economically intelligent thing to do,” explains Giancarlo Tello, NJ DREAM Act campaign manager, during his testimony.  “Colorado’s fiscal note estimated the bill would increase revenue from tuition by about $2.0 million in FY 2013–14 and by about $3.0 million in FY 2014–15. Massachusetts similarly did a conservative estimate that said By the fourth year, new revenues from 756 to 876 undocumented students would total between $6.4 and $7.4 million.”

“In New Jersey we already invest over $200,000 in educating our DREAMers from elementary school through high school.  That is an investment that New Jersey, through its Out of State tuition policy, effectively kicks out to neighboring states such as New York, where tuition would be cheaper.  We then stand to lose all their tax dollars, expertise, and investments that would otherwise be put into New Jersey.” Tello continued.

Around 3:00pm, many at the assembly hearing erupted into cheers and applause when the committee members voted 8 out of 12 in favor of the bill. Following the Assembly budget committee vote, the coalition held a press conference to celebrate this important step and to call on the Senate to bring the bill up for a committee and floor vote.

“A4225 is only controversial to those who are not familiar with the undocumented student community’s moral and economic argument,” says Kamika Bennett, a student at Essex County College and member of the Essex County Dream Team.  “I ask the General Assembly to post and pass A4225.  I ask the Senate to post and pass the equivalent of A4225 now. We will work for as long as it takes to win tuition equality so that all students can access higher education in New Jersey,” Bennett concluded.

With overwhelming community support statewide, campaign organizers are confident the bill has the votes to pass in both the General Assembly as well as the Senate.  Student and youth leaders say they are also confident Governor Christie will choose to make this investment in New Jersey’s future when the bill reaches his desk.

Five months ago the youth and student coalition led by New Jersey United Students, the New Jersey Dream Act Coalition, and Anakbayan NJ gathered at the steps of the State House to announce the launch of New Jersey DREAM Act Campaign. Since then, they have continuously gained a growing number of supporters. There are over 70 student, community, labor and faith-based organizations that have signed on letters of support. Five City Councils, and two Counties have passed resolutions urging NJ State legislators to pass in-state tuition for DREAMers. Most recently, the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, representing all public and private 2-and-4-year colleges and universities in the state, and the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges passed resolutions in support of In-State Tuition for undocumented youth.


For more information about the New Jersey DREAM Act Campaign, please visit

New Jersey Students and Community to Launch “Week of Action: NJ DREAM Act Now!”

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

May 22, 2013

Reference: Bea Sabino, Chairperson, Anakbayan NJ

     , (201) 779 6886


New Jersey Students and Community to Launch

“Week of Action: NJ DREAM Act Now!”

WHO: NJ Dream Act Coalition, NJ United Students, Anakbayan NJ, Mexican-American Progress Movement, Passaic DREAM Team, Essex County DREAM Team, Wind of the Spirit, PICO New Jersey, Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, and community at large

WHAT: From May 26-31, 2013, student and community groups are holding a series of actions to demand Governor Christie and the NJ State Legislature to pass A3509/S2479, which would allow DREAM Act- eligible youth to qualify for in-state tuition and access state financial aid at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities, by the June 30, 2013 state budget deadline.

Community groups are urging concerned citizens to take a stand for a person’s right to affordable and quality education, regardless of immigration status. Everyone is invited to participate in the New Jersey DREAM Act Week of Action. Activities range from social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter to public forums, vigils and rallies across New Jersey.


May 25, 2013

Wind of the Spirit and SEIU 32BJ BBQ + “Papers” Film Screening

6pm @ First Memorial Presbyterian Church, 51 W. Blackwell St, Dover, NJ


May 26, 2013

Mexican American Progress Movement Immigration Reform Workshop + “Dream is Now” Film Screening

3pm @ Mexican American Community Center, 169 Lexington Avenue, Passaic, NJ 07055


May 29, 2013

“Day of Action”


Essex County Dream Team Coming Out of the Shadows

12-2pm @ Essex County College, Newark, NJ


Jersey City

Rally + Press Conference for NJ Dream Act

5pm @ City Hall, 280 Grove St, Jersey City, NJ


Union City

Choforitos United Rally for NJ DREAM Act

5pm @ Union City Plaza of the Arts (Bergenline Avenue, btw 30th and 31st streets), Union City, NJ


If you’d like to register an event as part of the NJ Dream Act Week of Action, contact Bea Sabino at (201) 779 6886 or email For an updated list of events, please visit

WHY: The NJTED Campaign launched with a rally at the State House in Trenton on January 8, just before Governor Christie’s State of the State Address. For the past 5 months, the NJ Dream Act campaign has been steadily gaining legislative and community support. Dozens of student groups, community organizations, labor unions and faith-based groups have signed on as endorsers of the campaign. The cities of Jersey City, Passaic, Elizabeth, Plainfield and New Brunswick all passed city resolutions urging the New Jersey State Legislature to enact the passage of A3509/S2479. Additionally, Essex County Freeholders and Union County Freeholders have both signed similar resolutions.

The undocumented immigrant population in New Jersey makes up 6.2% of the total state population, making it the fourth-highest rate in the nation. In New Jersey, undocumented immigrants make up 8.6% of the state’s workforce and paid $446.1 million in state and local taxes in 2010. Despite their contribution to the local economy, undocumented immigrants are required to pay out-of-state tuition rates to attend college, and are ineligible for financial aid and scholarships.

The New Jersey Dream Act Week of Action aims to supplement ongoing legislative visits with a demonstration of the people power behind the call for the implementation of A3509/S2479 in time for the Fall 2013 semester. It is time for New Jersey to join the 14 other states that have enacted similar legislation for aspiring undocumented youth.

For more information about the NJ Dream Act Campaign and how to get involved in the Week of Action, please visit: ###