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When  Filipinas in Diaspora gather in the Philippine’s Wall Street equivalent of  Makati in MetroManila  to honour the 100 most influential women leaders in the Philippine diaspora, anno 2014, Danish-Filipina FILOMENITA HOEGSHOLM, nee MONGAYA (of Surigao City in Mindanao) will be amongst these select few from the more than 10 million Filipinos abroad.

It is no secret that ca. 45 million Filipinas -slightly more than half of the 90 million population of this 7000 island archipelago, the first democratic republic in all of Asia- throw their weight around when it comes to leadership and gender empowerment. Currently, Filipino women rank nr.5 on the global list when it comes to closing the gender gap according to the annual survey of the World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland), a fact that rankles in the Nordic countries which used to fill out the top 5 posts. This year, only the 4 top posts go to the Nordic countries of Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. The Philippines has grabbed the 5th place ousting Denmark which is now only the world’s 8th placer. The Philippines has continuously been the only Asian country in the top ten

Ms. Filomenita Mongaya Hoegsholm was a freelancing journalist covering the migration beat when the  Editor of the magazine she wrote for at that time, SAMSPIL, urged her to contribute to a Nordic publication on migrant women. She heeded the challenge and wrote about the situation of Filipinas in Denmark. Pretty soon, she was involved actively in respresenting the views of her kababayans at the biggest gathering of Nordic women, the Nordic Forum held for the first time in Oslo in 1988, and in Turku, Finland in 1994.  By 1992, she was one of those who turned up in Barcelona for the first meeting of Filipinas in Europe. That September the Philippine women’s network, BABAYLAN was founded by the more than 60 Filipina delegates from all over Europe. Filomenita presented a paper on Danish Filipinas. Active as a migrant woman organizer, she has led and coordinated participation of Danish migrant women, aside from Filipinas, at such milestones as the UN conferences in Cairo(’94, population),Copenhagen(social summit)& Beijing (women) in ’95.

”Nitnit” (to Filipino friends) has since been a capacity to reckon with in cross-cultural initiatives where she untiringly showcases Philippine culture be it in music, dance, fashion,the arts, and women dialogues (Dialogues in Dignity series). She has been elected to top posts at minority women and other organizations, eg. As Chairperson of BWEN (Black Women and Europe Network, 1996) after two terms as Vice-President (1992-1996) of this first ever inter-ethnic migrant women organization in the EU(European Union). She later began her initiative of mainstreaming migrant women empowerment by seeking entry to feminist organizations in Europe. First, she was elected to the Danish international women and development network KULU. And thru this, she later got elected to the 5-women Executive Board of WIDE, the most influential women empowerment in Europe. She stayed until WIDE’s devolution in 2011 and became part of the Task Force that rebirthed the new WIDE Plus in 2012.

Filomenita’s efforts to empower minority women were recognized early on when she garnered the Grassroots Foundation Prize in 1994 in Denmark for the contribution to women’s integration of SOLDUE Magazine which she was Editor in chief for from 1992 to 1997. From the 1990s onwards, Filomenita produced radio shows, video documentaries on various topics mainly focused on the situation of minorities such as her fellow Filipinos aside from covering the area with  reportages for local and international media. She also edited an English language magazine on Kurdish human rights. She produced a video documentary on the plight of over a hundred stateless Palestinians who occupied a Danish church in the inner city of Noerrebro which made the headlines because of its length -more than 300 days- and of the support the asylumseekers got from the local people. The result: a permit to stay for all granted by the Folketing (Danish Parliament). Today, the opposite happens for asylum seekers who choose this way: they are removed by force by the police. Everywhere in Europe, asylum seekers are turned away.

In May 1997, she founded BABAYLAN Denmark together with some stalwart Pinays in the Copenhagen area. In 2000, just as the second people power was about to install another woman President (Gloria Macapagal) she started ABAKADA, the migration, gender and development magazine that is appreciated across borders and even continents. Since the start, Babaylan DK and Abakada have been at the forefront of empowering Filipinas not only in Denmark but globally.

The coming of Filipina au pairs in numbers to the Nordic countries has challenged the organization which has responded by offering a plethora of activities:information, capacity building, counselling, socials and sports and more inspite of Zero funding from the authorities who benefit from this state of things. In  March 2013, Babaylan’s Founding Chair  signed a MOA with CFO’s Exec.Director, Sec. Mely Nicolas in Manila to ensure that au pairs’ concerns are monitored and attended to.

As mentioned previously, her scope of concerns involves the world’s refugees, some of whom she mentored as Editor-in-chief of NEW TIMES,the publication in the Danish Red Cross that served as platform  for refugees to mirror their situation and voice their grievances globally. Today among her  Red Cross mentees is now Chargès des Affaires/Head of Mission for an Arab state that has been thru a partial Arab spring. She has also actively showcased,thru monitoring the elections in Salalah (2003) and in Muscat(2006), the  progress of the women of the Sultanate of Oman, who were the first women to exercise suffrage in the Arabian Gulf. She has written- and continues to do so – on many Middle Eastern women personalities that have had their footprints in history.

Her knowledge on global migration and her networking skills galvanized her impact so she has been invited to speak at some international meetings like the Global Congress against Violence (Dublin, 1997), CAPWIP’s Women and Politics(Manila, 1998) and the Philippine Centennial’s Women and Nationbuilding (Manila, 1998). In the new Millennium, she has been one of the founding leaders of such women networks as EMWC (Ethnic Minority Women Council) in Denmark, ENoMW(European Network of Minority Women) in the EU and continues to be a capacity consulted during roundtables, workshops, eg. CEDAW (UN Conv.ention on Women’s Rights, Geneva 2008, PACE(Council of Europe, Paris 2009). She collated and edited for PSSC(Phil.Social Science Council) the 412-pp compendium ”In de Olde Worlde: Views of Filipino Migrants in Europe” with support from UNESCO which allows its download off It has been launched in Manila, Amsterdam, London, Reykjavik, Wash.DC.

In 2012, Filomenita Mongaya Hoegsholm received the ROSA (Rotary Outstanding  Surigaonon Awardee) for Migrant Women Advocacy, given for the first time in the history of the organization, in her native Surigao City where she graduated Valedictorian from Surigao City High School, 1962.    When she attended the 100th year of the SCNHSS in 2003, she won and was crowned Centennial Queen and has of course been an Outstanding Alumna.

During Oct.5 to 8, the San Francisco-based FWN, Filipina Women’s Network, is recognizing her leadership capabilities as one of the 100 Global Pinays for Influential Leadership during its 11th Leadership Summit to be held for the first time in the Philippines, at the Makati Shangrila, the Gala night to be held on October 7th. FWN is recognizing her efforts as a BUILDER, owing to her efforts to consolidate and rebuild and repair  women organizations and networks.


Builders have demonstrated exceptional business impact at a large workplace environment; displaying deep passion for a cause through collaborative initiatives or alliances with nonprofit organizations on behalf of her own organization; demonstrates high potential and skill with measurable results at a government agency, or organization in any field. “Buildership” is about building better organizations, leading broken organizations to adjust, repair, and re-align.

This is FWN’s  2nd year to to give the award for the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award™ (Global FWN100™).

Get to know the rest of the nominees


You  you can read  Filomenita Mongaya Hoeghsholm CV.

FMH with Delta Combo at University of the Philippines , Diliman.

FMH with Delta Combo at University of the Philippines , Diliman.

Speaker at the Global Diaspora Conference in Rome, 2012


FMH active participation in Rally agains Chinese Occupation of PHL Sea


FMH with CFO Secretary Imelda Nicholas during the signing of MOU and Babaylan


FMH at the Danish Parliament during an Internation Women’s Conference hosted by KULU.


FMH at the Comelec


ROSA (Rotary Outstanding Surigaonon Awards) Annual 2012 Awarding Night. She the only female awardee for the first time ever category of Migrant Women Advocacy


FMH together with migrant women demonstrating against a proposal of Right wing Political party to prohibit the use of Veil .

w Mary

FMH attended a UNFPA Forum on the Forced Marriage of young girls.

speaker pose

FMH in her fighting form during a discussion in an Internation Forum.


FMH with her favorite Banana wraps during the International Festival In Copenhagen


FMH during the Global Forum on DIaspora

emkr poster


FMH spearheaded a rally against Chinese aggression  in front of teh Danish parliament and she was Interview by the Danish Nation Telivion ( DR news

FMH spearheaded a rally in Copnehagen as part of the Global Rally of Overseas Filipino against Chinese aggression in front of the Danish Parliament and she was Interviewed by the Danish Nation Television Web edition ( DR news)


She is also sportsminded woman but this time as a Scorer during the Babaylan Summer Sports; Volleyball Tournament



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Posted in News and updates, Philipine Migration, Women's issues.

Invitation to Babaylan Denmark’s Health Awareness Orientation

Health Awareness Orientation

Join us to know more about:
-How to access the danish health system
-Understanding your body
-Understanding homesickness, stress & depression
-Unwanted pregnancy
- Q & A and possible individual Consultation if time permits.

Resource speaker: Dra. Maria Lolit Westergaard, a Filipina Doctor and a member of Babaylan Denmark

Time: Kl.12 -16
Place: Beboerlokal Dagøgade 10,2300 Kbh.S
take bus 5A or Metro stop. Amagerbro Station and walk along Amagerbrogade towards Sundvestersplads and on the right side you find Dagøgade.

Open to all interested!!! Please register via  FB event

Health Awareness Orientation- 17 August 2014

Health Awareness Orientation- 17 August 2014

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Global Day of Protest against Chinese Occupaton of the West Philippine Sea

Global Day of Protest against Chinese Occupaton of the West Philippine Sea

En filippinsk soldat står i forsvarsposition næst fiskerbåde på et havn i Masinloc by i Zambalesprovinsen, 230 km (140 mil) fra Scarborough Shoal, 18e.maj 2012 som de protesterende var ved at borde under sejlads til de om de omstridt sandbank. Den filippinske president Benigno Aquino bedt de protesterende om at opgive planen at sejle den 18.maj til den omstridte sandbank som Kina også gør krav på. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE/AFP/GettyImage

Globale Filippinsk protest over Kina’s handlinger i Asiatiske farvand

ved Rodel Rodis and Walden Bello
oversættelse af Filomenita Mongaya Høgsholm,WORLDSCAN Consult
den. 23 juli 2013

Den 24.juli i fjor markeredes den første årsdag af Kina’s skabelsen af “Sansha perfecture” (svarer til ken ny kommune, red.) som skulle “føre tilsyn og administrere” i mill. kvadratmil af den syd kinesiske hav som Kina hævder at have “indiskutabel sovereignitet over.” Hvis den fik lov til at stå ubetvivlet vil denne kinesisk påstand gå ned i historien som den mest uforskammet maritimt territorielle “landgrab” nogensinde.

I oktober 2013 havde Beijing udstyret Sansha Perfecture med politi enhed som per 1e.januar 2014 skal “kunne borde, pågribe og bortvise udenlandske fartøjer” inden en umådelig vidstrakt flade med tilhørende øer og rever i den vest filippinske hav. Siden Sansha’s tilblivelse har Kina øgede sine provokerende tiltag mod Filippinerne, såsom okkupation af Scarborough Shoal (kun 115 mil fra den filippinske kyst) af 90 kinesiske skibe s der forhindrede filippinske fiskefolk fra at fiske i deres sædvanlige fiskebanker, og afsendelsen af kinesiske fregater tilAyungin Rev, som ligger kun 105 mil fra Filippinerne.

Denne skivebrydning af filippinske territorium var bortforklares af generalmajor Zhang Zhaozhong på Beijing TV som gemene del af Kina’s “hvidkålstrategi”, hvis mål er det at omringe filippinske territorier med et enormt kinesiske søværnstilstedeværelse.

Ifølge Kina er det FFilippinerne der illegalt har besat Ayungin Rev som betragtes som portåbningen til Recto Bane (85 mil fra filippinske kyst). Den amerikanske EIA, Energy Information Administration vurderer at Recto Banken muligvis indeholder 213 milliarder tønder olie og 2 kvadrillion (tusinde milliarder) kubikfod af naturgas.

Kina påstår at Filippinerne har ingen krav på sit 200 grænser under UNCLOS (FN’s Konvention på Havret) fordi grænserne af alle lande undtaget Kina strække sig kun 12 fra deres respektive kyster. Konventionen som er fra 1982 er en overenstemmelse blandt 163 lande som har til formål at regulere brug af mellemgrund arealer. Filippinerne og Kina er begge to underskrivere af denne traktat.
I kontrast til Kina, som truer med at bruge magt for at gennemtvinge dets krav, har Filippinerne slået til lyd for at arbejde indenfor et multilateralt rammeaftale, sådanne som for eksemnpelASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) og FN for at løse territorialle uoverenstemmelser.

Den 22. januar i år, bragte Filippinerne sin klage over Kina’s ulovlig besættelse af sin Scarborough Shoal til et FN arbitrær/vilkårlig domstol (tribunal), som begyndte sin formelle høring den 11e.juli på begæringen. Uheldigvis, har Kina ignoreret FN begæringen og har erklærede at kun bilaterale samtaler kan løse territorielle uoverenstemmelser, et skabelon den kan nemt overløbe sine svagere nabøer med.
Kina’s opførsel i de syd kinesiske havstrid ligner den af en kejserlig stat, der blot efterligner den ekspanionistisk opførsel af de vestlige magter som den fordømmer.

Helt og holdent støttende den filippinske regerings anstrengelser at beskytte dets interesser i det sydkinesiske hav er de 90 millioner filippinere i hjemlandet, og de 12 millioner i udland i den filippinske “diaspora” som har besluttet sig for at deres hjemland ikke skal underkastes Kina.

Ved middagstid den 24.juli vil filippinere verden over holde simultant protest demonstrationer foran Kina’s diplomatiske representationer over hele verden, for at fordømme Kina’s aggression mod Filippinerne.

Rodel Rodis,San Francisco jurist og president af GFDC, Global Filipino Diaspora Council var i København i august 2013 for at holde fordrag om Kina’s ambitioner i den sydkinesisk (også kendt som den vest filippinske hav ifl. den filippinske regerings syn). Walden Bello, verdens ekspert om Filippinerne og medlem af den filippinske representantshus.


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July 24: Worldwide Pinoy protest vs China

July 24: Worldwide Pinoy protest vs China

July 24: Worldwide Pinoy protest vs China

A coalition of former gov’t officials and celebs urges pickets in front of Chinese embassies in the US, Canada, Europe vs Chinese government’s ‘lawless policy of intrusion’

Filipinos around the world will stage protests in front of Chinese embassies on July 24, to support government’s position against China’s “aggression” in the West Philippine Sea.

Former Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan III and former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez are the lead convenors of newly formed West Philippine Sea Coalition that aims for “peaceful” and “viral campaign” that will pressure China to back down.

“We call on Filipinos everywhere to rise as one united sovereign people and stand in dignified defiance in the face of China’s threats of war every time we object to its unwarranted violations within our EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone),“   . . .


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Global Networking: China’s military base on Mabini Reef violates the Philippine Constitution

By Rodel Rodis, USPGG.ORG


While searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on March 11, 2014, a Philippine Air Force plane flying over the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea sighted Chinese reclamation activity in the Mabini Reef within the 200 mille Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines.

According to the report of the Associated Press, the reclamation project has turned the submerged reef and a sandbar of the Mabini Reef into a 30-hectare landmass that transformed the submerged coral outcrop into an islet. An aerial photo taken of the reclamation effort showed a dredging ship in the area used to suck soil and other solid materials from the surrounding areas to pour into the reclaimed area.

Mabini reef - aerial photo (March 2014)

Mabini reef – aerial photo (March 2014)

While Philippine officials have noted with alarm that China’s occupation of islets and reefs within the Philippine EEZ such as Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef), Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef), Calderon Reef (Cuarteron Reef), Zamora Reef (Subi Reef), and Gaven Reef, the massive land reclamation now occurring in the Mabini Reef marks a major escalation of China’s creeping invasion of the Philippines.

It is a game changer.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario protested China’s Mabini Reef reclamation at the Asean Summit of Foreign Ministers held in Myanmar (Burma) on May 10 where Vietnam’s foreign minister also protested China’s installation of two oil rigs in the Vietnamese EEZ.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario protested China’s Mabini Reef reclamation  at the Asean Summit of Foreign Ministers held in Myanmar (Burma) on May 10 where Vietnam’s foreign minister also protested China’s installation of two oil rigs in the Vietnamese EEZ.

China’s foreign minister dismissed the protests of the two nations , insisting that China has “undisputed sovereignty” over the entire South China Sea. Besides, China’s spokesman told People’s Daily “China was merely renovating the living facilities for troops stationed on the reef.”

Earlier on March 30, the Philippines submitted a brief to the United Nations Tribunal for the Convention on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) seeking to “clarify Mabini Reef’s physical character”.The Philippines had filed a complaint with ITLOS in January of 2013 seeking a ruling that China had no legal right to encroach in the Philippines EEZ and has no right to ownership of 90 percent of the 3.5-million square-kilometer South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

Even though Beijing has refused to take part in the UN arbitration, it is apparently speeding up its acquisition of the territories of other nations before the arbitration decision is handed which may occur in three years.
Professor Richard Heydarian of the International Relations Department at the Ateneo de Manila University believes that China is changing the facts on the ground by reclaiming and occupying disputed waters and land features.

“The way China looks at this is, down the road, they have to face the legal opinion arbitration. And if you look at the recent trends in international arbitration, they give priority and prerogative to the countries who continue to establish and exercise effective and continuous sovereignty. If China will be able to build structures there, and they turn these structures into islands and project into 200 nautical mile economic zone, somehow they’ll be able to argue this legally.”
In other words, “possession is nine-tenths of the law” which means that ownership is easier to maintain if one has possession of something, or difficult to enforce if one does not.

What is China building on Mabini Reef?

The mystery was solved when the No. 9 Design & Research Institute of China State Shipbuilding Corporation displayed on its official website its proposed design of the artificial island that will be built on Mabini Reef.
Mabini Reef in a few years.

Former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez posted the Chinese corporation’s designs on his blog and warned about the dangers posed to Philippine national security and to ASEAN stability if China completes its military installation in Mabini Reef. In an interview on ANC, Golez said:

“You can see this is probably a mile-long airstrip. It’s almost like an airport, like what you see in the international airports, that support facilities, there’s a dock for ships. I understand it can support and resupply frigates. But what is very threatening is that mile-long strip because now they can base their fighters there. I’m looking at, for example, a J-11 fighter jet made in China that has a range of 2000 miles… it encompasses the entire Philippines, most of Vietnam, part of Malaysia and and the whole of Borneo. So it can threaten all our vital military installations including the installations we can make available under EDCA.” columnist Ted Laguatan expanded on this point in his column (No choice: Destroy China’s future PH military bases now, June 27, 2014,“Having enemy fighter planes and missiles so proximate to potential target cities is like having a bag of explosives padlocked on one’s neck by a bad guy with a remote control, which he could explode anytime. The baddie has the poor guy under his complete control. With these bases in place, China can demand anything from the Philippines and take anything it wants. For all practical purposes, the Philippines will then be a slave nation.”

“The Philippines and surrounding Asian nations have no choice,” Laguatan asserted, “these future bases must be destroyed now. The fighter planes and missiles that will be deployed there will be daggers aimed at the major cities of these countries. We and they simply cannot allow these bases to be constructed.”

Malaya columnist Rey O. Arcilla (“The Mabini Reef”, May 27, 2014) argued that “we should do as Vietnam has done in the disputed Paracels where China has planted an oil rig. She stood pat despite the ramming of her ships by the Chinese and withstood the latter’s water cannons. They showed the Chinese they are ready to die for what they believe is right…”
“We should send some of our ships to Mabini Reef forthwith no matter how decrepit they are to prevent the Chinese from undertaking any more activities on the isle and turning it into another fortified military garrison like Mischief Reef. We should show the Chinese we are ready to fight and die for what is ours. Sure, we are no match for them and they can easily obliterate our naval vessels. But that would be an attack on our territory. That would be an opportunity for the US to put its money where its mouth is. Isn’t that what Edca is for?”

Edca is the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the U.S. and the Philippines which allows the U.S. to station troops in the Philippines but not to establish a permanent base. The nationalists and assorted leftists argue that Edca is a violation of Article XVIII Sec. 25 of the 1987 Constitution which states that “foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines” unless approved by the Congress and ratified by the people in a referendum.

But, except for Akbayan, these same nationalists who oppose Edca have not denounced China for constructing a “foreign military base” in the Philippines. While there may be a dispute as to whether Edca violates the Philippine Constitution, there is NO dispute that China’s military base on Mabini Reef is a blatant violation of the Philippine Constitution and is a clear and present danger to Philippine national security.

On this fundamental issue, the Filipino people stand united. In a nationwide poll conducted by Social Weather Station (SWS) from December 2013 through January 2014, the results showed that “an overwhelming majority of Filipinos (93 percent) back the government’s efforts to defend the national territory” (Pinoy Pulse:We must defend West PH Sea, don’t trust China, February 10, 2014,

Please join the global protests against China on July 24, the second anniversary of China’s establishment of the Sansha Prefecture to “oversee and administer” 3.5 million square kilometers of the South China Sea over which China asserts “indisputable sovereignty.” China’s claim is the most brazen maritime territorial grab in history.

The window of opportunity for the Philippines to destroy China’s military base on Mabini Reef is rapidly closing. Once it is fully constructed and operational, it will be impossible to take out. By then, the Philippines and all of Southeast Asia will be at the tender mercy of China.

(For more information on the July 24 global protest action, please check out or email me at

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