Kaisa Para Sa Kaunlaran highlights of 2017

China Vice Premiers Wang Yang (left photo) and Wang Jiarui (above) visit Bahay Tsinoy Museum; lantern-making activity during Pasinaya Open House Festival at Kaisa Heritage Center (below).

Kaisa at 31 continues to undertake its regular activities like the weekly medicine assistance to patients at the Philippine General Hospital, the fortnightly Tulay, weekly Yong Hap, meetings, conferences, forum, outreach and networking with mainstream and Tsinoy organizations.
However, the highlight of Kaisa’s activities continues to revolve around Bahay Tsinoy. We had more than 23,000 visitors last year and look forward to our 500,000th; we hope to hit that by end of 2018. To help invite more visitors, do like our page on FaceBook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter.Bahay Tsinoy continues to receive Chinese government officials who visit the Philippines. In 2017, we received a mayor, a governor, an agricultural minister, and two vice premiers (Wang Yang and Wang Jiarui)!
Together with the Cultural Center of the Philippines, we opened Arts Month in February with the annual Pasinaya Open House Festival. For the past five years, Bahay Tsinoy has been giving crash courses on Chinese calligraphy and lantern making. These traditions never seem to get old.
Our 2017 exhibit commemorating the 600th year visit of the Sultan of Sulu to China was mounted in Manila and Dezhou and Guangzhou in China.
Sultan Paduka Batara remains to be the only foreign monarch buried on China’s soil. The exhibit likewise went around Tsinoy schools all over the country, starting in Isabela and going to as far south as Iloilo in cooperation with the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Association of the Philippines, Inc. (菲律濱各界聯合會) and Chinese Language Center (菲律濱華教中心 ).
In May, Bahay Tsinoy was a beehive of activities. We held our second Book Free where school teachers are invited to come to Kaisa to shop for books for free! These books were donated to Kaisa, but do not adhere to our collections policies.
On May 8, Bahay Tsinoy’s partner, Ethel Villafranca, conducted a workshop for 40 museum workers entitled “Using curated learning for engaging gallery tours.” The participants gained valuable insight into how they can use their museum collections to guide the learning of the hundreds of students who enter our doors.
On May 12, the Anti-Cybercrime Forum attracted a big crowd eager to learn how to keep themselves safe from being attacked (hacked). Our speakers, investigation agent Christian Andrew Ibasco, from the Department of Justice’s Office of Cybercrime, and Jonathan Mantua, chief executive officer of Mantua Services Inc., were experts in their fields.
Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest, came out with its 30th anniversary issue this June. Our weekly Yong Hap, as of Aug. 26, came out with its 1,603th issue. Presentation of academic papers in local and international conferences continue to bring prestige to Kaisa as an important resource in the study of Chinese overseas.
On Aug. 26, we launched the fifth volume of Teresita Ang See’s Chinese in the Philippines: Problems and Perspectives and the second edition of Ties that Bind: The Saga of the Sultan of Sulu in China.
We look forward to 2018 and the years beyond. We are currently discussing a partnership with the National University of Singapore to digitize the archives in the Chinben See Memorial Library. We have in our collection more than 20,000 documents and articles relating to the Chinese in the Philippines and the Chinese overseas, a treasure trove for many researchers who are digging into our community’s historical past.
Kaisa is also the recipient of Oracle NetSuite’s Social Impact program where they donate software to non-governmental organizations as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility Program. Once up and running, NetSuite should allow us easier ways of keeping track of our funds and project expenses.
On top of NetSuite, CT Link Systems, Inc. also donated a subscription to Microsoft 365 and has conducted training for Kaisa staff on how to use the different features in this subscription. Beyond Kaisa, CT Link will be training other teachers so they can bring this knowledge back to their schools and hopefully train their co-teachers as well.
It is always exhilarating to celebrate anniversaries. Kaisa’s birthday celebration was, as always, as meaningful as we could make it. For 20 years running, our anniversary offering has been a blood donation drive. This year, we were one short of 70 bags of blood donated.
We closed 2017 on a high – having passed our 30-year mark – and going to 2018 on another high – on to better and brighter views for our nation’s future.

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