Bending Without Breaking wins at the 2019 MAM Awards

Authors Esther Windler, Cathy Weber, and Anny Hefti, and Editor Monette Bichsel, together with Lilian Chu (Editor Lily Fen’s mother), CFO Secretary Francisco Acosta, and the representative from the Swiss Embassy pose at the MAM Awards.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), through the Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards, has granted “Bending Without Breaking” the 2019 Print Journalism Award: Best Book on Migration on 17 December 2019 at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.

On behalf of the writers and editors, Anny Misa-Hefti accepted the award, saying “We show how we migrants working in foreign countries make the world a better place in which to live. On behalf of the editors and writers of Bending without Breaking, I accept this award. In this book, we illustrate how migrants are not only survivors, they are winners.”

CFO Secretary Francisco Acosta thanked the winners for accepting the responsibility of being the voice of those Filipinos who don’t have one. “Higit sa pribilehiyo, kalakip ng gantimpalang ito ay responsibilidad. Isang tungkulin ang pag-imik at hindi pananahimik. Maraming salamat sa pag-ako ninyo sa responsibilidad ng pagkukuwento, lalo na para sa mga Pilipinong nangangailangan ng boses. Ipagpatuloy ninyo ang paglikha ng mga obrang tumatalakay sa buhay ng mga kababayan natin sa ibayong dagat. Ang inyong mga likha ay maagang pamasko sa sambayanang Pilipino.”

The trophy, designed by Aris Bagtas of Kunst Pilipino & Gallery in Batangas, is a sculpture of a migratory bird that symbolizes journey, peace and prosperity represents the essence of what it is to be a migrant.

The MAM Awards is a CFO program established in 2011 to give recognition to the significant role of media in raising awareness on Filipino migration issues, including the promotion of a positive image of Filipinos living overseas.

The winners of the 2019 Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards.
Click on the image to see the full list of winners for the 2019 MAM Awards

Bending Without Breaking: Book Launch

After two years of creative writing workshops, writing, editing, re-writing, and finalizing, we launched our book, Bending Without Breaking on 25 November 2017 at the Bruder Klaus Church Hall in Bern, Switzerland.

We thank Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB, who inspired us to proceed with this project, and Samahang Pilipina Bern for encouraging us from the start. Our deepest gratitude also goes to the generous support from the OeME-Migration sector of the Reformierte Kirche Bern-Jura-Solothurn and from Fastenopfer, Philippine Desk. Finally, we thank everyone else — they know who they are — who believed in this project.

From left to right. Standing: Weni Gamboa, Lily Fen, Alice Javier, Monette Bichsel, Melody Hunter, Susan Nagel, Helen Gaganao. Sitting: Anny Hefti, Lina Emmert, Evelyn Steiner, Lenny Bugayong. Not on the photo: Evangeline Bugayong, Esther Windler, Catalina Weber.
We are grateful for the Babaylan organization in Switzerland for the video coverage of the BWB book launch.