El Puente de Alcantara was not the only bridge constructed in the city of Toledo. Click this link to see a panoramic view of Puente de Alcantara. On the other side of the bridge, on top of the hill is where Castillo de San Servando can be found. Castillo de San Servando had been converted into a youth hostel, and has also become a popular venue for conferences like the MAPID (Migrants’ Associations and Philippine Institutions for Development) seminar-workshop.
The groundwork has been set to bridge Filipino associations in Spain with Filipino associations in Italy.
On 29 -31 October, various associations from Barcelona, Madrid, Milan and Rome gathered in Toledo, Spain to assess their respective organization’s strengths and weaknesses and identify possible opportunities and difficulties in working with Filipino migrants.
The associations expressed their enthusiasm to work together whether in the form of a federation, an umbrella organization, or a network of associations.
There was also a strong interest to extend support to fellow kababayans as they identified possible projects to be carried out not only in Spain and Italy, but also in the Philippines. Some of the possible projects included providing information that would facilitate the integration of Filipinos to the host country, establishing a health center in one impoverished barangay in Mindanao and creating a center that would cater to returning migrants especially those who are already in their retirement age.
These proposed projects would not be impossible to achieve if there would be a continuous communication and cooperation between migrant associations and national and local institutions in the Philippines, which is by the way one of the objectives of the MAPID project.
This seminar-workshop was organized by the partner institutions of MAPID namely University of Valencia, Scalabrini Migration Center in the Philippines, Commission on Filipino Overseas and Fondazione ISMU.
Associations present in the workshop were Mindanao Overseas Workers Association in Italy, Couples for Christ Madrid, Grupo Donne Internationale Milan, FilAmici Milan, Asociacion Filipina de Madrid, Granmadre Di Dio Filipino Community, Emprendedores Filipinos de Barcelona, AMFIL, PGBI Bordek Chapter, Bicolnon Association , Asociación de Profesionales Filipinos en España, Asociación de Filipinos en Madrid, Sto. Niño, Association of Pangasinenses in Rome, Commission for Filipino Migrants Italy, Asociación de Mujeres Filipinas en Madrid, Mindanao Overseas Welfare Association, Filipino Women’s Club, Parroquia Personal Filipina de Barcelona, Centro Filipino Tuluyan San Benito Barcelona, Samahan ng mga Kabitenyo sa Barcelona and Asociación Filipina de Escritores e Investigadores en Espana (Ang Bagong Filipino).