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The West Bay Seniors with Ms. Mariza Bensurto (standing 7th from left), Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon (standing 2nd from left), Consul Reginald Bernabe (standing 4th from left) and Ms. Cecile Ascalon (standing 1st from right).

A special Consular Outreach was conducted by the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco on Thursday, March 5, 2015, for the benefit of the West Bay Seniors.  This dynamic group is made up of the men and women who participate in the Kapihan, Kasamahan at Kwentuhan (K3) Seniors Program of the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center.  A total of thirty Filipino American senior citizens came to the Social Hall of the Philippine Center accompanied by Ms. Cecile Ascalon, Family Support and Case Manager at West Bay and other West Bay volunteers.

The occasion was fondly dubbed by the Seniors as the Field Trip to the Philippine Consulate.  Aside from applying for the reacquisition of their Philippine citizenship and registering as overseas voters, the trip was an opportunity for the Seniors to visit the Consulate and meet its officers and staff.

Left photo: A volunteer from SF PCG guides one of the Seniors fill out the application form.  Right photo: The West Bay Seniors took the first step in exercising their right to vote by registering as overseas voters.

Ms. Mariza Bensurto and several Consulate officers and staff assisted and guided the visitors in their applications.  They were also at hand to interact and attend to all the needs of their respected guests.

Dual Citizenship applicants took an Oath of Allegiance before Deputy Consul General Ascalon.

Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon briefed the guests on the benefits of dual citizenship.  He also informed the Seniors of the Balikbayan Privilege, a special immigration privilege in the Philippines that is accorded to Filipinos or former Filipinos and their immediate family members.  On the other hand, Consul Reginald Bernabe discussed the procedure for overseas voting.

Arguably one of the most fulfilling Consular Outreach that the Consulate has ever conducted, the success of the event was matched by the invaluable experience of spending time with one of the most important, albeit underserved, sector of the Filipino American community.

The Kapihan, Kasamahan at Kwentuhan (K3) Seniors Program is a weekly program that is designed to teach Filipino seniors on leading and maintaining a healthy and independent yet community involved way of life.  It is one of the leading programs at West Bay.  To learn more about the K3 Seniors Program and the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center, please check their website at  END.