LINGAYEN., Pangasinan — The province of Pangasinan accommodated around 1,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) family members from the four provinces in Region 1 when these groups celebrated their Family Day on December 13 at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center here.

The event also showcased the talents, creativity, and cheerfulness of OFW Family Circles (OFCs) in the Region when the OFW family members took part in different activities like talent competitions, Christmas tree-making contest, games, and raffle draws organized by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Office I (OWWA ROI).

A total of 539 OFW family members from Pangasinan, 286 from La Union, 87 from Ilocos Sur, and 47 from Ilocos Norte participated in these activities.

The highlight contest was the OFW Family Christmas Tree- Making Contest, where OFCs built Christmas trees out of recycled twigs and wood. The trees were also decorated with indigenous materials and their respective place’s One Town, One Product (OTOP).

Entries of Western Pangasinan, La Union, and Ilocos Norte bagged first place, second place, and third place, respectively.

Meanwhile, five OFC groups unleashed their talents in singing, dancing, and acting as they battled in the Talentadong Tandem and Talentadong OFC contests. Ilocos Sur won in the group category with their Christmas skit and La Union topped the duo category with their ballroom dance.

Further, the OFW family members joined in various parlor games and feasted on raffle prizes which were given away during the day. The items, which included Noche Buena packages, brand new oven, washing machine, flat-screen television, and a coffee-vending machine, were pooled from different sponsors.

The event was also graced by Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr., Pangasinan PESO Manager Alex Ferrer, DOLE Region 1 Senior Labor and Employment Officer Veronica A. Corsino, and 2015 Model OFW Family National Winner Engr. Robert Ranchez.

The event, which also served as an early Christmas celebration for the families, centered on the theme, “Ang Diwa ng Pasko sa Puso ng OFW, Nananatili, Nasaan Pa Man.”

“The celebration served to foster camaraderie among OFW families in Region I as well as provide them opportunity for fun and merry-making,” said Justin Paul Marbella, labor communications officer of OWWA RO1.

The 2015 OFW Family Day was made possible through partnership with sponsors which include Provincial Government of Pangasinan, PhilHealth Region I, AXA Philippines, Barista Choi, BPI, Philam Life, Smart, Kabayan Help Desk, and partner Technical-Vocational Institutions.

The OFCs expressed their gratitude to the OWWA Region 1 for the fun-filled activity. OWWA RWOI Director Sergio B. Borgueta, Jr. and OIC-PSD Gerardo Rimorin, on the other hand, extended their congratulations to the winners and requested the OFW Families’ continued support to the endeavors of OWWA. JOHANNE MARGARETTE R. MACOB/PNA