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Press Release

L-R: Vice Consul Andrea Caymo, Mr. Jun  Sereno, Ms. Sarah Balabagan-Sereno, Consul General Gina Jamoralin, Pastors  Noel Domingo and  Wilson Pascua at the Philippine Consulate.

Former OFW Sarah Balabagan-Sereno visited the Philippine Consulate General in Hawaii  last April 20, 2016 and called on Consul General Gina Jamoralin. She was joined by her family ,  and Filipino community leaders, Mr. Wilson Pascua and Mr. Noel Domingo. Ms. Balabagan, whose story was dramatized in the 1997 Viva film  “The Sarah Balabagan Story” starred by actress Vina Morales in the title role, is currently in Hawaii  to promote her concert entitled, “So In Love” which will be held on April 22, 2016 at the Filcom Center in Waipahu, Honolulu.

In 1995, Ms. Balabagan who was then in her teens, was  imprisoned in United Arab Emirates and sentenced to death by firing squad for killing her employer in self-defense who tried to rape her.  The international outcry that followed  and the strong defense campaign made on  her behalf by the Philippine government led to a reduced  jail sentence  and 100 lashes. She was later released  and  returned to the Philippines on August 1, 1996. Ms. Balabagan is now an inspirational speaker, human trafficking advocate and a recording artist.

During her call, Ms. Balabagan thanked the Philippine Government for all the support extended to her at that time and through her upcoming concert in Hawaii, wishes to share her story and the lessons learned to the young generation especially the  overseas Filipino workers.  END