Mar 182015

Seniors taking the first step in exercising their right to vote by registering at the Philippine Consulate as overseas voters. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

SAN FRANCISCO – Elderly Filipino-Americans trooped to the Philippine Consulate General on Sutter Street on March 5 for a special outreach conducted by consulate staff.

Some 30 Filipino American senior citizens came to the Social Hall of the Philippine Center accompanied by Cecile Ascalon, family support and case manager at West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center and other West Bay volunteers.

The lively group of visitors was made up of the elderly men and women who participate in West Bay’s Kapihan, Kasamahan at Kwentuhan (K3) Seniors Program.

They fondly dubbed the occasion as the “Field Trip to the Philippine Consulate.” Aside from reacquiring their Philippine citizenship and registering as overseas voters, the seniors had a chance to meet consulate officers and staff.

Mariza Bensurto and several Consulate officers and staff assisted and guided the visitors in their applications and attended to all their needs.


Elderly Dual Citizenship applicants take an Oath of Allegiance before Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon.

Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon briefed them on the benefits of dual citizenship.  He also informed the seniors of the Balikbayan Privilege, a special immigration privilege that is accorded to Filipinos or former Filipino citizens and their immediate family members.  Consul Reginald Bernabe explained the procedure for overseas voting.

The Kapihan, Kasamahan at Kwentuhan (K3) Seniors Program is a weekly program designed to teach Filipino seniors on leading and maintaining a healthy and independent yet active 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


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

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