There are a growing number of Filipinos abroad, each having a reason to move, such as employment or education. Regardless of what their purpose is, these Filipinos have experienced some sort of separation – separation from the people they love, their home, or even their comfort zone.
They are also knowledgeable of the gravity of distance and how living alone in unfamiliar territory, being surrounded by strangers while coping with new experiences can be physically, mentally, and most especially, emotionally taxing.
The Need for a Support System Abroad
Pinoy Town Hall (PTH) was a product of the Filipinos’ need for a support system abroad. By definition, a town hall is a public building or hall where a town’s public offices are found. It is also a venue for council meeting and public assemblies. In other words, a town hall is the central entity of a town. It is a place where people – both leaders and townsfolk – engage in a friendly exchange of ideas.
This virtual town hall functions as a medium for Filipino immigrants to seek and give assistance, to trade or find something they need, or simply, as a source of information on their fellow Filipinos.
Pinoy Town Hall is more than just an online community; it has brought Filipinos closer to home.
More on the Story of Pinoy Town Hall
Back in 2008, a diversified group of Filipino migrants in the US, who needed and sought for a steady support group, came up with a big idea: why not create an online resource that could help and support the needs of pure Filipinos, Filipino-American immigrants, and locals of the Filipino community?
Having experienced the many challenges of living abroad, they felt the need to simplify life outside of their country and make immigrants’ transition into their new community as smooth as possible. They hoped that this community website would be an instrument for them to share their experiences and lessons learned.
The group’s goal was to make the website more than just a directory of Filipino contacts living in their vicinity. They turned it into a portal for their fellow immigrants to stay updated with Filipino events in the US, Filipino-related news, and even cultural information. In order to do so, they invited not only regular residents/workers but also Filipino businesses and organizations to join their cause.
At the same time, the group promoted the site to be an online venue for Filipinos to interact, share their problems and sentiments, exchange thoughts, and provide solutions – hence the name Pinoy Town Hall.
The launch of Pinoy Town Hall later that year was a success and unexpectedly garnered members not only from the US but also from other parts of the world. The page continues to evolve to meet the needs of Filipino migrants.
Right now, Pinoy Town Hall is in the stage of integrating local Philippine government services in its function, such as tourism and consulate services to name a few. It also aims to break the stereotype that Filipinos are regionalistic and hopes to bring them closer as one giant virtual community.