Working overseas opens up several opportunities not only in terms of career, education, and family life but it also opens up the choice to become citizens of your host nation; a choice, which Alvin Dimalanta and his family of four, embraced after living in Singapore for over 20 years.
The Dimalanta family was among the 149 people granted by the Government with Singaporean citizenship last August 31. Alvin, 45, works as a regional head of IT operations for a Dutch bank.
Filipino Family Among 149 Newly-Recognized Citizens of Singapore
Presiding the annual National Citizenship Ceremony was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who also awarded the citizenship certificates, as shared in a report by the Straits Times.
In his speech, the Prime Minister shared with the awardees, “Like you, all our ancestors came from distant lands. Eventually, they made the same fateful decision, as you have, to sink roots here and make Singapore their home.”
Prime Minister Lee added that citizenship is a personal and deep commitment.
He explained, “Being a Singaporean is not a matter of ancestry but a matter of conviction and choice.”
Sharing his experience on becoming a Singaporean national now, Alvin said: “It gives a different meaning now when someone you do not know calls you ‘uncle’ or ‘auntie’.
He explained that the event marks a new chapter and a choice and commitment that they have made to make Singapore their today and also tomorrow.
Interestingly, the family have heartily embraced one key Singaporean trait – they are passionate about food, including local favorites such as oyster omelet and laksa.
Alvin and his wife, Michelle Anne, 42, arrived in Singapore and became permanent residents of the city-state in 2005.
Both of their children Anne, 19, and Allen, 15, have been studying in the country since kindergarten.
During the ceremony, Prime Minister Lee shared, “As you craft your life story, deepen your roots here and participate in our community life, you will contribute your bit to the Singapore story, too… That’s how Singapore will progress. Not just integrating new arrivals, but also evolving with you, absorbing some of your cultures and experiences, and enriching our unique Singaporean identity.”
PM Lee also pointed out that many residents in the country, regardless of their immigration status, have already become very Singaporean at heart. “All of you have lived, worked or studied here for years and, in some cases, even started your families here.”
The prime minister explained that the new citizens have integrated into Singapore society, adapted to its culture and learned how to get along with neighbors, classmates, colleagues, and friends.
The Dimalanta family were among 149 people who received citizenship certificates from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the annual National Citizenship Ceremony last August 31.
As mentioned, citizenship is a matter of conviction and choice. Through the years many of our OFWs have spent living overseas, they develop the “heart” as well as the passion to connect with the people in their host country, which influence them to make this important and personal life decision.