By Roy Lie Atjam
The Hague, launching the book Chasing Windmills, H.E. Ambassador Jose Eduardo Malaya, open the doors of the Kalayaan Hall at the Embassy to host the launching- and reading of Chasing Windmills.
The event was in partnership with the University of the Philippines Alumni Association – Netherlands Chapter (UPAA-NL). The date is 28 September 2022.
Ambassador Eduardo Malaya who plays the piano well, open the event by playing the Lupang Hinirang, the national anthem of the Philippines.
“The inspiring story of Ms. Maya Butalid, a Filipina former political activist who became a migrant advocate and city councilor in The Netherlands, was featured in a book reading event organized by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association – Netherlands Chapter (UPAA-NL), in partnership with the Embassy of the Philippines, at the Kalayaan Hall of the Chancery.
“Chasing Windmills,” described by author Ms. Butalid as a “process of self-reflection [and] a spiritual journey,” is a collection of vignettes of her colorful life which people can relate to.
Ms. Butalid read excerpts from the book, particularly her reflections on her years as an activist in the underground movement in the Philippines and musings on her integration in Dutch society — learning the Dutch language, finishing her university studies, service in the City of Tilburg as City Councilor, and raising her two children.
“As I look back from 1983 when I first arrived in The Netherlands up to this day, I guess I have completed the circle of recreating my identities. I started as a Filipino political activist doing work for the Philippines in Europe and then I became a Filipino migrant, and later became part of the bigger migrant community in Europe, then I developed an affinity for the poor and disadvantaged White sector of Dutch society. I learned to understand the political and social landscape resulting in becoming a City Councilor,” said Ms. Butalid.
“Finally, I touched base again with my roots, the Philippines. It was quite a journey but it made me realize that no matter how integrated I may be in the Dutch society, contributing and participating fully in this society does not make me less of a Filipino, and an important part of me will always be Filipino,” Ms. Butalid added.
She is currently involved with “Pasali,” a non-government organization based in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat, that helps communities through enterprise, technology and community development.
The book reading was followed by reactions from Prof. Patricio “Jojo” Abinales, Ph.D., of the Department of Asian Studies of the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and Dr. Chei Billedo of the University of Amsterdam.
Well-attended by the Fillipino-Dutch community, the event commenced with the welcome remarks by Atty. Florisa Almodiel-Luteijn, President of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association – Netherlands Chapter, and was followed by the introduction of Ms. Butalid by Ms. Malu Padilla, Board Member of the Centre for Migrant Advocacy Philippines”.
The author, Maya Butalid, is a vigorous, combative, fearless, intelligent, intersectional, and beautiful Philippino woman!
Copies of the book are available at https://olympiapublishers.com/books/chasing-windmills. It is also available at https://www.waterstones.com/…/maya-butalid/9781800740860; https://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/chasing…/1141703698…; and https://www.bookdepository.com/Chasing…/9781800740860.//