Oxford Philippines Society
The Oxford Philippines Society (OPS) was founded by a group of Filipino students in February 2011. It started as an informal gastronomic gathering of students interested in creating linkages among Filipinos and Philippinists alike, discussing current issues and past experiences in the islands. Appreciation for Filipino cuisine fuelled its inception, and it has grown into a full-fledged society aimed at fostering awareness and appreciation of the Philippines. The OPS was initially registered as a club with Oxford University in Trinity term 2011, with 13 founding members. It has since expanded to include students and academics from Oxford Brookes University and Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, and was officially launched on July 6th, 2011.
After its establishment, the OPS continues to provide a support network for students, and scholars in Oxford who strive for a better understanding of the Philippines, through a series of term-time activities. The first OPS film showing event dubbed Cinema Pilipinas was held in 19 November 2011, which featured multi-award winning Philippine movies, and the first OPS seminar was held in 16 February 2012, in collaboration with Queen Elizabeth House’s Southeast Asian seminar series. The first OPS food festival and fund-raiser was held in March 2nd, 2012 at the New Road Baptist Church, which showcased an impressive menu of traditional Philippine dishes. Members followed OPS activities through its unofficial blog site “OxPinoy” and the closed Facebook group, “Oxford Philippines Society”.
By Hilary term 2012, OPS has grown to nearly 40 members, and strives diligently to expand its reach and be recognized for its dedication to promoting and advancing the study of the Philippines and its people, cultures, languages and environment. The OPS plans to make its mark in Oxford more apparent in 2012, with more seminars, film events and fund-raisers, as well as establishing an official website to feature the club’s profile, members and activities.