Who is Manong George?
Manong George represents a typical Filipino nurse in the UK. Just like most Filipino nurses who have moved to the UK, I went through a lot in my journey- from being employed as a NHS nurse, working for myself as an agency nurse to transferring to a non-conventional nursing role. Outside work, I am also a husband, father of 2 beautiful babies and a dog and an avid Arsenal fan. I'd like to believe that i am just like most Filipinos in the UK. Family oriented, proud of my work and positively forward orientated.
Manong George is not just me we are actually a team, a collective of creative and passionate minds who share a dream of having a strong Filipino community fit for the modern and progressive society that we are in here in the UK.
Why did you build Filipino UK Nurses community?
Our UK journey has not been easy but together with my co founders we can say that the UK has been good to us. In this country we have experienced the biggest milestones in our lives. As we are celebrated our 10th year anniversary back in 2019, we wanted to do something meaningful. We wanted to give back by helping our new nurses in their UK journey too. From what started as a small passion project it has now snowballed into a full blown community with members from every corner of the UK and more.
What makes Filipino UK Nurses community different from other online groups?
I feel we are very much open, tolerant and progressive. We reflect the UK’s outlook with its society. We accept everyone’s varied traits and we are open to change.
Imagine as if we are a beautiful garden we have different kinds of plants and flowers that make the garden dynamic and impressive. If we only have the same plants then we become a drab and boring monoculture. We embrace what makes everyone unique.
What culture do you want to community to foster?
We want to foster a culture of positive collaboration— where everyone helps each other to become better. Instead of pulling each other down i.e. crab mentality attitude, let’s pull each other up instead.
Furthermore we want to encourage a culture of dialogue— we should be able to break down barriers and freely speak with each other and express ourselves.
We must allow everyone to express their thoughts because when we normalise discussions on what we might be different, unlikeable or even taboo slowly we learn and understand each other. Of course this dialogue should be underpinned by respect and fostered with understanding.
Is this the reason why you allow posts from anonymous members?
Anonymity has power. It allows people to feel safe and often it allows us to be truthful. But like with all things, I acknowledge that it can be abused. However the reality is we do try to filter posts as best as we can but we also try keep an open mind so we don't ostracize anyone from the community. Under the veil of anonymity we give our community members an opportunity to express themselves without the fear of judgment.
Looking at the Filipino UK Nurses
community, What are you
most proud of?
We started from zero and now we are more than 40 thousand members in 4 years time. We are active and engaged. But what really makes this journey meaningful is the stories of our members who attest to the community’s positive contribution to their own journey here in the UK.
Lowlights and highlights for 2023?
No joke, we were ready to give up in 2023. But I guess amidst the hurdles, we found our flow and our biggest projects happened in 2023 culminating into our very successful Year End Party. We have met and worked with amazing people throughout the past year that now we feel more energized for 2024.
What's in it for 2024?
We plan for bigger things this year and all our plans are aimed to serve the community more. Hopefully our new revamped website will be up and running by Quarter 1 of this year.
We want to give more emphasis on key areas such as finance, mental wellbeing and nursing careers— expect more content and events on these areas. We also aim to have more face to face collaboration with our community members— watch out and hopefully we will meet more of our community soon! Bigger, better and bolder!
For companies and groups who want to partner with us, feel free to message us at firstname.lastname@example.org.