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PM Gillard and NSW Premier O’Farrel attend PCC Independence Day Ball

PCC Board 2013 with PM JG (1) (320x172)Text and photo by Emily Rudd.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell attended the Philippine National Day Ball hosted by the Philippine Community Council of NSW Inc (PCC-NSW, State peak umbrella organisation of Filipino-Australians) at the Grand Pavillion, Rosehill Gardens NSW on 9th June 2013 to celebrate the 115th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence.

The presence of the prime minister came as a big surprise at the gala celebration.  She was warmly welcomed by the more than 400 guests including government officials from both Australia and the Philippines.

The highlights of the event were the Ceremonial Toast to the President of the Republic of the Philippines and to the Filipino people by the guest of honour, Prime Minister Gillard and the Rigodon de Honour dance participated in by community leaders and choreographed by Novy Bereber.

Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis, representing the Republic of the Philippines, also proposed a toast to the Queen and to the people of Australia.  Musical numbers were presented by guest performers – international artist David Pomeranz, Sydney-based Filipino-Australian artists Louie George, Ani Luzung and Meera Belle and a dance performance by The Philippine Dance Ensemble. The Sydney Sonata Singers conducted by Loy Tagudin sang the Philippine and Australian national anthems and Tyrone Andres representing the Filipino youth gave the invocation before the program commenced.  Compere Rod Dingle ably attended to the formalities and ensured the proceedings were in order. All night dancing followed with Sonny Soriano and the Inner Games Band.

Thress (3 ) round-trip Philippine Airlines tickets from Sydney to Manila were given away in a raffle draw and another return ticket as a door prize compliments of Philippine Airlines, Travel Access and Zignal Travel. Major and Event sponsors of the historic occasion are: MoneyGram and MegaWorld.

The Philippine National Day Ball is an annual activity of PCC-NSW to pay tribute to the heroes of the Philippine revolution who risked their lives for freedom and democracy.

The Independence Day Ball had been attended by NSW Premiers Bob Carr, Nathan Rees and recently by Barry O’Farrell. This is the first time a prime minister attended this national day event. Early Filipino migrants state that this is the first ever attendance of a prime minister in a Filipino community event.  Headed this year by Dr Elsa Ringor Collado, PCC-NSW focused on the theme “Kapit Bisig sa Matuwid na Daan” (linking arms in the right direction). She said “We believe that walking together in the spirit of reconciliation, friendship and tolerance, can create a much conducive atmosphere for us to function as the peak body, and to work hand in hand with our Affiliates”.