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Community’s Independence Day Spirit

IMG_9920pcc (2) (800x506)IMG_9979pcc (2) (800x549) Every month of June, leading Philippine community organisations hold a stream  of community events  not only to express  high regard of Philippine history but also focus on a number of  various humanitarian initiatives geared to help sectors in the Philippines. 

Community activities range from intricate fund raising  activities to support worthy causes  in the Philippines, to simple public Philippine flag raising  which effectively remembers heroic events in Philippines’ past, including  the now conspicuous  and much celebrated  Declaration of Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite on 12 June 1898.    

In New South Wales alone, the peak organisation Philippine community Council of NSW (PCC-NSW) continues to hold its traditional fund raising Philippine Independence Day Ball complete with  features about  Philippine culture such as  guests and participants clad in Philippine national attire, cultural stage presentations, and announcements about the association’s latest Philippines’ related initiative be it a scholarship project, the latest calamity fund raising, or assistance to indigent visitors from the Philippines.   

PCC-NSW is hosting this year’s Independence Day Ball on Saturday 7 June at the Rosehill Gardens Centre in Rosehill, NSW with the celebration’s theme “Karunungan at Pangakabuhayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran’, tying up the theme to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Philippine hero Apolinario Mabini, the sublime paralytic.” 

In most other states of Australia, peak Philippine community bodies are hosting their own brand of remembering  Philippine Independence Day. 

Another big organisation in NSW the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations (APCO) based in Auburn is hosting the Freedom Day Luncheon and Ball on Sunday 8 June 2014 at the Conca d’Oro in Riverwood, NSW.  APCO  which has been active in linking with other multicultural initiatives in NSW, looks for another celebration reeked with a powerhouse of Filipino cultural presentations courtesy of its resident group of artists, dancers and performers. 

Blacktown-based Australia Philippines Services League or APSL which counts among its members ex-military men, relatives of armed forces veterans, and senior citizens will hold flag rites marking the 116th anniversary of Philippine independence on Saturday 14 June starting t 11 am at Bowman Hall, Blacktown Civic Centre, where a large contingent of Filipino Australian supporters are expected o attend.  

In Penrith, Mayor Ross Fowler and the Penrith City Council are preparing a Philippine flag-raising ceremony at the Penrith Civic Centre  on Saturday 28 June . The annual event is usually supported by the Philippine Language and Culture Association of Australia or PLACC and the Sonata Singers, both based in Wester Sydney. 

ln NSW’s Hunter Valley, the Filipino Australian Society of Hunter I) is holding its 2014 Independence Day celebration tied up with FASHVI’s 33rd anniversary and 153rd Jose Rizal birth anniversary, at Belmont 16 Footers Club in Belmont, NSW. It is an annual fund raising event for the organisation which aims to nurture friendship, cooperation and understanding among Filipino migrants and their friends. 

In Bathurst, NSW, the Council and  the Filipiniana and Friends of Bathurst and Central West  will unfurl once more on Sunday 1 June 2014 what is considered the largest Philippine flag in Australia, in connection with the 116th anniversary of Philippine Independence Day.  Venue will be the Evans Bridge Kelso and the nearby Berry Park. 

Bayanihan News correspondent Lee Pendleton from Bundaberg in Queensland reported that the Bundaberg and District Filipino and Australian  Association Inc or BDFAAI will hold the Pear of the Orient Sagala on Saturday 14 June 2014 with the aim among others to ceebrate the 30th anniversary of BDFAAI and the 116th anniversary of Philipine Idependence Day. 

Sectors of the Philippine migrant community especially the mainstream-conscious Filipinos who had shied away from Philippine community event should be thankful and for once be reflective of  what  these June activities are all about.  

Philippine community activities are far from being “ghetto-centric” events as some of the younger generation Filipino-Australians would claim. They are the expression by the majority of first generation Filipino migrant’s of what the significant, albeit worthy features of Philippine culture which are admirable,  helpful and practical in their adopted land. 

These community activities  are likened to trips to Manila to savour the cultural air of things Filipino, with both the positive and negative impressions present  and  available.  June is the time  to open up opportunities  to reminisce events in Philippine history taught  and learned in the Filipino migrant’s  childhood.

To Filipino migrants it is the unofficial 
community celebration that bind their oneness in their heritage, and consequently in Filipino mindset and character. By Nonoy Perdon