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Filipino Press Group Holds Independence Day Kapihan

IMG_0163 cel(2) (800x533)IMG_0164 cel(2) (800x529)BY VIOLI CALVERT

The Filipino Press Group of Sydney otherwise known simply as Filpress celebrated the 116th proclamation of Philippine Independence  with a simple kapihan meeting at a new Filipino inspired coffee house at the centre of Parramatta CBD and with special presence by Philippine Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis and Consul Maford Angeles last Saturday 7 June 2014.

Solicitor Lolita Farmer OAM who is resident of nearby Oatlands and member of Filpress,  organised the event for media club.

During the brunch meeting which started at 10 am, Consul General Jalando-on Louis highlighted the importance of sharing and disseminating information for the benefit of the community. 

Consul Jalando-on Louis expressed her appreciation of Filpress as a media group for its support in disseminating information about various events and initiatives of the Consulate.

ConGen Louis herself prayed the grace before meal which turned out to comprise of sumptuous Filipino dishes, featuring some of daily favourites at the Café Celrona, the new restaurant on 115 Church Street, Parramatta, owned by Mr Ronald and Celia Wilson of  Newington, also Western Sydney.

Café Celrona is open everyday and is now practically the only Filipino café in Western Sydney which is available for early morning breakfast.

 In her consequent talk after brunch, ConGen Jalando-on Louis lauded Filpress role and stressed the importance of having the media group as partners not only with the Consulate but also the various community organisations.

ConGen Jalando-on Louis also cited  the achievements of some community publications’ winning media awards from both the State government and the Commission on Filipino Overseas, as well  the development of growing number of community radio programs.

Also in attendance were Sydney solicitors  Virgie Odtojan and  Marissa Bala , both solicitor colleagues of Mrs Lolita Farmer OAM who also writes as a columnist  of the community newspaper Philippine Community Herald Newspaper (PCHN).

Others include Nonoy Perdon editor and publisher of Bayanihan News], Charles Chan broadcaster of community program Radio Bayanihan in Campbelltown; free lance writer Bless Salonga; NSW government media officer  Jess Helaratne, from NSW Health Multicultural Communication Service (HMCS); Heleratne’s colleague HMCS Samantha Shen; community radio broadcaster and  writer for PCHN Mr Eric Maliwat and  this writer in her capacity as freelance writer and producer/broadcaster of  community program Radio Sandigan.

Mr Nonoy Perdon presided over the meeting as substitute for Filpress convenor Jimmy Pimentel who was unavailable and had previous news coverage commitment for a basketball tournament opening in Marrickville.

Mr Perdon  briefed the group about Filpress and its activities, including its unique structure as a loosely organised functioning body  that has sustained itself for almost seven years now. Filpress counts among its members, journalists, editors, publishers, photographers, radio producers , artists among others.

 He mentioned that the group has no set of officers like most community organisations do and  only has a convenor.   It meets for exchange of ideas and for camaraderie at brunch on the first Saturday of the month and dinner on the third Friday of the month, with the meetings having been held in various venues.

Lolita Farmer OAM spoke about the need for the media group to collaborate with other Fil-Aussie professional groups in the community such as the lawyers. She thanked the presence of solicitors Virgie Odtojan and  Marissa Bala who both indicated their willingness to network  with FilPressSydney in the future and to provide legal advice on matters which the group may need to deal with.   The same sentiments were expressed by Jess Helaratne who offered to provide resources for conducting awareness on health matters. 

Other FilPress members also spoke briefly about their publications and radio programs, as well as projects they were recently involved with and about to undertake.

 Lolita Farmer OAM who hosted the brunch meeting, referred to the meeting as the FilPressSydney’s Independence Day kapihan.

On hand to welcome and waited at the table was  Sheila Wilson, daughter of owners  Celia and Ronald Wilson.