Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!
Senator Concetta Fierraravnte Wells and Philippine Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis

PCC-NSW host dual PH celebrations


Senator Concetta Fierraravnte Wells and Philippine Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis
Senator Concetta Fierraravnte Wells and Philippine Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis

BY DANNY ROSALES The Filipino community came together to celebrate the 116th Anniversary of the Philippine Independence and commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Apolinario Mabini, the “Sublime Paralytic” and brain of the Philippine Revolution last Saturday 8 June.

 Known as the Philippine National Day (PND) Ball , the event was held at the Grand Pavillion, Rosehill Gardens Event Centre, Rosehill.  It  was hosted by the Philippine Community Council of NSW Inc. in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General, Sydney and proudly supported by members of 52 Filipino Community affiliate organisations.

 This year’s theme “Karunungan at Pagkamakabayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran” (Knowledge and Patriotism towards Progress) is in recognition of the gifts and talents of the Filipinos who have contributed so much in building a productive society not just in Australia but in every part of the world that they choose to live.

Speaking in behalf of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Senator Concetta Fierravante Wells underscored the great friendship between Australia and the Philippines whist New South Wales Premier Mike Bair cited the important contribution of the Filipino community to nation building and promised to continue measures to combat racial discrimination.

For her part, Philippine Consul General to Sydney Anne Jalando-on Louis  revealed the long history of  Phiilippine Australian relationship such as the existence of Filipino settlement of so-called Manillamen in the 1870s in the pearling industry in Northern Territory and in Western Austrlia  and even the likely presence of the same Manillamen in Sydney in the 1840s.

Congen Jalando-on Louis also mentioned that of the six Philippine historical landmark in Australia, five of them exists in New South Wale including the giant  Dr Jose Rizal monument in Campbellton which was inaugurated by Philippine President Noynoy Aquino in December 2013.

Others who shared important addresses to the celebration were Member for Greenway Michele Rowland representing the Leader of Federal Opposition Bill Shorten, NSW MLC Greg Donnely representing the NSW Leader of Opposition John Robertson.  NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello introduced Premier Mike Baird.

 The event started  with the entrance of the Philippine and Australian colours carried by members of the Order of the Knights of Rial, and soon followed by the 2014 elected officials of  PCC-NSW led by PCC NSW president Jun Relunia.

Singing of the Philippine national anthem led by Ms Desa Santos and the Australian national anthem led by Ms Isabela Guarin, invocation by Ms Carmen Thompson as well as the welcome remarks by program emcees Rod Dingle and Miss Lilian delos Reyes, the parade of presidents of affiliate associations and clubs comprise the first part of the program.

Cultural features of the program comprised of  an ensemble performance remembering the Philippine revolution of 1898, songs by the West Sydney choir the Sydney Sonata  including some Philippine patritotic songs by the choir and Ilocano  Association, propped by tableu performance by Louisa Tagudin, Virginia Atienza and several other ladies depicting important scenes of  the Philippine revolution.

 PCC-NSW President Jose Relunia, Jr officially welcomed the guests of honours incuding officicials from Blacktown City Council including Blackton City Councilor Jess Diaz who himself was the first president of the peak community organisation PCC-NSW.

Available to sing solo performances were  Brian Lorenz Babon for the patriotic song  “Ako Ay Pilipino”,  dance interpretation  of the same song by young performer  Ronn Terence Lo, who is reportedly a winner of a dance scholarship from  the British Ballet Organisation in Australia; a number of songs by up and coming entertainer Jason Hernandez, reportedly a student of Filipino composer and entertainer Vehnee Saturn

Other entertainment numbers were provided by the Filipino Australian R&B vocal group ReVibe ;  Gerry Garcia an Shirley Law ballroom dance.

Past presidents of PCC-NSW incuding Blacktown Cr. Jess Diaz, Manny Diel, Lolita Farmer OAM, Ric de vera, Malyn Chun, Kate  Andres, Neria Soliman, Ronaldo Villaver, Elsa Collado, Rey Manoto, Atoy Sayas, Marivic Manalo, and Jun Relunia were honoured in a special presentation.

The program culminated with the Philippine folk social dance Rigodon de Honor  with present officers of PCC-NSW and some invited dancers as participants.  Choreographed by Mr Brian Lorenz Babon, the dance number required countless practice sessions but was enjoyed by the performers themselves and enable them to depict a vignette of  Philippine history.

After all the formalities, the rest of the night was spent dancing and enjoying the music provided by Sonny Soriano and the Inner Games Band.