The Alliance of Philippine Community Organisation (APCO) headed by Dr Ed Escultura hosted an auspicious Freedom Ball last Monday 13 June 2022 at the Renaissance Westella function centre in Lidcombe, NSW to celebrate the 124th remembrance of Philippine Independence Day.
In her keynote address, Philippine Ambassador Hellen de la Vega said the strong Filipino-Australian community continue to shows the dynamic partnership between Australia and the Philippines.
(NPurisima PHOTO – PH Ambassador H. dela Vega and NSW Minister M. Coure)
Ambassador dela Vega thanked the Filipino Australian community for the responsible citizenship at elections during the last Australian elections and the Philippine elections ( in the case of Philippine overseas voters.).
Theme of the 124th Philippine Independence Day celebrations is “Paglikha ng Pagbabago Tungo sa Kaunlaran” (Creativity and Change for Progress).
NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Mr, Mark Coure MP commended APCO for tireless efforts to promote the rich and vibrant Filipino culture. Ambassador dela Vega and Minister Coure made a ceremonial bilateral toast for both countries.
A host of speakers extolling the history of the Philippines’ struggle for freedom showed the multicultural calling of the association APCO itself the light of Australian society.
APCO President Mr Edgardo Escultura remembered the Philippines’ struggle for freedom under its former Spanish and American occupiers while APCO founder Dr Cen Amores paid tribute to Filipino heroes and the continuing community oriented ideals of Filipino-Australians.
Philippine Consul and Acting Head of Post Mr Emmanuel Guzman and NSW MLC Ms Lynda Voltz also congratulated APCO.
Multicultural guests particularly from the Auburn Small Communities Network (ASCON) attended the celebration.
Freedom Ball was a glittering show of camaraderie among members of associations belonging to APCO including the display of the Filipino national attire “barong” and “saya” not to mention a number of performances of Filipino cultural dances.
Credits should be given for the synthesis of creativity and cooperation of community volunteers who worked for wonderful night of cultural celebration to APCO officers and volunteers.
The event’s working committees include the Flagcom and Friends as coordinator; Dr Ed Escultura and Dr Cen Amores for invitation; Bob Reyes, Ruben Amoires an Cen Amores for souvenir program, Dr Jimmy Lopez and Dr Cen Amores for finance, Charles Chan, Albert Prias, Ruben Amores, Willie Pan and Joe Caballero, for stage and decoration. Other committees cited were the ushering, reception, venue liaison, raffles and prizes and health and safety.
The night paid a few minutes silence as homage to the late APCO stalwart and NSW policeman Mr. George Torres as well as acknowledged representatives of the organisations such as FLAGCOM and Friends, Kapitbahayan Cooperative, Filipino Women Support Group Macarthur , Sedgwick Housing Cooperative, Plaza Filipino, Club Filipino Illawara, Illawara Multicultural Women’s Group, Young And District Multicultural Associations, Filipinas Dance Group. Philipoine Australian Single Association, Blessed Pedro Calungsod, and Belle Epoque Production.
Special entertainers: Brian Lorenz, Emerson Tuazon, Nathaneil Gale, Mirasol Loyzaga, PASA Dancers, and the Balangay Cultural Dancers.
Philippine’s national flag carrier Philippines Airlines (PAL) was a major supporter of the event.
APCO’s Freedom Day Ball in Lidcombe. NSW