MELBOURNE. Australia — The Filipino community in Victoria, Australia celebrated the 115 Philippine Independence Day on two big occasions. One was an Independence Ball initiated by the Filipino Community Council of Victoria (FCCVI) and two, was a Flag Raising Ceremony, organized by the Philippine Victorian Consulate in Melbourne, held at Federation Square on June 12, 2013.
The Independence Ball, which was held at the Millennium Reception Centre, Sunshine, on June 8 was attended by more than 500 people. The celebration was marked by a deep appreciation for Filipino heritage and gratitude to Filipino heroes and numerous unsung heroes who bravely fought for Philippine independence.
These were clearly articulated by its celebration theme, IKARANGAL MO ANG FILIPINO, MAGITING ANG LAHI MO and the lively presentations of native songs and dances performed by Gintong Kultura, Luzviminda and FEGTA (an elderly group association).
The highlights of the affair was a parade of all FCCVI member organizations in their colourful Filipino attire and a 20 minute-musical presentation depicting the struggle of the Katipunan or KKK (Kataaas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang, Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, ‘The Highest and the Most Honourable Society of the Children of the Nation’) – a patriotic rebel group, against the Spanish colonial rule. The rousing musical was under the direction of Rolly Limun who was also its lyricist and composer.
Among the guests speakers were: Hon. Gigi Kalong, the Philippine Consul General of Victoria, who read the Independence message of Ambassador Belen Anota, the Philippine Ambassador to Australia and Rudolfo Gomez, one of the recipients of the 2012 FILCCA (Filipino Community Councils of Australia) Filipino Australian Achiever Award. Jing Sosa, the current chairperson of the FCCVI, enunciated the significance of the celebration and thanked everyone who attended the affair.
Despite the drizzle and the cold weather, about 100 Filipinos attended the annual Philippine Flag Raising Ceremony at Federation Square in Melbourne, on June 12 at 8:00 in the morning. The Philippine National anthem was sang as the Philippine was unfurled followed by Panatang Makabayan, a solemn oath of allegiance to the Philippine motherland.
Hon. Gigi Kalong acknowledged the presence of people who braved the cold weather and read the Independence Day message of Ambassador Belen Anota.
A short film depicting the bravery of the Filipinos to obtain their independence was shown. A light refreshment of hot coffee and delicious warm empanadas were serve to conclude the ceremony.
Manny G. Asuncion is Philippine Daily Mirror’s correspondent in Australia.
Caption 1: The Filipino Independence Musical.
Caption 2. Parade of the Filipino Community organizations headed by Ms. Perla Luetic, Director of the Philippine Foundation Incorporated.
Caption 3. Hon. Gigi Kalong, Philippine Consul General to Victoria, Australia delivering her speech.
Caption 4: Filipino Elderly Group dancing La Jota Moncadena.
Caption 5: Mr. Jing Sosa, the Chairperson of the Filipino Community Council of Victoria Inc. (FCCVI).