Graphic art by Eric C. Maliwat Graphic art by Eric C. Maliwat PCHN File

UNIFICATION : More responses Featured

PCHN is ready to print all responses as we receive them These two are the latest we received as we rush to the press which, like the originals of the above, are printed here in toto.

“I start from the premise that the Philippine Community Council of NSW is the original umbrella organisation of Filipino community groups in NSW, and that needs to be recognised at the outset. I raise the following issues/ matters, hoping that if and when resolved, then ‘Unity’ may hopefully be reached.Firstly,What exactly is the mission/ goal of the PCC NSW?When one says Philippine Community Council of NSW, one would assume that PCC NSW advocates for issues/matters that relate to the Filipino community in NSW.
YET – what PCC NSW seems to have projected – after all these years in existence – is to involve itself in matters to do with the Philippines 4,435kms away, e.g., raise funds in times of natural disasters. Worthy activities these may be, but is that PCC NSW’s main reason for being? What about the ‘NSW’ component in PCC NSW?I was there when PCC NSW began.
From my understanding, PCC NSW, as the umbrella organisation, would be a policy-making body on behalf of the Filipino community in New South Wales in general, and for its affiliate organisations in particular.
PCC NSW would make a stand on issues/ matters that affect the Filipino community in New South Wales.
PCC NSW would put forward policies that would advance the Filipino cause/ presence in NSW, cognisant that the Filipino community contributes to the social, economic and political fabric of NSW.
PCC NSW would be the consultative body of mainstream New South Wales as it deals with the Filipino community.In the 25 years since its establishment, with due respect, PCC NSW seems to have had only two regular activities of note – holding the Philippine Independence Day Ball and preparing for the Philippine Independence Day Ball. Check the Treasurer’s Reports at each annual general meeting if this is not so. Other activities seem to be those of its affiliates, with PCC NSW basking in their creation/completion.Has PCC NSW ever made a stand on/ given a voice to issues/ matters that affect the Filipino community in New South Wales?
Has PCC NSW ever put forward policies to advance the Filipino cause/ presence in NSW?Has PCC NSW ever been a consultative body of mainstream New South Wales as it deals with the Filipino community?Many of PCC NSW’s so-called leaders seem to have reneged on what PCC NSW had been mandated to do, putting its worthy goals/ mission in the ‘too hard’ basket. With due respect, many seem to have sat through their terms doing ‘nothing’, basking in their official ‘titles’ through photo opps with politicians, diplomats and celebrities, and hiding behind the ‘volunteer’ aspect of their roles for not doing ‘anything’. After all these years, PCC NSW still has to have a permanent physical address. Missed opportunities would be an understatement. Secondly,
Attitudes need to change.Those in positions of leadership need to show the best in Filipino traits, values, behaviour, e.g., respect, courtesy, sensitivity.
It’s fabulous to be ‘sikat’ but not ‘pasikat’.During debates/discussions/disagreements, stay hard on the issues; easy on the persons.Not everyone elected to a position in PCC NSW is equipped for leadership. Being popular does not translate to leadership – more so as PCC NSW depends on volunteers, and volunteerism requires commitment, sacrifice, purpose.What next?
Hope springs eternal. If we are discussing this, things can only get better.The past cannot be undone but we can work on the present and hopefully, a better future.
Revisit PCC NSW’s core objectives; focus; apply.
Have credible selection criteria for those who aspire to lead.Consolidate the skills within our talented, intelligent, knowledgeable community.
Each individual who sits on the PCC NSW Board must be prepared to undertake leadership training, to profess commitment to PCC NSW’s goals/mission, and to follow these through.Protect the brand. God bless us all. (Evelyn Opilas)


Ang mga Pilipino sa diaspora saan man sa mundo ay kilala sa indibidwal na sipag, tiyaga, husay sa gawain at pagmamalasakit. Pero hindi sa pagkakaisa. The Filipino people's soul is not whole. This is what we exude behind our proficiency in English which we also speak with pride as our second language, apparently because it equalises our inefficiencies in using another region's language (eg Bisaya vs Tagalog, etc) Pero kahit English na nga ang ginagamit at hindi ang kanya-kanyang dialekto, nakikita pa rin na wala tayong matatag na pagkakabuklod. I am just one of the many with well-meaning opinions here. And mine is NOT FOR UNIFORMITY. I support and I do my best to advocate through my broadcasts, preachings and publications the beauty of our regional distinctions and tongues. But they all must come within and to fortify a UNIFIED SOUL of the Filipino, characterised by acceptance, empathy, self-sacrifice and love for a unified whole. When we nurture our common soul and keep it whole, then there is true unity above all our diversity. Hopefully, we are on our way to realise this during our lifetime.Mainam maging maliit na bato na bahagi ng iisang bantayog ng ating lahi (napi picturan at isinasali pa sa selfie ng mga tao) kaysa isa sa maraming nakakalat bato na may kanya kanyang pangalan na nakikita sa mga libingan, dinadaan lang kahit nung nabubuhay pa siya ay maraming nagawa at napatunayan.
Jesus said, "And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand" Mark 3:25, ESV . I appreciate the effort of Evelyn Zaragoza in starting the conversation about unification within the Filipino-Australian community. The stalwart community leader wishes to see the realisation of a common aspiration dating back to the heroes of our mother land's history - a community being seen as one despite it's diversity within.What are the fruits of our labour?The Filipino diaspora is a tale of love, sacrifice, resilience and hard work. The efforts of our older generation of community leaders in NSW are invaluable! But how are we leaving these traits as a legacy to the next generation of Australians? Let us build an enduring, united monument enshrined in the hearts of the now and the next generation rather than Individual mini totem poles that may just be buried in the sands of time.
(Eric C. Maliwat, book author, broadcaster, pastor)

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