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PCC-NSW Media Release on Unification

Monday, 01 January 2018 20:03 Written by

Official Statement of APCO Inc. re “Unification” (Press Release)

Monday, 01 January 2018 19:58 Written by

 

The Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations Inc. a federation of several autonomous, socially conscious and democratic Filipino-Australian community organisations in NSW in a special meeting of the Board held last Saturday, 18thNovember 2017, has agreed to publicly denounce the highly misleading, grossly subjective and untruthful reporting being disseminated by the proponents of so-called “Unification” in a newspaper owned and staffed by “Unification” proponents who are also closely involved with PCC. Previously, APCO Inc. has not made any official stand on the issue of “unification” and those who attended any meeting have declared beforehand that they were not representing APCO in any capacity.
APCO is not in agreement with the proponents for “Unification” in many aspects; hence, the glowing reports about the “Unification” are fake, dishonest and fabricated news. We also denounce the writers for their fictitious, false and malicious reporting about the community: that the organisations lack government support because it is not united, that PCC is doing community development projects while APCO is into multiculturalism and serving only its members.
Why tell lies if your intentions are really good?
It is well known that APCO has been actively participating and effectively representing the community to the mainstream, multicultural and government bodies, supporting and developing its affiliate members, promoting and serving the community through coop housing, welfare for the youth, children and elderly, quality cultural presentations, organisational capacity building, charities, various community welfare services and effective engagements with the mainstream Australian, CALD and Filipino community. In contrast, we do not see anything that the ageing PCC did re community development. Compare the evidences, read the credible newspapers, see the community projects and look at the meritorious achievements and performance-based awards!
APCO is instead suggesting that the process of Unification should start with a Reconciliation
The issues surrounding the supposed PCC-NSW AGM in 2010 that disenfranchised many members from voting should be discussed and resolved so that what caused the continuing rift will not be repeated and hopefully, trust and unity will bless the community.
The history of this contentious issue is: closely prior to the scheduled PCC Annual General Meeting and Elections, several dozens of regular and financial members were not allowed to vote by a committee headed by Elsa Collado, a candidate for president. The aggrieved organisations were denied the right of appeal by the Board headed by Ronaldo Villaver. There was no general membership meeting held, no attendance taken, no annual financial report submitted, and no balloting took place - but Elsa Collado and company were declared winners by the Returning Officer, Manny Diel amidst the grievances due to the above-mentioned anomalies.
Therefore, because of the irresponsible, shameless and self-serving lies circulated re alleged success of “Unification”, the APCO Board unanimously decided that it will hold a Referendum among the general membership on the issue of “Unification” only after the Reconciliation process is concluded.

(Signed)
Pet Storey
President APCO Inc.

UNIFICATION (What Now...?) By Mars Cavestany

Monday, 01 January 2018 19:56 Written by

 

The Unification Movement initiated by PCHN publisher Evelyn Zaragoza since June 2017 has been making inroads into our community life, thus .enhancing the social fabric.
Enhancing the social fabric, means allowing for more and better healthy interactions and expression of shared values, creating deeper sense of awareness and understanding, as well as developing a more critical outlook through logical thinking, rational analysis, as well as investigative accountability of the officials of the various organizations to which we belong.
The end goal of unification is for all members of the community to sustain pro-active, action-driven engagement, ready and willing to help one another especially those with special needs at all times, and be inspired to keep our community a positive, pleasant place to live.
Thus far, there has been two no-holds-barred Unification Discussion Meetings held at the Marayong Community Centre in 20th August and at the Sizzling Filo Restaurant in 22nd October, a complete reportage of which were bannered on this paper.
VOLLEY OF COMPLAINTS
As is the nature of the freedom of expression, we welcome the fact that the very headlines alone of the October issue banner news (UNIFICATION RECONCILES PCC & APCO) along with its matching editorial (PCC AND APCO RECONCILE AT LONG LAST) had launched a volley of complaints.
As well, we are heartened that criticisms are manifold, that is, met with widespread acclaim and praise by some, yet drew enormous negative attention from both camps of PCC and APCO.
However, when passions run high enough, it is understandable that some readers make a litmus test of our reports then make rush conclusions. Too often in the process, they get carried away by their emotions ignoring the actual substance of the news report.
What we're saying is, the accusations levied on us remain on the level of “allegations”, couched in general, motherhood statements without pinpointing specifics. Where have we gone wrong, pray tell?
The general practice when anyone corrects a supposed mistake in anything published is to underline and quote the error, then suggest or offer to rectify it with the appropriately acceptable correction. If we are wrong, certainly we shall be first to publish an erratum. .
None of that appears on both emailed personal response of PCC President as well as that of the official statement of APCO that have been heaped upon on our Unification efforts.
The publisher of this paper and its editor still await concrete and definitive position statements from PCC and APCO even as we look forward to the results of each groups’ further meetings where the most contentious issue of “RECONCILIATION” shall be tackled hopefully in depth and in length.
Meanwhile, we invite readers to have a closer read of the editorial page where much of the “allegations” are addressed.
PCC & APCO MEET AGAIN: TO RECONCILE or NOT AT ALL
Without waving our own flag, fact is, the first three-in-a-series of continuing reportage on the development of the Unification Movement has created quite a stir, enough to get people involved and continuously discussing the crying issues of the day as in the two Unification Discussion/Community Consultation Meetings we have so far conducted.
What is more, the two peak/umbrella groups framed at the centre of the controversy of whether to reconcile or not at all, have now taken notice. The initial fruitful discussions have paved the way towards more argumentations.
As of press time, we are informed that past prexy Kate Andres has taken the cudgels to call for another meeting that will once and for all settle the issue of reconciliation on the side of PCC.
As for APCO, even if an official press release has been issued, we gathered that affiliates who have not been thoroughly informed and appraised of the situation are demanding a consensus that the body agreed to resolve via a referendum.
BROUGHT TO FRUITION
All these developments are positive proof that the original intent of the Unification Movement initiator/convenor Evelyn Zaragoza has been brought to fruition.
To wit: The main objective is to open all communication lines and attract a consensus of opinions from all sectors and members of the Filipino-Australian community as well a fellow Australians that shall serve as springboard for more concerted and definitive actions. (Unification, PCHN Turns 23, June-July issue).
True enough, Unification raised a flood of questions, and it is only a matter of time for these questions to be answered. Surely, it always takes two to tango, but if PCC and APCO simply couldn’t just get along, then we’ll leave it at that.
But let us stop pointing accusing fingers at each other. Do not crucify us for attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable. At least we tried. But it doesn’t end there because of the promise of the Task Force Unification.
When all is said and done, “Unification” is not a fizzer. It has motivated, driven, and caused our community to react responsibly, thereby showing the true picture and state of affairs.
CONGEN MARFORD TEXT MESSAGE
As of this writing, the Consulate has confirmed that the reconciliation meeting between the two presidents only that Consul Marford Angeles proposed to undertake during the Oct. 22 meeting as duly recorded in the minutes, has not materialised for one reason or another. Meantime, Consul Angeles sent us the following text:
(Evelyn please insert in full.)
(All Rights Reserved/Mars Cavestany)

UNIFICATION (What Now...?) By Mars Cavestany

Monday, 01 January 2018 19:55 Written by

 

As of press time, the issue of “reconciliation” between PCC and APCO that was agreed to be arranged by Consul Marford Angeles of the Philippine Consulate has not materialised.
Outgoing Consul Angeles originally set the meeting in his office last 19th November only between Serna Ladia and Pet Storey, PCC and APCO presidents respectively; but he had to cancel it because “something came up.”
To clarify what happens now since the meeting tentatively rescheduled on 29th November did not push through as we found out from the Consulate’s Cultural Officer Rachel Calisin, we sent a follow up email clarifying Consul Angeles’ position to which he texted back and reprinted here in full:
“Thanks as I only got now by email Marz’ message and request for clarification. I am currently waiting for word from Manila if I am to be extended instead of departing this Thursday (30th November 2017). So it’s a bit of a nail-biting time for me, on my birthday, which also happens to be the day I need to pack my things given that I need to move out of my apartment on the 29th. But you’re right, there needs to be closure. Will see if I can set a meeting for the 29th. If I am to go, Manny (new Consul Manny Guzman) should be able to take over the matter with you guys. Salamat for the heads up.”

VOLLEY OF COMPLAINTS
In the meantime, the October issue banner news (UNIFICATION RECONCILES PCC & APCO) along with its matching editorial (PCC AND APCO RECONCILE AT LONG LAST) had launched a volley of complaints from both camps.
The first email “personal” response came from PCC President Serna Ladia dated Nov. 11.
Soon to follow was, the official press release sent by APCO dated 20th November sent to all channels and signed by its President Pat Storey.
Not to be left behind, PCC eventually issued a media release entitled “PCC NSW Statement on Unification” last 21st November citing Ms. Ladia as contact person for further information. .
Criticisms are manifold --met with widespread acclaim and praise by some, but drew enormous negative attention from both camps which has been duly responded to by this writer in an editorialised opinion. (See page 2)
As we go to the press, we gathered that PCC and APCO are consolidating its forces and conducting internal meetings.
(All Rights Reserved/Mars Cavestany)

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FR. PARAS’ GOLDEN JUBILEE By Minerva Santos

Monday, 01 January 2018 19:49 Written by

 

FR RENATO PARAS golden jubilee celebration was celebrated with a mass held at the St. Aidan’s Rooty Hill on Sunday, 26 Nov. 2017.
His legacy to Filipino-Australians is no doubt massive so much so that in the lead-up to his 50th anniversary sacerdotal ordination of Rev Fr Renato Paras, it is but proper and fitting that we contemplate his legacy and offer congratulations and thanks to him for a life of witnessing and service to Filipino Chaplaincy.
The Australian legacy of Fr Renato Paras began with his arrival in Sydney in November 1980, having been assigned by the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) missionaries here for pastoral work among the growing population of Filipinos in New South Wales. A momentous event was the holding of the first ever Filipino mass in Australia on 1 January 1981 at St. Andrew’s Parish Church in Marayong. Fr Renato Paras thus marked his assignment as the first Filipino Chaplain in the history of Filipino migration in Australia. The Filipino Chaplaincy in Sydney was officially established in February 1981 when Cardinal James Freeman, then Archbishop of Sydney, certified Fr Renato Paras SVD as Chaplain of the Filipino community in New South Wales. The continued migration of Filipinos to Australia saw growing communities not just in Blacktown but also other areas in Western Sydney, in Sydney and in NSW.
The early history of the Filipino Chaplaincy is closely intertwined with that of the Filipino Catholic Organization of Sydney or FILCOS as it came to be popularly known. In early 1981, FILCOS was formed, largely due to the initiative of Fr Paras, who had a vision of a Filipino organisation that will promote strong Christian values and spiritual uplift among Filipino migrants in Sydney. He gathered a group of Filipinos from different areas and spelt out his vision. This meeting resulted in the election of the first set of FILCOS officers with Ampy Natividad elected as its first president. Four were designated vice-presidents representing the areas where they lived, namely Reming Biala (Blacktown), Roger Angara (Fairfield), Manny Villon (Kirribilli) and Tony Chiapoco (Marrickville). They in effect were the presidents of their respective chapters. The other officers were Mely Siasat, Secretary; Boy Suarez, Treasurer; Vivian Martinez, Auditor; and Oscar Landicho, P.R.O. Fr Paras was spiritual adviser. FILCOS chapters in Bankstown, Blacktown, Fairfield, North Shore area and Parramatta were established and continued to flourish during the 80s and 90s. In Blacktown, the establishment and growth of FILCOS occurred in relation to the Family Rosary Crusade led mainly by the late Bro. Joe “Tatang” Gonzales where the image of Our Lady of Fatima was brought to Filipino households in rotation for the recitation of the Holy Rosary starting in 1981. A brainstorming session held by Fr Paras, Bro. Joe and Bob Mendoza saw the need for a structure that would promote spiritual and social interaction among Filipino Christian families who were mostly new arrivals in this country within the framework of the Family Rosary Crusade.
FILCOS was the backbone for the administration and operation of the Filipino Chaplaincy until it came under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Parramatta. Filipino Multi-Purpose Centre Now Philippine-Australian Cultural Centre The Filipino Catholic Organisations of Sydney initiated the idea of a Multi-Purpose Centre for the Filipino community and Fr Renato Paras has to get a lot of credit for that vision. The vision and the plan were born and nurtured over the years from as early as 1981 when FILCOS and its original chapters were established. The Philippine - Australian Community Foundation, Inc. was formed as trustee for the MPC in 1990 with Fr Renato Paras as settlor. April 9th 1994 The Multipurpose Centre on Duke Street, Rooty Hill became a reality when Stage 1 was completed in time for its blessing to be held during the FILCOS Blacktown fiesta on 26th March 1995. In 2008 MPC Rooty Hill was subsequently sold and a much larger property in Schofields purchased. Renamed the Philippine-Australian Cultural Centre, this was sold in 2015 paving the way for the purchase of a fully-paid property at 50 Forge Street, Blacktown. Fr Renato remains a staunch supporter of the cultural centre project, proud of his role in its establishment and continuing history. He is still spiritual adviser of the Philippine-Australian Community Foundation Inc. Diocese of Parramatta Fr Renato had been the spiritual adviser, the guiding hand, the father of the community, until a career change in 1993 saw him resign from the Filipino Chaplaincy to be incardinated into the Diocese of Parramatta.
His first appointment as a Diocesan priest was as assistant parish priest in Christ the King Parish in North Rocks. In 1996, Fr Renato was appointed parish priest of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Springwood and then in 1998 as parish priest of St Aidan’s Parish in Rooty Hill where he served for two terms or 13 years. During this time, Fr Renato established a Eucharistic Youth group with the aim of bringing young people closer to God through seminars and retreats. He offered scholarships in piano, guitar and drums to parishioners as well as non-parishioners. He also worked to improve the commitment of volunteers teaching catechism in state schools. In his busy work of providing pastoral care for a huge parish,
Fr Renato’s crowning achievement was the construction of the MacKillop Hall to serve the parish need for meeting, workshop and social space. In October 2011 Fr Renato retired as parish priest of St Aidan’s Parish. Fr Renato’s 30 years of providing pastoral care in Sydney was celebrated by the Filipino community through a theatrical presentation entitled Para Sayo, Amax created by Bob and Belen Mendoza as well as a number of mass celebrations and farewell parties. Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, then Bishop of Parramatta said that Fr Renato should be acknowledged for his ministry not only to the Filipino community but also to the parishes he had served in the Diocese. On 30 October 2011 Bishop Fisher presided at a Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The legacy of Fr Renato was recently recognised when he along with 19 individuals and two organisations were honoured during the celebration of Philippine Australia Friendship Day and National Heritage Month in May 2017 at the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, ACT. The 70th Anniversary Awards were presented to individuals who have contributed to the enhancement of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Australia.
Fr Renato was cited for his contribution in community service through his pioneering role in the Filipino Chaplaincy. Fr Renato’s legacy will be ingrained in the minds and hearts of Filipinos in Sydney for a long time. Fr Renato wishes to be remembered for his legacy of service and witnessing. Service to him is service to the Lord through service to people. Witnessing is living his life in union with Jesus Christ proclaiming God’s word and leading people to believe that God is real.
Thank you Fr Renato, you have brought hope, joy and healing into the lives of so many people and in return may you be blessed with deep happiness and a sense of peace in the years to come.

FR. PARAS’ GOLDEN JUBILEE By Minerva Santos

Monday, 01 January 2018 19:49 Written by

 

FR RENATO PARAS golden jubilee celebration was celebrated with a mass held at the St. Aidan’s Rooty Hill on Sunday, 26 Nov. 2017.
His legacy to Filipino-Australians is no doubt massive so much so that in the lead-up to his 50th anniversary sacerdotal ordination of Rev Fr Renato Paras, it is but proper and fitting that we contemplate his legacy and offer congratulations and thanks to him for a life of witnessing and service to Filipino Chaplaincy.
The Australian legacy of Fr Renato Paras began with his arrival in Sydney in November 1980, having been assigned by the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) missionaries here for pastoral work among the growing population of Filipinos in New South Wales. A momentous event was the holding of the first ever Filipino mass in Australia on 1 January 1981 at St. Andrew’s Parish Church in Marayong. Fr Renato Paras thus marked his assignment as the first Filipino Chaplain in the history of Filipino migration in Australia. The Filipino Chaplaincy in Sydney was officially established in February 1981 when Cardinal James Freeman, then Archbishop of Sydney, certified Fr Renato Paras SVD as Chaplain of the Filipino community in New South Wales. The continued migration of Filipinos to Australia saw growing communities not just in Blacktown but also other areas in Western Sydney, in Sydney and in NSW.
The early history of the Filipino Chaplaincy is closely intertwined with that of the Filipino Catholic Organization of Sydney or FILCOS as it came to be popularly known. In early 1981, FILCOS was formed, largely due to the initiative of Fr Paras, who had a vision of a Filipino organisation that will promote strong Christian values and spiritual uplift among Filipino migrants in Sydney. He gathered a group of Filipinos from different areas and spelt out his vision. This meeting resulted in the election of the first set of FILCOS officers with Ampy Natividad elected as its first president. Four were designated vice-presidents representing the areas where they lived, namely Reming Biala (Blacktown), Roger Angara (Fairfield), Manny Villon (Kirribilli) and Tony Chiapoco (Marrickville). They in effect were the presidents of their respective chapters. The other officers were Mely Siasat, Secretary; Boy Suarez, Treasurer; Vivian Martinez, Auditor; and Oscar Landicho, P.R.O. Fr Paras was spiritual adviser. FILCOS chapters in Bankstown, Blacktown, Fairfield, North Shore area and Parramatta were established and continued to flourish during the 80s and 90s. In Blacktown, the establishment and growth of FILCOS occurred in relation to the Family Rosary Crusade led mainly by the late Bro. Joe “Tatang” Gonzales where the image of Our Lady of Fatima was brought to Filipino households in rotation for the recitation of the Holy Rosary starting in 1981. A brainstorming session held by Fr Paras, Bro. Joe and Bob Mendoza saw the need for a structure that would promote spiritual and social interaction among Filipino Christian families who were mostly new arrivals in this country within the framework of the Family Rosary Crusade.
FILCOS was the backbone for the administration and operation of the Filipino Chaplaincy until it came under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Parramatta. Filipino Multi-Purpose Centre Now Philippine-Australian Cultural Centre The Filipino Catholic Organisations of Sydney initiated the idea of a Multi-Purpose Centre for the Filipino community and Fr Renato Paras has to get a lot of credit for that vision. The vision and the plan were born and nurtured over the years from as early as 1981 when FILCOS and its original chapters were established. The Philippine - Australian Community Foundation, Inc. was formed as trustee for the MPC in 1990 with Fr Renato Paras as settlor. April 9th 1994 The Multipurpose Centre on Duke Street, Rooty Hill became a reality when Stage 1 was completed in time for its blessing to be held during the FILCOS Blacktown fiesta on 26th March 1995. In 2008 MPC Rooty Hill was subsequently sold and a much larger property in Schofields purchased. Renamed the Philippine-Australian Cultural Centre, this was sold in 2015 paving the way for the purchase of a fully-paid property at 50 Forge Street, Blacktown. Fr Renato remains a staunch supporter of the cultural centre project, proud of his role in its establishment and continuing history. He is still spiritual adviser of the Philippine-Australian Community Foundation Inc. Diocese of Parramatta Fr Renato had been the spiritual adviser, the guiding hand, the father of the community, until a career change in 1993 saw him resign from the Filipino Chaplaincy to be incardinated into the Diocese of Parramatta.
His first appointment as a Diocesan priest was as assistant parish priest in Christ the King Parish in North Rocks. In 1996, Fr Renato was appointed parish priest of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Springwood and then in 1998 as parish priest of St Aidan’s Parish in Rooty Hill where he served for two terms or 13 years. During this time, Fr Renato established a Eucharistic Youth group with the aim of bringing young people closer to God through seminars and retreats. He offered scholarships in piano, guitar and drums to parishioners as well as non-parishioners. He also worked to improve the commitment of volunteers teaching catechism in state schools. In his busy work of providing pastoral care for a huge parish,
Fr Renato’s crowning achievement was the construction of the MacKillop Hall to serve the parish need for meeting, workshop and social space. In October 2011 Fr Renato retired as parish priest of St Aidan’s Parish. Fr Renato’s 30 years of providing pastoral care in Sydney was celebrated by the Filipino community through a theatrical presentation entitled Para Sayo, Amax created by Bob and Belen Mendoza as well as a number of mass celebrations and farewell parties. Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, then Bishop of Parramatta said that Fr Renato should be acknowledged for his ministry not only to the Filipino community but also to the parishes he had served in the Diocese. On 30 October 2011 Bishop Fisher presided at a Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The legacy of Fr Renato was recently recognised when he along with 19 individuals and two organisations were honoured during the celebration of Philippine Australia Friendship Day and National Heritage Month in May 2017 at the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, ACT. The 70th Anniversary Awards were presented to individuals who have contributed to the enhancement of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Australia.
Fr Renato was cited for his contribution in community service through his pioneering role in the Filipino Chaplaincy. Fr Renato’s legacy will be ingrained in the minds and hearts of Filipinos in Sydney for a long time. Fr Renato wishes to be remembered for his legacy of service and witnessing. Service to him is service to the Lord through service to people. Witnessing is living his life in union with Jesus Christ proclaiming God’s word and leading people to believe that God is real.
Thank you Fr Renato, you have brought hope, joy and healing into the lives of so many people and in return may you be blessed with deep happiness and a sense of peace in the years to come.

YOU ARE INVITED!

Monday, 27 November 2017 14:27 Written by

Summer Sojourn
End of Year Group Exhibition
29 November - 23 December 2017

 

Exhibition opening with the Artists

to be launched by

Dr. John Yu AC
Australian of the Year 1996
Former Chancellor of University of NSW
Former CEO of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Saturday 2 December 2017
2.30 – 4.30 pm
Art Atrium 181 Old South Head Road Bondi Junction

Ros Auld, Brett Bailey, Jacqueline Balassa, Robert Bennetts, Kate Briscoe, Claudia Chan Shaw, Cindy Chen, Paul Connor, Tony Costa, Blak Douglas, Sophie Dunlop, Janet Fieldhouse, Nick Ferguson, Juno Gemes, Guo Jian, Graham Kuo, Keith Lane, Hyun Hee Lee, Desmond Mah, Dianne Mah, Kaye Mahoney, Melanie McCollin-Walker, Scott McDougall, Lucy Moloney, Chico Monks, Teena McCarthy, David Middlebrook, Max Miller, Clinton Nain, Yiwon Park, Julie Poulsen, Justin Qian, Patrick Shirvington, Phaptawan Suwannakudt, Sweet + Shore, Laurens Tan, Andrew Tomkins, Li Hong, Wang Lan , Stephen Williams, William Yang.

The Spirit of Landscape
Artists in Conversation
Kate Brisco, Paul Connor, Tony Costa
Saturday 9 December
2.30 – 4.30 pm
Art Atrium 181 Old South Head Road Bondi Junction

Summer Sojourn
Art Atrium @ Jones Bay Wharf
Exhibition opening with the Artists
to be launched by
Professor Colin Rhodes
Writer, Artist & Educator &
Former Dean of Sydney College of The Arts
Monday 11 December 2017
6.00 – 8.00 pm
Art Atrium@Jones Bay Wharf
Suite 48 Upper Deck Jones Bay Wharf
26 – 32 Pirrama Road Pyrmont

View Summer Sojourn Catalogue

RSVP to Summer Sojourn Exhibition Opening Sat 2 Dec

RSVP to Artists in Conversation Sat 9 Dec

RSVP to Summer Sojourn @ Jones Bay Wharf Exhibition Opening Mon 11 Dec

 

 

 

Art Atrium wishes to welcome Ros Auld, Kate Briscoe, Paul Connor, Blak Douglas, Juno Gemes, Graham Kuo, Mathew Lynn, Teena McCarthy, Chico Monks & William Yang who have joined our Family of Art Atrium Artists in recent months and we will look forward to an exciting journey together in the years ahead.

Congratulations to Art Atrium artists Jacqueline Balassa, Kate Briscoe, Paul Connor, Sophie Dunlop, Scott McDougall, Patrick Shirvington & Andrew Tomkins for being selected as Finalists in the 2017 Korea-Australia Arts Foundation Art Prize. KAAF Finalists Exhibition is being held at the Korean Cultural Centre, Sydney.

Congratulations to Art Atrium artists David Middlebrook and Cindy Chen for being selected in the Ningbo Museum Artist Residency program in Ningbo, China. Ningbo Museum was designed by highly acclaimed Chinese architect Wang Shu who was awarded the Pritzker Prize in Architecture in 2012. David Middlebrook exhibited in Beijing Biennale at the National Art Museum of China and Cindy Chen exhibited in Art Nova 100 for the top 100 artists under the age of 30 in Today Museum in Beijing in 2017. They will continue their artistic journey in China in the last quarter of 2018.

Art Atrium will be exhibiting at Art Central Hong Kong again in March 2018 with a theme of The Spirit of Landscape and an increased presence featuring five artists - Jacqueline Balassa, Paul Connor, Melanie McCollin-Walker, David Middlebrook and Andrew Tomkins.

Congratulations to Art Atrium artist Julie Poulsen for being the Winner of the Rio Tinto Martin Hansen Memorial Art Awards 2017 which is being held at Gladstone Regional Gallery & Museum from 14 Oct to 7 Dec 2017.

Art Atrium Exhibition Program 2017
21.02.17 to 11.03.17 Andrew Tomkins - Open Cut
20.03.17 to 25.03.17 Art Central Hong Kong - David Middlebrook & Jacqueline Balassa
01.04.17 to 15.04.17 Justin Qian - New Moon
19.04.17 to 06.05.17 Scott McDougall - Signs of Life
09.05.17 to 27.05.17 David Middlebrook - The Unreachable Horizon
31.05.17 to 17.06.17 Guo Jian
21.06.17 to 08.07.17 Blak Douglas & Chico Monks - Land Escape
12.07.17 to 29.07.17 Jacqueline Balassa - The Artist as Traveller
02.08.17 to 19.08.17 Max Miller - Spiritual Landscapes
07.09.17 to 10.09.17 Art Atrium at Sydney Contemporary
27.09.17 to 14.10.17 Wang Lan - Underwater
18.10.17 to 04.11.17 Patrick Shirvington - Unseen
08.11.17 to 25.11.17 Melanie McCollin-Walker - The View From Here
29.11.17 to 23.12.17 Summer Sojourn - End of Year Group Exhibition

Art Atrium @ Jones Bay Wharf Exhibition Program 2017
01.02.17 to 24.02.17 Liz Deep Jones - My Chengdu
01.04.17 to 28.04.17 Claudia Chan Shaw & Cindy Yuen-Zhe Chen
03.05.17 to 26.05.17 Brett Bailey & Andrew Tomkins
05.07.17 to 28.07.17 Phaptawan Suwannakudt - One Whole Apart
31.10.17 to 24.11.17 Keith Lane & Lucy Moloney
11.12.17 to 23.12.17 Summer Sojourn - End of Year Group Exhibition

UNIFICATION RECONCILES PCC & APCO

Monday, 27 November 2017 14:21 Written by

 

By Dr. Mars Cavestany

At long last! After seven years of cold war, PCC and APCO, two of the leading but warring groups confederating many allied groups under each umbrella, have finally agreed to reconcile.

This was one of the significant historical highlights emanating from the second-in-a series of discussion-cum-camaraderie meetings under the banner of UNIFICATION initiated and convened by PCHN publisher Evelyn Zaragoza in her own right and capacity as a community organizer/leader.

The historical date that goes down as a high-water mark in the epic story of the growing Filipino community in NSW is 22 October 2017, recorded from 2:14 – 5:05 p.m. at the Sizzling Filo Restaurant, 13 Railway St., Lidcombe NSW by Acting Secretary, Pamela Ventura, former President of UPAA.

Outgoing Consul Marford Angeles, who acted as moderator, offered to host at the Philippine Consulate office the soon-to-be-carried out reconciliation meeting among the officers of PCC, APCO including a third body comprised of non-aligned groups or people who are not affiliated with either of these two lead organisations.

Additionally, the highly contentious suggestion by businessmen Ed Alcordo to merge the Philippine Independence Day Ball celebrations which has been conducted separately in the past seven years since the break-away of APCO from PCC was put into a vote and unanimously agreed upon by the body. Consul Angeles emphasized the fact that there’s a lot to iron out in terms of mechanics and details of the proposed combined PID celebration which can be discussed in a different meeting after the said reconciliation meeting.

MESSAGES

The prepared agenda and running order ran briskly and without any hitch with past APCO President Jun Salazar delivering the hearty and thoughtfully inspiring opening prayer.

Evelyn Zaragoza’s welcome message set the tone, quoting and reminding everyone of former Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis’ remarks delivered during the first Unification meeting hosted by PCC last August at Marayong Community Centre. (It must be remembered that Congen Louis was immediately appraised and affronted by the prevailing factionalism so she tried to call for a meet to reconcile the two bodies both claiming to be the peak/umbrella organization but failed as it was generally perceived by many pundits in the community then as too early when affected parties are still licking their wounds.

Zaragoza also read the suggested options for conflict resolution prepared by Dr. Mars Cavestany that became the springboard for discussions. Her famous last words: We are not getting younger and let's leave something that will be implanted to the youth. Please think and reflect, it’s not only the name of the organization which we created and worked hard to establish that will be passed on to our next, future leaders. But they are our actions, good deeds, and intangible virtues and values which we shall impart to them like legacy of parents to their children.”

Consul Marford Angeles highlighted the gathering of many talented and skilled people in the meeting, saying that the combination of these needs to be harnessed so we can move forward as a community. He acknowledged the presence of incoming Consul Manny De Guzman who he says would be able to witness the level of achievement that the community can attain. He also acknowledged Ms. Evelyn Zaragoza for organising the meeting, and Mr. Manny Roux for hosting.

Manny Roux, said, among others, that “we are all salt of the earth…relevance has brought us all here.”

Serna Ladia, reckoned that this gathering is an indication “that we have the same objective” and as (current) PCC-NSW President, she would like “to have peace and harmony in the community. Saying that each of us has a responsibility, she called on everyone to rally with one another, to support, to have harmony and to “seek the help of God.”

 

Michelle Baltazar, representing the youth shared 3 observations about the community stating that (a) “We are Filipinos first.”(b)“We don’t have the financial muscle.” (c) We have the social muscle and we are unstoppable if we want to do something. She further stressed: “You are the trailblazers and I am proud of the success you have made.” Noting the importance of unity, she encouraged everyone to reflect on where we want our community to be in 10 years.

 

Ed Alcordo, representing the business sector as President of Australia Philippines Business Council affirmed that “Communities from third-world countries are characterised by disunity and the Filipino community is no exception, however there is unity within the Japanese and Korean communities. He added that “From an outsider’s perspective, there doesn’t appear to be a cause bigger than us.” Comparing and contrasting its CBL’s (constitution and by-laws), he commented that PCC-NSW’s constitution seeks to speak for the Filipino community whilst APCO’s is focused to those individuals and groups who are not represented. He noted that “we should concentrate on things that unite us, not divide us” and mentioned the following great opportunities to shows unity: President Duterte’s state visit to Australia in 2018, Philippine Independence Day celebration, Fiesta Kultura and Philippine Christmas Festival.

Pet Storey, current President of APCO was meant to send Vice-President Charles Chan to read her speech but begged off last minute.

Emailed messages from people who were not able to attend were read out to the body including commentaries from Jun Relunia, Raymond Policarpio, Robert Bock, Marilyn Chun, Lani Larsen, Benjie De Ubago, Manny Diel, Jasper Diaz, and Prof. Mina Roces.

 

DISCUSSION PROPER

The group agreed that something has to be done. Consul Angeles mentioned three options:
• maintenance of the status quo – Let things be.
• merging of the two organisations (PCC-NSW and APCO)
• dissolution of PCC-NSW and APCO or leave them as is then establish a new body

Mr. Bob Alipalo asked what the problem is. Prof. Ed Escultura replied that one of the problems is that there are two separate bodies, PCC-NSW and APCO. He then suggested that these two should unite, at least regarding the Philippine Independence Day (PID) celebration.

Dr. Raul Amor postulated that the strength of the Filipinos – becoming successful individually – is also our weakness and that “we need to find a reason to be united.”

Ms. Daisy Cummings cited that one of our weaknesses is that “we don’t know community leadership” and without knowledge on how to run a community, we’ll be self-centred. She underpinned the importance of “service above self” and that we need a “transformation of intention.”

Ms. Cora Paras pinpointed the lack of humility friendship, acceptance, harmony and bayanihan spirit as a problem. She said that we should consider our young generations and our newer Filipino migrants. She then brought up the idea of starting a “friendship day”, having only one PIDC, and supporting the Philippine Christmas festival next month.

Ms. Solina Lapalma predicated the following points:
• What is it that we really want as a community?
• No group, big or small, can exist if its members are individualistic.
• We need to develop humility, why we want it and how do we get it?

Consul Angeles opted for practical solutions and sure fire projects.

At this point Ms. Fe Hayward of Hayward Real Estate took the floor and presented her proposal to Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali re: building a “Philippine Bahay Kubo” at Narrating Reserve which will serve as a gathering/meeting place for members of the community. She asked help from the attendees to come up with a plan which can be submitted to Blacktown Council. Councillor Linda Santos said that she wants to support this project but asked Ms. Hayward to have the compliances ready.

 

Mr. File Santos, in response to Ms. Hayward, reported that the Knights of Rizal has a project of having a bust of Jose Rizal and a surrounding garden at the Rizal Park in Rooty Hill which will cost $7,500. He said that KOR is proposing this to the local council.

ON PCC

Ms. Ladia highlighted the 27-year existence of PCC and the break-away group (APCO) that was formed only in 2010. She proposed that PCC remains as is and that other groups are welcome to join it.

 

Ms. Evelyn Opals professed that she supports PCC-NSW due to its history, longevity and track record of organising the PID Ball. However, she lamented PCC’s lack of focus and envisions that it must establish a common ground, encapsulating her thoughts in what she calls SWOT analysis:
• Strength – Filipinos are skilled.
• Weaknesses – crab mentality, fear of speaking up
• Opportunities – recognition of political power
• Threat – negative attitudes

Moreover, she defined the importance of volunteerism (commitment and sacrifice), leadership (have a selection criteria and training), and potential contributions to the mainstream community (e.g. participation in Australian of the Year).

OTHER VIEWS & HOLDING A JOINT/ONE PID

Mr. Richard Ford underscored the “biggest thing that happened to the Philippines” which is its independence. Underlining the importance of looking back at history, he suggested that PCC and APCO should still co-exist but have one group on top which will oversee the two, liaise with the government (e.g. councils), and to which we can submit proposals and the like.

Mr. Ed Alcordo delineated the merits of running one PID celebration and called for a vote seconded by Ms. Lapalma.

Mr. Jimmy Lopez spoke for APCO and clarified that they need to go back to their members before they can decide.

Consul Angeles suggested that if Mr. Alcorcon’s proposal could at least be agreed upon in principle (unbinding), then representatives of various organisations may take this up with their respective constituencies.

The body then voted on Mr. Alcorcon’s proposal through raising of hands: in favour – 39, not in favour – 0, abstained – 2 = 41 votes. Consuls Angeles and De Guzman, for obvious reasons, did not vote. There were others amongst the almost perfect attendance of 57 out of 60 RSVP’d cross=section of leaders who were present but did not vote at all.

Mr. Alcordo then offered a second proposal to come up with a committee of 5 members who shall organise the PID celebration.

Ms. Lapalma echoed the common sentiment of people pointing out that the need to bring the matter first to their respective organisations. which prompted Mr. Alcordo to respectfully withdraw this proposal.

WHAT ABOUT PPC & APCO

Mr. Cesar Bartolome streamlined that the final decision on what to do with PCC and APCO lies on their members. He admonished that if ever these organisations are abolished, instead of having an election of leaders, we should follow a “corporate governance” model wherein the officers would be chosen by an independent selection panel that will set the selection criteria and points system.

Ms. Kate Andres agreed with this suggestion and added that “the government can’t respect us if we are not united.”

Councillor Jess Diaz related the experience of having two groups of the Knights of Rizal in the Philippines but these groups were able to work together. He said that we have no legacy that we can leave to the community, citing that we still have no multi-purpose centre. Whilst he agreed that it is good to have the fiesta and PID celebration, he asked in the same breath, “what is the point?” He argued that the community’s lack of political power is precisely what makes it difficult for project proposals to get approved by councils. He pushed instead for PCC and APCO to toy with the notion of one or two-year plan of having “co-presidents”, and, eventually, resolve other intrinsic problems (e.g. clean up the elections).

FINALLY “RECONCILIATION” COMES TO THE FORE

Mr. Jhun Salazar, past APCO President, confirmed that it is true that APCO’s Constitution seeks to nurture its membership. He then called for humility and reconciliation in order for us to unite which was cheered and welcomed by everybody.

Consul Angeles, quick to take the cue, offered for the Consulate to host a historic reconciliation meeting amongst PCC and APCO officials.

Mr. Alipalo suggested that the meeting should include a third body comprised of people who are non-aligned or not affiliated with either of these two lead organisations.

Consul Angeles added that the PID celebration may also be discussed in a different meeting after the said reconciliation meeting.

 

CLOSING REMARKS

Having covered all matters with a fine tooth comb, Ms. Zaragoza thanked everyone who attended the meeting and contributed their views as well as acknowledged the following:
• Manny Roux and the Leon Aguila Association for hosting the event
• Consul Marford Angeles for moderating the meeting
• Pamela Ventura for being the acting secretary
• Rise Roux for recording the meeting
• Sergeants-at-Arms: Jojo Laquian, Ronald Cortez, George Torres
• Photographer: Richard Ford
• People who sent their messages/comments

The closing prayer was led by Fr. Ed Orilla.

 

SUMMARY OF MAIN POINTS RAISED

1. Issue: Two main bodies (PCC-NSW and APCO) which have different objectives. They also have separate Philippine Independence Day celebrations (ball, get-together).

2. Attitudinal problems: disunity; individualistic attitude; lack of humility, harmony, acceptance, bayanihan spirit

3. Lack of proper community leadership – E.g. Importance of knowledge and training in properly running a community; need for selection criteria in choosing the leaders/officers

4. Lack of political power and “financial muscle”

5. Strengths: Skills, education, “social muscle”
6. Opportunities to show unity: Events such as the Philippine Independence Day celebration, Fiesta Kultura, Christmas Festival, President Duterte’s state visit

 

SUMMARY OF PROPOSALS:

1. From Richard Ford: PCC-NSW and APCO to continue co-existing but have one group at the top which will oversee the two, and will also liaise with the government (e.g. councils) and to which we can submit proposals, etc.

2. From Ed Alcordo: Have one Philippine Independence Day celebration – CARRIED. He further suggested that there should be an organising committee for this event.

3. From Cesar Bartolome: In case PCC-NSW and APCO are abolished, establish a new organisation but instead of electing officers, there should be a selection panel that will choose the officers from among qualified applicants. This panel will set a selection criteria and a points system.

4. From Jess Diaz: PCC-NSW and APCO come up with a one or two-year plan to have co-presidents, identify the problems and have resolutions.

5. From Serna Ladia: PCC-NSW to remain as is and the other organisations (APCO, etc.) are welcome to join.

 

NEXT IMMEDIATE ACTION

Reconciliation meeting among officers of PCC-NSW, APCO and non-aligned organisations to be hosted by the Consulate. Meeting to merge PID celebration in one event to follow separately.

TASK FORCE UNIFICATION

As of press time, we received reports that a TASK FORCE UNIFICATION has been created and will be meeting soonest to pick up from where the second meeting left off continue the aims and purposes for which the Unification Movement was kick-started. (All Rights Reserved/MC).

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