Friday, 26 July 2019 11:28


Published in Incoming
Monday, 30 November -0001 00:00

UNIFICATION : More responses

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)

Published in Incoming

Eric C. Maliwat talks to contemporary multi-awarded poet-novelist performer Merlinda Bobis

Literally, apocalypse is from the Greek word "apokalypsis" which means "uncovering" or revelation. But since the Judaeo-Christian narrative from the Bible contains symbolisms that are interpreted to be "signs of the end of the world", people now see the term as referring to the complete final destruction of the world. There is a rise of interest for this genre of literature and film. To prove my point, we can just check out the latest flix which include my favourite film series - Hollywood's XMEN and its latest offering XMEN: Apocalypse. But its creator Stan Lee and even Star Wars' George Lucas may have to share the limelight soon with someone born in Bicol, Philippines and who is now living in Canberra, Australia.

Multi-awarded Filipino-Australian contemporary novelist poet and performer Professor Merlinda Bobis uses the power of imagery in apocalyptic writings, harnessing allegory's capability to challenge real-life issues in her book "Locust Girl. A Lovesong, 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction awardee. I had the privilege to interview her which I am sharing here. You may be able to answer the question above yourself, after considering the profound insights below from our very own Merlinda Bobis.

ERIC: How does literary art engage this techno-generation with what has now become a 'flat and borderless' world yet still facing numerous challenges in protecting its environment? addressing inclusion and crossing borders?

MERLINDA : In this social media era when, through technology, we claim to 'friend' anyone anywhere in what we think is a 'borderless' world, sadly borders are becoming more entrenched especially around issues of race, culture, class, ideology, including the varied positions regarding protecting the environment. It seems so easy to 'friend' anyone and everyone in the abstracted, distanced sense—and yet, how do care about our own neighbours across the road who are different from us? How do we care about the creek in our backyard? I miss the intimacy and honesty, and the presence of care, in the word 'friend' or 'love,' for that matter. I believe literature—telling stories—is one way of saving these human needs and aspirations from becoming mere concepts that are glibly bandied around. Through story, we are able to look deep into the human heart, into human relationships, and into the relationship between the human and non-human, which of course includes our environment. These are what I attempt to do in my novel 'Locust Girl. A Lovesong'—and, in fact, in most of my writings. 'Locust Girl' is about the friendship between two girls who walk the desert to find safe haven beyond the border. It is also about the bond between a girl and a locust that enables them to reach that last green haven at a time when the earth has become a vast dry because of climate change. Through this fantastical fable, I raise the question on the ethics of care: how do we care for those unlike us, really? And who are we saving the planet for—only for the elite, or is this redemption for all of humanity and our shared home? Through storytelling, I hope we are able to return the missed intimacy and honesty, the flesh and blood, to the words 'friend' and 'care'—and to actually live them in the story and, hopefully, even in our daily lives.

ERIC : What do you think about apocalyptic writings regarded as literature of the oppressed, a device using allegories addressing real-life issues? What place does this genre have today that may impact geopolitics and specific challenges societies face? How can they remain relevant and effective?

MERLINDA : Allegory is a potent tool for storytelling and critiquing real-life issues, and apocalyptic writings may harness allegory for the same reasons. In story, we are able to live reality but at the same time examine it with fresh eyes. It seems there is a trend in apocalyptic stories in literature and also in film, probably because we are, in a way, already living the apocalypse. Most of these stories are, in fact, already happening. They unfold like fables giving a warning or 'a lesson' about the most urgent challenges of our times, like geopolitical conflict, climate change, or the movement of peoples locally and globally. All of these realities are in 'Locust Girl.' But don't get me wrong about the word 'lesson.' While writing about the big political issues, the writer cannot be didactic. Remember, storytelling is also about pleasure, about creating a sense of wonder in a space where your listeners/readers can join and live the journey of your characters. It is only when this happens that your allegory, your critique, or your 'warning'—and also your hope or alternative vision—can be relevant to the reader. Story has to be affective to be effective. Moreover, as a writer who engages politics, I cannot just do an interrogation or critique or examination of social realities. I have to dream up the possibility of redemption, of hope, or of a better way of engaging what it means to be human and interconnected with each other and the environment.

ERIC : Would you share us your vision of the years ahead in your sphere of influence? What are you happy to have brought to further enhance multicultural Australia from Philippines?

MERLINDA : I'm keen to adapt 'Locust Girl' and some of my earlier novels into film. 'Locust girl' is a story (and can be a film) about different peoples, races, cultures trying to find some redemption together in an environmentally compromised world. I believe a film about this, which can be enjoyed by young and old, will be relevant in multicultural Australia and also in the Philippines. The Philippines is an archipelago with waters bordering different islands, and with diverse regional cultures and languages, thus daily we deal with differences. More importantly 'Locust Girl', hopefully made popular through film, might be able to inspire us to look beyond our differences and reconnect through a common cause: saving our planet before it's too late. And this salvation cannot just be for the elite or for the chosen few but for all human beings and creatures, and for the water, air, earth. These are our friends too, and we have to care for them as much we do for our closest beloved. If we are to survive, we have to respect and preserve this interconnection among the different beings in our universe. Remember, we are just one of these beings.

A quick look at her website gives us a glimpse of her earlier years. Award-winning writer Merlinda Bobis grew up in Albay, Philippines at the foot of an active volcano, which figures prominently in her writing and performance. As a child her main interest was painting, but at age ten she began writing poetry because ‘painting with words’ was cheaper. She has published novels, short stories, dramas and poems. Her plays have been produced/performed on stage and radio in Australia, the Philippines, Spain, USA, Canada, Singapore, France, China, Thailand and the Slovak Republic. She has performed some of her works as theatre, dance and music.
Merlinda has a Bachelor of Arts (Summa cum Laude) from Aquinas University of Legazpi and a Master of Arts in Literature (Meritissimus) from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila. For ten years she taught Literature and English at Philippine universities before coming to Australia in 1991 on a study grant. She completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong where she taught creative writing for more than twenty years. She continues to dream new stories in Canberra.

'Locust Girl. A Lovesong' was published in Australia by Spinifex Press, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary of publishing this year. The Philippine edition was published by Anvil Publishing Inc. Copies can be bought in both countries by ordering through local bookstores, or directly in Australia from the Spinifex Press website:
Merlinda will be doing a Reading with other Spinifex authors at Collected Works bookstore in Melbourne on 9 July and a Conversation on 'Locust Girl' with her publisher Susan Hawthorne at the Readings Carlton bookshop on 11 July. She will also be participating at the 2016 Canberra Writers Festival on 26-28 August.

For more of Merlinda Bobis, visit her website :

Published in Latest News

MANILA - "It's all in the mindset."
Jayson Lo, a financial coach and inspirational speaker, said this is one of the steps to becoming debt-free.
Lo said it all starts with how we as individuals perceive debt that will allow us to avoid it.
"Kasi kung hindi ka galit sa utang, uutang ka ng uutang. It's all in the mindset, dun nag-uumpisa lahat," he told dzMM.
"Ang importante para makawala sa utang, determined tayong makawala sa utang," he added.
Lo also said controlling spending habits is key in getting finances in order, especially for those who use credit cards.
Having a credit card does not mean having extra money, and it is still necessary to stay within budget to avoid going on a "swiping spree."
"If you cannot afford it in cash, don't buy it," advised Lo, adding that consumers should be wary of purchasing items with "zero percent interest."
"Wala namang kumpanya na charity, lahat 'yan kailangan kumita," he said.
Lo also advised against borrowing money from loan sharks because of the high interest rates. Some loan sharks lend money with interest rates of 5 to 10 percent per month.
"You will be a slave to debt kapag ganyan ang ginawa natin," he said.
He noted that having an emergency fund is also important as it will help during times of need. The emergency fund should be equivalent to living expenses per month.
"Pinakamaganda, at least anim na buwan," said Lo.
Lo reiterated, "Dapat maging galit sa utang. That is the only way para makawala kayo sa utang."

Published in Philippine News

If you want to make your money grow by doing business, this is an event you should not miss!

I got this book from the Israeli ambassador many years ago in Manila and I have "devoured" its contents.(Coincidence was that, before I got this book, I was in communication with the author's mum on a memoir written about Saul Singer's fallen IDF brother! Finding out later that the author of this entirely different genre of book is her son surprised me!) Having had a short study in Israel and has visited The Technion, I have shared what I learnt from the country and the book, in all my university graduation speeches, public lectures, seminars and talks! I am happy that the idea is being generously shared, finally, here in Australia! (Eric C. Maliwat)

"Crowdfunding your way to success - A lesson from Israel"

Thursday 3rd March 2016

With the recent announcement of a number of new government incentives to promote Innovation & Start Ups in Australia, there are lessons to be learnt from Israel – The Start Up Nation

"Twenty years ago, Israel’s biggest export was oranges.... Now it is the World's Start Up Nation."
(Saul Singer, Author- Start Up Nation)

The AICC is delighted to invite you for a boardroom lunch with

Dan Bennett
Managing Director - OurCrowd Australia and Asia
"Crowdfunding your way to success - A lesson from Israel"
Thursday 3rd March 2016

An important part of Israel's VC scene is the concept of "Crowd Funding", which is a growing industry in US and UK.

In 2012 more than one million individual campaigns were established globally and the industry was projected to grow to US$5.1 billion in 2013, and to reach US$1 trillion in 2025.

A May 2014 report, released by the United Kingdom-based The Crowdfunding Centre and titled "The State of the Crowdfunding Nation", presented data showing that during the month of March 2014, more than US$60,000 dollars were raised on an hourly basis via global crowdfunding initiatives. Also during this period, 442 crowdfunding campaigns were launched globally on a daily basis.

Dan Bennett is Managing Director of OurCrowd, the global leader in Equity Crowdfunding which makes venture capital investment opportunities available to its club of 10,000 members straddling 120 countries.

Dan BennettOurCrowd has deployed $250m into 90 global start-up companies in the last two years. OurCrowd benefits from making global venture capital deal flow available to an entirely new group – once only accessed by a small closed club of venture capitalists.

Dan is the former Head of Business Affairs at Future Capital Partners in London which has made venture investments of over $15 billion. Prior to this, Dan was the head of the Australian legal team for Australia's largest renewable energy business, Infigen Energy (formerly a Babcock & Brown Wind Partners). Dan's professional career has focused on financing, investment and deal origination and execution financing. Dan also worked with Minter Ellison Lawyers in their Finance Group.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales. He has 15 years of experience in private banking, investment and law.

Published in Business
Wednesday, 27 January 2016 06:35


Summer heat normally prompts people to drink water, juices or soda. Although I am not a big fan of quenching my thirst with a gulp of soda, I admit I do from time to time.

In particular, I've seen a lot of Facebook and Youtube posts about cola and the "dangers" of drinking Coke. I still drink soda despite (including Pepsi, Sarsi, A&W, etc whichever is available), and even though, initially, I believed the social media campaigns against Coca Cola in particular. I've always thought though that if they are true, how come after decades of soda intake, nothing of the sort of what I see in the videos are have to me, God forbid!

Now, here's an article for your consideration. It's up to you to believe, even partially or otherwise, or contest! Just give it a thought and I am not in any way promoting Coke consumption. Just being fair so we get to check both sides of the social media "campaigns".

Cheers! (Eric C. Maliwat)

*Claim:* The acids in Coca-Cola make it harmful to drink.


*Example:* Collected on the Internet, 2001.

1. In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the
truck to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.

2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in
two days.

3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl . . .
Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean.

4. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.

5. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a
crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

6. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of
Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.

7. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the
rusted bolt for several minutes.

8. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan;rap
the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is
finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke
for a sumptuous brown gravy.

9. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of
greasy clothes, add detergent, And run through a regular cycle. The
Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze
from your windshield.


1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It's pH is 2.8. It
will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.

2. To carry Coca Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must
use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly Corrosive

3. The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of
their trucks for about 20 years! Drink up! No joke. Think what coke and
other soft drinks do to your teeth on a daily basis. A tooth will
dissolve in a cup of coke in 24-48 hours.

*Origins:* Many of the entries above are just simple household tips
involving Coca-Cola, as provided by Joey Green in his 1995 book /Polish
Your Furniture with Panty Hose/ and on his web site.

That you can cook and clean with Coke is relatively meaningless from a
safety standpoint: you can use a wide array of common household
substances (including water) for the same purposes; that fact alone
doesn't necessarily make them dangerous to ingest.

Nearly all carbonated soft drinks contain carbonic acid, which is
moderately useful for tasks such as removing stains and dissolving rust
deposits (although plain soda water is much better for some of these
purposes than Coca-Cola or other soft drinks, as it doesn't leave a
sticky sugar residue behind). Carbonic acid is relatively weak, however,
and people have been drinking carbonated water for many years with no
detrimental effects.

The rest of the claims offered here are specious. Coca-Cola does contain
small amounts of citric acid and phosphoric acid; however, all the
insinuations about the dangers these acids might pose to people who
drink Coca-Cola ignore a simple concept familiar to any first-year
chemistry student: concentration. Coca-Cola contains less citric acid
than does orange juice, and the concentration of phosphoric acid in Coke
is far too small (a mere 11 to 13 grams per gallon of syrup, or about
0.20 to 0.30 per cent of the total formula) to dissolve a steak, a
tooth, or a nail overnight. (Much of the item will dissolve eventually,
but after a day or two you'll still have most of the tooth, a whole
nail, and one very soggy T-bone.) By comparison, the gastric acid in
your stomach's digestive fluids is much stronger than any of the acids
found in Coca-Cola.


Allen, Frederick. Secret Formula.
New York: HarperCollins, 1994. ISBN 0-88730-672-1 (p. 209).
Pendergrast, Mark. For God, Country, and Coca-Cola.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993. ISBN 0-684-19347-7 (p. 191).
Poundstone, William. Big Secrets.
New York: Quill, 1993. ISBN 0-688-04830-7 (p. 25-46).

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