Evelyn Zaragoza

Evelyn Zaragoza

Sunday, 16 September 2018 23:43

Campbelltown City’s Kalayaan 2018


The vibrant Filipino community of the Campbelltown and Macarthur Region celebrated the 120th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence with a joint Flag Raising ceremony at the City Council Lawns followed by a cultural program and lunch at the Campbelltown Civic Centre on 16 June 2018. It’s the 12th year official celebration of Philippine National Day of the Campbelltown and Region Filipino Community Council (CRFCC) Inc. in coordination with the Campbelltown City Council and with the Philippine Consular General Sydney.

Consul Melanie Diano, representing Consul General Ma. Teresa L. Taguiang and Mayor George Brticevic jointly raised the National Australian and Philippine flags. Greg Warren MP for Campbelltown raised the Aboriginal Flag and Cr.Rey Manoto raising the Campbelltown City Council Flag. Labor Councillors Margaret Chivers, Masood Chowdhury and Ben Gilholme also graced the occasion and welcomed the attendees. CRFCC Youth Ambassador Nelwyn Dejillo sang both anthems acapella.

Yours truly, CRFCC President warmly welcomed all attendees who braved the chilly winter morning reiterated Consul Melanie Diano’s highlight on the Kalayaan 2018 Theme of “Pagbabagong Ipinaglaban, Alay sa Masaganang Kinabukasan translated: Change We Fought For, An Offering for an Abundant Future. The proud Filipino Campbelltown community had envisioned it for years that by working together we can achieve the shared goals of growth, prosperity and harmony in our birth country the Philippines and our adopted country Australia most especially in our City of Campbelltown.

Showcasing the culture with songs and dances followed with performers Ms Gilda Pagaduan acclaimed Filipino vocalist, Mr. Yves Personnel President of the Combined Churches of Macarthur with his Latino songs and a touch of Elvis Presley and the colourful dancing of the Muslim dance ‘BILAAN’ and ‘SALAKOT’ performed by AUS Min Dancers Annie Benitez and Vi Espejo Loveliness

Greg Warren MP State Member for Campbelltown presented a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of the 120th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence to the Philippine Consular General and the Campbelltown and Region Filipino Community Council.
Consul Melanie Diano accepted the Certificate on behalf of the Hon Consul General Ma.Teresa L.Taguiang and Lourdes Kaiser President of the Campbelltown and Region Filipino Community Council Inc


Greg Warren MP and Consul Melanie Diano proudly led the Toast for Australia and the Philippines respectively.

Yours truly warmly welcomed and thanked the Councillors who stayed on for the Cultural Program in Councillors Margaret Chivers, Rey Manoto, Masood Chowdhury and Ben Gilholme, Gerald Kenneally Director of Kenneallys Funerals Campbelltown and all Suburbs, major Sponsor of CFRCC’s events, Shefali Pali Proprietor of Alkalizer Cafe and Restaurant donor of the delicious Morning Tea, PCC- NSW President Serna Ladia and Board, the wonderful performers Gild Pasadena, Yves Peronecc, Annie Benitez and Vi Espejo Loveliness for showcasing the cultural Muslim Dance “BILAAN” and the “Salakot”, to Mr Graeme Chivers Campbelltown Labors Councillors camera man who covered the whole proceedings.

A heartfelt thanks was extended to the wonderful CRFCC Team for its dedication, commitment and professionalism in Renee Estrella CRFCC Secretary and gracious Master of Ceremonies, Connie Ramsey CRFCC VP . Pikes Garcia, Cora Michel, Elsa Collado, Marie Zawadka, Diane Vedala, Wilma Donney, Lita Smith, Cirila Freeman, Ellen and Manny Padilla
and to the Filipino community

The proud and vibrant Campbelltown Filipino community has once again displayed a marvelous celebration of community and culture.

A sumptuous Lunch followed with plenty of selfies!


Happy Independence Day! MABUHAY!

Photos : Courtesy of Mr. Graeme Chivers.


Sydney, 29 August 2018 – Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney celebrates the vibrant flavours of Filipino cuisine at the Philippine Food Festival, returning for its sixth year at Café Mix from 20 to 30 September 2018.

Flown in especially for the occasion, guest chefs from Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Manila will showcase a diverse array of Filipino dishes for guests and food enthusiasts alike to savour.

Sydney-siders will feast their senses on an authentic selection of dishes, such as Sisig, Lechon (Pork Belly), Chicken Inasal and Adobong, to name but a few on the curated Filipino menu.

Delivering the sweetest of finales, the dessert station will feature traditional Filipino treats, as well as a live Halo-Halo station and a colourful display of Executive Pastry Chef Anna Polyviou’s desserts.

Filipino food is an intricate pattern of Spanish, Western, Chinese, Japanese and Pacific Islander flavours that serve as living proof of the country’s rich cultural history. Consisting of 7,000 islands, the Philippines has a tropical and humid climate, resulting in a rich and fertile soil that cultivates an abundance of fresh produce and herbs.

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney’s Executive Chef Hemant Dadlani is excited to celebrate the hotel’s sixth Philippine Food Festival at Café Mix.

“Continuously attracting the interest of the Filipino community and food aficionados, our guest chefs from Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Manila will deliver tantalising dishes that capture the uniqueness of Filipino culture,” Chef Dadlani said.

The Philippine Food Festival is presented in partnership with Philippine Airlines and the Philippine Department of Tourism.

Café Mix has fast become known as a home for international food festivals and a sumptuous seafood selection. The Philippine Food Festival is available from Monday to Thursday during the buffet lunch from noon to 2:30 p.m. at $65 per person and during the buffet dinner from 6.00 to 10:00 p.m. The seafood buffet dinner is available from Friday to Saturday from 6.00 to 10:00 p.m. at $85 per person. For bookings, call 02 9250 6000 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information, visit www.shangri-la.com/sydney.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently operates over 100 hotels with a room inventory of over 41,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in Australia, Bahrain, mainland China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. For more information, please visit www.shangri-la.com.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 18:08


Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 18:04


All the single dads

In 2016, 76 per cent of single dads with children under 15 worked 35 hours or more a week, compared with 87 per cent of dads in couple families with children under 15. This is a slight drop from 77 per cent and 90 per cent respectively a decade earlier.

In comparison for 2016, 42 per cent of single mums with children under 15 worked 35 hours or more a week, compared with 38 per cent of mums in couple families with children under 15.

This is increase from 39 per cent for single mums and no change (38 per cent) of mums in couple families with children under 15.
Sourced from 2016 and 2006 Census.





Leave in the labour force

Levels of parental leave taken by fathers varies between occupation and industry.

In 2016-17, managers were more likely to use parental leave than those in non-managerial roles (true for mothers as well as fathers). Dads who work in the Financial and Insurance Services industry are the most likely to take primary parental leave (for mothers it is mining).

The industry with the lowest overall take up of primary parental leave among fathers was Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (for mothers it was Public Administration and Safety).

8 per cent of dads whose youngest child was aged 0 to 5 years and 9 per cent of dads whose youngest child was aged 6 to 14 years are employed part-time. (This compares with 61 per cent and 50 per cent of mums respectively).

Sourced from Gender Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 4125.0).




Dads the word

Fathers are increasingly playing a family role in supporting the informal learning of their children, especially as children grow older.

In around 19 per cent of couple families with children aged 0-2, mums and dads equally shared their involvement in their children's informal learning, while dads took the lead in 6 per cent of families and mums took the lead in 67 per cent.

As the children grew older, dads grew more involved: in around 23 of couple families with children aged 3-8 mums and dads shared their involvement in their children's learning equally, while dads took the lead in 11 per cent, and mums in 64 per cent of these families (Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2017 (cat. no. 4402.0)).

In 2016 over three quarters of dads in couple families with children under 15 provided unpaid child care for their own children, up from 72 per cent a decade earlier (2016 and 2006 Census).




The multicultural face of fathers

Australian dads come from a wide range of places.

In 2016, 38 per cent of dads in couple families with children under 15 were born overseas, up from 31 per cent a decade earlier.

In 2016, around 20 per cent of dads who were born overseas were born in Southern Asia, with 13 per cent born in the UK and 8 per cent each born in Chinese Asia and New Zealand. This compares to 2016 when around 20 per cent of dads born overseas were born in the UK, 9 per cent in New Zealand with 7 per cent each born in Southern Asia, Middle East and Mainland South-East Asia.

Just over a quarter of single dads in 2016 with children under 15 were born overseas (27 per cent), with 17 per cent of these born in the UK, 12 per cent in NZ and 8 per cent in Chinese Asia. The overall proportion was similar to 2006 when it was 26 per cent, with 21 per cent of these born in the UK, 12 per cent in NZ and 7 per cent in Mainland South-East Asia.

Sourced from 2016 Census.




In 2016, dads of children under 15 were most likely to work in construction (16 per cent), while mums were most likely to work in health care and social assistance (23 per cent of mums in couple families and 25 per cent of single mums).

In 2006, dads of children under 15 were most likely to work in manufacturing (16 per cent), while mums were most likely to work in health care and social assistance (19 per cent of mums in couple families and 21 per cent of single mums).

Sourced from 2016 and 2006 Census.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 18:00

Flexible fathers


An increasing proportion of dads utilising flexible working arrangements to play a role in bring up children.

In 2017, 30 per cent of dads took advantage of flexible work hours to look after young children (under 12), compared with 16 per cent of dads in 1996..

Proportion of dads working from home to care for their children more than doubled over the same time (from 7 per cent to 15 per cent), while the proportion of dads who worked part-time to care for their children rose from 1 per cent to 5 per cent.

The proportion of families where fathers used work arrangements to care for their children increased from 26 per cent to 42 per cent over the past two decades, while those where mothers used work arrangements to care for their children remained constant at around 70 per cent across the same period.

Comparisons made between 1996 and 2017 sourced from Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2017 (cat. no. 4402.0)

Caveat emptor! Do not be deceived by whatever version of the intriguingly-sensationalised news passing from mouth-to-mouth within our immediate community these days.

The essential truth, the so-called tissue behind the issue, or just precisely what’s the matrix underpinning the bannner news which paints APCO seemingly in disarray -- is not at all contained in the simple almost implausible case of ASSSAULT lodged by its first elected President who has been unabashedly pandering as Founding President to everone’s chagrin and disagreement.

In truth, all those who joined the historical break-away from PCC in 2011 and formed APCO are “founding” members. It s not as if APCO was a germane idea of one but many disgruntled PCC former affiliates now disgruntled anew over the “gross and unprofessional conduct of some community leaders” which accordingly, “is a shame to us all.” Furthermore, “also ignoring the organizations Constitution is a disgrace to the members.”)

The accused happens to be the current Vice President Senior, who when all is said and done, is rightfully the President- elect and not she who was but unceremoniously if unconstitutionally appointed by Her Highness.

In the final analysis, it was one’s overweening pride/bloated ego, as it appears from a compendium or conflation of words, manners, and means -- that was truly brushed aside, belittled, and hurt, ergo totally assaulted.

After the name-calling and pointing of accusing fingers, it boils down to the basic DNA of it all - a question of leadership.

Who’s who is the real commander of the ship ? Is he/she the one who by sheer force of circumstances or say historicity was, from day one, endowed with some kind of a carte blanche, a free reign to rule and lord it over so to speak, as the steering hand of the organization, even when her term has been served and that those who followed Her Highness were but mere executors of her pervasive will, power and control -- directly or indirectly, wittingly or unwittingly.

It is almost a cliche for us Filipino-Australians who have all experienced how its is to be under a tyrannical, despotic, dictator such Filipino maxim that beholds: “Sinumang nagha-“Hari”-harian, ay palaging may mapait na katapusan,” (He who pretends to be King, always succumbs to a bitter ending.)

We all reach critical points in our lives, where our mental toughness is tried and tested. That’s when we all cry foul, enough is enough! It may happen between you and a toxic friend or colleague, exist in a dead-end job, or persist within a struggling relationship. In worst case scenario, it may just unexpectedly explode out-of-the-blue, between and amongst long-time friendly, cooperative, undoubtedly selfless, committed members of an organization whereupon the collectively conclusive decision as to who do we really rally behind in the end becomes the big ask.
Such is APCO’s concern these days.
A relevant, parallel story has been told that “when Thomas Edison’s factory burned to the ground in 1914, destroying one-of-a-kind prototypes and causing $23 million in damage, Edison’s response was simple: Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start fresh again.” True indeed, Edison’s reaction makes for that defining moment, a splendid epitome of mental toughness—in this case, seeing and seizing the opportunity and taking definitive action when things look weak, meek, and bleak.
At long last, all the muffled little questions here and there, now and again appearing and disappearing in thin air will all be put to light, correcting but not necessarily “burning” the mistakes as in our case in point.
Whatever may be the challenges that confront APCO’s current Board of Directors and general membership, they have to break away from the age-old often proving to be counterproductive “utang na loob” (debt of gratitude) and “pakikisama” (tending to border on blind obedience) attitudes. It’s not all that easy to break friendships that had seen better days but mental toughness makes one strong in moments of indecision. The strength and courage of your conviction makes you even stronger to look beyond impenetrable barriers.
What is more, the ability to listen and discern what the mob is beginning to complain about gives rise to an informed consensus of opinions. If called for, people must demand an open accounting of funding grants. Here lies the rub! It is most likely that people get stuck especially where personal reputation is pitted against general standing of the organization they all hold dear.
From our end, the ability to break the mould and take bold, gritty, daring stances is what we can safely offer our APCO comrades. Whatever the challenges and stakes are, stay calm, cool, collected and strong, realising deeper perspectives but generally seeing things with objective lenses. Finally, take your decisive actions collectively if you have to weave through it all successfully. That’s how APCO shall set themselves apart and make their mark in history. Amen! (Mars Cavestany/All Rights Reserved)

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