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)
Following the call for unification passionately and unstoppably began by Evelyn Zaragoza and promoted solely by PCHN as its 23rd anniversary celebration’s underlying theme, the possibility of UNIFICATION is indeed gaining steam.
As of that fateful day of Sunday 20th of August 2017, the first concrete and major step towards UNIFICATION happened via an open discussion on the subject held at Marayong Community Centre with the imprimatur of the Philippine Community Council (PCC).
A brief inspirational talk by outgoing Consul General Anne Jalandoon-Lois started the ball rolling. She stressed the importance of “community building” and called for the crowd of about 150 people in the audience to “rebuild and strengthen” the very foundations of the Filipino community.
After a quick run-down of PCC’s 3 annual sustaining events (the annual Independence Ball and , X-Mas at Tumbalong Park plus PADER), Malynne Andres-Chun, one of the past presidents of PCC who has been tasked to act as rapporteur efficiently laid down the strictly 3-minute parameter given each speaker.
UNIFICATION initiator Evelyn Zaragoza talked first and said “EVELYN please quote from your speech” When queried as to where the whole idea began she said the impetus came
Kate Andres, a two-time serving past president spoke of her love for an organization whose existence she has defended through the years. In the same breath, she acknowledged however that the present is “different from yesterday” and some damages done before are “irreparable” thus thinks that “merging is not a good idea” and opts instead to “start anew” with “new constitution” and all that.
Another past president now elected Councillor of Campbelltown suggested to “start from a clean state, zero, scratch—forming a discussion group that will brainstorm ideas first with no pre-conditions from both parties.” referring to PCC and APCO.
Other past presidents also spoke. Jun Relunia emphasized that the end goal should be towards “inclusion” with “one voice” to promote the common interests and shared benefits for the Philippine-Australian organizations.”Elsa Collado warned against many who want to be President and opined that ‘if two groups both do not want to dissolve then the possible option is to co-exist and collaborate without having to change names.”Rick de Vera, who claims that perhaps he was the oldest in the group, repeated the age-old expression “PCC will always be PCC” and alluded that to inn-fighting, confrontation, and separation happens even amongst couples and siblings. Current prexy, Serna Ladia, thanked everyone who took time out to share many “good ideas “out of which we all “decide which one is the best” even as she cautioned everyone as to “how e portray ourselves” and emphasized that “change must come from within.”
More Passionate Opinions
The robust UNIFICATION discussion per se which lasted almost two hours gave vent to various impassioned calls for “pagkakaisa” (unity) in terms of objectives, goals, purposes, vision and mission all for the greater benefit and welfare of and all Filipino-Australians.
Famous artists likewise inputted their ten cents worth of ideas kicking-off with veteran entertainer Lilian de los Reyes echoing ala-Hamlet, “to dissolve or not to dissolve”, that is the question saying that “everybody is capable” and regardless of whether you are in a position or not the important thing is to “put our efforts together.” Stage director Armando Reyes questioned everyone “what are we really prepared to give willingly” and reminded the leaders that if necessary “start again from the very beginning” with only one all-embracing “objective”. Visual artist-Daisy Cumming, a PCC drop-out and formerly associated with APCO expressed “to let the past be an experience for us to learn and unlearn:
“and bewared of ego-tripping and “self-centeredness.” Arts scholar-critic-educator Mars Cavestany summarized and philosophised three strands of thought pervading in the discussion: “that there exists factional war in the corridors of power; that it has been going on for 7 years and has spiralled out of control therefore we must act now; and that our fates are inextricably linked as ‘ka-puso’ and ‘kapamilya” and re-echoed Congen’s return to the basics of community building.”
Many other similar and divergent opinions were recorded and have been painstakingly transcribed and are printed on page 17 together with extracts from the numerous emails received by Ms. Zaragoza condensed for everyone to run through the plurality , diversity, and exquisiteness of thoughts and feelings expressed by one and all .
1. Ms. Zaragoza further noted and deemed it most important for PCC to disseminate the informational emails to all its affiliates especially those not present in the first meeting. The body agreed that there ought to be a series of further discussions encouraged by PCC as well as APCO to ensure diverse voices are heard and all are fully informed throughout the long process of dialoguing, consultation and synthesizing that hopes to arrived at a conclusive solution to the issue of UNIFICATION, which has been summarized as any of the following possibilities:
1. MAINTAINANCE of the STATUS QUO (As is, Where is)
-No room for unification
-Mind your own business; live and proceed separately based on track record and harvest of achievements and avowed goals
To each our own efforts, own mistakes/flaws, own innovations/changes/concrete projects that impact and benefit the Filipino community at large
- Let history decide
-Both groups agree to a united call for Reconciliation, Healing, Collaboration and Peaceful Co-existence
- Baptise/rename the merged groups with a new overarching/encompassing title e.g.
Philippine Council & Alliance of Community Organizations.(PCACO); Filipino-Australian Council of Elders and Confederation of Community Organizations (FACECCO), United Philippine –Australian Umbrella Organization (UPAUO), Philippine Community Alliance Inc-, NSW ( PCAI-NSW) etc.
-Charter Change ( Create a Volunteer Steering Committee who shall review both Constitutions, amalgamate, amend/correct flaws and weaknesses, and institute checks and balances thus resetting/creating an updated version)
-Create an Advisory Board (Council of Elders) composed of past PCC and APCO Presidents
-Call for a general Assembly of combined PCC and APCO affiliates plus possibly new non-aligned groups and Elect an Omnibus group of X number Board of Officers who shall elect themselves to specific posts (e.g. Pres, VP’s, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor, PRO, Committee Heads etc) as shall have been previously discussed and agreed upon in the revised Constitution & By-Laws
-Enlarge/strengthen membership by inviting/enlisting non-aligned groups
3. DISSOLUTION & CREATION OF A TOTALLY NEW PEAK/UMBRELLA BODY
- Dissolve both PCC and APCO or leave them as they are and
- Start anew via the creation of a volunteer, people-initiated Constitutional Convention that shall formulate a new Constitution & By- Laws based on and inspired by PCC and APCO’s common vision and mission
-Ratify the new Constitution via General Referendum (Before the Constitution could become the law governing the operation of peak body of the community , it would have to withstand public scrutiny and debate then signed/ratified by the majority of Filipino-Australians in NSW.)
- Elect a new set of officers composed mostly of younger leaders with the option to invite past PCC and APCO Presidents as Council of Elders/Advisory Consultative Board
The following extracts represent the summation of ideas and consensus of opinions from various individuals initially responding to the call for UNIFICATION headed by Evelyn Zaragoza, who via the 23rd anniversary issue of the Philippine Community Herald Newspaper called for “reconciliation, fruitful co-existence, and over-all healing by adapting a new collective body with one voice, one direction as well as common goals and aspirations for the betterment of the Filipino community.” Highlights (excerpts) of other wide-ranging responses are as follows:
• There is great potential in the community – to do more, achieve more, help each other more, and promote the interests of the community more. In the true spirit of bayanihan, we can move forward and progress. But this requires a collective resolve and a determination to put the interest of the body above the interests of a few. A strong and united Filipino community would be better able to present and have its voice heard by the government, by the media, by members of civil society, and other stakeholders.(CONSUL GENERAL ANNE JALANDO-ON LOUISE)
• There is so much talent in the Australian-Filipino community that if harnessed less than one roof, or one title, we can move mountains. As one unified group, we may have stronger stand to attain solid benefits and greater access to government – of all levels, in terms of grants, land etc. It will also be more effective when we hand over the reins to the next generation without discounting the selfless sacrifices and efforts of existing and past organizations. (LINDA GERONIMO SANTOS)
• Just take steps/devise strategy to reconcile and aim to have one peak body. A successful outcome will raise our esteem, achieve more, leave lasting legacy and bring glory to our Motherland. The status quo has been a continuing embarrassment to us all and to no one’s credit and any achievements are marred or tainted by self-pride. (JESS DIAZ)
• There were scenarios before: (a) first 3 years of PCC (with Manique group) ;( b) with PASC and Lolita not recognizing PCC? (c) then breakaway of APCO.? If there’s something wrong on both sides, it’s the people running them. All personalities -- and instead of looking at the organization and how they can help, they look at their personal agenda. Tama na nga! ( RIC DE VERA)
• Merge APCO, PCC and other groups under the one roof and under a new name. We make it harder for ourselves to embrace the opportunities and challenges. I also feel like a child of divorced parents. Let's look back in history and say that 2017 was the year we set things right. I call on our present leaders to show us the way and be the change they want to see in the community.(MICHELLE BALTAZAR)
• The only way to do the Unification is to dissolve both bodies and have a new name, new constitution, new address, in short RENEW everything. (LILLIAN DE LOS REYES)
• This is possible if everyone is willing to sacrifice, to embrace togetherness, and to move on. This will be our best gift for the next generation of Filipino Australian community servants” (JUN RELUNIA)
• Establish a unification team that will be composed of non partisan members, people who can share their thoughts without being subjective to their own interest.” (AMOR RAMOS)
• No need to dissolve either bodies They should just have their leaders involved before in the breakaway/split to clear the air. Unity can be achieved when parts agree to work together with one goal for the benefit of all. (CORA PARAS)
• To ensure an effective and peaceful transition of power for these 2 rival umbrella groups should vacate their roles/positions and start a fresh election. A new mandate will enable the reunified group particularly their low ranking officers who have been top performers for many years but unable to get to get a chance to be nominated and occupy the top echelon of the organization. (FRANCIS (Boy) DE LOS SANTOS)
• Let’s start with a clean slate, out with the old guard and in with the new! This is not easy but with goodwill and popular support, combined with dynamic leadership, it could succeed. (NENITA WEEKES)
• Issue-based partnership (is the answer). Structurally, a working party is established that will manage to fruition the achievement of the objective or resolution of the issue. Partnership relies on collaborative actions through a formal organisational structure to achieve a specific goal that is common to partners and/or stakeholders. (AIDA MORDEN)
• It's about time that this subject of unification is discussed openly Time for all of us to walk the talk, not just talk the talk. Draw out a volunteer management plan to avoid overstaying and burn out because they do everything year after year, with the same ideas - stagnant and outdated events. (Michaela Ramas)
• Like the government leaders in Western countries our basis and format is G20, G30 or G40 depending on membership. Only Pres and one VP to represent organization members (must be legitimate & registered minimum members). To satisfy both parties change of new name must be coined from two existing names. Sample - Philippine Council & Alliance of Community Organizations. New constitution, mission and objectives must be derived from both.(MANNY B. CASTILLO)
• Both parties (should) nominate 3 mediators each and hopefully you can find a common nominee who will chair the mediation process. (IMELDA ARGEL).
• Convene a transition United Philippine Australian Umbrella Organization chaired by Dr Zen Amores and Ms. Ladia as Vice-Chair. The rest of the office becomes the transition board tasked to draft a new constitution and bylaws, policies and regulations. Then live happily ever after.(TOM BAENA)
• We need to embark upon some basic principles of unity – the need to have a common identity or vision, a campaign to influence the younger generation. (DAISY ANN GONZALEZ-CUMMING)
• Our elders are taking us back in their past when they newly migrated to Australia, with a lot to prove then, still thinking of past glories. But in our time now, we have assimilated.(ALBERT FRIAS )
• Set aside jealousy and intrigues so typical in our culture then unification should work out. (VIA HOFFMANN)
• To tell all, no holds-barred- in reasonably colorful language is a testament to our indomitable democratic spirit, our resilient culture, and our unfathomable valor as Filipino-Australians. When more unified voices coexist and coalesce, UNIFICATION, naturally reigns supreme. (MARS CAVESTANY)
• I am all for One Direction. Maybe about time we solve this division in our Community. I believe that what we do as individuals or in a group is just as relevant as what the "other groups" are doing. In our Faith COMMUNITY, we talk about justice, equality, fairness, love and forgiveness. I advocate peace and understanding in my line of work. Be a proud, unified Filipino- Australian enjoying this very sublime country we now call home. Mabuhay! (EMILY RUDD)
• Let us involve our young people to assist us in sharing our ‘community building capacity’ so we can be a stronger TEAM –working together and responding to all age groups. Old leaders should show more sense of humility and build up their capacity to be mentors, not tormentors. No ego players please! Let us stop these people from monopolizing’ (PENNY PERFECTO)
• I have seen how the two groups have operated and ran its organization and meetings. I also seek unity but am also wary of what motivation has been behind a lot of the people's well meaning comments. Unity must mean being of one mind, one objective, respect and non-ego seeking motivation but to seek only the betterment of the Filipino-Australian community on the whole. So until we can do that and set aside difference and corruption to enable accountability for each board member to its peers, I am sorry to say it will never be appealing to the younger upcoming youth. ( RICHARD FORD)
• I tried my hardest to keep an open mind, but I gave up. A peak body that celebrates Filipinos thru an annual ball lacks the creativity and foresight to serve their very own people. Furthermore, the vision and mission of PCC-NSW seems to be limited, lack creativity and many of its former leaders are more on a power trip with the title/status given to them. I've been a member and director in the past, and I've now removed myself from any future dealings with PCC-NSW for these very reasons. (MIKO SELORIO)
• Let us look at the bigger picture. What is it do we desire to accomplish as Filipino Australian in this beautiful country of ours - Australia? (LUZ PRESS)
• Very ambitious objective. Go for it. You might just be able to get it happening and going! (ROD DINGLE
• UNIFICATION issue to be confined to organisations only and nothing to do with personal matters and personalities. It would be nice (if rather naive) to think that these Filipino organisations are totally independent of personal matters and personalities. (DIZZY DIZON)
• Send both organization’s leaders to Mindanao to prepare soup kitchen to indigenous people to prove their sincerity to serve the less fortunate.(MARX CANOY)
• Interesting. Yes there is definitely a benefit to have a stronger voice so that we can raise issues of importance to us. (MARISSA MEYN)
• YEMCHA – (Yes to Merger and Change!) Reprepresentatives from both organizations will meet for the Unification Process for a definite period of time and at which cost will be borne by both parties. Among the topics to be considered are: type of organization of the new body; winding up and dissolution of the affairs of the Council and the Alliance, determination-selection process, celebration. Finally, an end to conflict of ideas and of personalities (MANNY ROUX)
• I am young and new. Hindi ko alam kung ano talaga ang punot dulo ng conflict. I am disappointed with what I saw and what I observed. I said to myself I don't want to be a member anymore dahil wala akong mapulot na magandang values sa mga leaders. As a new member, I can consider myself as an active supporters to the Filipino community most specially when there is a fundraising para sa ating mga less fortunate na kababayan sa Pilipinas pero what I can observe is para lang sa mga kapakanan ng may mga katungkulan. (ALMA MIDDLEBROOK)
• True humility and generosity are the top factors to unity and peace. Only with these two values can one avoid being self-centered, hence will become more objective and focused on the vision/mission. Hope it will materialise. (SOL LAPALMA)
• Wouldn’t it look better if the headline speaks: APCO and PCC sets aside difference merges to establish Filipino community peak body? This is me thinking ideally but if people involved in the conflict cling on to their ego, pride, and personal interests, unification will remain an afterthought. (DAVE TAN)
• With the split of PCC into two groups, the dream seems more difficult to become a reality. At this point in time, it may not be productive to go through what happened and worse engage in a 'blaming game'. I feel that we need to take little steps at a time towards healing and moving forward. My view is that going for the "instant" dissolution of both groups and having one group could present issues that would set us back further. (VIOLI CALVERT)
• This is a very noble and big task. We always aim for a unified, strong, body for the Filipino community. (SERNA LADIA)
• I believe that if we are thinking and acting as one, we will be able to assist our compatriots who have been duly elected to the positions they hold now in supporting legislations that will benefit the multi-cultural community that includes us. Let us show and continuously prove that we, Filipinos, are uniquely cohesive and we think as ONE...... ISANG BANSA, ISANG DIWA. (LINDA BAISA).
• Whether the collective path we choose be division, unification, cooperative, co-existence or subordination, the most important factor to consider is the well being of the ordinary Filipino resident in NSW. Competition is inherently adversarial. Cooperation and peace, on the other hand is the state most conductive to advancing the collective interests of the Filipino people in a foreign country. (PERRY PERALTA)
CONDENSED, EDITED & PRESENTED BY: Evelyn Zaragoza and Mars Cavestany
from Charles Stone
Definition of strategic quitting - strategic quitting is thoughtfully and carefully quitting a program, ministry, or initiative that simply is not working, has become staid, is disproportionately sucking up resources, or simply needs to go. In contrast to reactive quitting, quitting when things simply get harder, strategic quitting is not a spur of the moment knee-jerk reaction to difficulty. Rather it is a measured decision carefully made.
It’s a concept so essential that leadership expert Seth Godin even wrote a book about about it, The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit. He says, “Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations.”
Unfortunately, strategic quitting isn’t easy because of a phenomenon called the ‘sunk-cost bias.’ The ‘sunk cost bias’ is a mental trap we can easily fall into. Because we have invested so much time and energy into a project, we would feel like a failure if we nixed it. In reality, many such projects need to go. Read more about this bias here.
So what are some benefits of strategic quitting?
4 benefits of strategic quitting…
It can release resources (your time, staff or volunteer time, and money) for other projects and initiatives with greater potential for material, spiritual, or organizational payoff.
It can remove the perpetual drip, drip, drip of regret that has nagged your soul and emotions for months (or even years).
It can boost your leadership in the eyes of others when they see you muster the courage to nix that ‘elephant’ that most everybody felt should have gone long ago.
It can develop a key quality great leaders embody, humility. It’s humbling to admit that a project you may have started just doesn’t work anymore, or never did.
If you think you may need to strategically quite something, how do you know?
5 signs that indicate you need to strategically quit something…
When in your soul you know it needs to go. Perhaps you’ve often wrestled with this ‘thing’ in your mind and you never can seem to get peace about it. Is God saying, “Now’s the time?”
When those you trust hint that it needs to go. Have influencers in your circle raised the issue from time to time? Have they suggested that the ‘thing’ needs to go?
When in your mind’s eye as you envision it gone you sense deep relief. As you’ve thought about it and imagined it no longer a burden, do you feel like a weight is off your shoulders? How much influence should you allow this subjectivity play in your decision?
When you sense the Lord prompting you to strategically quit. In your quiet moments with the Lord, do you sense Him releasing you from it? Have you spent time praying about it?
When you begin to really dislike the ‘thing.’ Perhaps your attitude has soured on it and constantly confessing your attitude doesn’t change it. Maybe this is God’s way of saying, “It needs to go.”
Knowing when to strategically quit can be tricky. Our emotions can powerfully influence decisions, sometimes in the wrong direction. But when your heart, your influencers, and the Lord seem to all say, “Stop the thing,” maybe it’s time to.
As you read this post, what ‘thing’ in your ministry or organization came to mind that you potentially need to strategically quit?
If some program or initiative did come to mind, what steps do you need to take to discern if you need to quit it?
Three Australians are among dozens injured after a van was driven into tourist crowds in Barcelona’s popular Las Ramblas area on Thursday.
Foreign minister Julie Bishop said a woman, believed to be from New South Wales, was in a serious but stable condition in hospital, while two other young men from Victoria were also affected, but told Australian consular staff that they were going back to their accommodation and will seek medical treatment in the morning.
* "I think it's following me. You kind of come over here (to Europe) and you expect it to happen, but you don't let it stop you from doing what you want to do." - Melbourne tourist Michael Christou, who was also nearby during the London Bridge attack in June, in which eight people were killed including two Australians.
* "There was this tidal wave of people running ... screaming, crying and with absolute terror etched on their faces." - Australian cyber safety expert Susan McLean, who told the Nine Network she was just 100m from the scene.
* "All of a sudden we were locked in the shop and confusion started to sprinkle among the people. The next second... we were literally running for our lives to the very back of the store, where we were told to get on the ground away from the windows and lay as flat as possible." - Melbourne woman Julia Monaco, who told 3AW it was the third time she had been caught up in a European terror attack in three months.
* "There was at least five bodies that I saw, at least three of them are still there now with body bags, so you'd imagine they've passed." - Australian witness Gil Van Der Venne talking to 3AW.
* "We turned and ran, unfortunately, my wife got caught up and was pushed over and suffered some minor injuries. We were ushered into a local cafe where we were held up there for about four-and-a-half hours." - Australian tourist Adam James.
* "There are thousands of people, families with kids, people of all ages in the streets - similar to Bourke Street Mall around Christmas time or perhaps Martin Place in Sydney." - Melbourne fire brigades commander Graeme O'Sullivan, speaking to Nine.
* The Australian Government and the Australian people condemn ... the Islamist terrorist attack in Barcelona overnight. Our love, our prayers, are with the victims and their families." Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
* "The Australian Government and the Australian people condemn the terrorist attack, the Islamist terrorist attack, the Islamist terrorist attack in Barcelona overnight. Our love, our prayers, are with the victims and their families." - Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
* "Devastating news from Barcelona. All Australians condemn terrorism, all of us hold the people of Spain in our heart today," Opposition leader Bill Shorten on Twitter.
ICONIC GAME TO HOST INAUGURAL PIG FESTIVAL IN SYDNEY
35 Cute Miniature Pig Pictures (23)Pigs, friends and family of pigs, and plain old pig-lovers, rejoice! Aussies are getting their very own pig festival, finally giving us the channel we’ve long needed to bask in the glory of our pink and porky friends.
Conveniently kicking off on ‘International Bacon Day’ (Saturday September 2), the official Pass the Pigs Festival is slated to be the ultimate porker of a weekend. Proudly presented by iconic ‘Pass the Pigs’ game, the festival will take place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September at The Greens North Sydney from 11.00am – 6.00pm daily.
Reid Herbert, Managing Director of Winning Moves Australia says, “Pigs have been unappreciated for too long, it is about time there is a pig themed festival in Australia that is fun for anyone and everyone. Pass The Pigs is a classic game that has, and continues to deliver much fun for people of all ages, so we are excited to be hosting this inaugural event!”
With a Game Arena set to excite gamers of all ages, the event will see competitions of Pass the Pigs played on the iconic bowling greens overlooking Sydney Harbour. There will be numerous prizes to be won including the classic Pass the Pigs Original, Pass the Pigs Inflatable and Pass the Pig Party Pig Editions.
Those inclined to hog all of the food are likely to find themselves sniffing around the line-up of stallholders offering a range of piggy-themed snacks from The Greens North Sydney.
The Greens have developed a range of food specials for the occasion, including pork shoulders freshly roasted over the fire pit, pulled pork burgers with old school slaw, and crispy pork dumplings. Plus, there will be bacon themed baked goods including salted caramel and bacon donuts. Wham, bam, thank you ham!
Pass the pigs group HiRes
For adult oinkers there will be a signature ‘Makin' Bacon Bloody Mary’ cocktail, a bacon infused version of the classic drink, as well as ‘The Pink Piggybacker’, an alcoholic blend of flavoursome ingredients resulting in a beautifully pink concoction.
And don’t worry; your piglets won’t be s’whining thanks to a bunch of mini snorter-themed activities being hosted in our designated kid’s area, with a few including:
· A petting farm filled with pigs (naturally)
· Pig face painting
· A candy bar
Squealing yet? Make sure you get down to the first-ever Pass the Pigs Festival for a grunting good time.
And be sure to share your memories from the festival on social media. The most creative photo that is uploaded and includes the hashtag #PassThePigsFestival will win the ultimate Pass the Pigs Party Package valued at over $100.
When: Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September
Where: The Greens North Sydney, 50 Ridge St, North Sydney NSW 2062
Times: From 11.00am – 6.00pm daily
Cost: Entry to the festival is free but due to limited spots registration is required.
Manila Philippines; The national rugby sevens teams, the Philippine Volcanoes have finalized their playing rosters for this weekend’s Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
For Team Philippines, Coach Shirley Russell has retained 9 athletes from her 2015 team which took out the Bronze in Singapore.
"The ladies have an additional two years experience since our last SEA Games, their skills have increased, their positional awareness has increased, we are in a much better position for this year’s games. Our aim is to qualify for Gold Medal match" Russell stated.
The ladies look to experience in Rassiel Sales, Acee San Juan and Sylvia Tudoc to lead the national team. All three returning from 2015. Their opening match is against gold medal favourites Thailand, followed by Laos, Singapore on the first day and Malaysia on Sunday.
For the men's, Team Philippines aims for back-to-back gold medals. The Men's open their SEA Games defense against Indonesia and Cambodia, followed by host nation Malaysia on day one. A match of the day after the two went head-to-head in 2015 for the Gold Medal. Day two, the Philippines face Singapore and Thailand to conclude the round robin format. The top two teams will be seeded into the Gold Medal match with the next two for the Bronze. The same format goes for the Women's.
Coaches FranoBotica and David Johnston have named Harrison Carceller Blake as Team Captain. Blake returns from a successful Asia Trophy Series in February, where the Volcanoes secured the Gold in Doha.
"It's an absolute honor and privilege to be named Captain, I'm looking forward to the weekend. My main message for the players is to make sure they know their roles and do their jobs well, we know we have the team to win it, we aim to execute and bring home gold for the country" Blake shared.
Another impact selection for the Men's is young Jonel Madrona, who starred in the Volcanoes tour in April. Madrona, a Clark Jet representative will be playing in his first ever SEA Games.
The Volcanoes will depart to the games on Thursday 17th, before taking the field at MBPJ Stadium, Kelana Jaya on Saturday & Sunday.