My Father’s Death and Celebration of his amazing life.
For a very strange reason, I find very hard to write my own father’s death. But here is a brief eulogy that I could share with our writers and readers. My Dad Simeon Mansano Lopez was born on September 3 1923 in Barrio Mag-amihan in the outskirt of San Carlos City Negros Occidental. Born and bred in the bush by his Spanish Father Benito Lopez a native from Spain who married a Filipino native Melitona Mansano. The family were considered elite in the region as they owned land in the area. He was the eldest of six children and including one sister in the family. During World War 11, when the Japanese bombed and occupied San Carlos City, he met and married my mother Consolacion Baran Fernandez, who was a city girl and a daughter of the Sugar Milling Company manager who at the time of war evacuated to Barrio Mag-amihan after the bombing, when the Milling was completely hit and destroyed. He was not sick and died of old age at 91 years May 20th 2015. He was brilliant even though with little education, he was good father, friend and my inspiration. I lost my link and my inspiration, in his death part of me also died. At his funeral hundreds attended as he was known for his Spiritual Healing and have hundreds of clients who they claimed to have been healed by his prayers and Oracions. During the requiem mass the officiating priest commented how blessed he was at such a good age and reminded us not to be sad but to celebrate his life. I am sure my dad Rest in Peace. I would like to express my sincerest thank you to all who sent their messages of sympathy, personal, phone calls, text, emails, cards and on face Book, private and public. I was overwhelmed by the messages, kindness, love and support I have received. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. “When the bell toll it tolls for Thee.”
Philippine Community Council NSW Philippine
The PCC Ball in conjunction with the 117th Philippine Independence Day celebration was held on June 12th at Rosehill Gardens in Parramatta and was the biggest gathering in the last 25 years of the PCC and a thoroughly enjoyable occasion. The Affiliate from the Central West, Filipiniana Friends, was represented and took part in the Rigodon. My husband and I Also made the long trip to Sydney for the event. Thank you Madame PCC NSW President Evelyn Beed and all your helpers for all your organisational efforts. The entertainment was excellent and the dinner very interesting, as many Filipinos would not have tasted a perfectly cooked medium rare, pink and bloody, piece of beef before.
Sydney Philippine Consulate celebrate the 117th
Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence
On 14th June, representatives of Filipino organisations including Filipiniana Friends of Bathurst and the Central West took part in a Declaration of Independence Ceremony at the Philippines Consulate in Sydney, hosted by The Consul General Ann Jalondo-on Louis, who as always spoke most eloquently reminding us of our heroes and heritage, and relayed a message from the President of the Philippines. She is a Diplomat in every sense of the word and explained the Filipino position in the South China Sea dispute, and implored Filipino Australians to take up dual Nationality to enable them to vote in the next Philippine Election. Entertainment was provided by some exceptional local talent, including Ms Roanne Monte, who sang ‘Bayan Ko’. The event was concluded with a delicious complimentary Filipino Luncheon. It was a charming experience for Bathurst visitors and it was really good to catch up with friends, comadres and compadres and enjoy an excellent lunch in convivial company. Previously we went to the NSW v Queensland Rugby Union match. It was very exciting with a big crowd at the Allianz Football Stadium, and plenty to cheer about as Queensland could not repeat their State of Origin victory.
Thanks giving and get together Filipiniana Friends
On June 20 the President of Filipiniana Friends of Bathurst and the Central West provided a delicious lamb barbecue at her residence for all her loyal supporters who had made the Independence Day Flag raising such a notable success. To undertake such large events in such a small community requires an enormous amount of help, so all supporters have my eternal gratitude for a job well done.
Philippine Language and Cultural Association of Australia celebrated 117th Philippine Independence Day
The Australian and Philippine Flag Raising event was held on 17th June 2015 at St Marys
Senior Citizen’s Hall and was a great success.
There was an excellent outside flag raising ceremony and some good entertainment in the hall include a Glee Club choral performance and dances by the PLCAA Cultural and the Filipiniana Friends from Bathurst, who performed a Magkaugnay/Moslem Dance. The awards ceremony for community contributions were a lovely recognition for our cultural and community leaders. The event was supported by the Consulate and Penrith Council, with the Consul General and Mayor in attendance.
The Catholic Diocese of Bathurst turns 150 years and still going strong
The Bathurst Catholic Diocese celebrated 150 years of the Cathedral of St Michael & St John. Celebrations began on Friday19th June with a procession of Church dignitaries including the Catholic Bishop of Bathurst, The Anglican Bishop of Bathurst, and dignitaries of other denominations who carried out an ecumenical service, commencing with a welcome to country and smoking ceremony. On Saturday an historical tour of the Cathedral and exhibition in the Chancery took place, followed by a Bush Dance. On Sunday 21st June, a special Mass was held, with The Most Reverend Adolfo Tito Yllana, the Apostolic Anuncio, a Filipino and a Bicolano, being the principal Celebrant. The mass incorporated excellent addresses including one from our Bathurst Bishop Most Reverend Michael McKenna and Father O’Regan, formerly a much beloved Bathurst Priest, now Bishop of Sale in Victoria, who reminded us that the time of its foundation, Bathurst was really the Wild West and the City and Church brought law and religion to the interior. The Mass was complemented by some fine singing from the combined St Stanislaus and Mary McKillop choirs.
The event concluded with a lunch in the Cathedral School Hall provided by the Couples for Christ Central West team headed by Sis Letty and Bro Ron Hitchen. Popular Bathurst State MP and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole MP and Bathurst Mayor Gary Rush also attended all three events and met their constituents.
The Cathedral is currently undergoing extensive renovations and a car was raffled to raise funds for the restoration. The lucky winner was a local newspaper journalist Eve Capper. The restoration is proving to be quite a job, as extensive work needs to be done on the foundations, and the transport to England of the cracked bell for repair was a long and costly affair. As soon as the structural work on the tower is completed, the bell will be re-hung, to call the faithful to prayer.
Bathurst turned into Winter Wonderland
On the night of Thursday 16th July 2015 we ventured out at 11pm and were amazed to find heavy snow falling and settling on the ground. Within minutes the social media were running hot, as people tried to get decent selfies in the dark, Our neighbours and many others spent most of the night building snowmen, or ‘snowpersons’ as I believe they are now more correctly termed. We awoke early the following morning to an eerie silence as the thick snow muffled familiar sounds. The world had suddenly gone white in a way most Filipinos had never seen before, so everyone got their camera out and had Kodak frenzy. Our little village and the hills all round had been transposed into Switzerland. Some hardy folk went looking for deeper falls, but all roads out of Bathurst were deemed to be too dangerous and were closed. For a while the City was really cut off from the outside world and Mt Panorama looked like a ski resort. It had been about forty years since Bathurst had a significant snowfall, ironically on the day I first arrived from the Philippines. Unfortunately, the temperature quickly rose above freezing and the snow vanished from the roads, the trees and lastly the paddocks. We were left with poor but proud snowmen that had become mere snow-dwarves.
The recent snow brought a great deal of excitement to Filipinos and their children of all ages, before it melted and left us with a cold wet midwinter. My husband grew up in a snowy part of the world, sometimes walking to school in deep drifts, with the temp staying below zero for weeks on end. I wonder how he survived. The answer is largely insulation. First insulate yourself. Wear a beanie or a hoodie as your head loses large amounts of heat, get some long thermal underwear, a thick flannel shirt and one or two woollen sweaters, the top it off with a thick, padded, waterproof coat, warm gloves and snow boots. Now you are ready to go to town and even tidy up the garden.
Secondly insulate your house. Powerful heating systems are a waste of time and money if the heat is escaping. Make your house airtight and draft free and heat only the rooms you live in. Double glaze windows or cover them with thick drapes. Put on extra bedclothes and wear a tracksuit in bed. Not very sexy, but remember a good cuddle is a great heat generator, and cheaper than an electric blanket.
Eat lots of hot starchy food: porridge, stews, pasta and curry. Get out of the habit of leaving food go cold before you eat it, and take lots of hot drinks.
Finally, make sure your car is free of mist and ice before you drive off and learn to drive in conditions of snow and black ice. Snow driving requires delicate use of the accelerator and brakes and slow cornering and knowledge of how to get out of a skid. Be very aware of hard to spot black ice, which looks like a wet road, especially in shades areas. If you hit it at speed, you will almost certainly spin off the road and maybe hit a tree, so be careful.
My Father’s Death and Celebration of his amazing life.