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Magkaisa ! This was the theme of the fundraising night organized by Linda Baisa of Montage Entertainment for the benefit of Typhoon Yolanda Victims. It featured Sydney’s top entertainers and two Sydney bands, Maynilad and The New Horizon Bands.

POPULAR PINOY ICON GABBY CONCEPCION, singer /actor extraordinaire from Manila, was on stage as guest of Western Union, Major sponsors for the night. He delighted the audience with his endearing stage presence and soulful songs. He showed good sportsmanship by doing the “audience” participation section with enthusiasm and aplomb. It was quite hilarious having to do “The Voice” challenge with three ladies on stage answering the questions. It was by the way themed Western Union, with questions from the FAQs sheet. Thanks Rod Dingle for being the Emcee for the night.

I was quite impressed by the show with so many performers . The Sonata singers led by Louisa Tagudin from Western Sydney were the opening act, with Rod Dingle doing a great job singing a beautiful ballad with them . The 2 bands did their respective sessions and were rewarded by fun-loving dancing couples and photo taking. I spotted Consul-Gen Anne Jalando-on Louis and Consul Marford Angeles with their staff enjoying the night.

The recent calamities that our motherland has experienced has brought together concerned and caring countrymen. So in all four corners of the globe, Filipinos have done or still doing their own share of fundraising to be sent overseas to alleviate the sufferings of those affected by the most recent catastrophe, Yolanda. Life goes on in the very distressed Central Visayas towns and cities , but the Filipino spirit is strong and hopeful that the tide will turn and rebuilding and rehabilitation will give them happiness or contentment during this Holy Season.
There are continuing fundraising activities in around Australia by different organizations and of course these worthy projects are encouraged because rehabilitation is a long process and it will take years to rebuild infrastructure or if you want , a whole city or towns devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

MY PCC-NSW 2013-The PHILIPPINE COMMUNITY COUNCIL- NSW is the PEAK Body of community organizations here in New South Wales.It serves as a conduit with the Philippine Government. In NSW, Con-Gen Anne Jalando-on Louis is our Official representative with Consul Marford Angeles, assisting her and the Consular staff housed at the Philippine Consulate General Offices in Sydney. Our Ambassador Belen Anota’s office is at the Philippine Embassy in Canberra. These two offices support the vision and goals of the PHILIPPINE COMMUNITY COUNCIL.

VOLUNTEERISM: A Passion with Compassion
Having said that, I can assure my readers that we try to cover our tracks in what we do. I have become aware of my passion for VOLUNTEERISM since I obtained a permanent position with the Department of Education early 1980’s. I have worked my way through the community first as a primary teacher then member of the Filcos Blacktown Community. The “seeds” of passion and compassion , working with my faith community were sown then with Fr. Renato Paras by our side. I have worked with Josie and Dom Pangilinan, Belen and Bob Mendoza, Lourdes Domingo , Lou Moonen, Mila Alforque, Max and Leah Encomienda, Phil and Mila Ranoso, Luz Tiqui, Bing Santos, to name a few. These friends have become my brothers and sisters in Faith, which nurtured my unique gift of loving and caring for the underdog, the young, the frail, the disadvantaged and new migrants. It has become my mantra through my years of raising a family and working. My transition to volunteering with PCC came later.

It was during our move to the Central Coast that this change came to our lives. We joined the AUSTRALIAN FILIPINO ASSOCIATION OF THE CENTRAL COAST, and by the time I was voted in as the President, we became an Affiliate of PCC-NSW. We enjoyed the new friendships and the activities when we joined as members from regional Sydney as they were unique and refreshing. There were activities we attended to highlight our unique position from the bush. We were visited by ex-presidents of PCC-NSW and performed and dined with them . It was always a pleasure to come down to Sydney and support our Affiliates on certain occasions. Then I had the opportunity to become a director of organization. I have become the PRO ( Press Relations Officer) this year by default. NO ONE fronted as candidate last March. So I put my hand up that very day and was successful.

I have started writing for PCHN when we moved here in 1995. From then I have created Poetry in English, Tagalog and Ilocano. I write a column and mainly talk about my experiences . My most favourite topics are my family, my local community and occasional comments on certain issues. I write about TRUTH and BEAUTY and usually touch on MORAL VALUES and ETHICS. I want people to learn from my topics, and not cringe and despair. I try to avoid salacious topics, lies, confrontational or degrading issues. That way I believe I can bring out the best and positive in people by being who I am. It’s not that hard to be uncomplicated.

We maybe experiencing highs and lows this time of the year. But we must not lose sight of the REASON for the SEASON, which is the Celebration of the Birth of Baby Jesus. May this reminder give us hope for the future. Keep our hearts open for His coming. Try to find a space for others needing a hug, an embrace, a kind word and thoughtful act.

This world is full of wonders, we must go out there and find them, through the people we meet, places we visit and in the prayer we express. Let us be full of thanksgiving in our hearts for the gift of Life, of Family of Friendship. May the Grace and Blessings that Christmas bring abide is us all through the New Year. Mag-ingat po at Mabuhay tayong lahat.!



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