MPC by Richie Buenaventura

While it is valid to acknowledge the efforts of persons of position in both the community and government level in achieving this dream of a Filipino-Australian Cultural Center, it is important not to forget the contributions of the many ordinary citizens who have contributed to this project.
I refer to the countless volunteers who have kept the dream alive for the past 25 years.
The men who painstakingly cut the overgrown grass, planted trees, and harvested the sorry-looking ears of corn from a most unproductive ground.
The combancheros who played endless music and sang till their voices croaked to entertain the exhausted working bees and convince the bystanders.
The men and women who cooked arroz caldo and made gulaman-at-sago and a hundred other types of food and served them to everyone who came at every festival and event, year in and year out.
The beauty pageant contestants and their parents and relatives and friends, who worked tirelessly, selling tickets, organising fund-raisers, doing things they have never done before, all for a dream.
Countless men and women have contributed the benefits of their talent and profession and trade – architects, engineers, builders, accountants, singers, musicians, directors, production crews, the list goes on and on. Most of all, the thousands of people over the years who shelled out their hard-earned dollars to buy a ticket, make a regular pledge, or just simply donate a few dollars they can spare, all of this, in the hope of someday looking up at a structure they can call their community’s own. It is these ordinary men and women who kept the dream alive, from the early years of hope and euphoria and excitement, through the years of frustration, uncertainty, conflict, shedding tears when it all seemed pointless, moving away for a while and then coming back with a change of heart and eagerness reborn, and finally, praying hard at every critical moment of suspense.
It is the unfailing sense of hope, patience, tenacity and constancy of the common man who moves things forward.
It is the common man who makes history.
Let it not be forgotten.

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