A View from the Mount

News from the Filipino Community in Bathurst and Central West

by Nenita Lopez




Riza’s Proud Moment 



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Riza Broad’s proud moment with Temora Mayor Cr Rick Firman 

and her proud Father In- Law, Mr Broad during her

Australian Citizenship Ceremony at Temora Chambers Council NSW


In Temora NSW, Riza Broad recently received her Australian Citizenship at the Temora Shire Council Chambers. The ceremony was attended by about forty well wishers including Riza’s husband John, her daughter Shiraz and Parents in-law. Temora Mayor Rick Firman officiated the Oath taking and presented Riza with her Australian Citizenship Certificate. Congratulations for another success story from the Country side of NSW. 




PIT Senyor the Santo Nino Sinulog Festival 2014




Bathurst and Central West Pit Senyor Sto Nino Sinulog 2014 Lead by Fr Abilgos and Alicia Marco


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Bathurst Sto Nino Sinulog 2014: Rosalie, Carmelita, Claire, Fely Unger and Alice (Vic) Williams.


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We were there Sinulog Bathurst: (l-r) Claire, Nelia, Linda, Rowena, Carmel, Cressy, Fely and Rosalie.


The Sinulog in Bathurst and the Central West is celebrated each Fourth Sunday of January. This year was a very successful Sto Nino Sinulog celebration, for all the Filipino groups and communities in Bathurst and the Central West, who gathered together in unity for a common Riza Broad’s proud moment with Temora Mayor Cr Rick Firman and her proud Father In- Law, Mr Broad during her Australian Citizenship Ceremony at Temora Chambers Council NSW purpose: to celebrate the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines, through the adoration of the icon of Sto Nino, The Holy infant Jesus, brought by the Spanish and miraculously preserved in Cebu. They joined together and celebrated with all their hearts and souls in their adopted country on Australia Day and were thankful for the way Australia supports the maintenance of our culture.


The Attendees enjoyed the Mass, Sinulog, food, and entertainment organised by a magnificent community effort. I must acknowledge and thank the original owners of this land, the Wiradjuri, who continue to make an important contribution to Australian culture and life.


And for the first time in Central West the Sto Nino Sinulog Festival Thanksgiving Mass were officiated by the three Priests: Father Patrick O’Reagan ( Bathurst Parish Priest), Father Reynold Jaboneta (Mudgee) and Father Elisenio Abilgos Nyngan/ Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese. The attendance of the three priests makes the celebration stronger.


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Attending Bathurst Sinulog 2014: Nanay Vacion, Tess, Claire, Ella, Menchie, Vic Williams, Marilyn, Fel, Rosalie and Vivien McKinnon


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The Subli Dancers at the Bathurst Sinulog 2014: (l-R) Nelia, Robert Huppatz, Nenita and Cressy.


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The VIP Sydney Dancers led by Mellie & Victor Valdez, Vivian Brewington and Friend.


This year’s lechon donor is Mr & Mrs Don and Fely Unger from Parkes. A big thank you to this nice and devoted couple. Another Sto Nino devotee is Alicia Williams from Thai and Asian Restaurant Cootamundra and Young and we were also very lucky to have the appearance of the Sydney Dance Group led by Mellie and Victor Valdez whose performance was very much appreciated by the audience. Filipiniana Friends Group Director Claire Torreno who works for this promotion and our MC and Vice President Rosalie Tanquiamco who was also involved in transporting the Lechon all the way from Sydney as no lechon no Fiesta. The two also aided the choir with Vivien McKinnon from Wellington. Bro. Ron and Sis Letty Hitchen and Couples for Christ Central West, Mary Thomson, Susan Hopkins, Rebeca Collins, all the Filipino Communities of Bathurst, Lithgow, Orange, Parkes, Wellington, Young, Cootamundra, Nyngan, Sydney, Penrith. Not forgetting all the devotees who kept the Novena each Friday: Letty Hitchen, Carmelita Nordvie, Linda Cook, Milagros Conomos, Sally Dimalaluan, Melecia Mayer, Edith Turner and Nita Weekes-Meacham, and all the Liturgy participants

The whole event was in honour of the Santo Niño de Cebu or Holy Child of Cebu, a celebrated Roman Catholic religious vested statue of the Child Jesus venerated by many Filipino Catholics who believe it to be miraculous. Claiming to be the oldest religious image in the Philippines, the statue was originally given in 1521 as a baptismal gift by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan via Antonio Pigafetta, who physically handed it to Lady Humamay, the principal wife of Rajah Humabon, along with a statue of the Our Lady of Guidance and a Cross. The image merited a Papal blessing on April 28, 1965, the 400th centennial anniversary, when Pope Paul VI issued a papal bull for the Canonical Coronation and Pontifical High Mass via the papal legate to the Philippines, Cardinal Amleto Giovanni Cicognani.






PASSCI - Passion led Linda Alvarez Barnes Vice Pres.at Fairfield Community Centre Photos by Nards Purisima


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SAFSI Anzac Day Celebration at Marayong Community Hall.


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 KCL Meeting in Canley Vale


Celebrating Ninety Years of Great Life in the Bush



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Congratulation Simeon Mansano Lopez 90th Birthday Celebration at San Carlos City Negros Occ.


I returned to San Carlos in Negros to pay tribute to my elderly and ailing father, Simeon Manzano Lopez who turns 90 years of age this year. A chance to also reunite with my large family in the Village of Barrio Mag-amihan. This is where our old farm was situated and a place where I grew up and spent most of my childhood here, where I learned to climb coconut trees, drive Carabaos and ride horses. Reminiscing the old days where working in the farm was so hard, plowing field and planting coconut trees, bananas, sweet potatoes, corn, cassavas, mongo beans and tobacco were just a few things that we did on our land. Harvest times were just as busy as planting, but that’s how you survived in the farm. I also payed a visit to our waterhole where we used to bath and do our laundry and survived a hair raising ride up into the mountains on a motorbike after missing the Jeepney to the Village. I was able to put on a great party for my Dad, with a true Filipino style Spit Roast (lechon) in the village for neighbours and family to share. I am sure I left dad with some fine memories he will keep with him forever. Although most of the areas of the farm are now under sugar cane, I can see some very big improvements from the way we used to be. I also visited my old Elementary school, I was the youngest pupil in that school and my classmates who took the opportunity to be educated were a lot older than me. I also managed to see the other half of my family who live in Iloilo City, taking advantage of the very cheap internal airfares.


I am now a much more confident traveller, using planes and trains and ferries, but was frustrated by the poor tele-communications in remote areas. I flew to Cebu via Singapore and stayed in the magnificent Changi Airport with its free day beds and massage, swimming pool, sauna and cinema. Sydney seemed almost third world in comparison. I also appreciated Singapore Airlines friendly and very professional service.



The Philippine Community Council’s ( PCC-NSW) AGM and Election 2014

On March 15, 2014 and after some strong campaigning a new PCC-NSW Board was elected with the promise of change, involving improved community support, governance and financial management and better country representation and support for affiliates. The new President is committed to strong leadership and civilised behaviour, which I am sure we would all approve.
Let us hope this is the start of a new dawn where the Peak Body for Filipinos in NSW offers true leadership and support. As they say, ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating.’
The New PCC-NSW Board for 2014 is as follows: President Jun Relunia; Vice Pres External Alric Bulseco; Vice Pres Internal Evelyn Beed; Secretary Darrell Swadling; Treasurer Danny Peralta; PRO Danny Rosales; Auditor Millie Bannan; Directors: Emily Rudd, Alex Del Prado, Mercy Jones, Jade Cadelina, Nenita Weekes, Rissa McInnes and Bobby Lastica



Worship Dancing in the Park

Filipiniana Friends has now have a dance team that performs the popular “Subli” dance.

This is the Philippines Folk dance and has been performed at Sto Nino Sinulog Bathurst, Harmony Day Bathurst, the St Michael & John Cathedral Fete Bathurst and the latest in the Philippine Consulate Sydney, where all enjoyed the happy and colourful performance. The dance is a way of sharing our Philippine Culture in the community at large. Well done and thanks to the members of the dancing team, Miss Cressy Cannon, Miss Nelia Telloro( choreographer) and Nenita Weekes.


Happiness and Harmony Day in Bathurst

Harmony day was a pretty low key event in Bathurst, with the Council seemingly lessening its support. However, the Filipiniana Subli dancers and the Bathurst Multi-cultural Choir put on a good show on the library lawn, but it would have been a good thing to have more representation from other cultural communities in the city. To be harmonious with others, we need to be harmonious within ourselves. Many Filipinos could do with a bit more happiness in their lives so an article in Psychology Today inspired me to share a few ideas with you. Each one of us has different ways of achieving happiness. Here are some steps you can try to increase to bring more happiness and harmony into your life: Be with others who make you smile, we are happiest when we are around those who are also happy, and keep away from jealous people, whingers and gossipers. Hold on to your values. What you find true, what you know is fair, and what you believe in are all values. The more you honour them, the better you will feel about yourself and those you love. Do not simply agree with the person you last spoke with, or stick by friends and relations who you know are thinking or doing bad things. In the long term this will cause great internal conflict and unhappiness. Look at your life and take stock of what’s working, and don’t push away something just because it isn’t perfect. When good things happen, even the very little ones, let them in. The pursuit of perfection is often the pursuit of unhappiness. ‘Near enough is good enough’ is better than Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A friend with some faults is better than no friend at all. Do things you love, find purpose in your life, listen to your heart, push yourself, not others, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, and happiness and harmony will be yours.


The End of Innocence.

On the surface Bathurst seems a quiet peaceful place and compared with many city areas and country towns it is. But it has a nasty underbelly that people largely choose to ignore. We have seen murders and violence in a downtown apartment block, kidnappings and even slavery, drunken violence in the city centre, numerous drug offences, and an elderly couple attacked in their beds and a church burnt down by vandals. I no longer feel really safe in the City at night and keep a good eye open for potential danger, and stay out of the parks after dark. However, I never expected to see thieves break into an historic church, steal valuable church ornaments then burn the church down. I cannot comprehend what would motivate anyone to do such a thing: drugs, alcohol, or just plain nastiness. The Church is already preaching forgiveness, but the law will not see it that way and justice will be done as the police already have some good leads and have apprehended four people.


More violence in the streets

Cardinal Pell rightly points out that One-punch hitters are cowards. But name calling will solve nothing. Prescribing remedies to improve the situation is difficult and implementing them is an even bigger challenge. The first instinct is to demand that governments act - stiffer penalties and, more police on the beat. Governments cannot do everything and sometimes they cannot do too much to change ingrained attitudes and habits. Alcohol is a factor in 70 per cent of arrests. Testing those arrested for violence for alcohol, drugs, and steroids would help. Parental neglect and absent fathers often contribute to a vicious unfocused rage in some. So it is a complex problem, but Australia by international standards has had great success in dealing with two major social problems, using techniques which may be successfully applied to street violence. Like it or not the halving of smokers in Australia and halving of the road toll was not brought about by friendly persuasion. It was brought about by fear. Fear of getting caught and fear of consequences. Drink driving was a way of life in Australia, resulting in a road toll twice as bad as the UK. Now it is less than the UK.


This was achieved by nothing less than a fear campaign: random breath testing from any police vehicle and strict mandatory penalties resulting in the loss of access to motor vehicles. People do not drink and drive primarily because they are more socially responsible, but because they are afraid of getting caught and punished, although boasting about drink driving is not socially acceptable amongst most groups. So why not test likely candidates on the street for drugs and excessive blood alcohol and ban them from licensed premises. Also hit licensed premises hard who admit and serve those affected by alcohol. Close poorly supervised premises for a while and watch the others sharpen up their practice, and close all licensed premises at one AM. Then just like the anti -smoking campaign stand up to the suppliers of legal drugs and start a continuous campaign showing the consequences of excessive drink and violence, whether it be death, disablement or imprisonment. ‘No place to hide’ should be the battle cry. And triple the taxes on alcohol, as was done with tobacco, to great effect. But I suspect our state government will do little as it is afraid of losing votes and support and revenue from the liquor industry. As the feminists say ‘reclaim the streets’ they are for everyone to enjoy.


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