A View from the Mount

News from the Filipino Community in Bathurst and Central West
by Nenita Lopez




The great race has come and gone and the tent cities have been uprooted and the thousands of motor race fanatics have returned home, many no doubt dreaming of another Ford victory next year. Gone are the extra police and many caterers, gone are the street events and party atmosphere, and gone is the temporary hospitality employment, which helps Filipinos along the way.


The event has a turbulent history with riots, drunkenness and assaults, but over the last few years it has become much more of a family affair, with many camping out on Mt Panorama and other well serviced sites around town.


p14-nsw-nenita-1Winner Glamour Day raffle Dr Silvio Tenci

Dr Silvio Tenci CEO Simplot Australia and winner of our Glamour Day

raffle cash prize presented by Nenita president FFGBCW


The race which gives employment is increasingly important, as Bathurst’s food and engineering industries are contracting, especially Simplot which was originally Edgell’s, home of the Chico Roll. Food production was popular with Filipinos and unfortunately some face redundancy, but it is good to say the company appears to be willing to meet its payout obligations at this stage. In a strange twist of fate the Bathurst Simplot CEO Dr Silvio Tenci won the major raffle prize in a recent Glamour Day fundraising event for the Pink Ribbon and Philippine Disaster project. Congratulations 



What it is like to be an Australian? I interviewed my friend Katherine Koshemakin when she invited me to attend her Citizenship Ceremony that took place in Lithgow recently. I could sense she was very nervous, waiting for the big moment she seemed in control, but she was going back and forth through the hallway of the Mayor’s Office.


There were about 10 other inductees from various parts of the world, and it is good to see them move to country areas, where their skills will be more appreciated. Katherine has a husband and two beautiful children and has had to make some big adjustments to her new life in Australia. She lives on a farm in beautiful but remote Glen Alice. She has plenty of peace and quiet and nature, but few neighbours and an hour’s drive to a big town. Quite different from the hustle and bustle of life in the Philippines


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New Australian Katherine Koshemakin with her family at the Citizenship

Ceremony held in Lithgow with Mayor Cr Marie Statham.



Halloween Celebrations

October month was busy for the traditional Halloween celebrations. Orange City geared up for this event and Filipinos young and the not so young put on their scary gear for the Halloween party at the Senior Citizens Centre. The children wore their traditional costumes and the hall decorations were fantastic. The children got right into it, scaring everyone. Excellent Filipino food and lively dancing rounded off a fun evening. Did you know that Halloween comes from ‘All Hallows Eve’ a time to pray for the souls of departed Saints, but has evolved for commercial reasons into a dress up party time, about as authentic as an Easter Bunny? But any excuse for a good time together can’t be bad. In Lithgow, someone had tried to recreate Gotham City and there was plenty of action on the streets in a place well known for offbeat festivals such as the fabulous mediaeval Iron fest.



Filipino Community in Orange celebrating Halloween



Mother and daughters having fun at the Halloween celebrations in Orange

While Filipinos celebrated the festival of darkness, opposite the hall in the same building another celebration was being held. The Indian community in Orange celebrated the Happy DEEPAVALLI (DIWALI), a festival of light or a celebration of lights. The hall was decorated with candle lights, bright balloons and flowers with people wearing their bright traditional costumes.

Dewali was celebrated with families and friends and the event is based upon the Hindu Mandir with prayers of course and plenty of food and sweets. My impression was of harmony, sincerity, beautiful food, dresses and children. The Central West is seeing quite an influx of Indian migrants as professionals, workers and business owners. The Sari Sari shop or its Indian equivalent has also come to Bathurst.


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Happy DIWALI an Indian celebration of lighst with their colourful costumes



Philippine Community Council –NSW responded to Typhoon disaster in the Philippines.

The Peak Body of the Filipino Community in NSW held a fundraising appeal “ARISE CONCERT” in the Bowman hall Blacktown in response to the recent disaster in our homeland. The concert was supported and initiated by the Philippine Consulate in Sydney and was a great success. The concert raised a substantial amount.

Many words have been written and spoken about the tragedy and we pray for all victims and survivors. The critical period is over, but reconstruction must follow survival. A natural disaster is not an event but a process. The winds and waves are gone but have left a scene of destruction which must be dealt with efficiently so people can begin to live decent lives once again. There have been some minor negatives in terms of looting and corruption and the ineffectiveness of Government at local and national levels. But in desperate times it may be necessary to do desperate things. If a woman takes rice from a rich house to feed her starving children, this is illegal, but ethically it is absolutely the right thing to do, but corruption by politicians is neither ethical or legal and I would like to see the perpetrators including the pork barrelers, pay huge amounts of compensation to typhoon victims.


p15-nsw-nenita-7lisa and edgar at Arise concert

PCC-NSW Pader Arise Concert for Philippine Disaster Project at Bowman Hall.

(l-r) Carmelita, Marilyn, Nenita, Lisa and Edgar and Ellis David.


On the positive side we saw the amazing strength and courage of ordinary Filipino people, who stayed proud and always had a smile for the cameras. We also saw the largest outpouring of aid that the country has ever seen. Billions of pesos, thousands of tons of food and armies of men and machines, and also medical assistance. Australian surgeons in their self-contained field hospital were carrying out over 1000 operations a week and the British, Israelis and French were not far behind. These countries with few economic or political links with the Philippines but acted purely in the name of goodwill. The USA clearly does have an interest in the Pacific, but nevertheless, to send one of its battle fleets so quickly and to get them operating so effectively with their planes helicopters and heavy equipment and large supplies of food and water saved so many lives and so much suffering.


Now comes the reconstruction phase and the donations and aid money must be put to good use and not frittered away by big noting politicians and corrupt contractors. Roads, power, water and sewerage must be repaired and plans made for reconstruction. Rapid temporary housing must be built, then a well- planned, well- built city should come later. Tacloban neighbouring settlements deserve better than a new shanty towns. Let’s hope local and state government can get their act together. Also the fisherman and farmers, who have lost their crops and boats, must be helped quickly, as they are the food producers who will be vital as donations are used up. It will be a long hard road back and help will be needed for a long time yet.



Carol Celebrates her Special Birthday
Congratulations to Carol Cashen for a lovely birthday celebration in Orange. The celebrant has live in Orange around four years. The celebration was attended by friends and family around Central West. The lavish food including lechon was enjoyed by all.


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Happy birthday Carol Cashen with Caroll, Jo, Janet, Andy G, Fernando, Alma and friends



Filipinos gathered in the Bathurst RSL club to watch the fight of Manny Pacqiauo V Rios. Manny had regained his speed and was much smarter defensively than in his previous fight, where he left himself open to a sucker punch during a careless attack. Rios was given a twelve round boxing lesson by the master and was very brave to last the distance. The audience was ecstatic and it was clear that Manny is also very popular with Anglo Australians as well as the fanatical Filipino supporters. He has an amazing capacity to bring people together which should be put to good use.



Cheering up for many Pacquiao fight at the RSL Club Bathurst.

(l-r) Robert Huppatz, Nenita, Rowena and Marilyn.



National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting Council Conference (NEMBC)
This year Conference was held in Brisbane to meet with fellow ethnic broadcasters and pick up some new skills and ideas. There were some outstanding presentations, but the Conference organisation in terms of transport, accommodation and catering left a lot to be desired. I attended the Conference at Brisbane to meet with fellow ethnic broadcasters and pick up some new skills and ideas.


After the Friday Mayoral reception at City Hall, without the mayor , who was lighting up the huge Christmas Tree in the Square outside the program began the next morning with a very entertaining and informative Keynote presentation ‘We Speak your Language’ by Prof Roly Sussex OAM, a broadcaster and linguist, who talked about acceptable language and racism. We gathered from the following Q & A session that if something is perceived as racist then it is, in that particular case, but may not always be so. Currently the word police are objecting to the word ethnic, as they claim it could be offensive. They want to substitute CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) so we would become Calderans or Caldites, this is arrogant nonsense in my opinion, but I do note that the adjective ‘ethnic’ used to describe something like ethnic art, is often wrongly used as a noun, as in ‘she is an ethnic’. Everyone is an ethnic, as we all came from somewhere whether it is England, Tibet or the Philippines.

There were some outstanding presentations. The one on broadcasting, Ethics and the Law by Dr Rhonda Breit was very interesting, explaining how presenters are bound by laws relating to defamation and copyright. It is a very complex area and I am certainly not offering legal advice but I can say, you can only use small portions of other people’s work on your program and it must be fully acknowledged, also if you criticise other individuals or organisations, you must be able to substantiate or prove your allegations and there should be an absence of malice. If there is defamation, both you and the station could be liable for damages, so act legally and ethically on air; radio is not a platform for personal abuse, although some commercial broadcasters seem to cross the line sometimes. Also it was made clear that anything published on Twitter or Facebook is a near permanent public record and subject to the Laws of Defamation and Copyright, we should all be aware and some should be afraid.

Faith Valencia gave advice on interviewing, including politicians who won’t give straight answers. It was suggested you repeat the questions three times and then pause waiting for an answer. Worth a try I suppose, but we do not really do hard-core interrogation and use a more conversational style. Other presentations included: Digital Presentation Programming by Jason Hagen; Skills and Strategies for Successful Lobbying by Bese, Manu Sione and Anderson; Digital Editing by Adepoyibi and Freeman; and Community Broadcasting foundation by Barbara Baxter. There was something for everyone in a well- balanced program.

The second day was taken up by the AGM and election of new officers, which went very smoothly.

There were a few Filipinos at the Conference, who brought their usual flamboyance and competitiveness to the event. It was good to share our issues and ambitions.

Unfortunately, the Conference organisation in terms of transport, accommodation and catering left something to be desired, but we had an informative and enjoyable time. Thanks 2MCE and NEMBC for your support.


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