Evelyn Zaragoza

Evelyn Zaragoza

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:40

Letter to the Editor

7, December 2012


Dear Editor


The festive season should be a time for celebration, but tragic road accidents at this time of year continue to be a problem.


More than a dozen people lost their lives on NSW roads last festive season and, each year, around 400 people are involved in fatal road accidents across the state.


Serious car accidents are devastating events. Those lucky enough to escape with their lives, often carry serious injuries as a permanent reminder.


In NSW, if a passenger contributes to their injuries – by not wearing a seatbelt or by getting in the car with someone they knew, or should have known, had been drinking – compensation payments can be significantly reduced.


Reduced payments can impact a person’s ability to support their family if they can’t work, or to access specialist rehabilitation services.


Sadly, as a lawyer who specialises in this area, I see people whose lives have been severely affected by road trauma over the festive season. By the time I see them nothing can be done to wind back the clock. Please, I urge your readers to take care these holidays.


Genevieve Henderson Lawyer, Slater & Gordon

by Manny G. Asuncion, Philippine Fiesta of Victoria PRO


More than 40 Filipino-Australian community organizations in Victoria, Australia joined the annual Fiesta parade during the 30th Fiesta Celebration on 24-25 November 2012 at the Exhibition Pavilion, Melbourne Showgrounds.
The parade was led by the vibrant Ati-Atihan group of the Samahan ng mga Pilipino sa Gippsland (SPAG) and the officers of the Philippine Fiesta Management Committee, followed by the different Filipino-Community associations in Victoria and the Miss and Mrs Philippine Fiesta Beauty Quest candidates. The parade was also participated in by the officers and members of the Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA) headed by its chairperson, Ms. Aida Garcia.


The parade collectively concretized the spirit of the Fiesta’s theme – Bukas Bisig or Welcome. Every association in the Filipino – Australian community in Victoria was invited to participate in the parade. Over three hundred people happily joined this annual parade, the longest ever in the history of the Philippine Fiesta.


Unlike the previous Fiestas, this event was marked by beautiful sunny weather which contributed immensely to the 2-day jovial celebration. Many arrived in festive moods chatting with relatives and friends and catching up with the news.


The cavernous Exhibition Pavilion bedecked with multi-coloured banderitas or mini buntings, was filled with revellers not only from Victoria but visitors coming from different states of Australia: savouring tasty Filipino food and drinks and enjoying Filipino dance, music and cultural exhibitions.


Filipina song diva, Dulce wowed the audience with her powerful rendition of a number Filipino songs, especially Ako ang Nagwagi, which is her signature song. Beauteous Shirley Fuentes and veteran comedian Tiya Pusit graced the occasion.


The two-day program really showcased the talents of Filipino-Australians in Melbourne by the Gintong Galing Singing Competition and a number of Filipino song-and-dance performances.


Hon Gigi Kalong, the Philippine Consul General of Victoria, commended the Philippine Fiesta as one of the uniting factors in cementing a good relationship among the burgeoning Filipino-Australian community organizations in Victoria and a very effective vehicle in promoting the culture, language history, values and traditions of the Filipino people.


Hon Bill Shorten, representative of the prime minister of Australia and Minister Financial Services and Superannuation, praised the Fiesta for its invaluable cultural contribution to the multi-cultural Australian society.
Other speakers were Mr Jing Sosa, the chairperson of the Filipino Community Council of Victoria; Mrs Marina Garcia-Ruivivar, the founder of the Filipino Community Council of Victoria and one of the pioneers of the Philippine Fiesta and Mrs Sherlita Hart, the chairperson of the Filipino Community of Ballarat.


After the speeches, Hon Gigi Kalong had the honor of cutting the ribbon flanked by the officers and members of the Philippine Fiesta to mark the formal opening of the two-day festivity.


Other features of the Fiesta was the colourful performance of the Sinulog by the Halad Group and the time-honoured Flores de Mayo and Santcruzan with their full religious pageantry - complete with a number of beautiful “Reynas” or queens in their dazzling gowns, dashing escorts and florid arches - all in coordination with Filipino Community of Lara and the Philippine Miss and Mrs Fiesta Beauty Quest 2012. There was a traditional “pabitin” after the Santacruzan initiated by the Don Bosco Association of Melbourne.


People flocked to see the cultural exhibit area mounted by the Filipino Club of Melbourne (FCCM) and the Ilonggo Association of Victoria. The exhibit featured the photos of the previous Fiesta Managements Committees, Filipino clothing and artefacts, different Santo Nino icons, the past winners of the Miss and Mrs Philippine Fiesta Beauty Quest and the private collections of Don Belardo resonating with Philippine history and culture.


A three-minute video about the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria produced by the Filipino Camera Club of Melbourne (FCCM) was regularly flashed across the big screen during the two-day festival. Interested attendees had their glamour shots taken by the FCCM for a minimum fee.


Ross Manuel, the Philippine Fiesta chairperson, delivered the closing remarks - thanking all individuals, volunteers, families, business enterprises and Filipino-Australian community organizations for making the Fiesta possible.
With the comments gathered from people who attended this year’s Philippine Fiesta celebration, most agreed that this Fiesta was one of the most successful fiestas ever held in Victoria.


“Talagang babalik uli ako sa Fiesta sa isang taon!” (I will definitely return to the Fiesta year!), quipped one of the satisfied attendees.




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Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:14

What's Up

by Charlie Bulos


U.S. election results not a stunner!


People have spoken - President Obama will continue to govern. The besmirched campaign against him with the current economy did not work. The ultimate question Republicans should answer with their conscience is, had they done it better if they have the mandate instead of Obama? NO. It may have continued the slaughter of young Americans or citizens as they pursue the war in Afghanistan and may have kept their presence in Iraq where millions of dollars are spent unnecessarily. The end result is economic chaos which the George W. Bush’s administration had done and felt all along until this time.


Australian Immigration programs
The government has introduced a new visa aims to encourage big investor from overseas. The visa waives many of the basic requirements in exchange of for $5 million investments in Australia a trend we can see in U.S. too in many ways to perk up and support the economy. The information from Migration Alliance indicates that to obtain permanent residency these applicants must invest $5 million and live in the country 40 days a year for 4 years. The program will likely encourage people from China or India, South America, Asia and Russia where people experience economic success, but do not have the peace, dignity and political stability like here with us one will need to live and experience in this world.


Sham marriages
The joint operation of Department of Immigration and Citizenship and AFP had exposed the fraudulent marriage between Indian men and Australian women. The operation was undertaken with the support of the AFP, Tax Office and the Australian Crime Commission. The report indicates, that ‘the operation was part of the investigation of immigration fraud, involving a Queensland man and his wife among others arranging fraudulent weddings between Indian men and Australian women.’


Happy Holiday!
The festive season is now here to us and to one and all Merry and Joyful Christmas to all! May everyone in this part of the world experience the blessing of peace, prosperity and good health. Nothing is more significant than being there with our love ones, wife, children or family enjoying the season of Christmas and New Year. To my grandson Christopher Bulos, happy birth on your 2nd birthday on 2 December 2012, to his dad, Christian and Ruby B. Jenko who all of them born in December. To Beth & Dr. Ed Lagrito, happy holiday on your way to U.S. and to all readers and patrons, relatives or friends (both here in Australia and in other countries) may you have a blessed Christmas and prosperous and healthy New year. See you in the Philippines with my wife Rose, a rose I am spell bound..immeasurably.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 13:56

LBC to increase remittance locations to 4,400

MANILA, Philippines - LBC Express Inc. is hoping to add 1,000 more remittance locations worldwide by 2013, which would boost its network to 4,400.


This year alone, LBC's partnerships increased the its total locations to nearly 3,400 worldwide.
LBC has 1,000 branches and 1,600 locations agent partners in the Philippines. Overseas, it has 14 international fulfillment partners with a total of 794 locations, including 253 in the Middle East, 288 in Europe, 107 in Asia Pacific, and 146 in North America.


"Strategic partnerships leverage the strengths of all parties involved, and for LBC in particular, opens different corridors and locations for us to accept remittances from all over the world. It also opens avenues for future business opportunities such as outward remittances from the Philippines, as well as tapping other nationalities worldwide," LBC President Fernando G. Araneta said.


Last July, LBC added almost 1,600 new partner branches in Visayas and Mindanao after it tied up with Palawan Pawnshop. The reciprocal service agreement makes LBC’s Instant Peso Padala (IPP) service available at over 700 Palawan Pawnshop branches and 900 of its sub-agents, while the latter’s Express Pera Padala will likewise be serviced at LBC branches.


LBC also signed agreements with Metrobank, Land Bank of the Philippines, and RCBC. Its international partners include Money Exchange in Spain; Philrem in the UK; Al Ghurair Exchange, Al Falah Exchange, and Speed Remit in the United Arab Emirates; TML Remittance Center and Placid Express in Malaysia; Far East Express and RJ Mart in Taiwan; and Manila Trading in Adelaide, Australia.


"LBC is judicious about choosing the right partners for the right locations, especially in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific, where we are looking to strengthen our presence. Our goal is not only to reinforce LBC as the preferred remittance, cargo, and courier service provider of Filipinos; we want to make our mark as a purely Filipino company providing a much-needed service to the world," Araneta said. (ABS-CBNnews.com)


by Manny Diel

PCC after two decades of existence has not tapped fully the rich talents of the young generation. 

Filipino Australians Oliver Molina who had shown much potentials during the early years of PCC is just one of the many talents who could have sparked the involvement of the Filipino youth in our community. In Queensland, we have Jerome Somodio who is also a very active young leader in that tropical state.

The Filipino community in New South Wales and in Australia needs to continually entice and nurture them to be actively involved if the peak bodies remain to be relevant in the years to come. We have always believed that the youth is the hope of our motherland and the same belief holds true in our Filipino Australian community. Many of our young Filipino Australians have made names for themselves in the mainstream community namely, members of the now famous JUSTICE CREW, KOOKIES & KREME but regrettably we might have many more out there that we don’t even know.

MARCO SELORIO, the head of the HOOPDREAMZ, the organizer of the very successful WORLD SUPREMACY BATTLEGROUNDS at the Sydney Olympic Park and many more big time events in the past has shown his extraordinary leadership talent which the community would miss out if we do not do something about him. He has captured the young Filipino Australians into his own world of entertainment.

Early next year, PCC will again hold its Annual General Meeting and Election of Officers and we do challenge them to think seriously about the Generational Change.

We would like to congratulate all Filipinos appointed to the Filipino Ministerial Consultative Groups in State and Federal Level and the Filipino community would like to know the progress reports undertaken by these Bodies as representatives of the Filipino community.

Congratulations to Ania Aquino, Interactive Producer and all involved in POPASIA, the National Winner of Community Relations Commission’s National Multicultural Marketing Awards held at Westin Hotel.

Congratulations also to Romy Cayabyab and Michelle Baltazar Editor and Publisher of the MAM (Migration Advocacy Media Awards Winners for the Websites, The Filipino Australian and Filipina Australian, respectively.

Lastly, to Imelda Argel, the only Filipino Australian recipient of the Commision on Filipino Overseas ( CFO) Banaag Awards from Australia this year.


The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, recently launched longer tourist visas for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents in recognition of the valuable role they play in their children and grandchildren’s lives.


“From 24 November, more generous tourist visas will enable regular extended family visits for those patiently waiting in the queue for a parent visa,” Mr Bowen said.


“Tourist visas will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will enable parents to spend more time in Australia with their families without needing to apply for a new visa each time they visit.


“I know many Australians are looking forward to spending a longer period of time with their parents and I am pleased the Government has been able to facilitate this.”


To be granted a tourist visa, applicants must meet Australia’s health and character requirements, have access to adequate funds, have health insurance to cover any healthcare costs during their stay and intend a genuine visit to Australia.


“My department will consider granting five-year tourist visas with a 12-month stay on each entry to parents who are in the parent visa queue outside Australia,” Mr Bowen said.


“The department will also consider granting tourist visas of up to three years with a 12-month stay on each entry for parents not currently in the parent visa queue and who have complied with a previous Australian visa.”


Eligible parents will be able to stay in Australia for a maximum of 12 months in any 18-month period.


For more information on the changes, visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website at: www.immi.gov.au


(Department of Immigration and Citizenship)