Evelyn Zaragoza

Evelyn Zaragoza

A talk on the Australian electoral system provided the welcome salvo at the Australia Philippines Services League’s Inaugural Leadership Forum and Workshop, sparking robust debate among attendees who compared it with the Philippine process. 1


Ms Renee Damasena, operations manager of the Australian Electoral Commission’s NSW State

Office, discussed how elections are conducted in Australia, explaining the preferential system of

voting, informal voting, and how culturally and linguistically diverse communities can effectively

participate during elections.


“The AEC is focussing on community engagement and public awareness”, she said, noting that

AEC statistics of recent elections show an increasing trend in informal votes.


Many migrant communities seem to fear elections which is why there seems to be more informal

votes in communities with large migrant groups, Ms Damasena said.                             

                                                                                                                                            Ms Evelyn Opilas thanks to the Austra-

                                                                                                                                            lian Electoral Commission's Ms Renee

                                                                                                                                            Damasena for her invaluable talk to        

                                                                                                                                            behalf of APSL. (APSL photo) 


Monday, 26 November 2012 14:25


Outstanding community volunteers Ruben and Cen Amores are now in the speaking

circuits! Former academics and activists in the Philippines, the couple have gained

mainstream recognition, awards and commendations because of their very active

involvement in many successful community development projects and activities.  

Ruben and Cen speakers0026


Dr Cen Amores, APCO founder will join various dignitaries to speak at the NSW

housing cooperatives’ celebration of the International Year of Cooperatives at the

Cabravale Leisure Centre on 27 October. The big celebration is organised by

Common Equity NSW to showcase the successes and achievements of the coop

housing sector of NSW. Cen will speak in her role as People of Australia

Ambassador championing and advocating for multiculturalism in Australia and

representing the housing coop sector advocating for more housing stocks to be

allocated to cooperative housing. Interestingly, Cen started her community

involvement in Australia by being chair of Membership Development Committee

of the Kapit-bahayan Cooperative Ltd.                                                                                       


                                                                                                                                           Ruben and Cen Amores


Monday, 26 November 2012 14:01




CLUB FILIPINO ILLAWARRA-USTAA “Charity & Friendship”Dinner/Dance’12

A polished welcome, being a Toastmaster Club champion, was delivered by Dr Myrna Jover during the CFI-USTAA Dinner/Dance on Saturday, 6 October 2012.  She welcomed and gratefully acknowledged the lively group of guests and acknowledged specially the presence of APCO guest Jhun Salazar, the President, Dr Cen Amores, the founding President and Ruben Amores, Kapit-bahayan, founding President on behalf of both CFI and USTAA.  Of course she also acknowledged and pleased to see so many friends from Wollongong and many attendees from Sydney.   And thanked everyone for making the effort to attend. 


     2                 3

    CFI Management Committee for 2012-2013 being inducted                 Far right: Jhun Salazar, APCO President presiding during 

    by Jhun Salazar, APCO President. L-R: Mir McCadey,                       USTAA Illawarra & Sydney Oath taking. (l-r) Albert Prias,

    Chairperson; Joe Bitabara, Vice Chairperson; Malyn                          Director-External; Raquel Garcia, member; Noemi Ognilla, 

    Vasquez, Treasurer; Fe Bitabara, Asst Treasurer; Noemi                     Secretary; Myrna Jover, President; Linda Trinidad, Treasurer,

    Ognilla, Secretary; Irene Valera, Asst. Secretary; Sylvia                      Mir McCauley, member; Mely Nacilla, member and Rudy

    Petterson, PRO; Merly Edmonson, Social & Fundraising;                   Reyes, Director-Internal

    Keith Edmonson Snr, Public Officer; cynthia Piccirilli, Arts;

    Saida Vidler, Asst. Arts; Analou Ackroyd, Asst. PRO.


Monday, 26 November 2012 13:52




patricia cruzado-online 








It’s been an exciting couple of months, firstly with the arrival of my beautiful baby daughter Matilda Rose Bonner, weighing 7lb 4oz on August 22 at the Tweed Heads Base Hospital.


My partner Paul Bonner and myself can’t believe we have such a gorgeous little girl while big brothers Jake, Keaton and sister Luka have welcomed our bundle of joy. Matilda is growing quickly and is very healthy. 


My brother Douglas’partner Liz also gave birth to his fifth child, Fuschia Monroe on August 1 and my sister Christina, former Miss Philippines-Australia gave birth to her first child, a boy Kohen Salter on October 11.


The Cruzado family has much to celebrate and gathered for an annual family reunion over the October long weekend at Terrigal in memory of my father, the late Pete Cruzado.


Monday, 26 November 2012 12:44

Happy Birthday SLOBODAN

by  Bimbi Flor


Jerrabomberra resident Lyn Lane certainly picked a good day to host a birthday celebration for her fiancé Slobodan Nedeski on Saturday, September 22, 2012.  The warm weather was perfect for the outdoor barbecue but the party would not have been complete without Lyn’s favourites like Pansit, Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad and fresh greens straight from her garden to deck the feast table.  There were birthday cakes and other sweets like Biko and Fruit Salad for desert if one wasn’t already full from the chips and dips served before lunch. p20-nsw-bimbi-1IMG 0309


Among the guests were Lyn’s colleague Ferame and her husband Boris Buchman.  Ferame also

brought along her son Mike who recently arrived from the Philippines and who is busy with

applying for graduate studies in the local area.  Also among the guests were Gary Singson and

Linda Nasciemento, both from Canberra as well as Slobodan’s younger son Ckristian form



It was a fun party with everyone joining in the lively conversation over  a delcious lunch of

steaks, sausages and many more.  The birthday celebrant is one fascinating story-teller and with

Lyn such a barrel of laughs beside him, it is a match made in heaven.  The couple also share a love

for the garden, proudly presenting their vegetable patch and allowing us to take home some of 

Lyn’s priced silverbeet. 


After cutting not one but two birthday cakes, sadly some of us had to leave but the party was one

that lasted till the early hours of Sunday as many of Slobodan’s close friends arrived later in the day.

No doubt it was also a night to remember.

                                                                                                                                                                               The happy couple

Thank you Lyn and Slobodan for a wonderful and lively afternoon!



      fatherandson                                  p20-

                        Father and son.                                                                Ferame and Boris Buchman with Ferame’s son Mike





Monday, 26 November 2012 12:25

Canberra Corner




Autumn Leaves at Boyne Falls in Michigan  p20-act-volet-1Bill Carolan             

We’ve just arrived at Mountain Run in Boyne Falls in Michigan after a 7-hour drive from Chicago. 

It is the fourth week of our 6-week holiday in the USA.  The highways are really good – we

drove through 3 highways – the first out of Chicago into Indiana then into Michigan.  The weather

is perfect at 56 degrees Fahrenheit - we hardly noticed the long drive – the fall colours were

mesmerizing– from yellow, then gold, orange then red then deep red (almost like blood orange). 


There was no need to panic if you need food, petrol or restrooms (toilets) they are all available

at each exit, which were only a mile apart (1.7 km).  Breakfast at Denny’s was several choices

of slams (breakfast menus). I had French toast slam – that is 2 pieces of one each thick French

toast with 2 shots of syrup, 2 piece of bacons and sausages and 2 sunny side up – unfortunately I

only had one piece of each and I had to give up. Lunch was at McDonalds just an hour away from

our destination – 20 pieces of chicken nugget meal with 2 fries and drinks cost only $10. 

We took our leftovers back to the resort for our dinner. 


Some interesting observation along the way:  we passed a sign saying ’Prison area - do not pick       

up hitchhikers’ and a poster of Susan Boyle saying ‘I lived the dream’.  When we stopped for petrol,            Bill Carolan at the Medinah

an old man was filling up his car and could not work out the pump – when he did – he opened his                Gold Club for the Ryder Cup

boot and also started filling up a gas drum it took at least two songs of Frankie Valli that we were                 in Chicago in October 2012

listening to.