The flag raising ceremony of the Australia Philippines Services League at Blacktown 11 June not only marked the Philippines’ 113th Independence Day celebration, it also served as an occasion to emphasise the importance of loyalty, patriotism and leadership today.
Speaking on the themes were Federal Member for Chifley Ed Husic, NSW Opposition Leader and Member for Blacktown John Robertson, Blacktown City Council Mayor Alan Pendleton, and APSL Supreme Commander Col. Chris Pilao. (TFA Photos)
Col. Pilao indicated that loyalty is something “you give rather than what you get back”.
“Loyalty cannot be produced in an assembly line hence cannot be manufactured, as conditions of self-sacrifice are present,” he said.
He added that the strength of both family and country hinges on loyalty.
Cr. Pendleton acknowledged the contribution and loyalty of Filipino-Australians to Blacktown, the community being a ‘great asset’ to the local government area, he said.
Mr. Robertson reflected on Filipinos being an important voice in the community and highlighted the many leadership positions of Filipino-Australians in business, education, government, arts and entertainment.
He pointed out that Australia is the most successful country in multiculturalism worldwide and Blacktown, where many Filipinos live, is at the heart of New South Wales in multiculturalism and democracy.
Mr. Husic for his part said that Filipinos are “model citizens” wherever they are and should be proud of their achievements in Australia.
“You have done so much,” he said, citing the Filipinos’ warmth, love of family and industry as their strengths, and, on a lighter note, thanked them for ‘acquainting me with chicken adobo and Pacman (Manny Pacquiao)’.
The flag ceremony, the speakers conceded, showed Filipinos’ allegiance to two flags – Australian and Philippine – and reinforced the view that Filipinos have a “true love for freedom”.
The get-together that followed the flag ceremony saw performances from the Blacktown Community Band under the leadership of Maestro Jun Javier, the AGAPI Choir, the PASSI Choir, Ms Dina Bit David and Mr Reggie Cruz.
Mr Ding Vergara and Ms Agnes Northcote recited their own poetic compositions on the theme freedom, while a game show on ‘How much do you know about the Philippines’ drew a lot of interest from the audience.
Blacktown Council supports Philippine Independence Day festivities including the flag raising ceremony, program and refreshments in collaboration with the APSL.