ConGen Kalong urged Victorians to join Independence Day Flag rites

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The Philippine flag hoisted in synch with the singing of the National Anthem. The Panatang Makabayan recited afterwards. This is how it is traditionally done on Philippine shores.

The same nationalistic ceremonial display will be the highlight of the Flag Raising Ceremony at the Federation Square on 12 June 2011 at 8 a.m. to commemorate the 113th Philippine Independence Day. The celebration is organized by the Office of the Philippine Consulate of Victoria.

Philippine Honorary Consul General of Victoria, Virginia Kalong said that the celebration is a way to remind Filipinos of the sacrifices of those who fought for Philippine freedom. She quotes Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, “ang di marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan, di makakarating sa paroroonan.” Kalong further adds, “As Filipinos, we can not turn our back on our shared history and culture…If not for the perseverance of our forefathers, none of us would be where we are today.”

Congen makes a similar reference for young Filipino-Australians by inferring that without the sacrifice of their parents in seeking greener pasture in Australia, they will not be “privileged to enjoy the bounties of Australia.”

Nationalism is not defined by geography, as stated by Congen Kalong. “We are both Filipino and Australians. We acknowledge the country of our birth/ethnicity as well as the country of our residence. Both have shared our hopes and dreams of a brighter tomorrow. Not forgetting where we come from and putting our best foot forward to make
a difference is proof enough of our Nationalism.”

Congen Kalong advocates for unity and harmony among Victorians and the greater Australian community. “We have to work together, cooperate and share one vision for the success of our nation.”

More Independence Day celebs

Several Independence Day celebrations are being prepared all over Australia. In Victoria, Melbourne, the Filipino Community Council of Victorians, Inc. (FCCVI) and the Philippine Australian Foundation Inc.(PAFI) will spearhead the staging of the 113th
Philippine Independence Day Ball on 4 June 2011, 6 p.m., at the Millennium Reception and Function Centre.

In New South Wales, Australia, two Independence Day celebrations will be staged. The Philippine Community Council of New South Wales (PCC-NSW) will hold the Philippine National Day Ball on 10 June 2011 at Waterview in Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush NSW. The theme of the celebration is “Balikatan Tungo sa Maunlad na Samahan.” Meanwhile, the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations, Inc. (APCO) will mount the Freedom Ball Gala Dinner and Dance on 12 June 2011 at the

Grand Ballroom, Bankstown Sports Club, 8 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown NSW. The theme of the celebration is “Bagong Panahon, Patuloy na Hamon: Kapatiran, Katarungan at Kaunlaran”.

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