Philippine dignitaries from Canberra and Melbourne were the special guests at the first Sunday of March during the Philippine Cultural Society for Families Friends Inc (PCSFFI) regular Mass and meeting affair on 5 March at Raleigh Road Activity Centre. Guests included Her Excellency Ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz, Philippine Ambassador to Australia; Nicole Therese De Castro, Vice Consul, Philippine Embassy; Felix Pintado, Honorary Consul for Victoria; Norjamin delos Reyes, Tourism Attache; Rodolfo Sabulao, Labour Attache and Kenneth Yap, Trade Representative.
PCSFFI’s Foundress, Mrs. Aniceta Z. Esmaquel, was given the honour to introduce and call on the head of the delegation, Her Excellency Ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz, who in turn presented her entourage.
In her inspirational message, Ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz mentioned that Filipinos in Australia are not just for talents of singing and dancing but people who are willing to share their blessings derived from their fruitful stay in their chosen second home, Australia.
She further said that Women’s Day is celebrated in the month of March and she is pleased to see that the seniors in the Club still show exceptional vitality, enthusiasm and passion to spend valuable time and add life to their remaining years.
She ended by saying that on this Lenten Season, she shares her desire with Monsignor Litoy de Asis what she calls “marketing pitch” and hopes that Filipinos here will be more generous to the needy and continue to do good to other people.
The PCSFFI Dancers performed “Bongga ka Day!” to the delight of the Ambassador and Honorary Consul who joined and tried some dance steps to everyone’s delight and amusement.
Souvenir books Ani and Filipinos in Victoria, regarding early Filipino migrants and their achievements and contributions to the Australian community were given to her Excellency, the Ambassador by the authors, Mrs. Aniceta Z. Esmaquel and Dr. Antonietta Esmaquel Butler Wilks.
Raffle was the culmination of the day’s activity followed by the closing remarks of the current President, Ms. Cleofe Palomo.