A few more days and the new year ushers in. This is usually the best time to reflect on the year that was—the good and the bad, the opportunities and the lessons, the gains and the losses and everything else in between. We soak up in the soon-to-be 2018 memories and hope for a brighter and more prosperous 2019.

Our community is not lacking of celebratory moments. We have had fiestas all over Victoria, the simple and the grand, some of which are, of course still rooted in our Catholic roots. We held our first Philippine Fiesta at the heart of Queen Victoria Market, which is like the hub of many cultures. It certainly showcased what’s beautiful of our culture—the dances, the Filipiniana, crafts and notably, the food. The Sinulog and the Santa Cruzan remained the most commemorated religious festivals as several organisations took on the challenge of mounting their own activities. Young and old, and wherever you are in Victoria, there’s bound to be a Sto Niño paraded recalling the arrival of the first image in Cebu or a bevy of beauties in long gowns sashaying around to commemorate the discovery of the Holy Cross in your part of town.

Then there were organisations which had celebrated anniversaries and individuals who had celebrated their milestone birthdays, from 5 to 95. We are a diverse community of individuals, young and old; and varying organisations catering to different social, civic, religious needs. Kudos to all who have reached major milestones.

Nothing gets our heart more pumping than sports, with us witnessing a basketball tiff like no other between the national teams of Australia and the Philippines in the Fiba International Qualifiers. Social media was abuzz with comments thrown back and forth praising and criticising both teams, which were both meted with suspensions and fines, with the Philippine Team taking on a bigger flak. Still on a bigger front, our very own Filipino-Australian Christopher Remkes smashed in the Commonwealth Games for gymnastics. His is a story of tragedy turned victory worth retelling for generations to come.
Right on our own backyards, sports has still kept our bonds together as Filipino-Australians. Interstate basketball tournaments, golf matches and even chess competitions have kept camaraderies alive.

The entertainment scene has flashed a huge smile on our local artists in the concert scene and also in theatre. We have seen the emergence of new, young talents doing front acts or solo or group fundraising concerts. With the right opportunities, our young talents will go places. Philippine showbiz entertainers also graced our stage here, delivering unforgettable performances, some had us banging our heads to rock music on one end or turning nostalgic with songs of yesteryears from singers from different eras.

We have had many achievers in the field of culinary arts, beauty pageants, sports, theatre, politics and many other arenas. We have also been fruitfully blessed this year as charity events left and right were held to benefit kababayans. They can say a lot of mean things about Filipinos, but they cannot censure us for being too chirpy and too generous, sometimes even to a fault. In spite of all the challenges 2018 brought forth for us as individuals or as a community, there is so much to raise our glasses for and be thankful for surviving yet another year.

Watch out for our year-end recap on our first issue in January.

Meanwhile, if there’s any community resolution that we should make, it should be this: give peace a chance and make peace happen.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

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