BY VIRGINIA KALONG, Consul, a.h.
On Philippine Independence:
The Consulate thanked all those who braved the cold Melbourne winter last 12 June to bear witness to the raising of the Philippine Flag at all eight flagpoles at Federation Square as well as to those who attended our Independence Day Mass last 11 June at St Brigid’s Church.
It is indeed a blessing to be able to express our pride in our being Filipino in our second home in Melbourne, Australia. I can only hope and pray that more Filipinos and Filipino-Australians share this sentiment as we remember the blood, sweat and tears of our forefathers as they fought so valiantly for our freedom.
Our annual Independence Day Celebrations with the Independence Day Mass celebrated on the eve of Philippine Independence and the Philippine Flag Raising on 12 June are two simple yet profound events that urge us to show our nationalistic fervour and pride in being Filipinos; lest we forget who we are and what we stand for. It has never been more crucial for us to stand proud and tall and act on how we can shape the future of the Philippines. Pinoy pride is not just a hashtag but a call to action of what we can achieve if we can be united and work for the common good.
The Consulate with the Filipino Chaplaincy of Melbourne and the Archdiocese of Melbourne would like to invite everyone to a Lectio Divina and Mass with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila on Tuesday, 5 August 2014 from 6 pm to 8.30 pm at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Ambassador Belen Anota will be in attendance. Come and experience “Living the Joy of the Gospel”.
On Consulate Office Transition:
Before anything else, I would like to extend my deepest and most sincere thank you to everyone in the Filipino and Filipino-Australian Community for your continued support. For over four years, it has been indeed a privilege to serve you and to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
My journey as your Consul is about to come to a close. We are just awaiting the exequatur from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government to formally recognise Mr Felix Pintado, the incoming Consul. An exequatur is a patent which a head of state issues to a foreign consul, guaranteeing the consul’s rights and privileges of offices and ensuring recognition in the state to which the consul is appointed to exercise such powers. After an exequatur has been issued, Mr Pintado, would need to be sworn into office by the Ambassador at the Philippine Embassy in Canberra. I have been asked and have agreed to remain in office pending such actions to ensure a smooth transition.
The Consulate Office is moving to Level 5, 11 Queens Road Melbourne from 1 August 2014. We will still have the old office, Suite 1205/ 1 Queens Road Melbourne operational until 30 August 2014 to aid our kababayans during this transition phase.
If the Consulate can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Maraming salamat po ulit. Karangalan ko po ang magsilbi sa inyong lahat.
Let us continue to make a difference.
God bless us all! Mabuhay!