“When one door closes, another door opens” – Alexander Graham Bell

After breaking away from the Filipino Community Council of Victoria Inc., the Dumapias-led group has formed a new alliance named Council of Australian-Filipino Organization of Victoria Incorporated (CAFOVI).

CAFOVI was launched at the Philippine Independence Day ball held at the Ultima Reception on 8th June 2019. Close to 300 people attended the event that included members of Parliament, representatives of various community organisations, and Filipino community leaders.

The CAFOVI core group is composed of Marithess Dumapias, Marisa Vedar, Fred Jover, Lorna Ramirez, Vilma Dimasaca, Nida Schofield, Liza di Blasio, Melvin Mata, Vincent Jimenez, Jojo Genato, Lito Cueta, Lulu Lorenzo, and Vilma Egan.

Event highlights

Photos by Gary Haywood | Courtesy of Liza di Blasio

The program kicked off with a parade of leaders from various organisations. Melba Marginson and Roy Carbungco kept the night alive and entertaining as Masters of Ceremony. Pastor Anthony Crisostomo led the opening prayer.  CAFOVI President Ms Marithes Dumapias inspired the supporters and special guests with her welcome message.

Melton MP Steve McGhie delivered a short speech followed by Nina Taylor, Member for Southern Metropolitan Region. Both members of Parliament were impressed with the program presentation and expressed their support for CAFOVI.

The night was filled with entertainment with four organisations performing cultural dances, namely Bendigo Association, Perlas ng Silangan, Ballarat Association and the Pearcedale “Seniors on the Move” group.

Another highlight of the evening was the breathtaking duet of Anthony Chrisostomo with his rich baritone voice and the powerful voice of Irish Khor. Irish is an opera singer with a Master’s Degree  in Music at the University of the Philippines. Crisostomo and Khor sang Ako Ay Pilipino while showing a video clip depicting the history of Philippine Independence Day, and on the foreground a parade of Filipiniana costumes. It was a nostalgic moment that touched the hearts of the audience.

Certificates of Appreciation were later handed out to all supporters from different organisations.

Lulu Lorenzo and Willie de Joya won Best Female and Best Male Dressed Competition, respectively.

A powerpoint presentation of the founding of CAFOVI was also shown to the public.

Raffle tickets and door prizes were drawn which included a return ticket to Manila donated by Chris Centeno of My Travel Solutions and Lulu Lorenzo of L.K. Travel, and a cookware donated by Liza di Blasio of Western Union. Ms Gigi Kalong of Philippine Tours also donated  a return ticket to Manila which was auctioned on the night. Lots of consolation prizes from generous donors delighted the crowd.

Music was provided by RoxxMixx duo and DJ Raul Ordonio which kept the guests on their feet dancing with gusto.

Finally, an emotional closing message was delivered by Marisa Vedar.

“We can not anymore suffer in silence. So today being Independence Day, we are declaring independence from the bondage of silence, distorted alliance that only benefited a few, and stigma partisan politics that has stifled the growth of the Filipino Community,” Vedar said.

The CAFOVI team ended the program singing the chorus from Queen’s song “We Are The Champions”

It was truly a very memorable night for all.

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Lorna Ramirez
LORNA RAMIREZ was born, raised and educated in Manila in the Philippines, attaining a degree in Chemical Engineering and working as a laboratory manager in a textiles company. In 1977, with her husband and her son and daughter she migrated to Australia. She worked as a laboratory technician and a chemist in Australia, only retiring in the year 2000 to care for her first grandchild. Lorna Ramirez has travelled extensively, gaining much from her interactions with people all over the world and building a strong foundation for her philosophies about life. She loves gardening, cooking, and reading and playing the piano. She is also interested in the Stock Exchange. Throughout her life, Lorna Ramirez, a woman of faith, has been a wise observer of human behaviour and has collected her many pearls of wisdom and observations to produce this inspiring and uplifting book.


  1. The Author employs the term “breakaway” to describe the formation of this new group of quasi-conglomeration of various social/service clubs or associations within the Filipino community in Victoria. It is unfortunate, however, that the term “breakaway” has traditionally albeit negatively connote schism and disunity.
    In this day and age of deregulation and competition, the formation of a new entity based on the model or structure of an older or archaic organization augurs positively for the clients or consumers, for they are now provided with an option of choice.
    The development and progression of a second or even a third, and so on and so forth organization, which will obviously improve and evolve on the flaws and failings of its predecessor definitely guarantee client or consumer satisfaction.


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