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Family Day brings fun and celebratory vibe

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Hundreds of people from around Victoria attended the Family Open Day last 18 June at Springvale Town Hall. This event was organised by the Filipino-Australian community in coordination with the Philippine Consulate General of Melbourne. Monsignor Joselito de Asis offered a thanksgiving prayer to start the event.

Filipino community groups joined the mini parade and entry to the main hall. The success meant full reservation of all seating that walk-ins had to access the balcony area. Kiko Choir, the Filipino choir of St Francis Church, led the singing of the Philippine national anthem and a rendition of Tagumpay Nating Lahat. Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo then gave a welcoming address.

Special guests also gave their remarks such as Julian Hill MP, Federal Member of the Australian House of Representatives and MLC Anne-Marie Hermans, representing the Leader of Opposition, State of Victoria. “[T]ens of thousands of people have become Australian citizens in ceremonies right here [at Springvale],” said Hill, pertaining to heart of the City of Greater Dandenong, the most multicultural part of Australia. “It’s almost a miracle that out of this diversity, this geographic spread, these different cultures and people, you’ve managed to forge a sense of nationhood and a functioning democracy,” he noted pertaining to the 7000+ islands and 100+ languages of the Philippines. Other speakers included Victoria Multicultural Commissioner Jennifer Huppert and Councilor Sean O’Reilly of the City of Greater Dandenong.

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To showcase the diverse culture of the Filipinos, performances were seen throughout the day including the Ballarat Cultural Dance Group’s Planting Rice dance, Bendigo Filipino Foundation’s cultural dance of the Sarimanok and Dayang Dayang, the Pilipino Elderly Association of South East Region (PEASER)’s Sombrero dance, the North Melbourne Filipino Dance Troupe’s Salakot dance and David Smile Dance’s salsa exhibition. Public dancing with music by DJ Pros and Roxx Mixx Duo had attendees up on their feet.

In addition, a fashion parade showed the evolution of the Filipiniana dress. Children also joined a singing contest in collaboration with Filipino-Australian Student Council of Victoria (FASTCO) while adults joined a chess tournament, a true testament to the variety of talents and skills of Filipinos. A short presentation on Dr Jose Rizal was part of the program as well as an auction and raffle draw. After the announcement of winners, Consul Ralph Abarquez closed the progam with his remarks.

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