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Thursday, January 28, 2021

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Filipino seniors in Victoria will have a chance this October to join the rest of Victorian seniors in celebrating the 31st Victorian Seniors Festival.There are 1,000 events planned across Victoria and some are offered for free by organisations, sponsors and their respective councils.

“The festival promotes their remarkable contributions and highlights the benefits of ageing well and keeping active, healthy and involved in the community,” said Minister for Ageing David Davis. The seniors, he said, should avail of the free public transport for Victorian Seniors Card holders from 6 to 13 October, along with five days of free economy V/Line travel on 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 October to give them the opportunity to catch up with friends and family members and attend various events.

The Victorian Government has allocated $208,000 funding for the said events for the different councils to support local events during the festival.

Interested parties may call Seniors Information Victoria on 1300 135 090 for a program or visit Seniors Online at www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au.

On a weekly basis, Filipino seniors have the opportunity to join the services of organisations and government bodies from a laugh and song to gardening and cooking.

Healthy, happy living for Filipino seniors
Staying healthy, active and happy are the keys to ageing gracefully. And this is exactly what the Filipino seniors in the southeast area are doing on a regular basis. Thanks to the Australian Filipino Community Services (AFCS), the carers, and volunteers, the seniors are given an avenue to lead a happy, fruitful lifestyle. They meet weekly doing various activities from sharing stories, scoring high in scrabble, playing the piano or practising for a group song or dance performance—any activity that would make a Filipino elderly more alert and vibrant.

Singing and cooking
Last 18 September, the High PAG held a music concert and Master Chef Showdown participated in by Filipino carers and seniors at The Dove, Filipino Seniors Wellbeing Day Centre in Doveton.

Filipino nurse/chef and volunteer Helen Verhagen shared some tips in cooking Filipino dishes, while the Filipino seniors joined her in demonstrating the secret of cooking kare-kare, sinigang na baboy and igado (an Ilocano dish). They later shared the food with High PAG families and AFCS members and guests.

After the cooking demo, the Hi PAG Choir sang some songs such as “Kataka-taka”, “Ikaw” and “Bakya Mo Neneng” and used colourful bells while singing. The group was led by music therapist Mrs Krz Aguilar and musical director Rod Bagon.

Green thumbs in the garden
Recently, the Filipino Seniors Garden Group launched its “Halamanan” project where they plant vegetables and look after them on a weekly basis. They initially planted beans in one area of the Tom Houlahan Centre Garden, and visit the place every Tuesday. The project aims to enrich the lives of Filipino seniors as they share among themselves tips on gardening while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and socialising with fellow seniors.
Filipino seniors wishing to become members of the Australian Filipino Community Services are invited to join the group. Those who wish to perform for free for the Filipino elderly are also encouraged to entertain the seniors. Volunteers to assist AFCS in the kitchen, clean the hall or accompany the seniors are also welcome. For details, contact Norminda Forteza, phone (03) 9791 8366.

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