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Local election wins for Filipino-Australians in NSW

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Benjie de Ubago
Benjie de Ubago is a writer contributor to several publications. She was awarded the Premier’s Multicultural Media Lifetime Achievement Award in NSW. Check out www.filipin-oz.com for more of her articles.

In the hotly contested area of Blacktown, where most Filipinos reside, Labor took a big win at the 4 December local election. Former Labor councilors got their seats back with a few surprises. Of the 7 Filipinos campaigning for seats – 5 in Blacktown, 1 in Hornsby, and 1 in Campbelltown – only 3 won!

With Labor back in power, Carol Israel made it an easy win in Ward 4.

Although not endorsed by the Liberals this time, Jess Diaz ran with one in the coalition party instead and was re-elected to a council seat in ward 1. Diaz first won in 2008 under the Liberal banner and has been a councilor of Blacktown ever since. He was the first elected president of the Philippine Community Council of NSW in 1990 and was also a Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA).

Former Councilors Jayme Diaz, Linda Geronimo Santos, and Frederick Brills did not contest the elections.

Vince del Gallego, who ran for re-election in Hornsby as an independent, did not make it. Ray Manoto running under the Labor party banner, won his seat back in Campbelltown.

Cesar Bartolome (ward 4) and Danny Peralta running under the Blacktown coalition team, decided to give it a go but lost on their first try.

Dorothy Del Villar, president of the Golden Senior Citizens of Blacktown who ran in ward 5 failed to win.

It’s interesting to ponder whether Filipinos would support their co-Filipinos or shift alliances as needed. Obviously, in this election, they did. Then again, one wonders if Filipinos are now more discerning and choose those they feel are qualified to represent us.

With the lifting of the lockdown and limited restrictions, people have been taking advantage of their new found freedom and have been picnic-king. Parties are back. One worth noting is the picnic organized by the TRUE team, candidates for the next PCC Board, led by Ferdi Francisco. A picnic was organised for affiliates and the community. Everyone was welcome to come, and right there is a big difference! Even more obvious was the welcoming atmosphere at the picnic. At PCC events, if they don’t like you, you’re ignored and treated like a leper. Despite the cold, gray overcast weather, the TRUE team’s picnic had a warm fuzzy feeling. Even non-affiliates attended. There was singing, laughing, and lots of food, including lechon, and yes, there were smiles!

And on that note, here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and may 2022 smile on all of us.

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Benjie de Ubago
Benjie de Ubago is a writer contributor to several publications. She was awarded the Premier’s Multicultural Media Lifetime Achievement Award in NSW. Check out www.filipin-oz.com for more of her articles.

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