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Christmas in our Hearts: Celebrating Pasko sa Melbourne at Queen Victoria Market

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Jason Cordi
Jason Cordi
Editor-in-Chief, The Philippine Times

The Filipino community in Victoria gathered to celebrate the spirit of the Christmas season at Pasko sa Melbourne: Christmas in our Hearts, held at Queen Victoria Market on Tuesday, 5 December 2023.

The event was organised by The Empowered Australian Multicultural Society Inc. (TEAMS) in collaboration with the Philippine Consulate General, Melbourne.

TEAMS President Myrna Ysais highlighted the significance of the event in her welcome remarks. “In the hustle and bustle of the market and enchanting spirit of the holiday season, we embark on a journey of togetherness and joy. Today, our celebration extends beyond the enchantment of Christmas to embrace the rich tapestry of Filipino traditions that make this season exceptionally special.”

The excitement of the event being the first Filipino community Christmas event at Queen Victoria Market was expressed in the greetings and remarks delivered by Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo, Wayne Farnham MP, Victorian Multicultural Commissioner Silvia Renda and Cr Philip Le Liu of the City of Melbourne. 

Other special guests in attendance were Philippine Tourism Attaché Purificacion S. Molintas, Cr. Naim Kurt – Mayor of Hume City Council, Cr. Jamal Hakim of the City of Melbourne, Consul General of Indonesia Kuncoro Waseso and Consul General of Malaysia Nik Muhammad Nasyron. An Ecumenical prayer service was led by Christian ministers, including Fr. Joselito Asis and Pastor Eric Maliwat.

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The Filipino-Australian Student Council of Victoria led community singing, as well as a children’s program, which included storytelling and parlour games. Ross Lorenzo of the Pilipino Elderly Association of South East Region gave a Parol-Making (Christmas lantern) demonstration. 

As part of the multicultural program, there was a Harmony dance by Bollywood Duo, a fashion show by Filipiniana Australia, a Chinese Lion Dance by the Chinese Masonic Society, cultural dances by Luzviminda Dance Group, an African dance by Melbourne Djembre and line dancing led by the Filipino/Australian Association Of Ballarat Inc.

Throughout the day, there was a range of musicians and singers, including Hiraya Music, Heaven Grant Zulueta, Rolly and Paula, Fire and Ice and the Filipino Chaplaincy Choir.

Aside from witnessing the entertaining program, thousands of attendees visited the 40 vendors that offered Filipino food, general merchandise and other services. Attendees were reminded of Christmas celebrations in the Philippines, while there were also many international students celebrating Christmas in Australia for the first time who enjoyed the festivities.

Photos by Angelito Valdez Jr are available on our Facebook Page via this link.

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