By Michelle Baltazar
Preserving Philippine arts and culture for future generations of Filipino-Australians is the central theme of a sold-out fundraising event to be held in Sydney this weekend.
On Sunday (February 4) afternoon, more than 350 guests will fill the Dome auditorium at Burwood RSL Club for the annual Ambassadors for Culture and the Arts.
The concept is similar to the annual Arts and Cultural Award organised by the City of Parramatta Council as part of Australia Day celebrations.
The difference is that instead of an award, 20 Filipino-Australians will be recognised as ‘cultural ambassadors’, promoting Philippine arts and culture in the wider community.
This year, the organisers are extending the concept to include younger Filipino-Australians, aged 14 to 35 years old, in a new initiative – the Young Ambassador for Culture and the Arts.
“We thought it would be a great idea for the next generation to show their appreciation for Filipino culture. The next generation is just as important in our quest to preserve our heritage here in Australia,” said Josephine Musa, founding president of Adhika, Inc., one of the community groups behind the event.
Also in the program is a memorial tribute for the late Atty. Lolita Farmer OAM. Before she passed away in December last year, Atty. Farmer was an active supporter of various community initiatives, including the annual Filipino festival at Fairfield Showground.
“Atty. Farmer was an inspiration and she left an outstanding legacy through her various community projects. The Pamana Ball will be an opportunity for us to show our gratitude and appreciation,” said Dr. Jimmy Lopez, founding president of NARRA Co-op, the co-operative that launched the Ambassadors project in 2014.
Proceeds from the event will go towards helping Mount Mayon Volcano survivors in the Philippines (the volcano erupted in early January); a school library in Bicol; and towards the Philippine-Australian Arts, Culture and Innovation hub (ACI Central) in Campbelltown.
Among the key speakers of the evening are Consul Emmanuel Guzman from the Philippine Consulate and Justin Wang, the founder of successful property group, The Property Investors Alliance (PIA).
Filipinas Dance group and Lahaina Dancers will present cultural dances while celebrity artists in the community, Pam Picart and Marcus Rivera, will perform a duet from a new musical inspired by a famous Filipino novel, ‘Noli’.
The fully booked event was jointly organised by members of community groups NARRA Co-op, Adhika, Inc., and Plaza Filipino. The listing of this year’s nominees are:
2018 Ambassadors for Culture and the Arts
|Brian Lorenz Babon|
|Carolina Flores Boado|
|Carolyn Duque Manaloto|
|Ingrid Robleado Acosta|
|Marco Andre Selorio|
|Maria Labayo Lambell|
|Reia Alvarez Salazar|
|Anne Jewel Stacy Bustamante|
|Carl De Villa|
|Catherine Frances Tiatco|
|Ella Marie O’Neill|
|Gerard Geffin Joseph Musa|
|Joshua Kim Bantiles|
|Meizl Anne Manese|
|Patricia Trish Tuivai|
|Sabrina Kay Andalis|
More information on the Arts, Culture and Innovation Hub are available on their website: http://narra.filorg.com.au/aci