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News and Views of the
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News Updates: APCO Inc. –NSW-Australia

A treat for multicultural families in Auburn-Australia!

Emailed for posting by Ruben Amores
(Prepared by the Project Team)
Balik Tanaw (Looking Back) Project
July 22, 2017


July 16 was a special day for all families (Filipinos and multicultural) who attended the entry-FREE Philippine Family Day held at Auburn Peacock Gallery. As part of the Balik-Tanaw (Looking Back) series of the on-going Philippine Bayanihan Arts and Culture Festival, Cumberland Council partnered with the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations Inc (APCO) in presenting a Family Funday that included traditional Filipino games, a variety of art activities, karaoke singing and a wide choice of delicious Pinoy food last Sunday 16 July 2017 at the Auburn Botanical Gardens.

The Project Committee composed of Dr Cen and Ruben Amores, Charles Chan, Albert Prias and Jenny Cheeseman selected simple and risk-free traditional Filipino games for children which we enjoyed back home. In compliance with safety regulations only adults with working with children certificates were allowed to facilitate the games.

The kids couldn't hide their excitement as the ever active and lively Games Master and APCO Jr VP, Charles Chan demonstrated and facilitated the playing of patintero, sipa and piko assisted by Ricky and Melanie Mendoza. A very colourful and widely participated game was the pabitin, facilitated by Ruben and Raphael Amores. All the players were excited having successfully grabbed their share of the bounty! The colourful hanging frames were made by Ruben and the APCO ladies such as Cen Amores, Violy Escultura, Glorina Papaioannou, Zeny Piosik, Juliet Byrne, Rose Lay and Cleo Baltazar helped in preparing the lollies, chocolates and bags of chips that were hanged on wooden frames. APCO Director, Emma Braceros purchased all the prizes given to winners and participants. The mature aged guests were not left out either as they also played sungka and dama.

Philippine based artist Alwin Reamillo maintained the kids' interest on a variety of Filipino art activities. The karaoke singing was well managed by veteran singer, Cleo Baltazar and assisted by APCO Secretary, Carmen Fraser. A cross section of our guests (youth and mature aged) took turns in belting out their favourite songs.

Parents and grandparents alike gave positive feedbacks and thanked the project team for the great opportunity to spend the day in a very relaxed atmosphere where the kids and adults alike from diverse cultures socialised, played together and had a taste of Filipino culture. Many expressed eagerness to attend similar type of event again. The day ended with Charles belting out a few danceable songs and the working committee members flexed their muscles with their dancing power! The Arts Coordinator of Cumberland Council, Jenny Cheeseman and her staff at Peacock Gallery and Auburn Art Studio set up the venue and assisted in the various activities. The funding bodies such as the NSW Government, Create NSW and Cumberland Council are acknowledged for their generous sponsorship

Amoreses guests at Africultures dinner

By Ruben Amores
July 22, 2017

Jollof is a one-pot rice dish popular in many West African countries. Jollof war is a West African banquet fit for an African king and queen. It was an interesting activity which engaged all the guests from diverse backgrounds to have a taste of the contending countries’ version of their Jollof rice and were asked to choose by casting their votes which version reigns supreme.

Among the special guests invited who represented the Filipino community were Dr Cen Amores, current Chairperson of Auburn Small Community Organisation Network Inc (ASCON) and Founding President of the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations Inc (APCO) with her husband, Ruben Amores, Founding President  of the Cumberland LGA based Kapit-bahayan Cooperative Ltd and Founding Chair of ASCON. It is interesting to note that the four countries that jointly hosted this year’s Africultures are among the 40 organisational members of ASCON.

To keep the guests entertained, an African Dance Group composed of four ladies awed the guests with their superb fast-beat dancing and an instrumentalist African musician provided a relaxing music on a unique traditional African guitar.  A delicious choice of Western African food was served and before the event concluded, Ghana was officially declared as the winner of the Jollof War!

More Pinoys join Sydney Alliance’ campaign for more affordable housing

By Ruben Amores
July 22, 2017

The 12th of July was a powerful gathering of 603 concerned community leaders who came all over Sydney to attend the 2nd Affordable Housing Assembly. Both Minister Anthony Roberts and Sarah Hill, CEO of the Greater Sydney Commission were present and given opportunities to respond to the “asks” from Sydney Alliance.

In its strong commitment to step up support for a stronger affordable housing targets proposed by Sydney Alliance, the Filipino community was again represented by officers and members of the Kapit-bahayan Cooperative Ltd and the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations Inc. Present were: Dr Cen and Ruben Amores and Pablo and Evelyn Lee.

The strong endorsements from renowned figures such as Dr Tim Williams and Prof Bill Randolph coupled by the powerful stories from Nadine, Preety, Steven and Les could not be discounted by the decision makers. Being in such a big number who braved the cold evening to give support for affordable housing targets is worth the time and effort for all.

The big crowd was dismayed when it was made clear that Minister Anthony Roberts showed resistance to inclusionary zoning policies. Likewise, the Greater Sydney Commission CEO, Sarah Hill was unmoved to   raising the percentages of affordable housing levels 15% for private/ commercial developments and 30% in government developments and to include those in middle incomes among these for priority housing.

At the Assembly, GSC CEO Sarah Hill was uncertain on the number of affordable homes that will be built in the near future. But in so far as the Sydney Alliance and the hundreds of supporters, present, it was evident that we were ready to keep the pressure mounting.

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