13 June 2023 – The Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne successfully conducted its 125th Independence Day Diplomatic Reception, held on 13 June at the historic Isabella Fraser Room, State Library of Victoria. The event was part of a wider celebration commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence.

This first-ever diplomatic reception conducted by the Consulate General welcomed nearly 200 esteemed guests from various sectors. Attendees included officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Consular Corps in Victoria, current and former Honorary Consuls, government officials, business community representatives, and leaders of the Filipino Community in Victoria. The event was graced by MP Nathan Lambert, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs, representing the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Honorable Colin Brooks MP, and MP Wayne Farnham, representing Mr. John Pesutto, MP, the Leader of the Opposition in Victoria and Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

The event began with stirring renditions of the Philippine and Australian National Anthems by Filipino-Australian vocalists Mr. Joshua Aaron Lafuente and Ms. Angel Bardos. A series of speeches and toasts followed, with Consul General Maria Lourdes M. Salcedo highlighting the importance of the 125th anniversary of Philippine independence, the substantial contributions of the Filipino community in Victoria, and the strengthening of bilateral ties between the Philippines and Australia.

Australian dignitaries, MP Lambert and MP Farnham, extended their congratulations and underscored the significant contributions of the Philippine community in Victoria, the fifth-largest migrant community in the state.

The event was enlivened by a cake-cutting ceremony, video presentations, and warm greetings from Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews. Attendees were treated to a rich showcase of Filipino cultural heritage through an array of performances, including a live rendition of Piliin Mo Ang Pilipinas by Mr. Jerson Trinidad, a finalist of The Voice Australia. Diverse Philippine folk dances were performed by various Filipino associations in Victoria. Performances included an Igorot dance from Northern Luzon, an Alay dance from the Visayas, and a Malong dance from Mindanao. The event was further enhanced by the serenading tunes of Filipino classical guitarist Mr. Karlo Arcinue. Throughout the event, guests were treated to a variety of Filipino-inspired food as well as San Miguel Beer and DV Calamansi Cider Crush by Three Filipinas.

As we celebrate 125 years of independence, the Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne remains committed to celebrating the Filipino spirit, culture, and independence, and looks forward to a series of commemorative activities throughout the month of June.


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