President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. meets with the Filipino community in Melbourne, Australia


MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – On the evening of 04 March 2024, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. engaged with a vibrant gathering of over 750 Filipino community members in Australia at the historic Melbourne Town Hall. The gathering took place on the margins of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne from 04-06 March 2024.


The President was accompanied by First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique A. Manalo, Secretary of Finance Ralph Recto, Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry Alfredo E. Pascual, Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Rex Gatchalian, Secretary of Energy Raphael Lotilla, Secretary of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Jose Acuzar, Press and Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil, Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick Go, National Security Advisor Eduardo Año, Acting Secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers Hans Leo Cacdac, Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen de la Vega, Philippine Consul General to Melbourne Maria Lourdes M. Salcedo, along with other esteemed government officials.


During his address, President Marcos expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Filipino community in Australia for their invaluable sacrifices and contributions, highlighting the positive impact they have made to the Philippines and worldwide. “I am truly proud to stand among such hardworking, optimistic, and passionate Filipinos. You have become integral to the diverse fabric of Australian society, contributing significantly to the welfare of your adoptive communities,” remarked President Marcos during his meet and greet with the Filipino community.


The President also acknowledged the Filipino community’s role in strengthening the Philippines-Australia relationship, emphasizing their contribution to enhancing the Philippines’ image abroad. “Your endeavors here have not only bolstered the Philippines’ image in Australia but have also showcased the inherent Filipino qualities of hard work, talent, graciousness, and a strong sense of community support.” With approximately 408,000 Filipinos residing in Australia, they represent the fifth-largest immigrant community in the country, playing a pivotal role in fostering cultural and societal linkages.


The event also featured a celebration of Filipino talents in Melbourne, with performances by the Kiko Choir, the Pilipino Elderly Association of South East Region (PEASER), Mary Ann Van der Horst, Antoine Aquino, the Nocturnal Dance Group, the 5bis Dancers, and the Filipino Chaplaincy Choir. Legendary Filipino artist and composer Florante also graced the event with his presence, performing his folk classic “Ako’y Isang Pinoy” among other hits.


Throughout his engagements in Melbourne, President Marcos communicated the Philippines’ aspirations for enhanced regional security, strengthened people-to-people connections, invigorated trade relations, and increased foreign investment levels. His efforts culminated in securing deals worth $1.53 billion (approximately P86 billion) in investments to the Philippines.


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