Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

PHL Embasst and Filipino community bring joy to participants of disabled resources trust and residents of aged care facility in Greater Wellington, New Zealand

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As the Philippine Embassy pursues its priority to promote closer people-to-people ties, the Philippine Embassy personnel partnered with some members of the Filipino community to bring the spirit of sharing and caring to the participants of the Hutt Valley Disabled Resources Trust managed by Ms. Susan Gray, CEO on 28 March 2013 and the elderly residents of the Mount Victoria Lifecare Facility managed by Filipinos Ms. Josefina Laroza and Mr. Alberto Calope, Jr. on 27 April 2013. For this year, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez started a tradition of making birthday celebrations of Embassy personnel and their dependents more meaningful and fulfilling by spending quality time and imparting the spirit of sharing and caring to those who need them the most in nursing homes, facilities for differently abled and other places run by volunteer organizations.

Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez led the Philippine Embassy officers and staff and some members of the Filipino community who played the piano, sang songs, did a group dancing and served Filipino food to the delight of the participants and residents of the facilities they visited. Ms. Gray together with Ms. Josephine Garcia Jowett, a well-known Filipino visual artist warmly welcomed them at the Hutt Valley Disabled Resources Trust where the participants, two of them are Filipinos, namely, Carlo Mcllvride and Lee Lacanienta, enjoyed a heartwarming and fun-filled afternoon. For her part, Ms. Laroza and the elderly residents were happy to welcome the Philippine Embassy Team and the Filipino community members for the second time at the Mount Victoria Lifecare Facility. In her remarks, Ambassador Benavidez thanked the management of both facilities for the wonderful opportunity to interact with their respective participants and residents and hardworking staff. It was a meaningful afternoon of giving time and attention to make them feel special and loved. The participants, residents, management and staff of the facilities conveyed their deep appreciation for the importance given to them and extended an invitation to visit them again. The Philippine Embassy team and the Filipino community members were touched by the joy and affection showed by the people in these facilities and the kindness and sacrificial service of the management and staff. “We were all moved by this experience and agreed that this is the best way of demonstrating the Filipinos’ adherence to our core values of respect and care for elders and special people and our natural readiness and innate willingness to show how much we value the importance of reaching out and sharing our people’s talents to bring joy and let them know and feel that they are cared for and appreciated. These mean a lot for all of us and we would like to do again during birthdays and special occasions,” Ambassador Benavidez stated.

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