PHL Embassy participates in the activities of the Philippine Central Association in Palmerston North, New Zealand
Upon the invitation of the Philippine Central Association (PCA) of New Zealand, Minister and Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa served as the inducting officer for the new set of officers of the PCA on 14 December 2014 in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
The newly inducted PCA officers for 2015 are Mr. Angel Carambas, Chairman; Mr. Dominic Lomiwes, Vice Chairman; Mr. Tony Villanueva, Secretary; Mr. Sandro Mercado, Treasurer; Ms. Ma. Lizette Gallaza, Cultural Executive; Mr. John Abais, Social Executive; and Mr. Dale Enriquez and Mr. Larry Boyd, Youth & Sports Chairpersons.
In her remarks, Consul Gonzales-Macaisa stated it is evident that though members of the PCA have built new lives in New Zealand, they still maintain their sense of being Filipino as they take on the responsibilities of being part of the PCA. Such an organization mirrors the inherent values that define the Filipino wherever they may be. She shared the good news regarding the Philippine economy which is growing at rates that surpass even our own estimations and she spoke of a sense of renewed optimism in the Philippine government policies under President Benigno S. Aquino III, a sense of justice and fairness prevails in society and true and lasting peace is finally in sight for Mindanao. These are the fruits of good governance. She further encouraged the members of the PCA and the Filipino community in Palmerston North to register for Overseas Voting and for those who have already acquired New Zealand citizenship to apply for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. She reminded the Filipino community members that they are fortunate to be living in New Zealand, a country which embraces its multicultural society and one which allows multiple citizenships. Minister and Consul General Gonzales-Macaisa concluded her remarks by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Filipino with a resounding “Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon”.
The induction and Christmas party prepared by PCA showcased the cultural pride of the association. Children of all ages were encouraged to participate in the program with various cultural dances. The Filipino Christmas spirit permeated the air with songs and musical presentations from various groups including the PCA Rondalla Group. The PCA’s guest speaker, Palmerston North Member of Parliament (MP), the Honourable Iain Lees-Galloway, commended the PCA and the Filipino community of Palmerston North for their generosity of spirit and their willingness to adapt to New Zealand’s multicultural society. He commended the Filipino community of Palmerston North for their cultural enthusiasm and for keeping Filipino traditions thriving amongst the youth of the community. MP Lees-Galloway also stated that his office is open to the Filipino community and encouraged them to bring forward concerns they may have to his attention. He ended his remarks by wishing the Filipino community a very Merry Christmas.