The Northern Star

Filipinos to promote their culture

IF YOU don't know anything about the culture of the Philippines, then a project called Read Philippines hopes to change that.

The Philippine Community Organisation of the Northern Rivers launched the project in Lismore yesterday to encourage awareness of their cultural heritage by working together with local libraries.

The launch was part of festivities held by the local Filipinos to celebrate 110 years of independence in the Philippines.

Two Filipino women will become 'books' at the next Lismore Living Library, and the organisation has bought some more conventional texts that will be available through the Richmond-Tweed regional libraries.

The project aims to generate greater interest in, and awareness of, Filipino history, culture and values among young Filipino-Australians, their friends and the community at large.

The actual Independence Day date is June 12, when the Philippines broke away from 300 years of Spanish rule.

Susan Robertson, president of the Philippine Community Organisation of the Northern Rivers, said it was a special day for her community.

"We do it every year. It's getting bigger at the moment as we are getting more members," she said.

The organisation has been together for 13 years and is a social and support group for the local Filipino community.

"It's like a family," she said.

Ms Robertson said people in the group often got together for outings and picnics, and sometimes did dance performances in nursing homes for the elderly.

But it was the kids who took centre stage at the South Lismore Bowling Club yesterday. Waving flags and singing the Australian and the Philippine national anthems, the kids then marched across the room to some traditional Philippine music.


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