Sydney — Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega, along with Embassy personnel, joined the Filipino community at the fourth Philippine Christmas Festival in New South Wales on 09 November 2019 at the Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
The two-day event, organized by the Philippine Community Council New South Wales, is the largest Filipino festival in Australia and attracts around 50,000 people.
With about 300,000 Filipinos in Australia, Ambassador De La Vega said, “your presence in this country is highly regarded and your industriousness, professionalism, and kind-heartedness has become a trademark of a Filipino-Australian.”
Federal officials joined the festivities including member of parliament and minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Hon. David Coleman with the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Immigration and Citizenship Hon. Kristina Keneally. There are about 120,000 Filipinos in the state of New South Wales.
The state also hosts significant Philippine investments, two Philippine carriers, and many Filipino entrepreneurs.
The Philippine Christmas Festival was first organized in 2016 in partnership with the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney, the Philippine Department of Tourism and the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre in celebration of the 70th anniversary of relations between the Philippines and Australia.
The Ambassador invited the guests to visit Filipino restaurants around Sydney and to try available Filipino ingredients locally.
People came for the Filipino barbecue and Filipino dessert halo-halo. With three carriers flying direct from Sydney to Manila, travel and tourism information were also available.