Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

2nd JCRM Friendship cup brings basketball teams and fans together in ChristChurch, New Zealand

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The opening ceremony started with the playing of the national anthems of the Philippines and New Zealand and a prayer by Pastor Gavin Tapp of the Oikos Church followed by Praise and Worship led by Bro. Amado Dela Cruz of the JESUS IS LORD Church, Welcome Remarks by Bro. Romeo Padiernos, Jr., JCRCM Chairman and the Message by Pastor Marzan Pitas, Head Pastor of JCRCM.

In her remarks, Ambassador Benavidez highlighted the importance and popularity of basketball as a great crowd drawer and showcase of Filipino talents back home in the Philippines, New Zealand and abroad. She acknowledged Ms. Lianne Dalziel, Member of Parliament from the Labour Party and Ms. Lana Hart, Settlement Support Coordinator as the special guests and thanked them for their presence and support, the leaders and members of JCRCM, the organizing committee spearheaded by Mr. Frankie Capote together with Mr. Rodrigo Ramirez and Mr. Junifer Felipe, the participating teams, sponsors and supporters for mounting the basketball games that will surely bring much excitement and delight to the Filipino community and basketball fans. “Basketball is considered as one of our national passion, a centerpiece of our sports development program, an exhibition of our people’s prowess and excellent performance in sports and a mirror of our national spirit promoting sportsmanship, fair play and teamwork. Through basketball, the Filipino sportsmen are a force to be reckoned with in national, regional and international arenas and become ambassadors of goodwill in enhancing friendship and camaraderie.”

Member of Parliament Lianne Dalziel and Settlement Support Coordinator Lana Hart spoke on the high regard and appreciation being given to the Filipinos in Christchurch and their vital roles in and contributions to the rebuild and reconstruction of the city as well as their involvement in health, business and other equally important sectors. Their attendance in the basketball event highlighted the support and cooperation of local officials to promote the well-being and integration of Filipinos with the local communities. Following the sponsors’ speeches and the oath taking of teams led by Bro. Robert Prima, the muses, coaches, managers and members of the eight basketball teams, namely, Defenders (JCRCM Church Team 1), Jailhouse Boys (JCRCM Church Team 2), Conqueror (JIL Church Team 1), Zion (JIL Church Team 2), Oikos 1 (Oikos Church Team 1), Oikos 2 (Oikois Chuech Team 2), Sacred Heart and Uniplan were presented amidst the rousing cheers and applause of the Filipinos, guests and basketball fans. Dr. Earl John Magtibay and Ms. Fergielyn Catayoc entertained the public through their much applauded song numbers. The closing remarks were given by Bro. Lito Go, JCRCM Men’s Ministry President and the closing prayer by Pastor William Lopez of JIL Church. Ambassador Benavidez said that the series of games in the 2nd JCRCM Friendship Cup 2013 will provide wholesome recreation and welcome break from daily work and inculcate and share Christian values among the participants, organizers and fans. She reiterated her appreciation to the JCRCM leaders and members, Ms. Katrina Dominguez, Mr. Bruce and Ms. Dinah Whitburn and all those involved in the basketball friendship games for their hospitality and graciousness.

While in Christchurch, Ambassador Benavidez and the JCRCM Pastors and members visited Mr. Danilo Tagra, a painter employed by We Power, to pray for his healing and recovery after his hospitalization. She was also interviewed by Mr. Alfie Alojado, Jr. and Mr. Admiral “Blade” Lazo who anchor “Kumusta Ka, Kabayan” segment of the Plains FM 96.9 radio to disseminate updates on the Philippine Embassy’s programs and activities for the benefit of the Filipino community and to advise Filipinos and their relatives in the Philippines to be careful and vigilant and not to entertain calls purportedly from the Philippine Ambassador asking for money to be remitted to their relatives who allegedly met an accident in New Zealand. Ambassador Benavidez warned the Filipinos in Christchurch that this is clearly a scam by unscrupulous persons and requested them to immediately call the Philippine Embassy for clarification and assistance.

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