Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

ABS-CBN The Filipinos channel representatives engage with PHL Embassy and Filipino community in New Zealand

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Ms. Aileen Paredes, Production Manager and Mr. Struan Wallace, Cameraman of the ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC) visited Wellington recently and put the spotlight on the Filifest New Zealand cultural group who continues to showcase the best of Filipino music and dances in Aotearoa, exemplifies the continuing love for the motherland and the importance accorded to instilling Filipino values and traditions especially among the Filipino youth and presenting authentic and outstanding cultural performances for the Filipino community and the people of New Zealand and other countries. Ms. Anita Mansell, President and Ms. May Young of the Filifest New Zealand accompanied Ms. Paredes and Mr. Wallace who called on Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez on 5 December 2014 at the Philippine Embassy. In thanking Ms. Paredes and Mr. Wallace for their interest and objective to feature Filifest New Zealand as a distinctive Filipino group promoting Filipino cultural heritage and history among children and adults, Ambassador Benavidez shared with them the Embassy’s valuable partnership with the Filifest cultural group all through the years in major events such as the Philippine national days, performances of the Philippine Baranggay Dance Troupe in Wellington and other parts of the North Island last June and several celebratory occasions in New Zealand. The Filifest group’s continuing passion, professionalism, dedication and commitment in making the globally known talents and recognized creativity of the Filipino people and the richness of Philippine artistry and culture in the performing arts shine in New Zealand are indeed commendable. Ms. Paredes and Mr. Wallace were glad to know more about the Filifest group who reach out and train the younger members of the Filipino community through music and dances as this is in line with the ABS-CBN TFC features on the efforts of overseas Filipinos to promote and preserve Filipino traditions and identity among Filipinos who either have spent their growing up years abroad or those who belong to the second generation in host countries. While they were in Wellington, Ms. Paredes and Mr. Wallace filmed the Filifest cultural group members as they performed different Filipino dance and music highlighting the bonds of cultural heritage especially among the children and the youth and the commendable commitment to share time and talents to raise the profile of the Philippines and the Filipino people in the multicultural landscape of New zealand.

Ambassador Benavidez also introduced Ms. Flora Muriel Nogoy and Mr. Judith Mendoza of the Bulwagan Foundation Trust to Ms. Paredes and Mr. Wallace to share the on-going project to set up a Filipino Community Centre (FCC) in the Wellington region that will serve as a home, haven and headquarters for activities and programs of Filipinos and the wider community and a legacy for the younger and succeeding generations of Filipinos in New Zealand. Ms. Nogoy and Ms. Mendoza gave brochures about the Bulwagan Foundation Trust and the active fund raising campaigns being held as the FCC is envisioned to be launched in the near future. They would be linking up with Ms. Paredes and the ABS-CBN TFC for promotions and announcements about the FCC and the Bulwagan Foundation Trust in Wellington, New Zealand.

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