Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

PHL Embassy joins the gathering of the Philippine community of Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

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As the Philippine Embassy continues to reach out and be part of the Filipino community gatherings in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez together with Cultural Officer Ma. Victoria Reyes and Administrative Staff Hilario Reyes joined fellow Filipinos and guests at the Mid-Winter Get Together of the Philippine Community of Hawke’s Bay (PCHB) in Hastings on 18 July 2015. Ms. Brenda Cacho-Bevin, President warmly welcomed and thanked everyone for gracing the occasion and spoke on the increasing numbers and importance of the Filipino community and their vital contributions to national development of both New Zealand and the Philippines. She thanked the PHCB officers and members, sponsors, performers and all those who have contributed to making the event successful.

In her remarks, Ambassador Benavidez congratulated Ms. Cacho-Bevin and the PCHB team for the exemplary cooperation and solidarity in bringing together the Filipinos in Hawke’s Bay and being the Philippine Embassy’s vital partners in promoting the richness and variety of Filipino culture and projecting a favourable image of the Philippines and the Filipino people in this part of the North Island in New Zealand. There are nearly 500 Filipinos in Hawke’s Bay who belong to the estimated 45,000 population of Filipinos many of whom have made New Zealand their second home. “We take pride in the fact that the Filipinos here are acknowledged to be the 3rd largest community of skilled migrants and much appreciated for their ability to continue to integrate themselves well into the local communities and contribute to the multi-cultural enrichment of New Zealand,” Ambassador Benavidez stated. Wherever they may be, the Filipinos are always recognized and valued for their industry, dedication, skills, language proficiency and positive and sacrificial work attitude and ethics and active involvement in the community way of life. She shared with them the positive developments in the Philippines and enjoined them to become dual citizens and register as overseas voters to enable them to exercise their sacred right to suffrage in choosing the leaders of the Philippines in next year’s elections.

Ambassador Benavidez inducted into office the officers of PCHB and the Hawke’s Bay Filipino Sports Club (HBFSC) led by their Presidents, Ms. Brenda Cacho-Bevin and Mr. Rico Del Rosario, respectively. Mrs. Sook Hua Lee, the President of the Multicultural Association highlighted the growing ethnic diversity and the collaboration with PCHB and involvement of Ms. Cacho-Bevin and the Filipinos in contributing to the enriching the multicultural tapestry in Hawke’s Bay.

Several dance performances and raffle draws and the Filipino spirit of “bayanihan” (volunteerism and sense of community) enlivened the evening.

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