May 16, 2017

Celebrate What’s Great: Philippines-Australia Friendship Day

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  • Filipinos and Australians go way, way back. We started off as trade partners during the 1800s, then war allies during WWII.

    Today, Australia and the Philippines cooperate closely across a range of areas, including defence, counterterrorism, law enforcement, education and development. They’re also our second largest “financer” via the Official Development Assistance for 2016-2017, to the tune of P3 billion.

    While we’ve been friends for decades, there hasn’t really been an official event to commemorate our friendship. This is why the Australian Embassy and the Australia Global Alumni in the Philippines decided to hold the first official Philippines – Australia Friendship Day with an outdoor festival on Saturday, 20 May at the Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater.

    “This is a celebration of the longstanding and close friendship between our two countries,” said Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely, “We have strong people-to-people links nurtured through educational and cultural exchanges. So I am very pleased that Australia Global Alumni are leading the celebration of the first Philippines Australia Friendship Day.”

    Inspired by Australia’s lively outdoor lifestyle, the festival will feature a free film screening and concert, a food and fashion fair, kid’s games and a traditional Aussie sausage sizzle hosted by alumni and volunteers.

    The award-winning Australian family film Paper Planes will screen in the afternoon, followed by a fun paper plane making competition. To cap off the festival, Australian sax duo Half Sound with Erick Calilan and Tusa Montes, indie alternative band Oh! Flamingo, and Filipino rock icons Razorback will perform.

    Festival goers will also enjoy a free shuttle service around Bonifacio High Street on Star 8 solar jeepneys. These green public utility vehicles feature innovative Australian technology that modernises the classic Filipino jeep.

    “I thank our Filipino friends and my fellow Australians for their warm support of last year’s celebration of 70 years of diplomatic relations,” Ambassador Gorely said.

    “One of the outcomes of that was a Presidential Proclamation declaring 22 May of each year as Philippines– Australia Friendship Day so we can celebrate what’s great between our two countries,” she added.

    “I invite everyone to join us in celebrating this inaugural friendship day,” said Ambassador Gorely.

    The Ambassador launched an online campaign to inspire people across the Philippines to join the celebration by sharing their stories of friendship using the official hashtag #AUPhWeAreMates and #FilAussieDay.

    For more information about the first Philippines–Australia Friendship Day celebration, visit www.philippines.embassy.gov.au, like Australia in the Philippines on Facebook and follow @AusAmbPH on Twitter.

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