Published: 21 June 2021
Last June 12, the Filipino communities in Brisbane, Queensland and surrounding suburbs gathered at Rocklea Showground to celebrate the 123rd Philippine Independence Day. The gathering was called Barrio Fiesta Brisbane Filipino festival where people share and celebrate Filipino food, music, dance, and culture. From early morning till late arvo, people were being entertained by Filipino musos and dance troupes. The occasion somehow brought a taste of home for Filipinos who were not able to go back to Philippines during Covid pandemic. There was a sense of relief to those who missed their home country. Gladly, it was a fine day, perfect Queensland winter day and good turn up of people who share their stories and connections about Philippines. The AFAS Ministry of Villanova College was also invited to set their own stall to promote the wonderful projects that Villanova College did for 28 years. Tony Hindmarsh, Trish McGrath, Fr Peter Wieneke, Theresa Henry and Juanita Jacobs (AFAS Elders) were there to share to the Filipinos in Brisbane what AFAS is about. Since 1993 AFASministry listened to what the Augustinian schools in the Philippines were doing to try and help the less privileged children to get proper education. The Villanova teachers set up AFAS – Australian Filipino Augustinian Solidarity, to work with the Augustinian friends to help fund educational scholarships for children who otherwise would not be able to go to school.Since then, the ministry has been promoting friendship between Augustinian schools in the Philippines(La Consolation College- Murcia and Colegio de San Agustin- Bacolod (both in Negros Occidental, Philippines) and Divino Amore Academy, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines) and Villanova College and to learn about the Filipino culture and traditions. They also help set up livelihood projects in Kinatarcan Island, Cebu for those people badly damaged by the strong typhoon Haiyan last 2013. And thesetypes of assistance will keep on going for as long as solidarity matters.
At our designated stall at Rocklea Showground, some AFAS Alumni like Henry Goodwin (2017) and Bradly Roulant (2019) also came to share their stories of immersion in the Philippine Islands to those who were in the event. Thanks also to current AFAS president Isaac Langford (year 12) and AFAS members, Mark Byerley (year 11) and Ryan Hegerty (year 10) who also gave their time to help promote AFAS that day. Overall, the occasion was fulfilling because Brisbane friends and supporters came to see us and understood that our ministry is there to help provide better opportunity for young Filipinos back in Philippines through education and livelihood projects.
Please see link to our website: www.afasvillanova.org to learn more and donate for our projects.