A New Year – Old Ways!

January 11th, 2018 · No Comments

By Deanna Tamayan

 It’s a brand new year – 2018!  So here’s to another year! Here’s to another chance to recharge, revive…. better yet, reboot!

As ‘Auld Land Syne’ hits the airwaves as the clock strikes 12, a deep sense of nostalgia shrouds me, knowing that I won’t be seeing and talking to some friends who’ve been left behind in the recesses of 2017.  In our memories, they will stay always, as we learn to plod along.

When you think of it, it’s really simply a sleep between the old and the new year. And what have we in store for the next 365 days ahead?  Perhaps and yet I know all will be the same as it always has been and ever shall be, amen!

New reasons, new seasons. There’ll be lots of new faces with the changing of the guards at the Philippine Consulate.  And there’ll be a new Consul General. Get the straws ready?  And who knows, a few more ambassadors to spice up our lives. However, I am pretty sure the same routines will continue – elections, oath taking, singing, dancing, more fund raisers, more hair raisers, more crowning glories!  Some will reappear; some will be revived much to our chagrin; some will simply be recycled. Will there be anything brand new?  What will we marvel at?  Who will lead?  Who will inspire?

The world has gone awry. Somewhere, sometime not so long ago, something has gone amiss.  We live in times of uncertainties when oddities and deteriorating morals have become the new normal.  The Philippines is no exception.  We were promised change but looks like we were shortchanged! Since last year, we’ve been a wonder to the world, rather than a world of wonder.  We speculate from day to day what’s next – what’s the next thing that’s bound to astonish us; what’s next to shock us to our core; what will embarrass us more.  “EJK’s pa more!” some scream; others cry “No more!” but you can bet the President will swear pa more!  Some will speak to their hearts content, yet some will stand at the sidelines and simply watch. And some won’t care as long as they’re standing on stage too.

Another election for the Philippine Community Council of NSW (PCC_NSW) is upon us.  Here we go again.  Who will be reincarnated; who will be recycled?  One wonders if Serna Ladia, the outgoing President, has turned the words she uttered at the beginning of her term into a reality.  “I will make PCC more relevant to the community” she said at the start.  Well, is PCC now relevant?  Has she accomplished what she set out to do? 

 But the most haunting question on everyone’s lips is – “what’s happening to the Multi Purpose Centre?”  It’s the same old song that’s keeps being played out of tune.  It’s been thirty years, give and take a few.   Like fools, we followed them from Rooty Hill, to Schoffields, and now to Blacktown – coughing up donations as they cried for more.  They seem to be buying properties donated from the pockets of individuals in the community but the premises does not get used except by the chosen few.  And while the value of the property increases as the years go by let me remind people that we are not in the real estate business.  The community – the people who donated their hard earned money want to use it.  Everyone’s got questions – but no answers are forthcoming.  A question usually elicits a scream – takutan – gulatan!  And nobody dares to ask again for fear of being rebuked.  Better yet, no one really wants to answer.  Maybe Villon and his merry men and women are sworn to secrecy by forces unknown, bound to never reveal what’s happening with whatever property. They are of the mistaken belief that they are as impenetrable as Fort Knox.   

Simply put, the Blacktown property is not zoned for public use and therefore large crowds are not allowed.  It is unlikely that Blacktown City Council will change its zoning restrictions.  And even if Council does, who will fit the bill for the required renovations?  And there is no money, unless the people in charge have a few ideas.  Why was it bought in the first place?  And how are the rates and electricity being paid?  Surely the people signing would have known. Who’s forking out for the ongoing expenses?  I was startled to hear that Jimmy Lopez is now the treasurer!  Really?!  How did that happen and when did that happen?  But what of those who contributed – the thousands who donated – the hundreds who contributed monthly for years?  What about associations like PCC-NSW who contributed from the start?  Can they all have their money back? The community – you and I – deserve to know.  People cannot ask – should not ask for donations without updates. 

Oh, well…hope against hope – time for a rethink and a reboot!


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