June 20, 2024

■  Text & photos: Jenfrey Benafin/DMMSU intern

The Philippines-Australia Friendship Day Festival celebration on May 18 at the SM City Baguio Atrium was a resounding success with Ambassador HK Yu gracing the occasion, which was the first of its kind in Northern Luzon.

The event commemorated the formal proclamation of the longstanding relationship between Australia and Philippines on May 22, 2016.

The first leg of the event introduced educational and travel opportunities in Australia to encourage more Filipinos to visit, study, and work there.

AMS Global presented itself as a “beyond the average university.” The presenter introduced the 8105 condition which comprises the work rights for international students. It allows students to work part-time for 48 hours per fortnight and have unlimited working hours every holidays and school breaks.

Only those who are having their Master’s degree and above are allowed to work full-time.

Students are also allowed to apply for a temporary visa after graduation for them to live, stay, and work in Australia.

Deakin University prides itself as the top university for educational experience through its facilities and resources, student support, course satisfaction, and teaching quality.

It also includes accredited courses in the field of communication, sports, nursing, and the sciences among other courses.

Deaken University alumnus, Dr. FaridahCabbigat-Wetherick, shared three things: her academics, adventures, and swan songs and celebrations.

Her story revolved around her experience as an academic working on her thesis, as she expressed her gratitude to her supervisor and the university for their support in her studies.

Likewise, Atty. Denmark M. Rillera highlighted Australia’s academic excellence, global recognition, innovation, holistic development, strong alumni network, and its impactful outcomes.

Meanwhile, ZachariahCaslake from the Department of Home Affairs explained the basics of visa applications, ending with a tagline “Check twice, submit once,” as a reminder to get their applications right at the first time for quicker processing.

Qantas, the flag carrier of Australia, also discussed its flight services and innovations.

Western Australia’s tourist destinations and educational institutions were promoted for those who are interested to travel in Australia.

Yu, meanwhile, said there are over 250 companies in Australia where around 40,000 Filipinos work.

She expressed her desire to increase bilateral trade and investments with the Philippines, and to have more Filipinos onboard in Australia.

She introduced Coles, an iconic Australian brand offering Australian products, to be marketed in the Philippines through SM Supermarkets as their exclusive partner.

In the last leg, creative workshops were extended for the attendees.

Crochet artist Adelaida Guia guided the participants on creating dreamcatchers.

Tam-awan village artistEden Cawang led the canvas painting, and Baguio-based Australian poetJosh Inman taught Bush Ballad poetry.

The event was co-presented by Austal along with their platinum and gold partners, as well as SM Supermalls, SM City Baguio, SM Markets, Coles, and the city government.