Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fear of a Foreign Migrant (update 1)

I have been bottling this feeling for quite a while and I cannot ignore it anymore. I feel I have to let it out but try to be as fair as possible.

It seems it is beyond people's treatment of me when I am in public places. It is beyond the look that I do not speak English well or that I do not understand the culture.

I am quite scared of the violent attacks against foreign migrants here. Some of these incidents are even resulting to deaths. A few weeks ago, a Filipino got killed and when people tried stopping him he shouted, "He is a Jap--he deserves it!" I have noticed that many of the news agencies are trying to downplay these incidents so that the latter do not appear hate-related. They say that the culprit was merely drunk.

This morning, I saw a commercial on a privately-owned channel and this particular show is going to be broadcasted tonight. It says "6 Australians were killed by THE Indonesians...and these MONGRELS don't care". What kind of message do they want to convey to Indonesians living here and Indonesian-Australians? What kind of message do they want to convey to the greater population? It seems this way of thinking is not only personal or isolated but very much institutionalized.

Who is protecting us?

(Update: the show on Indonesians is not tonight but on Sunday, 1st Nov. It is Channel 9's 20 minutes, 7 PM)

Going Digital

Australia is switching to complete digital broadcasting soon. It is getting rid of the analog signal starting next year and that is why there is a scramble for digital set top boxes and a huge demand for digital screens.

For ordinary people, catching this TV signal involves attaching an ordinary antennae to a digital set top box and then connecting this small device to the RF connection at the back of the TV.

Unfortunately, we live in a flat and the landlord has not provided any of the tenants an antennae. We only have this one antenna and we do our best to help it catch the signal. We will probably buy a new antennae.

Ironically, the brand name of our new set top box is Bush.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fish Opera in Port Adelaide

Last week, the Port Festival ended. It was held in Port Adelaide, a suburb closest to ours in Alberton. I was excited because of the distance.

We went there one night to watch the Fish Opera. The promotional materials showed a fantastic laser show projected on water sprays. It looked amazing!

Unfortunately, one can only see the images clearly if he/she is directly in front of the sprayers. It did not work in other angles. Of course, there was a huge crowd so only a handful of people were able to make out what the lights represented. Plus there were a lot of lights from the background and they were distracting. The fireworks display after the laser show actually looked better.

Anyway, it was for free so I should not complain.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Australian Libraries and Bookshops

The first Australian city I visited is Sydney. I wrote about this in a previous entry. I thought I was racist to think that there should be a separate section for "Asian literature in English" in book stores but I am now taking it back.

I confided to an award-winning American writer Alex Sanchez about it and he said having such a section is more of a marketing strategy and not segregation. Obviously, there is no such market yet in Australia.

In addition, I have been looking very hard for Asian books in English here in Adelaide and have found very few selections. Apart from journals, I have never seen a Filipino book here. The absence of such literature here gives the impression that we Filipinos do not write in English.

Ironically, I have found a few Filipino books and Thai-translated Filipino books in Bangkok. Back then, I thought Thailand had the worst literary selections in the world.

Hopefully, in time, Filipino publications will be available here. I wish I would still be alive then.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Prejudice: Equality...At What Price? (video)

produced by Film Australian 1988

Australia approved its Anti-Discrimination Law in 1975, protecting its citizens and residents from unfair treatment in the workplace. The government has produced this video to show what can be done when a person gets disriminated.

This docu-drama features two stories of two women: Jessica, a newspaper photographer, and Leticia, a nurse. Jessica is in an industry that is predominantly male so she gets a lot of sexist jokes and sexual harassment from her work colleagues while Leticia is denied her much-deserved promotion because she is a Filipino and some of her work colleagues made it difficult for her to fulfill her duties. The superiors of both professionals are actually encouraging discriminatory practices in their workplaces thus making these women's lives a torturous experience.

Absolutely everyone in this film is convincing. It feels like I am watching the real thing and that is because everyone represent the industry that they are working in in real life.

This is the perfect material for people who want to have an idea of what happens at the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal Board. It teaches people in the work force that there is always someone who can be held accountable even the labor union itself.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Marrying and migrating ... you have to work at it (video)

produced by the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs in 1995 (ISBN: 0644475986)

Filipino women in Australia have a reputation of being mail-order brides among the Australian population although the concept is not really realistic. A few of them have indeed met their husbands online but they were not picked from a catalogue. This is why the reputation is very much unfair and reeks of prejudice.

The more I learned about education of migrants in Australia, the more I learn about the Filipinos who have come before me. Things may be difficult now for a new migrant like me but things were a lot more difficult 14 years ago when this video was produced.

"Marrying and migrating to Australia" is a thirty-minute video designed for Filipino women who are coming to Australia to be with their Australian husbands. It is an account of several women who are happy and sad about migrating to this country and all of them have experienced a lot of difficulties adjusting to this vast country with very few people compared to the Philippines.

I strongly recommend that all Filipino women and Australian men to watch this video before making that huge leap integrating both cultures in to their lives. The stories may be old but they are still very relevant

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dexter got crabs!

Steven and I had been planning for this long weekend for months and I was excited to have a break from the city. We left for Nuriootpa for a stress-free time.

We packed our crabbing gear and asked for a map to Webb Beach. On the way there, we found a juvenile crow on the road. We gave it some water and took it with us hoping that it will feel alright being in the cooler car. Unfortunately, there is no RSPCA in the Barossa Valley and it just got sicker and sicker so I just left it in a bush.

After being on the road for an hour and half an hour being lost, we finally found the beach and walked along the beach. I did not know that one needs a rake and a plastic container only to catch these delicious critters. There were tons of crabs so it did not take long to gather 18 big ones.

We went home and immediately steamed four. Steven does not like crabs so I ended up eating most of them.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

How you can help flood/landslide victims in the Phils

Tropical Storm Ondoy: How you can help | ABS-CBN News Online Beta

Shared via AddThis

Here is a list of ways you can help the victims of tropical storm Ondoy (international code name Ketsana).

Donation drop-off points

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

1. National Resource Operations Center, Chapel Road, Pasay City
Contact: Mrs. Francon Favian

2. Quezon City Area Disaster Resource Operations Monitoring and Info Center (DROMIC) DSWD Central Office

Contact Rey Martija or Imee Rose Castillo, Tel Nos. 951-7119, 951-2435 or Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera Tel No. 0918-934-5625

3. Manila Area (DSWD-NCR)

San Rafael corner Legarda Streets, Quiapo, Manila
Contact: Dir. Thelsa P. Biolna, Dir. Delia Bauan Tel Nos. 734-8622, 734-8642

ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya

413-2667 / 416-0387
No 13 Examiner Street, Quezon City, Look for Ms Girlie Aragon

(as of 6 pm, October 1, 2009)

1. Update on Donations (as of 6 pm October 1, 2009)

a. Examiner/Bayoran/Center Road
P 51.5 million in cash (More than P 20 M of P30.2 with SK already)
P 84.5 million in goods and service

b. Regional Network Group (RNG) P 5,165,536.70 (Total to Date)
Luzon P 403,999.20
Visayas P 2,409,898.25
Mindanao P 5,165,536.25

2. Families served: 129,424 (Note: average of 5 members per family)

3. For donations send via----


Banco de Oro, Mother Ignacia Branch
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.
Account no.: 5630020111
Swift code for international cash donations: BNORPHMM

Account Name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.
Account No. 3051-11127-75
Swift code for international donations: BOPIPHMM

Overseas: 1-800-527-2820 or

4. ABS-CBN Global Announcements

Para sa ating mga Global Kapamilya na gustong magbigay ng cash donations para sa Ondoy relief operations ng Sagip Kapamilya, maaari kayong magpadala online using your credit card or Paypal account. Just visit or

Maaari din kayong mag-deposit diretso sa Banco de Oro account ng ABS-CBN Foundation sa Pilipinas.

Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.
Account number: 5630020111
Bank: Banco de Oro, Mother Ignacia Branch

Sa mga Kapamilya natin sa Middle East, maari na rin kayong magpadala gamit ang mga sumusunod na remittance partners ng ABS-CBN Easy Remit.

Al Ansari Exchange in the UAE - no remittance charge
Nonoo Exchange Company in BAHRAIN - no remittance charge
Al Rostamani International Exchange in the UAE - no remittance charge
Redha Al Ansari Exchange Establishment in the UAE
Trust Exchange Company in QATAR
Al Ektasad United Exchange in KUWAIT

Sa bawat cash donation na ipadadala ninyo, magdadagdag ang ABS-CBN Easy Remit ng limang pisong donasyon para sa Ondoy relief operations.

ABS-CBN Foundation US Office Toll-Free 1-800-527-2820

Other institutions receiving donations:

UNICEF is accepting cash donations through its Metrobank account: UNICEF C/A 066-7-06631209-3 in response to the victims of tropical storm Ondoy. Call their hotlines at 758-1000 and 758-1442 to find out more ways to send your donations.


Domestic Cash Donations can be deposited through the following CARITAS MANILA bank accounts any branch nationwide:

BANCO DE ORO - Savings Account No. 3970006958

BPI - Savings Account No. 3063-5357-01

CHINABANK - Savings Account No. 103-3099715

METROBANK - Savings Account No. 175-3-17506954-3

RCBC - Savings Account No. 3-000-90221-6

UCPB - Savings Account No. 128-162208-7

SECURITY BANK - Current Account No. 0141-019452-001

For overseas donors, please deposit your donation to Caritas Manila-BPI Dollar Saving Account No. 3064-0033-55.

Or PNB Dollar Savins Account No. 108566600025

Ayala Foundation USA

For US based donors who want tax incentives, you may course your donations through Ayala Foundation USA 255 Shoreline Drive, Suite 428,Redwood City, CA 94065, USA or simply click the link (Ayala Foundation USA).

Negros Navigation

from Mr. Edmund Gawchua, Manager

Negros Navigation is now accepting the transfer of relief goods from Mindanao to Manila for free for aid to victims of Ondoy.

Donations can be sent to Negros Navigation stations and offices nationwide.

Links to other ways to send in help:

Manuel L. Quezon's blog: How to help (original on | mirror link)

Google Docs: Rescue InfoHub Central | List of Places where to donate (check out one nearest your area, or add a donation center that is not on the list)

Another list of where to donate goods via Bury Me In This Dress blog

Google Maps: Ondoy situation map for Metro Manila, by KaninLamig

Sahana FOSS Disaster Management System

For ways to donate to the Philippine National Red Cross, check out the PNRC web site

Reach ABS-CBN via these channels:



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