We started with a prayer and we ended with a prayer. Today, 60 people gathered at Sizzling Fillo to decide the fate of 260,000 Filipinos. To be united or not to be united, that is the question.
The drama unfolded back in 2010 when a group of people decided to set up a new association outside of PCC-NSW (the umbrella association representing Filipinos in NSW). Almost 8 years later, the splinter group – APCO – has grown into an extremely capable and successfull organisation while PCC-NSW has continued on its mandate, albeit arguably, not as successful in reaching out to the mainstream as APCO has since its inception.
After three hours of deliberation, pandesal, pancit, spring rolls and a bowl of ginataan later, we all came to the conclusion that more needs to be discussed and that the Consulate will mediate a reconciliation meeting between the two associations.
It wasn’t a satisfactory outcome. I was hoping that we would all pull a miracle, realise that being united will make us stronger and that was that. Instead, as it turned out, words weren’t enough. And some of the people that needed to be there weren’t present.
Still. It’s a step in the right direction. I am glad that we could all come to the table and discuss that having two major groups just wasn’t the most effective way to empower the community. There’s still a lot to discuss.
I do think that we all need to find that common goal and work towards it. I do think we need to find the “why” of being part of a community organisation. I think we need to find an objective that will motivate us and keep us together beyond differences of opinions.
There were a lot of fantastic points made today. But in the end, until we can reach a consensus, it’s all for naught.
I hope we can all come together on this. The community will continue to be marginalised if it can’t come together as one voice.