CELEBRATING ALL THE BEST FROM AUSTRALIA
Australian culture, cinema and cuisine take centre stage in this year’s Celebrate Australia. The festival is presented by the Australian Embassy in Manila to mark Australia’s National Day on 26 January where Australians come together to celebrate their distinct heritage and national identity. The day unites Australians of Indigenous descent, those who trace their ancestry back to the establishment of the first European settlement in Australia, and those who have come across the seas to live and work in Australia.
Some 200,000 Filipinos are included among Australia’s rich mix of migrant cultures, making positive and vital contributions across all sectors of Australian society. One such Filipino is Alwin Reamillo whose exhibition, Play by Ear II, is ongoing until 29 January at the Galleria Duemila in Pasay City. Seen from the perspective of an artist constantly journeying between Australia and the Philippines, the exhibition is an exploration of the social and cultural landscapes of both countries and the movement between them.
Capping off the exhibition is an evening of Australian and Philippine folk music on 28 January at 7 PM. The concert will feature one of Australia’s most sought after folklorists and bush bands Warren Fahey and The Larrikins, and highly respected Philippine artists Collins Gutierrez, Wystan de la Peña, Jose Sarigumba, Makiling Ensemble and Grace Nono.
Warren Fahey AM has been performing, broadcasting and collecting Australian folklore and bush songs for over forty years. He has authored over fourteen books on Australian folklore and social history. In 1996 he was awarded Australia’s highest honour, the Order of Australia (AM). Catch Warren Fahey and The Larrikins on 24 January at the 2nd Street Children’s Festival at 3 PM at the Museo Pambata grounds; 25 January at the Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Australia Day Barbecue at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza at 4 PM; 26 January at the Greenbelt 3 Park at 8 PM; Circles Restaurant at the Makati Shangri-La on 27 January at 7 PM; and the Play by Ear II concert.
The celebration continues with Cinema Australia, a film festival at the UP Film Institute Videotheque (26 – 28 January), UP Manila College of Arts and Sciences (29 – 30 January), and UP Los Banos (3 – 5 February). This year’s spotlight is on Baz Luhrmann’s Red Curtain Trilogy featuring Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge. The festival focuses on the director’s unique method of film making that dares to reinvent genres and breaks away from the traditional process of story-telling.
Audiences can catch more of the director’s work with the Philippine screening of Luhrmann’s epic film Australia to be released by Twentieth Century Fox starting 28 January. Starring Australian actors Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, the filmmaker brings together romance, drama, adventure and spectacle all set against Australia’s breathtaking landscape. Moviegoers will also get the chance to win a trip for two to Sydney via Australia’s national carrier Qantas and a three night stay at one of Sydney’s finest hotels, The Menzies. The “See Australia on reel, see Australia for real” movie promotion will run from 28 January to 11 February at the Greenbelt and Glorietta cinemas.
A feast of Australian culinary delights and wines are on offer in the “Australia: From reel to real” food promotion presented by the Australian Trade Commission and Meat and Livestock Australia. From 26 January to 26 March, a sumptuous array of Australian meat, fine wine and choice ingredients can be enjoyed at selected restaurants, delis, and wine shops in Manila and Cebu. As an added treat, every P300 purchase at participating establishments entitles one to join the raffle promotion and win roundtrip tickets for two to Australia on Philippine Airlines. Food enthusiasts can also discover the flavours of the great outback with “A Taste of Down Under” at the Circles Event Cafe Makati Shangri-La from 27 January – 7 February; and a cooking class on 7 February at 10:30 AM.
Celebrate Australia 2009 is presented by the Australian Embassy in Manila, Greenbelt, Ayala Malls Cinemas, Twentieth Century Fox, Qantas, Tourism Australia, Meat and Livestock Australia,Philippine Airlines, Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Galleria Duemila, Makati Shangri-La, and 2nd Avenue. The festival is also made possible by Chateau 1771, Jacob’s Creek, BestWorld Beverage Brands, Berri fruit juices, and fine cheeses Australian Gold, Lemnos, Mersey Valley, Tasmanian Heritage, True Organics, and Mamma Lucia.