It seems like only yesterday when the first newspaper for Filipinos living in Australia was born. Now the local community press is all grown-up and getting better.

This Sunday, a large group of Sydney-based Filipino-Australian writers, journalists, radio broadcasters, editors and publishers will be at Burwood RSL Club sharing a toast, or two.

They are not there to write a story but, for once, is the story.

It's the day their supporters, well-wishers and local community leaders will pay tribute to their services.

Since 1975, when the ‘Kawayan’ (kawayan means ‘bamboo’) was first published in Sydney, others quickly followed in its path.

Today the community is spoilt for choice: there are more than three community newspapers distributed nationally, online newspapers and magazines with global reach, a long-running SBS radio program and even an award-winning TV show (Pinoy TV).

Over the past 12 months, their collective power became even more potent, thanks to the launch of 12 radio stations run by Filipino-Australians, for Filipino-Australians and the wider community.

Broadcasters from three of these radio stations, namely Radio Sandigan, Radio Dalisay and taking a lead role, Radio Kawayan, have come up with the idea of a ‘small gathering’ to commemorate how far Filipino-Australian media has come since that first publication in 1975.

The evening, titled Adhika (aspiration), serves a host of purposes. First, it will take guests down memory lane, with a presentation on Who’s Who in local community media, from the trailblazers and pioneers to the newcomers and rising stars.

Second, the evening will help raise awareness and funds towards an ongoing project, also by Radio Kawayan, which is to send books to a public school library in the Philippines.

Third, ‘Adhika’ will play host to a night of entertainment and partying that is purely and sweetly Filipino. Guests are expected to wear Filipiniana or formal wear, will be entertained by a group of young talented artists, witness a traditional dance performance, watch a short segment of a Jose Rizal play and enjoy a comedy skit/political satire played by local artists and some members of the Filipino media themselves.

And if that’s not enough, top Filipino-Australian chef Marx Canoy will be serving canapés and desserts that are all original recipes from his upcoming cookbook.

The main program of Adhika runs for just under two hours, 6pm-8.30pm, but doors open at 5pm when guests can walk around and see the exhibit of newspaper clippings and media memorabilia.

Then the floor opens for dancing and more merriment from 8.30pm until late (it wouldn’t be a Filipino event otherwise).

Beyond the two-hour event program, the food, the entertainment and the company, ‘Adhika’ is a moment to celebrate the radio interviews, news stories and articles published in the last 38 years – none of which would exist if not for the tireless work of Filipino-Australian media, many of whom work with little or no recompense.

To them, we say, happy 38th birthday. You’re looking good.

What: ADHIKA: Serving the community for three decades
Where: Burwood RSL Club
When: From 5pm, for 6pm start, March 25 (Sunday)
Ticket: $60, includes three-course dinner, entertainment and dance
Attire: Formal or Filipiniana
For more details, please contact: Josie Musa, 0432 372 915; Violi Calvert, 0408227794 or Nilda Carpo, 0411521135

The event will be broadcast livestreaming on the web, courtesy of

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