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Friday, May 13, 2016

Say G Day at SM as We Continue to Celebrate 70 Years of Philippine-Australian Friendship

Wazzup Pilipinas!

There was an overflow of Australian goodies that day at The Block Atrium of SM North EDSA as all of us got to try out a delightful array of Australian-inspired or branded delicacies starting with flat white coffee from Vitonna or Bundaberg cold brewed drinks. There were meat pies from @PieFacePH, lamingtons, Tim Tam chocolate cream sandwich, and a lot more including cupcakes designed with the Australian flag.
But that's not the highlight of the event where your Pambansang Blogger was invited to. I was acually late to the Say G Day at SM event, a social media networking day where the organizers, led by the Australian Embassy with Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely, who invited bloggers and online influencers to celebrate the last leg of the exhibition celebrating the 70th year of Philippine-Australian friendship.

Attendees were given sort of a passport containing some information about the Celebrate Australia 2016 festival. The Australian Embassy partnered with SM Supermalls to host the Say G Day at SM roadshow exhibition which features a historical photo exhibition showcasing the depth and breath between the two countries - Philippines and Australia, parallel to an exhibition showcasing Australian lifestyle and culture, and some on education opportunities. Guests can take selfies from large displays of Australian tourist spots.

FYI, the celebration was launched at SM Aura in Tagig last February, then to SM City Cebu last March, then SM City Davao, and finally at SM City North EDSA for the final leg which will last until May 19.

I regret being late because of my failure to properly estimate my travel time from Makati to North EDSA. Even riding the MRT was problematic since there were several times when the ride seems to be too slow than the usual and times when we had to wait for some stations to clear from existing trains before we can proceed to it. It is no longer like it was before when it was newly built.

My interview with Miss Koala Bear (aka Louise Linh Dalangin, Festival Officer of Australian Embassy)

But I don't want to discuss that anymore as perhaps the new President of the country may try to finally solve this tragedy of a mass transport system. Anyway, I got to interview their designated mascot in the form of Miss Koala Bear who eagerly sat with me over coffee for a one-on-one interview. She was the one who briefed me on what transpired earlier at the event which I missed.

The hashtag for that afternoon was #First70Years and was part of a social media contest that eventually got 6 attendees to go home with prizes from the Australian Embassy consisting of products from Australian brands like Cotton On, B.Y.S, and many others. The attendees were asked to post photos coming from shots they took at the event. The best photos were selected by the organizers but the Ambassador herself chose the final 6 winners out of a total of 30 pre-selected finalists from the 6 categories.

The highlight of the event was the inspiring speech given by the Ambassador so I hope to get a copy of that speech from their website soon so i could also share it here.

Ambassador Amanda Gorely (middle) with husband Stewart Gorely (right) and DJ Callum David (left)
Also, DJ Callum David was there to provide the beats, while Niko Ramos, wearing a Koala mask, hosted the event,

Ambassador Amanda Gorely with host Nikko Ramos wearing Koala mask

Miss Koala Bear
SM mall shoppers and diners will also get a chance to win roundtrip tickets for two  in Mebourne, Australia. Also catch the Australian Food and Fashion Fair on 14 and 15th of May.

On May 22, Australia will mark the opening of its first Consulate-General in Manila in 1948 with a ceremonial lighting of its 70th anniversary logo in SM Mall of Asia.

I am honored to have been a part of the Australian Embassy's celebration of the 70th year of Philippine and Australian diplomatic and trade relations. I hope to get to attend other future events organized by them.

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