Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

My son Mio turns Aussie!

Posted on June 12, 2009 by jimparedes

At 7:30 PM on June 11, 2009, my son Mio was sworn in as an Aussie citizen by the Mayor of Blacktown Charles Lowes. In a simple ceremony with about 150 other people of diverse multicultural backgrounds at the Bowman Theater in Blacktown, NSW, Mio was formally welcomed as a citizen of this country.

It started with the sound of bagpipes as the Mayor and a few officials strode down the middle of the hall onto the stage. The National Anthem was then sung. What strikes me most about the anthem are the lines ,’We are young. We are free.’ Somehow, those lines speak so eloquently about not just the youthful energy of this country and society but also an innocence that one still finds among many Aussies. Many Australians I have met seem friendly, straightforward and transparent, and quite trusting of the world and their Aussie way of life.There is a fun-loving character about them that can be infectious.

The main speeches were given by the two youth representatives of Blacktown Council, and they were effusively welcoming and inspiring. On behalf of their society, they formally opened its doors to the new immigrants while describing Australia as a vibrant land where ‘your talents can bloom and can shape the future of this land’. They also stressed that this relatively young society which has multiculturalism as one of its pillars, is proud to be home to more than 180 nationalities. ‘Australia’, as one of them said,’is a real land of milk and honey’. I was, to be honest, quite inspired by the speeches of these young people as were the Africans, Arabs, Filipinos, Chinese, Iraqis and other nationalities that were in the room.

One by one, they marched to the stage as their names were called. They got a certificate, a handshake from the Mayor and a plant to take home as a symbolic metaphor of their ‘planted future’ in this new land.


The Mayor then welcomed them officially, and soon after, cakes and drinks were served. A lot of the new citizens had pictures with the Mayor. As Mio went up to him, the Mayor asked where in the Philippines he was from. Mio answered that he was from Manila. To his surprise, the Mayor retorted that he was from Dumaguete! He was referring to his Pinay wife, something we were not aware of!

The ceremonies were on the whole, simple but touching. There was a seriousness about it as well as a light-hearted happy atmosphere as the host made funny remarks once in a while. One funny event was when the Alarcon family, all 8 of them were called in one by one. The host called it an ‘Alarcon-marathon’!

We went for Thai food after to celebrate. This is a first in our family history. There are Paredeses who have become American, Dutch citizens. Mio is the first Paredes to become an Aussie!

Congrats, anak!

27 to “My son Mio turns Aussie!”

  1. denise says:

    why did Mio turn Aussie?

    sakto po yata yun entry nyo, Independence Day natin ngayon. πŸ™‚

  2. jimparedes says:

    It is beneficial kasi may free university studies ka of you are Aussie. Also, pwede na rin dual ngayon so nothing lost but everything gained

    • ARMIR says:

      So since hes an Australian citizen he can be called to serve in their Armed Forces too if needed right?

    • Rolly says:

      Hi Jim,
      I just recently know that you are now here in Australia or an Australian Citizen. I wonder if we could meet one day. When I was in Manila in the early 80s tinatawag ako ng mga barkada ko na Jim Paredes, kasi kamukha raw kita.
      Sana pagbigyan mo naman ako na ma meet kita.


  3. Sad.Brain drain.We are losing the best and the brightest.

  4. Engr_Moks says:

    Happy Independence Day po sa inyo Sir Jim…

  5. BabyPink says:

    hello sir jim! πŸ™‚

    i remember when i was younger, my dad would tell me that if we were to move to another country, he’d choose australia because there’s less discrimination there. one day, i’ll visit that country. πŸ™‚

    congrats kay mio! πŸ™‚

  6. dani says:

    To become a citizen of another country is exhilirating especially for a young man like Mio. He’s got so many years to build his life in the second country he embraced. I’ve lived in Canada for over 20 years (I’m 58) and it still baffles my mind why young countries like Australia and Canada are economically stable as they are and Philippines is not. But that’s another topic.

    Congratulations to Mio!!!!

  7. I think it is an incredibly good thing to do. I am very proud for Mio. I too became a citizen, much to my mothers disappointment. I figure if I live in a country and participate freely in it’s freedoms I should align myself with it to at least be more deserving of it’s rights and liberties.

  8. denise says:

    yup, brain drain.

    but hopefully, those who chose to embrace a second country would give back to their motherland in the future.

    for now,
    congrats, Mio.

  9. thomas f says:

    i wonder, mr jim, what your thoughts about people migrating, let alone taking up citizenship in another country, had you not left the philippines and moved australia? just curious about those people crying brain drain. obviously had not experienced living outside of the country.

  10. DaveLock says:

    @ Jim: Great story, I enjoyed reading it. πŸ™‚

    @ Mio: Congratulations, & welcome to the future of Australia. πŸ™‚


  11. ethey says:

    sir jim, i’m turning 37 this year and i have an 8-yr old son and 6-yr old daughter. di pa ba huli ang lahat para mag-migrate sa aussie to gain the same benefits (free education). i mean, yung magsimula ulit ng bagong buhay dyan? hindi ba mahirap mag adjust.

    takot na rin kasi ako sa magiging resulta sa 2010 election, baka wala pa rin ang mangyari sa ating bansang minumutya. salamat.

  12. Obet Dionisio says:

    Congrats, Mio.

    Jim, the name of Blacktown City Mayor is Charles Lowes, and he is married to a Filipina, Alma. Leo Kelly was a former mayor.

  13. jimparedes says:

    Go before you are 45. No country will accept you past that age. The younger you apply, the more points you earn.

    Sydney is quite expensive so plan your move. Save a lot of money. It may take time before you find a job. But once you settle here, your kids are free education and medical-wise. pati kayo magasawa will be covered for most sicknesses.

    But be decisive. Medyo malungkot but every place has its charms and blessings. Pinoys here generally do well.

    Adjustment is easy if you are decisive about things. before you know it, you are at home in this new place and enjoying yourself. It took my kids a year to like it. But the younger they are, the easier the adjustment.

  14. edd aragon says:

    oh no! Mio, did you read the fine print?
    kidding! congrats! aussie, aussie, aussie, oi, oi, oink (with swine flu:)

  15. jimparedes says:

    Corrected! Thanks Obet!

  16. Hi just thought i would let you know i had a problem with this blog appearing frozen also. Might be monkeys in the page.

  17. Ag517 says:

    Been in Western Australia for more than a decade now. Being Filipino by blood is the greatest gift from God and being an Aussie is the greatest opportunity that I wont regret for the rest of my life. Long live Philippines

  18. Robbietan says:

    jimbo the fake Pinoy – stay in australia. we dont want “australian junk” like you polluting the philippines

    australian junk – get out of my country
    australian junk – get you out of our system
    australian junk – get you out of our jobs
    australian junk – who forgot who he is

  19. jimparedes says:

    Dear Robbie Tan,

    Permit me to answer your rants with a more reasoned response.

    The very myopic see migration as a desertion of one’s roots. Am not really sure that makes for a clearly thought-out idea especially in a globalized world.

    These days, travel is so easy and the world has become so small. With text, internet, cable TV, social networking, one can be in a Philippine state-of-mind anywhere. Or an American, British, Middle-eastern mindset while living in the Philippines. These days, there is now no demand for anyone to give up their citizenship even if you live anywhere since the law has made it legal to have dual citizenship. What is there to give up? It seems that there is a lot more to gain.

    The lure of the bigger world has always been beckoning. Look at Rizal, the Lunas, Lopez de Jaina, and the turn of the 20th century Pinoys. To this day, in every country and with every people, the attraction to live in different parts of the world is there. And it is hardly an issue among many other people and races.

    I don’t see why people need to be trapped with the choice of a narrow ‘nationalism’ that leaves one provincial, small-minded and parochial. It’s as if staying put geographically in one’s place of birth is the ONLY criterion of patriotism, versus being a global Filipino who is adept at understanding and learning from other cultures which he can apply in the Philippines later on. Tanada, Diokno, Roxas, Manglapus and many other great Filipinos studied, learned and brought home much of what they imbibed from their stints in the US.

    And yet these same critics will wave the flag and claim the glory for the Filipino race when anyone with even one drop of Filipino blood does well abroad.

    To people in some egroups who wrote hate email and singled me out personally, please ask yourselves what it is in me or in what I did that makes you react the way you do. Be honest please. Jealousy? Ouch! Or maybe not. Or is it a case of “my-nationalism is-greater-than-yours’ attitude that you NEED to do to feel good? Hmm.. Or maybe not. Why must you marinate in self-righteousness while spewing venom at me and others who have migrated? Why do you feel threatened? Really. Does it threaten you when someone has less hangups and issues and decides to live somewhere else at this time in his life? Is it because I and others have done what you secretly wish you could do but can’t for whatever reason? Again, be honest.

    Do you feel ‘deprived’ or betrayed or robbed of a future because I did not play to your expectations and deciding at some point to move out temporarily?

    Who are you anyway that I should bow to your wishes? Really, seriously now. Robbie Tan, sino ka ba? If I were as myopic as you project yourself, I should be demanding why with a name like yours, you are not in China? Why are you Filipino? Have you betrayed your race? People? Culture? Are you a descendant of Chinese traitors who left their mother country to exploit and steal from Filipinos.? Can’t you see how silly this all is?

    I would like to meet you and decide for myself whether I can like you. Why do you hate me? Are you a hateful person or do you reserve that trait only for me?. Pls know that I ask this in all sincerity. I am extending to you a wider latitude in allowing myself to see your humanity than what you seem willing to bestow on me.

    Here’s simple, straight advice. Grow up. And I mean that. Love your country by having a greater understanding of things and imagining bigger life for yourself. Live a live that is productive instead of cursing the ‘evil’ and wretchedness you project on others’ motives and believing your knee-jerk, narrow either/or simplistic thinking is a pure, desirable nationalism.

    It is not the bigger person that can condemn. The bigger one can sit down and understand, analyze or at the very least withhold judgment at the complexities of decisions done by others. I do not wish to demonize you and I wish you would not do the same.

    • RobbieTan says:

      Wow, comparing oneself to Luna, Rizal, etc. thinking too much of yourself jimbo? BTW, did the heroes you mentioned became foreign citizens? please enlighten me.

      it seem funny to me that a “makabayan – nationalist” would be so proud to become a foreigner. dont preach to me about those things, since you dont know a grain about me. I do know that you were at edsa 2 rallying the people to support a coup de etat that propelled gloria to power. that you became an aussie after getting screwed by your anointed president.

      did you like what I did to your song? it seems very appropriate, jimbo the australian junk. I should get that to a recording studio. after leaving the country and becoming a foreigner, he now gets paid to insult Pinoys.

      too bad jimbo, you have here a Pinoy who is not afraid to butt heads with foreigners like you, having worked abroad but never had the thought of applying for a different citizenship.

      go back to australia and leave the country to us Pinoys.

      • martin s. says:

        robbie tan,

        I am filipino turned american citizen and everytime flew to the philippines, i used my US passport..now, are you going to brand me traitor as well? most problem of your descendants(especialy your uncle who owns airlines,beer factories and cigarretes) is that, you remains to be somewhat so oldy that most humanities CONDEMN, your descents are still up with slavery… you call yourself pinoy? how? by slavering your laborers? overworked them and underpaid them? and when everytime you introduced yourself with girls, do you call yourself pinoy? or i bet you’l just to prefer to be called chinese so you would gain more appeals and impressions, sinced fil-chinese are known to be rich…asked yourselfs this(sinced, you have been so critical of jim paredes’ idea of migration) have you done something or even contributed to many poor filipinos that until now remains hungry? or maybe you just let them past then say ‘squatter, pulubi, criminal,etc…

        stop Sh**t88 around and just do your obligation if you really are proud filipino….

    • lillian gibson says:

      goodonya Jimbo!!!!!!

  20. jimparedes says:

    Sorry to be blunt but you are acting like an idiot! I am NOT a foreigner. I am Filipino. Am not an Australian citizen. I have spent more time in the Philippines than abroad since I became a resident here. You are so WRONG, MISTAKEN, confused.

    Can you admit it? C’mon. Does it hurt to be wrong? Reality and facts, with pride and ego on the line, are really nasty things.

    You still have not answered my sardonic question. Are you a descendant of a Chinese traitor who left China and adopted Filipino Citizenship? YOu say, ‘us Pinoys’. Hmm. Are we gonna play a game of how you are more Filipino than I or anyone who lives abroad? I would like to see your papers, family tree, immigration clearance pls? Offensive, isn’t it? If I put on your mindset, this is what I will be singing to you:

    Chinese Junk, get it out my system.
    Chinese junk, I can only take so much.

    Go and tell your relatives to free the Nobel winner. And go back to China where you will not be allowed to write the stuff that you write. See how outrageous I sound to you when I put on a Robbie Tan hat? That’s how you come on with your prejudice.

    Now you KNOW I am not a foreigner. From your comments, I now know a few things about you. You are proud, judgmental, uncharitable, and terribly IGNORANT who will go to war with the wrong facts. And I still have to see you admit that you are wrong.

    And you owe me royalties for my song, you idiotic Chinese traitor, google hacker, and maker of poisoned food. Sorry Robbie Tan. I was just being a Robbie Tan with my statements.

    It’s not that you are not afraid to butt heads with foreigners which sorry for you I am not. You NEED to do it to assuage feelings of inferiority. I get you totally. Did they treat you bad abroad? Or maybe you are just too ignorant and like to come charging with the cavalry of self-righteousness. You don’t know your facts. All you know is your anger and you are venting it out on me.

    If you want to just butt heads, go some place full of people like yourself. YOu won’t need facts there. Just fight!

    I think the big thrill for you is the idea of trashing down someone who is a ‘celeb’ in your eyes. Aminin!!

    I’ve given you your 15 minutes in my site. Now begone, Chinese traitor, exploiter of the Filipino Masses, fascist anti-Nobel, coolie, melamin lover.

    Now, you’ve brought out my inner Robby Tan and it ain’t pretty!

    • martin s. says:

      Jim..Psychology can explain why Robbie Tan had stupidly written some foul words towards you..(i just do not know the term is) Maybe he is someone who worked and aimed the same thing you now reached, but turned out in the end, he failed…so out of frustration, that is why he is saying things like that towards you.. So for you Robbie Tan, before you slashed to everyone who you believed as traitors; tell your uncle that owns that biggest airline co. in the PHL or even your descents,to deliver fair or generous labor practices to all native filipinos that you guys employed..

    • lillian gibson says:

      Australian,American etc etc etc even Timbaktunians, it doesn’t really matter what your nationality is we are all Filipinos by heart…

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