My son Mio turns Aussie!

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.

mio-citizen35
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.
migrant15

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.
plant15

mio-citizen15

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’!
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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!

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27 Comments
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denise
11 years ago

why did Mio turn Aussie?

sakto po yata yun entry nyo, Independence Day natin ngayon. 🙂

ARMIR
ARMIR
10 years ago
Reply to  jimparedes

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

Rolly
Rolly
10 years ago
Reply to  jimparedes

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.

Thanks
Rolly

The EQualizer
11 years ago

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

Engr_Moks
11 years ago

Happy Independence Day po sa inyo Sir Jim…

BabyPink
11 years ago

hello sir jim! 🙂

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. 🙂

congrats kay mio! 🙂

dani
dani
11 years ago

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!!!!

Craig Peihopa
11 years ago

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.

denise
11 years ago

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.

thomas f
thomas f
11 years ago

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.

DaveLock
DaveLock
11 years ago

@ Jim: Great story, I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

@ Mio: Congratulations, & welcome to the future of Australia. 🙂

Dave.

ethey
ethey
11 years ago

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.

Obet Dionisio
Obet Dionisio
11 years ago

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.

edd aragon
11 years ago

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

elisabeth q. gordon
11 years ago

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

Ag517
Ag517
10 years ago

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

Robbietan
Robbietan
10 years ago

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

RobbieTan
RobbieTan
10 years ago
Reply to  jimparedes

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.
martin s.
10 years ago
Reply to  RobbieTan

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
lillian gibson
10 years ago
Reply to  jimparedes

goodonya Jimbo!!!!!!

martin s.
martin s.
10 years ago
Reply to  jimparedes

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
lillian gibson
10 years ago
Reply to  jimparedes

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