Monday, July 30, 2012

Australian barbie in Los Banos

I got invited to attend the general assembly and family get-together of the Philippine Australian Alumni Association, Inc. Los Banos Chapter (PA3i-LB) last July 28 (Saturday). I've heard of the group before; it had sponsored airings of Australian films in the IRRI Havener Auditorium years ago (for free!). At the time, I was able to watch Lantana (2001), Looking for Alibrandi (1999), Australian Rules (2002), Love Serenade (1996), and Floating Life (1996).

Anyway, I didn't have the chance to enjoy one of the things the Pinoy students experience in Australia during my short stints there: the barbecue (or barbie in Aussie-speak). So when the invitation said BYO ("bring your own") to the barbie, I decided that I might as well experience what it's like... only, it's set at the Makiling Botanic Garden in UPLB, not on a picnic ground down under anymore. 

our BYO food all laid out

Attending the get-together, I eventually learned, were people relatively high up the Los Banos research community. That's when I realized that there are quite a few Australian alumni in university; back in college, most of the professors I studied under finished graduate school in the USA. This trend may no longer be true or it may depend on the subject being specialized on.

Aside from meeting the members of the PA3i-LB, I also got to chat a bit with no other than H.E. Bill Tweddell! That was a big wow moment for me. It's not everyday that I get to talk with the Australian ambassador to the Philippines. I was star-struck once again!

H.E. Bill Tweddell speaks to the members
of the PA3i-LB during the general assembly