(L-R: Rezy, Phoenix, Patricia, Joey, Ysabella)
One of the admirable attributes of Filipinos is their strong sense of what is known as the bayanihan spirit, or collective support for those who are in need. Time and time again, this has been demonstrated and made a difference in a lot of peoples' lives.
The Fil-Aus community, bonded by this trait, has been rallying its support to a Queanbeyan family which are seeking Ministerial Interventionto live permanently here in Australia. Their whole ordeal started when they were refused a permanent residency status in 2016 because of their youngest daughter’s medical condition. And since then they have been desperately struggling to remain in Australia. Their request has been submitted to the Department of Home Affairs for intervention on compassionate grounds.
An online petition to support their plea was started in June by Hope Christian Church Queanbeyan Pastor Rolando Condat. As of this writing (July 23), there are 23,130 signatures so far.
On the update on the petition page, Pastor Condat said:
".....We are hoping more media group will call attention to this case.
"For now, we humbly encourage you to keep sharing the petition link on your social media,or even contact the decision-makers if you are happy to do so. Even in our own little way, let us extend help to this family."
Following postings on social media, Radio Tagumpay* interviewed Joey Jestingor, the head of the family to speak about their case. This was aired on 19th July and The Australian Filipina is glad to lend its support to the petition as well.
You can access and sign the petition through this link:
The Jestingor family has been in Australia since 2014. Pastor Condat speaks highly of the family and its contribution to the church community from the time they arrived in Canberra seven years ago.
The family has also been contributing to the wider Australian society. Joey Jestingor, has gained his position of a senior nurse at the Canberra Hospital Orthopaedics ward going through years of studying and working in the nursing field. His wife, Rezy, is the full-time carer to their youngest daughter Patricia, 20 years old, who has autism and a retina disease that caused her loss of vision. Rezy also does volunteer work for the church.
The daugher, Ysabella Louise, 22 yrs old is taking up BioMedical Science in her 2nd year at the University of Canberra, doing casual job at a high end retail shop. Their youger son Phoenix Gabrield, 21yrs took up a Diploma of Design, at the University of Canberra, and working as hydraulic draftsman.
Phoenix has plans of pursuing a degree in architecture but because the family can't afford to pay international fees for the two kids to go to Uni at the same time, he had to work and help out financially so Ysabella can finish her studies first.
Let us join hands and extend our bayanihan spirit to the Jestingor family. Sign the petition and request your families and friends to do the same.
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*airs on Mondays on (Triple H 100.1FM); can be streamed globally via: https://www.triplehfm.com.au/