|The flag, the queen and the coat of arms.|
Today, the 20th of May 2011 is a very remarkable and memorable day in my life. I attended the Australian citizenship ceremony to take my pledge- the final step in my journey to Australian citizenship. This achievement is 4 years, 4 months, 4 days and 2 hours in the making.
The departmental ceremony was very simple. NO guests allowed. No friends, no family member—just us (a group of ten who were scheduled to take the oath at 10am). There’s no chance to take photos before and during the event. It was a 20-minute program—brief and simple. There was a short video presentation showing some new migrants who were very happy living and working in Australia, each was proud of being a new citizen of this country.
Then the immigration officer read the message of the Australian immigration minister Chris Bowen; after that we took the pledge (that was around 10:20am), we were not even asked to raise our right hand! Others shed some tears, but I didn't, though I actually wanted to... After the oath, we sung Australia's national anthem- Advance Australia Fair; but NOT the entire song, only the first paragraph! Whew!
|Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Adelaide, South Australia.|
Happy? Uhmn... Yes I am happy because finally I have achieved my goal; but NOT really happy with the ceremony because it didn't give justice to all the hardships and challenges that I've been through along the way. Actually, it was my choice. I decided to perform my oath at the soonest possible time; I don't want to wait for another sixty days to join the oath-taking ceremony scheduled at my local council. Huhmn... should this be allowed, I would love to take another citizenship oath this coming Australia Day 2012- it must be a very big event! More solemn and more emotional, I guess.
|Simply Filipino-Australians - Jordan and RJ.|
My friend Jordan Gay-od took his pledge today, as well; he was with the batch who’s scheduled an hour after ours. I was walking out of the elevator from the third floor when I saw him- it was only at that very moment when we both realized that we’re celebrating the same thing on the same day- we haven’t seen or ‘texted’ each other for quite a while. So I went back to the immigration office and waited until he finished his oath; then we had our photo taken by Karen- the immigration officer who administered the oath. After the quick ceremony, Jordan and I headed to the BBQ City in Chinatown-Adelaide to have some bites! He paid for the main meal; I treated him with a dessert- a peach crepe of Happy Sweet. I was happy; I believe he was, too! At least we have each other to share that joyful moment with!