Life in Perth is like life in Batanes
(By Nick Acacio)
Out of some 5,000 Filipinos living in Western Australia, only 30 to
35 are Ivatans consisting of the Acacio, the Alcantara, and the Estandante
To most Ivatans, Batanes will always be wherever they may be. The beauty
of the islands, their tranquillity, the fresh clean air and their closeness
to nature are things that an Ivatan will always try to find in his/her
new home anywhere in the world.
To the Acacio brothers and sisters (Chita, Nick Jr. Liling and Roger),
Batanes is also found "down under" in Perth, Western Australia. For different
reasons they came to Perth, but for the same reason, they have decided
to stay. That is, they all found in Perth the qualities of life Batanes
offered to them during their childhood years-and even more.
In Perth, as in Batanes, one lives life close to nature's beauty and tranquillity-in
the midst of all the conveniences that modern technology offers today.
In Perth suburbs, one wakes up to the singing of birds (doves, parrots,
etc) rather than the roaring of motor vehicles. One rides to work either
in his/her own car along the wide freeways or on the convenient train.
Weather you work 10 or 50 kms, your travel time will at the longest take
just 30 or 40 minutes.
Food is never a problem: Fresh fruits, meat and fish are available at
the supermarket in every suburban shopping mall the whole year round at
very affordable prices.
Education is free up to year seven and subsidized in the upper years for
both young and old. University placements, competitive, are on a "study
now-plan-when-can-afford" scheme. No one is required to pay back until
one earns enough to be able to live comfortably.
Australia offers the second most generous (next only to the Scandinavian
countries) health and social services. Housing is subsidized for those
who can't afford to buy their own home. For those who can afford, housing
loans can be obtained for as low as 5.0% interest rate.
The Perth Metropolitan Area is larger than Manila and has a population
of only 1.5 million. Its vehicle to population ratio is now 1.2 vehicles