Learn More about our History
The Philippines and Australia established formal diplomatic relations with the declaration of an independent Philippine Republic on 04 July 1946. On the eve of the inauguration of our Republic, then Philippine President Manuel Roxas broadcasted his greetings to Australia, stating, “it was from your continent that the avenging allies began the great advance which ended with the restoration of freedom to our land.'
Today, we celebrate Philippines-Australia Friendship Day on the 22nd of May of every year marking the day in 1946 when Australia established its Australian Consulate General in Manila.
Look back at our shared history as we move together in unison in building an even stronger Philippines-Australia bilateral relationship.
AU Lights Up for PH 2021
As part of the 75th Anniversary of PH-AU Diplomatic Relations in 2021, landmarks and public spaces in Canberra and Perth, Australia lit up in blue and yellow for the Philippines in honor of our enduring and steadfast friendship and people-to-people links. The colors blue and yellow, inspired by the 75th anniversary logo, symbolize our common maritime heritage and our optimism that together, our two countries will continue to greatly contribute to peace, progress and prosperity in our region for the benefit of the next generations of Filipinos and Australians.
PH Ambassador joins ceremony to honor 43 Squadron Catalina crew
11 June 2023, CAIRNS – Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega joined Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Robert Chipman in a commemorative ceremony honoring the crew of Number 43 Squadron, Catalina A24-64, which was lost on 14 December 1944 on Mindoro Island in the Philippines.
During the ceremony held on 11 June at the Cairns Catalina Memorial, a plaque was unveiled to honor the nine crew members of the Catalina with the families of the lost crew in attendance. According to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the reconnaissance mission to the site in 2019 that led to the identification of the aircraft was only made possible through the approval and cooperation of the Government of the Philippines and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The Catalinas were flown by the Air Force in the South West Pacific campaigns during the second world war and were operated out of Cairns. The Catalina Memorial on the Cairns Esplanade is dedicated to all four RAAF Catalina Squadrons that conducted mining operations in World War II -- Numbers 11, 20, 42 and 43 Squadrons. All four Squadrons participated in operations in Manila during the war.
The Philippines and Australia have stood shoulder to shoulder in many campaigns since the second world war. Today, the two countries have a robust defense and security partnership contributing to the Philippines’ defense modernization and to regional peace and stability.
Ambassador De La Vega pays tribute to PH and AU WWII sacrifices at the site of General Macarthur''s "I shall return" speech
23 March 2023, ADELAIDE – Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega spoke of the enduring ties of the Philippines and Australia during the ceremony that marked the 81st anniversary of the visit of US General Douglas MacArthur to Terowie in South Australia on 22 March 1942.
It was at the railway station in Terowie where General MacArthur uttered the famous words, “I came out of Bataan and I shall return.” These words resonate to all Filipinos and are well covered in world and military history. Ambassador De La Vega was invited by Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism and Senator for South Australia the Honorable Don Farrell to Terowie to visit the MacArthur memorial and join the community in observing the occasion that demonstrated the shared history of the Philippines, Australia and the United States.
According to Senator Farrell, “Australia has a rich history of comradeship in the Asia Pacific region with a commitment to promoting the virtues of freedom and liberty – virtues which have shaped our relationship with the United States, the Republic of the Philippines and their people.” In her remarks, the Ambassador explained how the defense of Bataan during the second world war delayed the Japanese timetable and allowed Allied Forces to regroup in Australia for the eventual retaking of Japanese occupied lands in Southeast Asia. The Ambassador said, “Australia lost lives for the liberation of the Philippines. The Philippines lost lives to keep Australia safe.”
The ceremony was hosted by South Australia Minister for Veterans Affairs Geoff Brock MP and included remarks of US Embassy Defense Attache Col Shane Gries, The Advertiser Editor Gemma Jones and Regional Council of Goyder Mayor Bell Gebhardt. A note addressed to Senator Farrell from Arthur, son of General MacArthur who was with him in the Philippines and Australia, was read where he said, “This commemoration at Terowie brings into focus his promise to the people of the Philippines that they would not be forgotten but would be liberated in World War II.” The Governor of South Australia, H.E. the Honourable Frances Adamson, also attended the event and led the wreath-laying ceremony at the MacArthur memorial. – END