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Dpartment of Foreign Affairs-Updates

President Arroyo Arrives with 120 Distressed OFWs from Saudi Arabia

Posted: 24 Sep 2009 03:46 AM PDT

PR-754-09, 24 September 2009 – President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo arrived today from her trips to Turkey, United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, bringing with her 120 distressed Filipino workers from Riyadh.

The OFWs, which are all women, were repatriated following strong representations made by the President with Saudi government authorities.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Esteban Conejos, Jr. welcomed the President and her party at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.

While in Riyadh, President Arroyo instructed Labor Secretary Marianito D. Roque to expedite the processing of the exit papers of said OFWs so “they can have relief and be brought home as soon as possible.”

She also instructed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to finalize the arrangements for their repatriation.

President Arroyo has also ordered the facilitation of the exit papers of the remaining stranded Filipino workers who previously stayed under the Kandara bridge in Jeddah.

To date, 97 have already been repatriated by the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah.

The Philippine Government has extended its gratitude to the Saudi government for the immediate processing of the exit papers of the Filipinos. END



RP Embassy in Bangkok Celebrates International Day of Democracy

Posted: 24 Sep 2009 03:31 AM PDT

PH-159-09,(left photo) Philippine Ambassador to Thailand Antonio V. Rodriguez (middle) speaks before the Filipino community during the commemoration of International Day of Democracy on 18 September 2009 at the Chancery. To his right is Consul General Edgar B. Badajos who briefed the community on consular and other issues, and to his left is ATN Officer Roberto R. Reyes. (right photo) Filipino priest, Father John Tamayo, SDB, announces the Search for the Exemplary Overseas Filipino Worker in Thailand. The winner will be announced on September 27, Feast Day of San Lorenzo Ruiz, and receive a gold-capped statute of the patron saint of OFWs.

(right photo) Mr. Elmer Ursolino, Vice President of the Organization of Filipino Educators in the South of Thailand (OFEST), Pattani, appeals to the Filipino community for donations of second-hand school supplies for the newly-found organization’s education-related projects. (left photo) Some members of the Filipino community who attended the “Day of Democracy” Townhall meeting at the Chancery on 18 September 2009.



Filipino Student Wins ASEAN-Korea Multimedia Contest

Posted: 24 Sep 2009 01:49 AM PDT

PR-753-09, 24 September 2009 – Filipino student Jophel Ybiosa of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines won the first place honor in the photography category of the 2009 ASEAN-Korea Multimedia Competition. Ybiosa’s winning entries entitled “Giants” feature the Higantes Festival of Angono, Rizal.

At the awarding ceremony held in Seoul on September 23, Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Luis T. Cruz lauded Mr. Ybiosa for its creativity and excellence in photography and further encouraged the student to continue with his involvement in various ASEAN awareness programs.

University of the Philippines student MM Yu was also awarded the honor of “Special Guest Artist” in recognition of her outstanding entries.

The contest, which carries the theme “Cultural Diversity and Harmony,” was divided in two categories namely, video/multimedia and photography, and was participated in by over 350 ASEAN and Korean university and graduate students. Winning entries and other selected works will be displayed at the Seoul Art Space from September 23 to October 10.

The ASEAN-Korea Multimedia Competition was organized by the ASEAN-Korea Center, in cooperation with the 10 ASEAN embassies in Seoul.

ASEAN-Korea Centre is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to promoting economic and socio-cultural cooperation between ASEAN and Korea. END



RP Embassy in Kuala Lumpur Hosts Iftar Dinner

Posted: 24 Sep 2009 01:39 AM PDT

PR-752-09, 24 September 2009 – In observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur hosted an iftar/buka puasa (or the evening meal when Muslims break their fast) at the Chancery on September 17.

Together with Embassy officers and staff, Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Victoriano M. Lecaros welcomed guests from the Royal Malaysian Police, Immigration Office, and Filipino Muslim students from the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

Aside from the food prepared by the caterer, the Embassy’s long-time locally-hired driver/messenger Ahmad Bin Buyong brought a beef rendang to add a Malaysian feel to the iftar.

The hosting of the iftar is part of the Embassy’s cultural diplomacy efforts to foster camaraderie between the Muslim and non-Muslim personnel of the Embassy, as well as with the Embassy’s Malaysian contacts during this important Muslim event.

Malaysia celebrated the Hari Raya Idul Fitri, which marks the end of the Holy Month, on September 20-21. END



Philippines Opens Honorary Consulate General in Recife, Brazil

Posted: 23 Sep 2009 11:55 PM PDT

PR-751-09, 24 September 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Brasilia reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that, on 18 September 2009, the Philippines opened an Honorary Consulate General in the State of Pernambuco with Mr. Sergio Kano as Philippine Consul General, ad honorem. Based in Recife, the Consulate General will cover the states of Pernambuco, Ceara and Bahia in northeastern Brazil.

Mr. Kano is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Tecon Suape, a container terminal in Suape, which is a subsidiary of the Philippines´ International Container Terminal Services Inc. In such capacity, he has had direct dealings with the Philippines. Mr. Kano is looking at his first Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) task with the arrival last week of 18 Filipino workers at the Suape Shipyard.

The official opening was attended by government officials, including federal Senator Marco Maciel, Ambassador Isnard Penha Brasil, head of the Regional Office of the Ministry of External Relations in the Northeast; other state and municipal officials; members of the consular corps in Recife; and businessmen.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Teresita Barsana said that the opening of the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in Recife was a concrete step in the commitment of the Presidents of Brazil and the Philippines during the state visit of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to Brazil last June, to strengthen relations between the two countries. The inauguration by President Arroyo of the expanded container terminal of Tecon Suape during her visit was a manifestation of the continuing interest of the Philippines to further develop its relations especially with the state of Pernambuco and an appreciation of the important role Pernambuco plays in the development of Brazil.

The Philippine Honorary Consulate General in Recife, under the supervision of the Philippine Embassy in Brasilia, is expected to promote cooperative endeavors and look after the welfare of Filipino nationals within the consular jurisdiction, among others.

The Philippine Honorary Consulate General is located at Rua Ribeiro de Brito 830-A, Salas 1805/1806 Empresarial Iberbras, Boa Viagem, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. END



Lea Salonga performs at the Queen Sirikit Convention Center in Bangkok

Posted: 23 Sep 2009 10:30 PM PDT

PR-750-09, 24 September 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Lea Salonga made her return performance to Bangkok a resounding success in a show entitled, “The Magic of Disney and Broadway musicals” on 12 September 2009 at the Queen Sirikit Convention in Bangkok, Thailand. The concert was organized by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Foundation, in cooperation with B.. Grimm and Co., Credit Suisse and the Philippine Embassy.

Ms. Salonga’s repertoire ranged from songs of famous Disney movies to hits from Broadway musicals, including Miss Saigon. Although she was confined in the hospital the night before due to respiratory illness, the 38-year old Filipina superstar still captivated her audience with her voice and stage presence.

The much-applauded concert was also a tribute to the big number of Filipinos who came over to support her. Also seen among the audiences were members of the Diplomatic Corps and the Thai cabinet, musical artists, film stars, and other host government officials.

The concert was an impressive follow-up to her performance last year in the Bangkok leg of the Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella event, which included a swing of Asian cities.

Mrs. Janette Rodriguez presented a bouquet of flowers to the Broadway star, who was hailed by Ambassador Antonio V. Rodriguez as “the Philippines’ greatest contribution in the field of musical theater.” END



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September 2009
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  • March 21, 1871: Stanley begins search for Livingstone
    On this day in 1871, journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his famous search through Africa for the missing British explorer Dr. David Livingstone. In the late 19th century, Europeans and Americans were deeply fascinated by the “Dark Continent” of Africa and its many mysteries. Few did more to increase Africa’s fame than Livingstone, one of England’ […]




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