04 November 2021, Paris – Philippine Ambassador to France Junever M. Mahilum-West presented her credentials to French President Emmanuel Macron at the Palais Élysée on 02 November 2021.
Ambassador Mahilum-West reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to continue strengthening bilateral relations and marking 75 years of diplomatic relations in 2022 in partnership with the French Embassy in Manila. She noted the potential for expanded cooperation with the Philippines’ role as Country Coordinator for the ASEAN-EU dialogue partnership and France’s assumption of the EU presidency in 2022.
In his remarks, President Macron reiterated France’s commitment to multilateralism, outlined the Indo-Pacific vision of France and expressed his government’s support to all Ambassadors who presented their credentials, noting the ever-increasing importance of their role in international relations, particularly in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Prior to her assignment in France, Ambassador Mahilum-West was Assistant Secretary of the Office of ASEAN Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Director-General of the ASEAN-Philippines Secretariat.
Ambassador Mahilum-West also served in several posts abroad since 1995: Second Secretary and Consul at the Philippine Embassy in Paris; Minister and Consul General of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva; Consul General in Toronto; and Philippine Ambassador to Jordan and Palestine. END.
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Philippine Embassy Hosts Orientation and Welcome Seminar in Paris for the Ateneo's Overseas Filipinos, Leadership, Innovation, Financial Literacy and Social Entrepreneurship Program (OF-LIFE-ALSE)
10 October 2021, Paris: Philippine Embassy in Paris hosted in the chancery the Orientation and Welcome Seminar of the Overseas Filipinos’ Leadership, Innovation, Financial Literacy and Social Entrepreneurship Program of the Ateneo de Manila University. All participants were obligated to present their COVID vaccination certificates for validation, before entering the premises. The venue was properly ventilated and social distancing was observed.
27 October 2021, Paris – On the second Sunday of this month, the Philippine Embassy welcomed to the Chancery the incoming Filipina and Filipino student-participants for the Orientation and Welcome Seminar of the Overseas Filipinos’ Leadership, Innovation, Financial Literacy and Social Entrepreneurship Program of the Ateneo de Manila University.
Nicknamed as OF-LIFE ALSE, the 2021 program is the fifth iteration in Paris, France, the first one where all sessions were to be done online and which included the collective participation of overseas Filipina and Filipino (OFs) from France, Netherlands, Geneva, Rome and Milan.
The program’s social media account explains that “The OF-LIFE/ALSE is an empowerment program targeting overseas Filipinos (OFs), mostly working in ‘3 D’ types of jobs: (difficult, demeaning, de-skilling, or dangerous.) The program aims to transform their mindsets particularly for the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families and provide them with basic skills in Leadership, Social Innovation, Financial Literacy, and Social Entrepreneurship.
The program is a certificate course as part of the Executive Education Program of the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) and all graduates are recognized as alumni of the Ateneo de Manila University.
The OF-LIFE/ALSE has been offered in Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands in Europe; in the Middle East in Doha, Qatar, and in the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai). In Asia, it has been offered in Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines as well as in Hong Kong and Macau, and in Japan. Over 3,000 Overseas Filipinos are alumni of this program in its decade of existence.”
10 October 2021, Paris – L: Secretariat Head Mimi Agbay-Duhamel explains the program fundamentals to the incoming student-participants. R: PH Embassy’s Minister/Consul Christina Rola McKernan delivers the opening remarks.
In her opening remarks, Minister and Consul Christina Rola Mckernan of the Philippine Embassy in Paris commended the secretariat of the OF-LSE, spearheaded by Ms. Mimi Agbay-Duhamel, for having started this program and for persevering to keep it running, “now for the 5th time despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Consul McKernan recalled her time in the Philippine Embassy in Brussels; how she was honored to be instrumental in starting the ALSE there in 2013 and having had the opportunity to interact closely with the then Ateneo School of Government Dean Antonio “Tony” La Viña, whilst traveling with him from The Hague to Brussels to attend the ALSE Belgium’s first graduation ceremony.
Consul McKernan remarked, “I have seen how this program has boosted the morale of our kababayans abroad, providing many of them with a more meaningful direction in life and how some have eventually become the “entrePinays and entrePinoys” that they were destined to be. I am happy that even a pandemic could not stop this program from realizing its vision. It is in fact because of the pandemic that this program could do a whole lot of good for our countrymen, now more than ever”.
Consul McKernan, who had made the decision to join as a participant of the current batch 103 said “Thank you to the organizers for giving me this unique opportunity to join you all as a student-participant myself, as the purely online mode makes it accessible even to me, despite my current work and personal commitments.
I look at this chance to be able to see through the eyes of the OF participants, who are here with me today, and I hope my participation would serve as an inspiration to others to say that no matter what your age and whatever your calling, it is never too late to learn something new or different that ultimately benefits yourself, your family and those surrounding you. I look forward to all the learnings from the resource speakers and those from my co-participants’ life stories, both the struggles and the successes.”
The 2021 OF-LIFE ALSE has since had its first session on October 17 and is scheduled for another this Sunday, October 31. The program is due to be completed in a period of nine months, totaling 15 Sunday sessions, including the graduation ceremony set for mid-June.
10 October 2021, Paris – The OF-ALSE alumni and secretariat team for Paris at Philippine Embassy
5 October 2021, Paris – Philippine tourism made a quick comeback in France as the international travel trade fair International French Travel Market (IFTM) Top Resa resumed having its in-person event in Paris from 5-8 October 2021. It had to cancel its regular event last year, due to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
The Philippine Embassy in Paris joined the Philippine tourism promotions team on the opening day of Top Resa at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. It is said to be the first live travel fair done in France, since the pandemic began.
The Philippine Top Resa team was led by the tourism director of the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) Frankfurt Office, Ms. Margarita Patricia Valdes, and included representatives of the following exhibitor-companies: Asiaventure Tours and Travel, Inc., Evasion Tropicale Travel and Tours, Blue Horizons Travel and Tours, Inc., Shangri-la Boracay and Masaya Wonderland Wow, Inc.
5 October 2021, Paris: Philippine Embassy in Paris’ Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Aileen Mendiola-Rau (5th from left) and Minister/Consul Christina Rola McKernan (5th from right) with the Director of the Frankfurt office of the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT), Ms. Margarita Patricia Valdes (4th from left), in support of “Team Philippines” composed of exhibitors and marketing representatives at the international travel trade show TopResa held in Paris.
The Philippine Embassy in Paris’ Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Ms. Aileen Mendiola-Rau, said of Philippine participation in the event, “It is indeed very encouraging to be able again to attend Top Resa, which we have always done before the pandemic struck.
As every country comes closer to realizing its own goals for managing this global health crisis, the more and more we will see more live (in-person) events like Top Resa and more international travel. Though the new normal brings with it a very different way of doing things, the Philippines is adapting and is committed to make sure that the travel experience for our visitors will still be at the highest standard of quality and safety”.
5 October 2021, Paris – The Philippine exhibitors “in action” at TopResa held from 5-8 October 2021 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.
Before the event’s opening ceremony, Director Valdes said, “The Philippines is getting ready for its meetings, and can't wait to see its partners, discuss the latest developments, and continue laying down the groundwork for when Philippine borders reopen”. By day four, she confirmed that travel trade partners had received well the optimistic message, which Philippine participation in Top Resa carried with it: that the Philippines continues with its preparations for the time when it can welcome foreign tourists into the country.
5 October 2021 – Left photo: meetings continue at the Philippine exhibitors’ area; Right photo: DOT Tourism Director Margarita Valdes (center) meets Mme. Évelyne Renaud-Garabedian, French Senator representing French people living outside France.
According to its website, IFTM Top Resa is a trade show for travel and tourism, targeting all segments: Business, Leisure, Group, MICE & Events.To know more about the Philippines DOT’s More Fun Awaits campaign, please visit the following social media posts on Facebook and Instagram through the following links: https://fb.watch/8hcXp3WANg/ https://fb.watch/8hcYxuBZvZ/, https://www.instagram.com/p/CUHoMhDKngn/, https://www.instagram.com/p/CUUUiBuqcEh/ END.
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