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Rhode Island Filipino Community Welcomes Philippine Ambassador to U.S. Jose L. Cuisia

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RHODE ISLAND - The Filipino community of Rhode Island held a Welcome Dinner in honor of Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.  on Monday, 26 October 2015 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Middletown, Rhode Island.

Accompanied by Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr., it was Ambassador Cuisia’s first ever official trip to the nation’s smallest state where he had earlier that day given a lecture presentation on Philippine-U.S. relations at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.  Ambassador Cuisia also met with Rhode Island government officials, namely U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Governor Gina Raimondo and Newport Mayor Jeanette Napolitano to discuss Philippine-U.S. political and economic ties.  

In his dinner address, Ambassador Cuisia conveyed his gratitude and appreciation to the Rhode Island Filipino-American community and remarked on how Rhode Island, though known as the Smallest State, has always punched above its weight in terms of shaping American values and ideas, and how for a maritime country like the Philippines, Rhode Island symbolizes one of the most important and well-developed facets of Philippine relations with the United States.  He stated how the U.S. Naval War College, the “Home of Thought” for the U.S. Navy, is a crucial player in Philippine-U.S. defense cooperation, having contributed significantly to the training and further education of some of the Philippine Navy’s Flag Officers in Command.  He cited the names of a few Filipino graduates of the Naval War College, including Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga, Rear Admiral Alexander Pama and Vice Admiral Jesus Millan. 

Ambassador Cuisia further praised the Filipino-American community in Rhode Island for its warm hospitality and for being host to many Filipino military personnel, sailors, students and their families.  Additionally, he recognized the community’s unceasing assistance to regions in the Central Philippines severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan, and acknowledged the community for being a pillar of strength and inspiration for the typhoon survivors.

In his address, Consul General De Leon reminded the Filipino community how both the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. and the Consulate General in New York were committed to serving the interests of and promoting the Filipino community throughout the New England region.  He thanked the community for the work being done to enhance Philippine-U.S. political and economic relations within the region, as evident from the participation and assistance which community leaders provided during Consul General De Leon’s meetings with Rhode Island state government officials last May, where he met with U.S. Representative David Cicilline and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, as well as with Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce President Laurie White.

Entitled “Philippine Night,” the Welcome Dinner was hosted by local community organizations the Filipino-American Association of Newport County, Filipino American Community of South Coast, Massachusetts, Lingkod Timog (Medical Missions), and the Newport Council for International Visitors.  Also in attendance at the dinner were Filipino-American naval cadets at the U.S. Naval War College. 

The dinner, blessed by Father John O’Brien, Pastor of St. Lucy’s Church in Rhode Island, consisted of Philippine culinary delights such as Inihaw na Baka (steamship round beef) and Litsong Manok (roasted chicken).  Cultural dance numbers were also provided by members of the community to entertain the guests. - Vice Consul Khrys Corpuz, PCGNY

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