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14/06/2011: Senate President Pro-Tempore Daniel Inouye Guest of Honor at PH Independence Day Reception

Shown in the picture above left are Senator Daniel Inouye (second from left), Ambassador Jose Cuisia (third from left), Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye (leftmost), and Mrs. Victoria Cuisia (rightmost).  Above right, Senator Inouye delivers his remarks.

14 JUNE 2011, WASHINGTON DC. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia Jr. and his wife Mrs. Victoria Cuisia hosted a diplomatic reception at the JW Marriott Hotel on 13 June 2011 in commemoration of the 113th anniversary of Philippine independence.

In his remarks, Ambassador Cuisia underscored the strong resolve of the Philippine government to preserve peace and democracy in the country and to lift the nation from poverty through honest and effective governance. He reaffirmed the Philippines’ alliance and friendship with the United States and closed his remarks with a toast in honor of U.S. President Barack Obama and the enduring friendship between Filipinos and Americans.

The audience was struck with the words of the guest of honor, Senate President Pro-Tempore Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), the fourth in the U.S. government’s line of succession. He recalled how Filipinos courageously heeded the call of the U.S. Government to defend freedom and democracy during the Second World War. He paid tribute to the bravery and fortitude of the Filipino guerillas who kept fighting even after many American and Filipino soldiers capitulated to Japanese forces. He fondly recalled his Filipino friend and guerilla fighter Alejo Santos, whom the Senator said had single-handedly felled 35 Japanese soldiers. He expressed remorse at how the U.S. Government reneged on its word and enacted the Rescission Act of 1946 which stripped Filipino soldiers of World War II of their privileges and benefits.

Senator Inouye also expounded on the long history of friendship between the governments and peoples of the two countries and the significant partnership that the Philippines and the U.S. have maintained to address common challenges. As he ended his speech, the Senator Inouye conveyed his apology to the Philippines on behalf of the U.S. Senate for the injustice that the U.S. government had committed against Filipinos.

Over 200 guests from the U.S. government, diplomatic corps, business sector, policy think tanks, NGO’s and the Filipino community attended the reception.  Among them were Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, Representative Madeleine Bordallo of Guam and key congressional staffers.  Earlier, Representative Laura Richardson of California introduced a bill, House Resolution 275 “Honoring the 113th Anniversary of the Independence of the Philippines.”  The reception featured Filipino culinary favorites pancit, lumpia shanghai, ukoy and leche flan. Philippine pride San Miguel Beer was also served to the guests.

Ambassador Cuisia with Representative Dana Rohrabacher (left) and Representative Madeleine Bordallo (right)

Contributing to the success of the event were support received from leading Philippine companies Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), Phinma Corporation, ATR-Kim Eng, and Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company.

Jazz singer Charmaine Clamor wows the crowd with her musical performance.

As a final treat, Queen of Filipino Jazz Charmaine Clamor performed her distinct jazzipino sound through songs such as Hindi Kita Malimot and Dahil Sa Yo. Clamor, who was born in Zambales but is currently based in Los Angeles, has placed three consecutive albums on the Jazz Week World Music Top-20 and has collaborated with pop stars David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. END