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10/04/2012: Ambassadors, Consuls General Tour – makes up for lost or sleeping national pride

Ms. Solita Wakefield (second row, 7th from right), shown in this photo standing behind DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo (5th from right). The photo was taken during the ACGTDT participants’ call on President Aquino in Malacanang in July 2011.


10 April 2012, Washington, DC - A participant in the 2011 Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour (ACGTDT) had this to say about this one of a kind tour that has been running for the past seven years. The 7th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour will be held this year on July 11-14, 2012 in Manila. The participants will be led by the Philippine Ambassadors and Consuls General in the United States and Canada in a four-day tour which includes a visit to Malacañang (presidential palace) and an audience with President Benigno S. Aquino III.

A joint project of all Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the United States and Canada in cooperation with the Department of Tourism and the Department of Trade and Industry, ACGTD tour aims to promote the Philippines as a top tourist destination by encouraging Filipino Americans, their family and friends, particularly those who have not been to the Philippines to visit  and  discover the beauty of the country.

Last year, more than 450 participants from the US and Canada traveled to the Philippines to experience the various cultural and culinary tours, cultural programs, and business opportunities seminars. One of the participants, Ms. Solita Wakefield, a Filipino who used to be with the International Monetary Fund headquartered in Washington, DC, described the tour as “truly successful, fun and inspiring.” Ms. Wakefield added that, “the tour is specially good for the younger Fil-Ams as they get reconnected to their roots and have a better appreciation of the Philippines.”

Ms. Wakefield also gave a spirited account of the food she enjoyed and the historic places they visited including the island of Corregidor, which she says “reawakens one’s pride in independence.” She said that the other participants from Washington, DC particularly enjoyed the dinner programs, dancing as Kuh Ledesma and Side A band performed. Referring to the participants from Washington, DC and the states under the Embassy’s consular jurisdiction such as Florida, Ms. Wakefield has this to say, “DC had the VIP status - always being in front of affairs and events specially at Malacanan during the photo op and luncheon with the President.”

Several innovations are being made in this year’s tour which highlights the new Philippine tourism brand, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” However, the trademark that ACGTDT has developed over the years such as the Filipino warmth and hospitality, cultural and historic rediscovery and absolute enjoyment will certainly stay.

For more details about the tour, visit www.philippineembassy-usa.org. -- END