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Posing with Ambassador Jose Cuisia are young Fil-Ams (l-r) Richard Cash, Tiffany Hoang, Maureen Natividad Oxendine, and Gian Gozum.

12 MAY 2012, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. held a dialogue yesterday with second generation Filipino Americans at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church Social Hall in Memphis, Tennessee.  Engagement with the youth has been a special advocacy of Ambassador and Mrs. Vicky Cuisia, and they have made it a point to meet with Filipino American students and young professionals throughout their travels in the United States.

The Ambassador said, “in the midst of all my activities, I observed the critical need to engender the passion to help our country and zeal for community activism among the second and third generation Filipino Americans.”  He urged them to get involved in community advocacy and political involvement, showcase the rich Philippine culture, and encourage others to visit our islands.

A lively open forum ensued where those in attendance reflected on their activities in Asian associations and desire to be involved in Philippine-related activities, such as the Memphis in May Festival, which they view as a positive development for the Filipino American community.  They also expressed their thirst for avenues that would increase their knowledge of Philippine heritage and identity.

Ambassador Cuisia was joined by Consul General Marciano Paynor Jr. of the Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco and Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim of the Philippine Consulate in Chicago, who added valuable inputs to the conversation as seasoned career diplomats in the Philippine Foreign Service.

The event was organized by FILAMemphis, headed by its leaders Mr. Rolando Gersava, Mr. Roberto Hernandez, and Dr. Lupo Carlota. (END)