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16 May 2012, Washington, D.C. The Philippine Embassy conducted its first consular outreach mission ever in Memphis, Tennessee, on 12-13 May 2012, coinciding with the Memphis in May Festival, which features the Philippines as the 2012 honored country.  During the one and a half day outreach held at the St. Francis Parish Life Center in Cordova, the Consular team, headed by Consul Arlene Magno, attended to 88 passport renewals, 15 civil registry applications and 14 legalization of documents, registered 46 Overseas Absentee Voters, and collected 48 Save Act letters of support.  Passport applicants came from outside the state of Tennessee, such as Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.  Consul Magno also administered the oath of allegiance to 50 new dual citizens.

The Consular team attends to the applicants inside one of the rooms of the St. Francis Parish Life Center.

Fifty former Filipinos took their oath of allegiance before Consul Magno (not shown), as their final act towards reacquiring Philippine citizenship.

Consular Assistants Lawrence Sumando and Joey Macatula, and Finance Officer Lyrie Fulgencio comprised the consular outreach team to Memphis.  While there, the team was invited to dinner by Dr. Ed Cruz, an affluent Filipino physiatrist and long-time resident of Memphis.  He also hosted the Worldwide Family of Arnis, one of the performing groups brought in from the Philippines for the Festival to showcase Philippine arts and culture.  The team likewise paid a visit to VGM Foods and Deli, where the team was treated to a sumptuous Filipino lunch on the second day of the outreach.  A family-owned business, VGM is reportedly the only known Filipino store in the mid-South area, and offers remittance, travel arrangements and forwarding services, aside from being a restaurant business as well.

The outreach was the Embassy’s 6th for the year, and was conducted with the assistance and support of the Philam Memphis, led by its president, Mr. Rolando Gersava.