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07/06/2012: FilAms in Washington D.C. Warmly Welcome President Aquino

07 June 2012

Members of the Filipino American community in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area warmly welcomed President Benigno S. Aquino III as he arrived today at the Andrews Air Force Base for a two-day official working visit.  Arriving hours before the President’s plane was scheduled to touch down, the Filipinos trooped to eastern Maryland despite the unusually cold summer weather.

President Aquino was met at the airport by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and his wife, Victoria, as well as Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall, Chief of Protocol of the United States, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Joseph Yun of the State Department.  He was accompanied by eight Cabinet officials and several Filipino businessmen, who are looking into increasing economic activity between the Philippines and the U.S.

“We are excited and look forward to seeing the President.  I want to congratulate him for the wonderful job that he is doing,” said Ador Carreon, who chairs the Philippine American Foundation for Charities, a Filipino American organization that sponsors community activities, which showcases Philippine culture. “We understand that his visit here is short, but I hope that it will be a memorable and significant one,” he added.

Hoping to just catch a glimpse of the President, the well-wishers were overjoyed when President Aquino walked passed his designated vehicle to shake their hands, sending a pack of Secret Service agents scurrying down the tarmac.

Among those who came to greet the President was a group of ten young students from George Washington University (GWU).  "Never in a million years did I think that I would have the opportunity to meet the President of the Philippines while still in school. The Philippine Cultural Society of The George Washington University came out because we wanted our community to know that the Fil-Am youth is a powerful and aware voice. We were honored to welcome President Aquino and wish him success in his upcoming meeting with President Obama," said Chris Cordero, a GWU B.S. Economics candidate in 2013 and active leader of a Filipino American student association.

President Aquino will meet with President Barack Obama at the Oval Office on June 8. He is also scheduled to have meetings with several U.S. companies, attend a reception organized by U.S. Senate leaders, serve as the guest of honor at the launch of the U.S.-Philippines Society, and be feted at a luncheon hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department.