Embassy of the Philippines > Embassy of the Philippines DC >> News

News

30/08/2019: PH ENVOY’S ANCHORAGE VISIT REAFFIRMS STRONG TIES BETWEEN PH, ALASKA

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-36-2019
30 August 2019

(L-R) Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco; Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez; US Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK); and AAPICA president Jesse Vizcocho at a town hall event with the Filipino-American community leaders held on 25 August 2019 at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez conducted an official visit to Anchorage, Alaska on 25-28 August 2019 to engage with the sizable Filipino-American community there and explore the possibility of increasing economic exchanges between the Philippines and the state of Alaska.

The official visit was upon the invitation of Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan and facilitated by the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, which exercises consular jurisdiction over Alaska, and the Asian American Pacific Islander Coalition of Alaska (AAPICA), led by its president Jesse Vizcocho. Joining the Ambassador were Philippine Consul General Henry B. Bensurto, Jr., and officials from the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. and Consulate General in San Francisco.

Alaska is home to around 30,000 Filipino-Americans who represent the biggest immigrant group in the state. Majority of them are in Anchorage, which is also where 40% of Alaskans reside. Filipino-Americans work throughout the state in the fisheries industry, the service sector, tourism, the local government, the medical industry, among other fields.

“I can tell you that I am very proud to be here in the United States as the Ambassador because everywhere I go and every person that I meet in Washington, D.C. knows a Filipino community that is very reliable and hardworking people,” Ambassador Romualdez told Filipino-American leaders at a town hall event.

“Alaska is blessed with a strong Filipino community – one of the largest, per capita, in the country,” Senator Sullivan later on tweeted.

“The strength of the US-Filipino relationship for decades has been one of the core pillars of security and economic prosperity for the entire Asia-Pacific region. I think that is something that we, as Americans, as Filipino-Americans, should all take a lot of pride in,” Senator Sullivan said in his remarks at the town hall event.

Ambassador Romualdez and Consul General Bensurto had the opportunity to engage with members of the Filipino-American community during a visit at the Anchorage plant of Copper River Seafoods, a premier producer of Alaska seafood and one of the largest employers of Filipino-Americans in the state. They also met with Deputy Commissioner Nelson San Juan of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and Joy Maglaqi, who works at the Anchorage Mayor’s office. The Ambassador’s delegation likewise dined at the Filipino restaurant Bahay Kubo owned by Filipino-American Maricel Medina and engaged with several faculty members and students of the University of Alaska Anchorage.

In separate meetings, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz likewise noted the vital contributions of the Filipino-American community to the history and continued progress of the Last Frontier. For the part of the Philippine Government, Ambassador Romualdez and Consul General Bensurto pledged to further improve the delivery of services to kababayan in Alaska.

Ambassador Romualdez also addressed the business community in Anchorage as the featured guest at a “Make It Monday” forum co-organized by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska World Affairs Council. The forum included a wide-ranging conversation with Senator Sullivan followed by a Q&A moderated by Lise Falskow, president and CEO of the Alaska World Affairs Council.

The Ambassador further pursued economic discussions with Commissioner Julie Anderson of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development; Jim Szczesniak, Manager of the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport; Bill Popp, president and CEO of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation; and Michael Kohan, Seafood Technical Director at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

While in Anchorage, Ambassador Romualdez also met with US Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs Theodore Garrish to discuss future energy partnerships between the Philippines and US.

“Alaska’s strategic location and resources, not to mention the strong presence of the Filipino-American community, make it a very attractive and logical partner for us, particularly on key sectors like logistics, seafood processing, tourism, and energy. Our meetings in Anchorage started important conversations about how to realize these potential synergies,” Ambassador Romualdez said. ###

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-98-2019
30 August 2019

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez (4th from right) and Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (2nd from left) cite the strong relationship between the Philippines and the United States, and the vital contributions of the Filipino-American community in Alaska in the state's history and progress. Joining Governor Dunleavy are Commissioner Julie Anderson (1st from left), Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development; and Deputy Commissioner Nelson San Juan (3rd from left), Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (Photo credit: Governor's Office, Austin McDaniel)

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-99-2019
30 August 2019

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez and US Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs Theodore Garrish explore the possibility of energy cooperation between the Philippines and the United States, particularly with regard to liquefied natural gas.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-100-2019
30 August 2019

(L-R) Jesse Vizcocho, Filipino community leader and President of the Asian American Pacific Islander Coalition of Alaska (AAPICA); Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco; Deputy Commissioner John Springsteen,  Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development;  Commissioner Julie Anderson, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development; Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel  Romualdez; Director Matthew Fagnani, Division of Economic Development, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development; Deputy Commissioner Nelson San Juan, Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development; and Anthony Caole, AAPICA director.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-101-2019
30 August 2019

Lise Falskow, president and CEO of the Alaska World Affairs Council, deliver opening remarks and introduce Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez and US Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) at a “Make It Monday” forum co-organized by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and Alaska World Affairs Council on 26 August 2019.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-102-2019
30 August 2019

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez, together with Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr. and Consul Jed Llona of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, meet the Filipinos employed by Copper River Seafoods, a premier producer of Alaska seafood on 28 August 2019.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-103-2019
30 August 2019

(L-R) Delaney Mitchell; Amy Coffman;  Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco;  Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez; Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz; and Joy Maglaqi at the office of the Anchorage Mayor on 28 August 2019.