14/03/2012: AMBASSADOR JOSE L. CUISIA, JR. MAKES FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO GUAM
Philippine Ambassador to the United States of America, H.E. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. made his first official visit to the island of Guam over the weekend, arriving in the early morning of Saturday, 10 March 2012. Consul General Bayani V. Mangibin and the officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate General in Agana, Guam welcomed the Ambassador and his wife, Mrs. Victoria J. Cuisia, at the A.B. Won Pat International airport. Also on hand to receive the Ambassador and his spouse was Ms. Michelle Taitano, Chief of Protocol of the Guam Governor’s Office.
Photo shows Consul General Bayani V. Mangibin, Mme. Victoria J. Cuisia, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. and Mrs. Lena Rodriguez
Guam Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., whose parents hail from Parañaque City in the Philippines, hosted a welcome luncheon for the Ambassador on the same day at the Avenue Steak and Lobster, Outrigger Guam Hotel. The luncheon was attended by Filipino community leaders, including Mr. Mark V. Pangilinan, one of the pioneer Filipino businessmen on the island; Ms. Leah Beth Naholowaa, President of the Filipino Community of Guam; and other prominent Filipinos who are also involved in business ventures in Guam, such as Ms. Nita Baldovino of Rambies Restaurant, Mr. Rene Ramos of MedPharm and Ms. Chit Bathan of Ace Builders LLC. Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena III, who also has Filipino roots, was also present during the luncheon.
Ambassador Cuisia then proceeded to attend the opening ceremony of the 3rd Monthly Art Exhibit of the Guam Filipino Artists at the Philippine Consulate General, featuring Spouses Christian and Chat Rose Mahilum. The Ambassador led the ribbon-cutting ceremony, together with Hon. Eddie Baza Calvo, Governor of Guam, and Speaker Judith Won Pat of the 31st Guam Legislature.
(L-R) Mr. Christian Mahilum, Mme. Vicky Cuisia, Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Speaker Judith Won Pat of the 31st Guam Legislature, Mrs. Chat Rose Mahilum, and Consul General Bayani V. Mangibin
The event was also attended by other members of the 31st Guam Legislature, including Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., Sen. Sam Mabini, Sen. Frank Blas, Sen. Tina Muna Barnes, and Sen. Mana Silva Taijeron. Consul General Yoshiyuki Kimura of Japan, as well as members of the Guam Filipino Artists, led by its president, Mr. Rolly Zepeda, and other members of the Filipino community and media friends of the Consulate General were present to witness the official launch of the exhibit.
Mr. Christian Mahilum also presented a portrait of Ambassador Cuisia as a token of appreciation for the Ambassador's presence during the exhibit opening.
One of the important highlights of the visit of the Ambassador was the Forum with Filipino American Young Professionals at the Hilton Guam Resort and Spa on Saturday evening of 10 March with the theme “Engaging the Young Generation of Filipino Americans”. This event was organized by the Consulate General in coordination with the offices of Senators Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. and Shirley "Sam" Mabini, through the sponsorship of Mr. Rene Ramos of MedPharm and Mr. Roy Salvador Adonay.
(L-R) Consul General Bayani V. Mangibin, Sen. Shirley "Sam" Mabini, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Sen. Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., Consul Edgar Tomas Auxilian
During the Forum, the Ambassador encouraged the young professionals to be more active in discussing relevant political issues and be participative in influencing policies that are relevant to the Philippines and Filipino Americans. The Ambassador had a lively discussion and exchange of ideas with the participants on several issues like the SAVE Act now pending in the US Congress, Medicare portability, and the military buildup on Guam, among other issues.
Ambassador Cuisia also had the opportunity to meet more members of the Filipino Community of Guam (FCG) and of other Filipino associations during the dinner reception organized by the FCG at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort on Sunday, 11 March.
Over 200 guests, mostly comprised of officers and members of various Filipino organizations, attended the event. Guam Senators including Speaker Judith Won Pat, Sen. Frank Blas, Sen. Rory Respicio and Filipino American Senators Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. and Shirley "Sam" Mabini were also present.
On Monday, 12 March, Ambassador Cuisia made his official calls on Guam government officials, first of whom was Senator Judith Won Pat, Speaker of the 31st Guam Legislature. The Ambassador, joined by Consul General Bayani V. Mangibin, exchanged views with the Speaker on the matter of further strengthening investment and trade between the Philippines and Guam.
While at the Legislature, the Ambassador was also presented with a Senate Resolution initiated by Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., welcoming the Ambassador to Guam with the "Hafa Adai Spirit". The presentation was done at the Legislature's public hearing room and was attended by all fifteen Senators of the 31st Guam Legislature, which was a first according to Speaker Won Pat.
(L-R) Sen. Tom Ada, Sen. Rory Respicio, Sen. Adolfo Palacios, Sen. Frank Blas, Sen. Mana Silva Taijeron, Sen. V. Anthony Ada, Speaker Judith Won Pat, Sen. Chris Duena, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Sen. Ben Pangelinan, Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., Sen. Aline Yamashita, Sen. Tina Muna Barnes, Vice Speaker Benjamin J. Cruz, and Sen. Judith Guthertz.
In the afternoon of the same day, the Ambassador likewise called on Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, where the Ambassador reiterated the Philippines' commitment to further strengthen its relations with Guam and further increasing investment and trade.
The Ambassador also called on Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo, thanking her for her constant support for initiatives in the US Congress that benefit the Philippines, including the SAVE Act. He likewise exchanged views with the Congresswoman regarding her proposed bill on Medicare portability.
Photo shows Ambassador Cuisia, Consul General Bayani V. Mangibin and Consul Edgar Tomas Auxilian meeting with the officers and board of directors of the Guam Chamber of Commerce.
Other highlights of the Ambassador's visit include his visit to the SM Guam and Agana Shopping Center, a meeting with the Board of Directors and officers of the Guam Chamber of Commerce, and a luncheon meeting with Filipino business leaders including Ms. Elizabeth Sy of SM Guam, Mr. Emelio Uy of National Office Supply, Mr. Mark V. Pangilinan of MVP Enterprises, Mr. Alfred Ysrael of Tanota Partners and Outrigger Hotel, Mr. Cencio Tan Vy of Benson Guam Enterprises, Mr. Albino Gabriel of Rexall Drugstore, Ms. Shirley Tan of Goodwind Development Corporation, Mr. Eusebio So of Goodwind Travel and Tours/Philippine Airlines, Mr. Tom Borja of Beacon Construction, Mr. Reynald del Carmen of Inland Builders, Mr. Ed Ilao of JMI Edison, Ms. Nita Baldovino of Rambies Restaurant, Ms. Chit Bathan of Ace Builders LLC and Ms. Fides Gorman, representing the Guam Regional Medical City. Congresswoman Bordallo also joined Ambassador and Mme. Cuisia during said luncheon, which was sponsored by SM Guam/Agana Shopping Center and Mr. Emelio Uy of National Office Supply.END
(L-R) Mr. Eusebio So, Ms. Shirley Tan, Ms. Nita Baldovino, Mr. Tom Borja, Ms. Shirley Sy, Mr. Alfred Ysrael, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Mme. Vicky Cuisia, Mr. Emelio Uy, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, Mr. Albino Gabriel, Consul General Bayani V. Mangibin, Mr. Cencio Tan Vy, Mr. Ed Ilao, and Mr. Mark V. Pangilinan.