The new Guatemalan envoy ushers in the 51st year of diplomatic relations with the Philippines as it’s Honorary Consulate of Guatemala in the Philippines, headed by Honorary Consul Amelia Ablaza, hosted a reception at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel recently to honor and welcome Manuel Estuardo Roldan Barillas, the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (AEP) of Guatemala to our country. He is concurrently AEP to Japan, holding residence in his embassy in Tokyo since November of last year.
He presented his credentials to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on October 2 and paid a courtesy call on Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, American Affairs Asec. Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga, then Acting Asec. for Protocol Mary Jennifer Dingal and Director for Mexico, Central America, Caribbean Stephanie Alexis Cruz to explore ways of collaborating on programs and issues of mutual interest.
At the Makati Shangri-La reception, Ambassador Roldan was honored by 28 fellow ambassadors and their spouses, 30 members of the Consular Corps, and 18 officers of the DFA and other guests. Prior to his remarks, he was introduced by Guatemala Honorary Vice Consul Marc Thomas Ablaza. DFA American Affairs Asec. Chan-Gonzaga responded to Ambassador Roldan’s remarks by offering and leading the assembly in a “Mabuhay Toast.”
To spice up the exquisite, plated dinner, music and entertainment were provided by the Marcy David Band, US Ambassador MaryKay Loss Carlson belted some old-time favorites, while New Zealand Ambassador Peter Francis Tavita Kell followed with a medley of popular Filipino love songs. The evening was a great opportunity for fellowship among members of the diplomatic and consular community, who welcomed a new member as their own.
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