Amb. Romualdez: Exemplify Filipino bayanihan spirit

June 13, 2023 People's Tonight 566 views

‘As we continue to strengthen ties with US, Fil-Am community’

PHILIPPINE Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez urged Filipinos ‘to remain vigilant in safeguarding the liberties that we enjoy today, cherish them as precious gifts and nurture them for future generations” as the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. joined the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Philippine Independence and Nationhood on June 12, 2023.

Ambassador Romualdez (left) and NSA Sullivan (right) cut the cake in celebration of the 125th anniversary of Philippine Independence and Nationhood.
Ambassador Romualdez (left) and NSA Sullivan (right) share a toast towards a strong and prosperous PH-US bilateral relations.

Ambassador Romualdez stressed that on the occasion of the significant milestone,”we honor the ideals of freedom, embrace the promise of a bright future, and reflect upon the rich tapestry of Filipino history.”

The PH envoy honored the Filipino people who “have shown extraordinary resilience in the face of adversity” from the arduous struggle for independence against colonial rule to the continuous pursuit of social justice and equality.

He also enjoined everyone to remember the sacrifices by Philippine forebears for the future they envisioned for the country.

“Let us honor the past, celebrate the present, and embrace the future with open arms. May we exemplify the Filipino bayanihan spirit as we continue to strengthen the ties with the United States of America and the Filipino-American community,” Ambassador Romualdez stressed.

Ambassador Romualdez expressed optimism that together, Filipinos ” can build a future that is inclusive, prosperous and harmonious.”

The Philippine envoy to the United States also assured each and every Filipino that the Embassy and Consulates General in the US will stand by their side in serving their beloved nation.

In another development, the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington D.C. hosted U.S. National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan and members of U.S. government agencies as well as the Diplomatic Corps at a reception on June 9 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence of the Republic of the Philippines.

In his remarks, Ambassador Romualdez highlighted the hard-fought freedom won by Filipinos 125 years ago and the continued fight to maintain the Philippines as a free, independent and sovereign nation. He stated that the Philippines today is a vibrant, dynamic country with bright economic prospects as a result of structural economic reforms implemented by successive administrations, including the current government under the leadership of President Marcos.

Ambassador Romualdez noted that with the Philippines being fully integrated into the global community of nations, it puts value in the friendships and partnerships it has made in the international community.

“Now, more than ever, we appreciate the value of being a friend and a partner to all countries and an enemy to none, especially as we address current and emerging challenges that are truly transnational and cannot be resolved by one country alone,” said the Ambassador.

He added that “there is no doubt that the United States is one of our most important friends and partners, aside from being our only defense and security ally.” With intensified official, business, and people-to-people engagements across all sectors in the past few years, Ambassador Romualdez expressed confidence and optimism that relations between the two countries will remain strong in the foreseeable future.

In response, NSA Sullivan stated that the strong and good relations currently enjoyed by the United States and the Philippines are the result of the hard work of people, not just from the government, but from all sectors of both countries.

He added that 72 years ago, when the historic Mutual Defense Treaty was signed between the Philippines and the United States, then President Truman said to President Quirino: “We have demonstrated that two peoples can work together in common welfare if they have the same belief in democracy and the same faith in freedom.” NSA Sullivan added that in the years since then, “our faith has grown stronger and our partnership has grown stronger with it.”

NSA Sullivan noted that in almost all areas of cooperation, from climate change to food security, space and technology, the United States and the Philippines “are working in lock-step on almost every major challenge that we face today.” He said that during President Marcos’ visit last month, President Biden announced new initiatives to further strengthen the alliance, including establishing an OpenRAN 5G lab in the Philippines, having a Presidential Trade and Investment Mission, and establishing new sites to enhance the defense cooperation agreement, among others.

He concluded by recounting once more what President Truman pledged to President Quirino 72 years ago, that “ we shall always be your friend.” NSA Sullivan then said: “In the years to come, the United States will continue to make good on that pledge.”