In a lunch meeting with ABS-CBN Corporation Chairman and CEO Eugenio Lopez III, President Charo Santos-Concio, Corporate Communications Division Vice President Bong Osorio, News and Current Affairs Head Ging Reyes and Special Projects Head Chit Guerrero, Consul General De Leon revealed in an exclusive interview that like our kababayans overseas, he and his family are detached not just physically but culturally as well. Hence, he supports ABS-CBN’s outreach to Filipinos around the world to promote Filipino presence and visibility; celebrate their identity and heritage; acknowledge their excellence; and help build their communities wherever they may be.
Prior to the assumption of his post as Consul General for the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont, Consul General de Leon served as Philippine Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to South Africa. Consul General de Leon practically worked away from the Philippines as part of his foreign service since 1990.
The detachment and the need for reconnection of Filipinos in the foreign service is actually the rationale behind the Ambassadors, Consuls General, and Tourism Directors Tour (ACGTD) which will take off in July and for which the Consul General is in the Philippines to promote. The purpose of the tour is to help the Filipinos in the foreign service “savor their own culture and reconnect with the Philippines,”
The tour, he says will have a huge impact in the economy as well since the exposure will ‘sell’ the Philippines to entrepreneur delegates who may choose to invest in the Philippines given its business opportunities;
In all these he said that TFC plays a huge role as it helps connect the distant Filipinos with their loved ones in the Philippines through the shows they commonly watch in the Philippines and elsewhere where there is TFC. This is also the reason why TFC will be part of the ACGTD tour in July. During the ABS-CBN and TFC visit, the delegates will get the chance to participate live in the exciting noontime show “It’s Showtime!”
The Consul General got to personally witness how these shows are done when he visited the live impeachment coverage of both ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs newsroom and the DZMM 630 radio booths plus the ASAP; Deal or No Deal; and KrisTV studios. Part of the highlight of his visit was the live acknowledgement by the It’s Showtime Hosts led by Anne Curtis of the Consul General during the March 13 episode.
Consul General de Leon expressed that his children, while already uprooted from the Philippines still appreciate shows like Showtime. He notes that the Philippine government in the U.S. actually feels the need to reach out to the second generation of Filipino-Americans given their physical distance and lack of desire to reconnect to their roots.
This objective, according to Consul General de Leon is what TFC and the Consul office in New York have in common, amongst other efforts to promote the Filipino culture. He said that through programs whether news and entertainment or government-initiated, both TFC and the Consulate office in New York can be partners in reaching out to this market and keeping them connected to home, not just individually but as a community.
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