US Philippines Society

  Raising the Philippines' profile in the US

Philippines - Six weeks after Filipinos elected President Rodrigo R. Duterte in a historic voter turnout, the US-Philippines Society Board of Directors convened in Manila and Davao, 22-24 June, 2016 for a board meeting program and business mission. The three-day program was highlighted by a call on former President Aquino and a meeting with President Duterte and key members of his administration. Read more

Malacanan Courtesy Call
US-Philippines Society Board of Directors at Malacanan Palace with President Benigno S. Aquino III, 23 June 2016
Malacanan of the South , June 2016
US-Philippines Society Board of Directors meet President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Malacanan of the South, Davao City, 24 June 2016
Finance Sec Dominguez, Davao
Davao Traffic Operations Center
24 June 2016, Davao City. Left: Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez at a luncheon presentation with the US-PH Society Directors. Right: Davao City's Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), a successful joint project of the Davao city government under President Duterte and IBM. 
Business Mission and Board of Directors Meeting

MBC Forum, Negroponte
MBC Forum, Pernia
MBC Forum, Romulo
23 June 2016, The Peninsula Manila. From left, Society Co-chair Amb. John Negroponte, Keynote Speaker Secretary Ernesto Pernia of NEDA, and Society Director Amb. Roberto R. Romulo at the Special Joint Meeting of members of the Makati Business Club, US-Philippines Society and Philippines-United States Business Council. Read Amb, Negroponte's Speech.

MBC Forum, Sy-Coson
MBC Panelists
MBC Forum, MVP
From left, Panelists - US-PH Society Directors Tessie Sy-Coson and Ramon Del Rosario Jr. (moderator), Secretary Pernia, MBC Trustee Guillermo Luchangco, and Society Co-Chair Manuel V. Pangilinan discuss the 10 Point Economic Agenda and critical role of public-private partnerships in the economy. 

Board Meeting
Board Meeting
P&G Token of Appreciation
US-PH Society Board of Directors Meeting was followed by a reception in honor of P&G alumnus former Ambassador Cuisia who served as inspiration to P&G employees. (Rightmost photo) Presenting the award are Ambassador Philip Goldberg, P&G Asia Pacific President Magesvaran Suranjan and former P&G Philippines General Manager Johnip Cua.

Book Presentation Pres Aquino
Welcome dinner
JAZA Dinner
From left, President Aquino receives a commemorative book from the Society that chronicles the President's trips to the US. Co-chair M.V.Pangilinan and Society Director Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala hosted dinners in honor of the Society delegation.

At the Welcome dinner hosted by Co-Chair M.V.Pangilinan, Society Directors presented the 2016 Carlos P. Romulo Award to Ambassador Cuisia in recognition of his pivotal role in the launching of the US-Philippines Society in 2012 and strengthening US-Philippines relations. 

In collaboration with the Southeast Asian Studies Program of the Johns Hopkins University SAIS and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Society presented a series of roundtable discussions on economic progress under the Aquino administration, challenges through the political transition, and the evolving bilateral security environment. 
Philippines Votes 2016!

On 20 April, 2016, political scientist Dr. Patricio. N. Abinales discussed Filipino voting habits, polls and surveys, and political trends and complex political party campaign practices. On 4 May, four Southeast Asia experts offered perspectives on likely post-election foreign policy challenges, including internal security threats, tensions arising from territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and economic reforms.  Read More

PH Votes 2016
From left, Vikram Nehru (moderator), Prof. William Wise, Michael Eiland, Marvin C. Ott and Murray Hiebert, at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Forum. Right picture: Prof. Patricio N. Abinales and US-PH Society Director Henry B. Howard, Johns Hopkins' SAIS, Southeast Asia Studies.
SAIS Governance
Former Senator Richard G. Lugar
Conference on Governance and Development

On 28 April 2016, keynote speakers Senator Lugar and Ambassador Cuisia presented their perspectives as the Philippines prepared for political transition. At the Philippine conference, U.S. development partners credit the Philippines' pioneering efforts in tackling anti-corruption and developing inclusive growth initiatives as a means to reduce poverty. Read more.

SAIS Security
Panelists (L-R): Matthew L. Bohn (Millenium Challenge Corporation, Gloria D. Steele (USAID), Motoo Konishi (formerly of World Bank) and Hank Hendrickson (moderator), Ruth Wedgwood (SAIS), Patricio N. Abinales (University of Hawaii-Manoa), Zachary Abusa (National War College), and William Wise (SAIS-moderator).
A Landslide Victory for President Duterte

With 16.6 million votes, President Duterte won a 38.6 percent plurality in a historic 81 percent voter turnout. The election was relatively peaceful and orderly with 90 percent of precinct-level results reported within 36 hours. President Duterte's campaign against corruption, illegal drugs and criminality resonated with Filipino voters. His track record in transforming Davao City into one of the safest and most prosperous cities drew widespread support.   

President Duterte is the first president from Mindanao and first City Mayor to become the president. At 71 years old, he is the oldest to assume the presidency. He is a lawyer and former City Prosecutor of Davao City (1979-1986). View the Inaugural Address of President Duterte.

Malacanan Oath taking
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte sworn in as 16th President by Supreme Court Justice Buenvenido L. Reyes, witnessed by the President's youngest daughter, Veronica Duterte, 30 June 2016
Duterte Aquino Departure Honors
Former President Benigno S. Aquino III and President Rodrigo Duterte, Departure Honors, 30 June 2016.
A Preview of the Policy Agenda of the Duterte Administration by Director General Claro Cristobal

On June 6, at the Philippines Roundtable, co-sponsored by the Society, the Philippine Embassy and SAIS Southeast Asia Studies, featured guest speaker Director-General Claro S. Cristobal offered an initial scan of the policy agenda of the Duterte administration. 
  • As a precondition to progress and development, President Duterte promised reduced lawlessness within six months of his term, a revamp of the national police, revival of capital punishment of convicted drug dealers. 
  • To counter socio-economic ills, the President views federalism as a means to realize the promise for Mindanao and equitable development and resources throughout the regions. 
  • US-Philippine relations are expected to remain robust and EDCA a crucial means to the AFP's modernization program. 
  • There are overtures toward a peaceful resolution of maritime and territorial disputes with China. 
  • Focus on K-12 education system to improve the level of preparedness and skills competency and competitiveness in the global economy.    

SAIS PH Roundtable
SAIS Philippines Roundtable with featured speaker Director General of Foreign Service Institute Claro S. Cristobal.
Claro Cristobal, June 2016
L-R: US-PH Society President Amb John F. Maisto, 
Former Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Prof William Wise and Director General Claro S. Cristobal.


Spearheaded by the US-Philippines Society in collaboration with ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, guests and supporters honored former Ambassador Cuisia  whose term was marked with elevated level of cooperation between US and Philippines  with a musical tribute on 9 June at the Ronald Reagan Building, Washington DC. In his message read by Philippine Embassy ChargĂ© d'Affaires Patrick Chuasoto, f ormer President Aquino stated, "I thank him for his exemplary accomplishments in working for the advancement of the country's national interests in relation with the United States which cover trade, defense and security, human rights, the promotion of Philippine culture and heritage, and service to Filipino nationals."

In his remarks, Ambassador Cuisia thanked the audience and the Society "as valued partner of the Embassy in raising the profile of the Philippines in the United States, active in enriching public discourse on a number of critical bilateral issues."

Featured Philippine musical artists, "Concert King" Martin Nievera and "Asia's Nightingale" Lani Misalucha, serenaded Ambassador Cuisia and Mrs. Maria Victoria Cuisia and Filipino American audience with a repertoire of Filipino ballad songs, movie theme music, Frank Sinatra medley and pop music.

JDN AJLC Tribute
Cuisia Nievera Misalucha
Left: Ambassador Cuisia accepts a token of appreciation from US-PH Society Co-chair John D. Negroponte. Ambassador and Mrs. Maria Victoria Cuisia are flanked by Lani Misalucha (left) and Martin Nievera (right). Photo credit: Philippine Embassy (Washington DC)
Dalupan Book Launch
Book Launch of "Virgilio 'Baby' Dalupan, The Maestro of Philippine Basketball"

Basketball c oach Baby Dalupan came to be  "The Maestro" for his ability to orchestrate a champion basketball team. Sponsored by the US-PH Society in partnership with the PH Embassy, the book was launched in the U.S. on 28 April 2016. The Philippines' favorite sports pastime, basketball, played a role in bringing the Philippines and the United States together.

Embassy Challenge
Chef Claude Tayag triumphs at the Embassy Chef Challenge

Philippine Embassy  Chef Claude Tayag gave Washington the taste of   a favorite Filipino dish "Bringhe" (Filipino Paella) using indigenous ingredients, including heirloom Cordillera rice. The Embassy Chef Challenge awarded the 2016 People's Choice Award to the Philippines. Read the news.
OFY, MAY 2016
Inaugural Concert of Orchestra of the Filipino Youth's Strings Ensemble in Washington DC

On 28 May 2016, the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth's Strings Ensemble performance led by artistic director, Jovianney Cruz at the Church of the Epiphany, Washington, DC, was well-received by the greater Washington community.  View the concert.
PH Philharmonic Orchestra debut in New York City

With support from Society Co-Chair Manuel V. Pangilinan and other partner institutions, the Philippine's premiere orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra performed in a sold-out debut concert in New York's Carnegie Hall, 18 June 2016. Read the review.
Licad credit Marilyn Abalos

Directors Meily Kleckeski
From left, world class Filipino pianist Cecil Licad, US Embassy (Manila) Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski, PDRF President Butch Meily, US-PH Society Directors Loida Nicolas-Lewis and Ambassador Richard Murphy. Photo credit: Joseph Pe and Event4Good
As a sign of goodwill between U.S. and the Philippines, the Catholic Chapel of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY turned over the San Pedro historic bell, on 29 April, to the Saints Peter and Paul Church, Bauang, La Union. The ceremonial unveiling of the bell, 23 May, was led by Bauang Mayor Martin de Guzman and US-PH Society Director and retired U.S. Navy Captain Dennis Wright, and  La Union Bishop Rodolfo Beltran during the ceremonial rites attended by representatives of the US Embassy, US war veterans, West Point Association of the Philippines, local officials and parishioners. Read more

Wright Guzman Fr Beltran
Ceremony wright lorenzana
From left, US-PH Society Director Dennis Wright, Father Rodolfo Beltran and Mayor Martin de Guzman during the ceremonial unveiling of the bell in La Union, Philippines. Also in attendance was Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. Photo credit: Smart Communications Public Affairs
Training and demonstration of Fiber Production Process from Leaf to Finish Product 
Weaving to Transform, Uplift Livelihood, and Preserve Culture

On 30 June, the US-Philippines Society and Philippine Disaster Resiliency Foundation (PDRF) staff visited members of the Aklan Pina Mantra, an association of mostly women-owned small enterprise producers of the pina fabric in Aklan, Philippines.  The project is funded from donations received at the 11 June 2015 Evening Gala and Patis Tesoro fashion show in Washington DC. The project provides pina weavers with new loom equipment, training in natural dye processing, marketing support and participation in trade fairs.

US-PH Society staff and Aklan Pina Mantra President Anna India Legaspi with Aklan Pina Mantra members. 
Pina Farm
Raquel Eliserio, small business proprietor and cooperative member with Executive Director Hank Hendrickson, at a local pina farm.
A pina weaver removes frayed pina knots and thread on the handwoven pina fabric.

Zosima de la Cruz
Zosima de la Cruz (center), who handed down the traditional art of pina weaving to her daughters, is the Philippines' oldest pina weaver. With her are Ambassador Anne Derse and Executive Director Hank Hendrickson