16 JUNE 2023
Embassy Press and Information Section
WASHINGTON D.C. – Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez embarked on a productive visit to Virginia Beach from June 17 to 18. The Ambassador’s itinerary included a keynote address at the World Affairs Council – Greater Hampton Roads (HRWACA) Distinguished Speaker Series, the crowning the Mrs. Philippines VA 2023 organized by the Filipino community in Virginia Beach, a brunch meeting with Filipino community leaders in the locale, and the presentation of awards and raffle prizes during the thrilling Fil-Am Invitational Virginia Beach Championship game.
Ambassador Romualdez’ presence as the keynote speaker at the World Affairs Council – Greater Hampton Roads Distinguished Speaker Series provided the audience with a valuable opportunity to gain insights into the recent achievements of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in PH-US bilateral relations, as well as the Ambassador’s vision for further enhancing these relations in the future. With a focus on the dynamic nature of the Philippines and United States relationship, the Ambassador underscored the significance of strengthening diplomatic ties, fostering people-to-people exchanges, and promoting international collaboration, particularly in the face of an uncertain and complex global environment.
The event was held at the Embassy Suites Oceanfront VA, and attended by Congressman Robert “Bobby” Scott, Congresswoman Jennifer Ann Kiggans, Virginia Beach Mayor Robert Dyer, and Portsmouth Mayor Shannon E. Glover. Other distinguished guests from local politics and the international diplomatic community based in the area were also in attendance.
Following the speaking engagement, the Ambassador joined the Filipino community in a celebration of Filipino beauty and cultural heritage at the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia Beach. The Ambassador graced the coronation ceremony of Mrs. Philippines VA 2023. The event showcased the elegance, talent, and grace of Filipino-American women, highlighting the vibrant cultural diversity within the Filipino community in Virginia Beach.
Continuing the engagement with community leaders, the Ambassador started the day on June 18 by joining a brunch with prominent Filipino leaders again at the Philippine Cultural Center. The gathering provided an opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss community development initiatives, and strengthen the bonds of friendship between the Philippines and the local Filipino-American community. It also gave new community leaders and groups the opportunity to introduce themselves to the Embassy.
To cap the visit, the Ambassador dropped by the Fil-Am Invitational Virginia Beach Championship basketball game. Witnessing the skills and sportsmanship displayed by the teams, the Ambassador reaffirmed the power of sports in bringing people together and fostering camaraderie across cultural backgrounds. He also had the pleasure of presenting the championship, runner-up, and Most Valuable Player awards to some of the players who just finished their thrilling games.
Ambassador Romualdez expressed gratitude and appreciation for the warm hospitality extended by the Virginia Beach community. He emphasized the significance of these engagements in deepening the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and the United States, as well as fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of Filipino culture and contributions.
This memorable visit by the Philippine Ambassador serves as a testament to the enduring friendship between the Filipino people and the Virginia Beach region, and the commitment to further strengthen people-to-people ties, cultural exchange, and diplomatic cooperation for the mutual benefit of the Filipino and American peoples.
About the events and organizers:
- Founded in 1969, the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads is one of nearly 100 chapters of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). A 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization, the Council is dedicated to promoting an understanding of global issues through education and public discussion, believing that a well-informed public is essential for the conduct of foreign policy to a democracy.
- The Philippine Cultural Center (PCC) in Virginia Beach is a parcel of 3 acre land and a ranch house that became the first Philippine Cultural Center of VA. Its board of directors eventually decided to expand it to a bigger and multifunctional building that currently serves as a gathering center for Filipinos and their organizations alike in the Virginia Beach region. The PCC is supported by membership from organizations and individuals looking to help continue our mission of developing and maintaining the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia as a central location for presenting cultural events and other civic, charitable, religious, scientific and educational functions. CUFOT stands for the Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater, VA Inc.
- The Fil Am Invitational ASIAN GAMES Basketball & Volleyball Tournament was held at the Boo Williams Sportsplex on June 17 & 18, 2023. It featured competitive basketball and volleyball from players as young as 8 years old to adults and even featured several co-ed games across more than 20 teams.