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Delegates try out Filipino-developed digital games at the Games station during the reception co-hosted by the Philippine Embassy and US-Philippines Society in the evening of Aug. 9, 2017.


WASHINGTON — Around 40 vibrant and driven youth participating in the 2017 International Young Leaders Assembly (IYLA) were treated to a night of knowledge sharing, cultural exchanges, youth empowerment, and fun-filled activities at a reception held at the Philippine Embassy on Aug. 9, 2017.

The reception, co-hosted by the Embassy and the US-Philippines Society, was organized in honor of the IYLA delegates on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Embassy prepared five stations for the delegates to learn from and enjoy prior to the formal program.

At the Games station, delegates had the chance to try several digital games developed by Filipinos and/or in the Philippines.

The Filipino Superheroes station introduced indigenous Filipino superheroes to the delegates, with Embassy resident artist Paolo Galang doing a live drawing of two lucky delegates as Filipino superhero Darna.

The Filipino Fashion station showcased a display of Cordillera, Muslim, Rural (Barong Tagalogs) and formal attire, while the Social Media station made use of a Philippine village scene backdrop, traditional Filipino headwear, and locally produced fans for delegates to use in taking their group photos and selfies.

The ASEAN station allowed the delegates to learn more about ASEAN and its peoples through brochures and other informative materials provided by the ASEAN-National Organizing Council (Philippines), and the Indonesian, Lao and Thai Embassies in Washington, D.C.

Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto, highlighted in his remarks the role of young people in making an impact in the ASEAN region.


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2017 International Young Leaders Assembly delegates pose for a group photo at the Embassy Chancery Annex.


“As I stated earlier, just yesterday, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN, and our region is hitting its prime — we have the most dynamic countries located in the most dynamic sub-region, in the most dynamic continent on this planet,” Chuasoto said in his welcome remarks.

“We realized that the region should think of itself as a whole rather than separate, individual economies especially when dealing with an increasingly interdependent world. I highlight this because it is where I believe young people like you can make a difference in our region; regardless of whether you are from ASEAN or not,” he further emphasized.

Vice Governor of Philippine province of Masbate Kaye Revil and Global Peace Youth Philippines President Leonard Faustino also delivered brief remarks, both sharing how their IYLA experience helped them give back to their respective communities and empower others.

Special Trade Representative Raymond Albert Batac talked about the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), while US-Philippines Society President Ambassador John Maisto talked about US-ASEAN partnership and the Philippine Chairmanship of ASEAN 2017.


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Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Minister Patrick Chuasoto delivers welcome remarks at the IYLA reception.


“Today, ASEAN has succeeded in so many ways in fulfilling the vision of its founders...the region has attracted investment and trade from around the globe. America’s economic ties with ASEAN are substantial and growing. Trade supports over 500,000 U.S. jobs,” said Maisto.

“It is entirely fitting that the Philippines is chairing ASEAN@50. Filipino leaders played an instrumental founding role, and the country is both a natural leader within the bloc and a proven link internationally. For the United States, there is no question the Philippines can and should be a logical platform of Americans to do business in ASEAN, and for the U.S. to project a stabilizing and welcome strategic presence in that part of the Asia-Pacific region,” he added.

At the closing of the program, IYLA Chairman John Dickson presented a plaque of appreciation to the Philippine Embassy and US-Philippines Society.

A simple salu-salo followed the official program.


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IYLA delegates try out Filipino hats and fans at the social media station.


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Delegates learn more about Philippine traditional costumes at the Filipino Fashion station.


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Paolo Galang draws one of the delegates as Filipino superhero Darna at the Filipino superheroes station.


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IYLA delegates learn more about ASEAN at the ASEAN booth.

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