simple.welcome


By MANNY CABALLERO
Exclusive to the Filipino Reporter


Today, March 31, 2018, is New York Consul General Theresa Dizon-De Vega’s (pictured above) last day in her New York assignment.

She is reported to be assuming the position of undersecretary (not assistant secretary like Mocha Uson) of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila.

I’d like to reprint below, the section of “On My Watch” on Dec. 3, 2016, where we welcomed Con Gen De Vega on her return to New York.

Her new position is just one breath away from being the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

After all good things about Con Gen De Vega’s brief stint in New York had been said and done, including various dinners, lunches and breakfasts in her honor and a lengthy story in Manila’s Inquirer about how popular she is in the U.S. East Coast Filipino community, the pretty and petite Con Gen departs, I suppose, with a happy heart.

I considered two goodbye quotes in writing this with the ardent hope I’m not being O.A.

Lol.

“We started with a simple hello but ended with a complicated goodbye.”

“The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained.”

Let me say and explain my goodbye.

I agree with every positive observation that has been said of Con Gen De Vega in the course of her stay in New York.

She deserves all the praises, accolades, certificates and plaques of appreciation, one of which, I wrote the wordings.

It would be difficult to forget her warmth and her girlish smile.

I have two regrets, though.

That Con Gen de Vega is working with a very critical institution of the Philippine Government, which, virtually adopted what I will refer to as “foreign policy dependent on the interests of China and the interests of China’s debt loans.”

I wish her term as a foreign service officer of the Republic happened in a different era.

And because she is a virtual captive of the administration she is in, she wrote in a main street American newspaper in New York that criticized the extrajudicial killings associated with President Duterte’s bloody drug campaign that journalists were unprofessional and unethical.

Even if I tried to understand her position, I resented that remark and I strongly disagreed as I wrote in an earlier column in this newspaper.

Now that I have explained, I wish Con Gen De Vega all the best in her new assignment.

Below were what we said on her arrival in November 2016.

(The parenthetical comments were added by us now.)


CONSUL GENERAL DE VEGA: WELCOME BACK TO N.Y.


All of us in the Filipino Reporter, and on my own, welcome our new Consul General in New York and other Northeast States and New England States, Theresa Dizon-De Vega.

Con Gen de Vega is a product of UP (Bachelor of Arts in English) and Ateneo (Law School).

She also studied a graduate degree (Master’s in Literature) in a Canadian university.

She revealed in an interview with Cristina DC Pastor while she was Deputy Consul General in New York in 2013, she never dreamed of being a diplomat.

She told Cristina she was “pushed” to taking the Foreign Service Career Exams by a retired Filipina diplomat who was a friend of her mother.

Bright that she is, she passed the exams.

We are now stuck with her for the next six years.

(It did not happen that long because she is good.)

Lol.

I’m sure Fil-Ams here would love her in the same way they loved the previous Con Gens.

(And they did.)

I have heard and read good and nice things about her.

(Confirmed.)

In the same 2013 interview with Ms. Pastor, then Deputy Con Gen De Vega gave some profound observations of the local community.

Q: What’s the first thing that surprised you about the (Fil-Am) organizations in New York?

A: The sheer number of activities. You have a very engaged community here. Whatever their advocacies, there is engagement. It may not be engagement along the same line but it’s engagement which is important. It’s a community that feels the need to get involved. You have that here, it’s just a matter of maximizing it for a lot of issues and creating venues and platforms for them to explore how far you can go.

Q: What do you see is the challenge to Filipino-Americans?

A: It’s an exciting era for the Filipino-American community. We’re one of the fastest growing ethnic minority groups. The challenge is how to reflect that in the mainstream, in politics, in policy making, in other fields.

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