09/03/2016: COMMUNITY SPIRIT IN FULL FORCE AT FILCOM GATHERING IN ATLANTA
09 March 2016
ATLANTA, GA – Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. addressed more than 100 Filipino-Americans at a special community gathering spearheaded by the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, Inc. (PACCGA) on 08 March 2016 at the Claudia Rollins Auditorium, Emory University, Atlanta.
“The Filipino-American community has always had a vibrant presence in Atlanta. There is a lot about this city that make Filipinos feel at home. After all, it is very easy to equate ‘southern charm’ with Filipino warmth and hospitality, and Atlanta’s entrepreneurial environment further cultivates Filipino resourcefulness and resilience,” the Ambassador said.
The event was part of Ambassador Cuisia’s two-day visit to Atlanta, whose metropolitan area constitutes the 10th largest metro economy in the United States and the largest in the south. It also ranks third among cities in the US with the highest number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the metro area.
The Ambassador recognized the Fil-Am groups in Atlanta for their strong sense of community and urged them to take an even more active role in civic life and contribute to the Asian-American voice. He also exhorted the Filipino-Americans to take interest in issues of vital concern to the Philippines such as the upcoming presidential elections and developments in the West Philippine Sea.
Mr. Raoul Donato, the Philippines’ longtime Honorary Consul General in the state of Georgia, likewise expressed gratitude and appreciation to the members of the Filipino-American community for their volunteerism.
“The Filipino community in Georgia has been very helpful in my twenty-six years as Honorary Consul. We could not have done what we accomplished without the community’s cooperation and support,” Consul General Donato stressed.
The community returned the sentiment of the Philippines’ envoys.
“Tonight’s event is all about unity and collaboration. The Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia is very proud of the way it has been able to initiate and nurture partnerships with other Filipino-American organizations and the broader local community in Georgia as well as with the Philippine Government. Ambassador Cuisia and Consul General Donato have been champions of this collaborative approach,” PACCGA President Pia Valeriano said.
During the program, a video presentation commemorating the Ambassador’s previous visits to Atlanta was shown.
“The visit of Ambassador Cuisia had been inspiring but somewhat sad as he is stepping down in the near future. The Filipino community has been lucky to have had numerous opportunities to personally meet our Ambassador. He is a humble and visionary man,” Ms. Valeriano remarked.
The event’s special guest was five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, who was recognized for his friendship with the Filipino-American community and for assisting disaster-stricken communities in the Philippines.
“Traveling to the Philippines in 2012 to help coordinate relief efforts in areas affected by Typhoon Pablo was indeed a knockout punch in the name of humanitarianism and solidarity,” said Ambassador Cuisia.
In his remarks, the boxing legend recounted his path to success and emphasized the importance of giving opportunities to others.
“Appreciation is more than just saying ‘I appreciate you, thank you.’ Appreciate by giving yourself,” he further stated.
According to the latest US Census, there are around 28,000 Filipinos or Filipino-Americans in Georgia. ###
09 March 2016
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.; Philippine Honorary Consul General Raoul Donato (sitting on his haunches, rightmost); Evander Holyfield (7th from right); PCCGA President Pia Valeriano (6th from right); and Atlanta Mayor’s Office Chief of Protocol Vanessa Ibarra (standing 2nd from left, last row); pose for a souvenir photo with leaders of the Filipino-American community during a special gathering on 08 March 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.
09 March 2016
Philippine Honorary Consul General Raoul Donato presents Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. with a souvenir book on the state of Georgia during a special gathering of the Filipino-American community on 08 March 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Looking on are Mrs. Maria Victoria Cuisia (leftmost) and leaders of the Filipino-American community in Atlanta.
09 March 2016
Five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield talks about giving back and the importance of opportunity to achieving success during a special gathering of the Filipino-American community on 08 March 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.