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06/04/2010: Maryland House of Delegates and Senate Warmly Welcome Ambassador Gaa

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND 06 April 2010 – The Maryland House of Delegates and Senate warmly welcomed the visit of Ambassador Willy C. Gaa during separate sessions of the two houses aimed at “renewing and reaffirming long-standing ties.”

After being introduced by Delegate Kris Valderrama to the House of Delegates during the session chaired by Speaker Michael E. Busch, Ambassador Gaa underscored the special relations between the Philippines and the United States strengthened through Maryland and its legislators.

Delegate Valderrama of the Prince George’s County 26th Legislative District, is the first Filipina-American to be elected to the Maryland House of Delegates.

At his address to the House of Delegates, Ambassador Gaa cited historic ties, saying “The Philippines and the United States – through the great State of Maryland – share a history founded firmly on values and principles that we hold dear to our heart: democracy, freedom and the right to self determination.”

“Senator Millard E. Tydings – a former member of this House – sponsored legislation that granted independence to the then Philippine Commonwealth,” explained Ambassador Gaa during his address to the House of Delegates.

“Today, the Philippines is a thriving democracy and a sovereign equal in the community of nations that continues its march towards greater peace, progress and prosperity,” stressed Ambassador Gaa.

Prior to the address, Ambassador Gaa met the Honorable Michael E. Busch, Speaker of the House of Delegates of the State of Maryland.

After addressing the House of Delegates, Ambassador Gaa was also recognized by the Maryland State Senate. Ambassador Gaa was introduced by State Senator C. Anthony Muse.

At both the House of Delegates and State Senate, Ambassador Gaa was received with ovations.

“The State of Maryland is important to the Philippines. Apart from our historic ties, there is a thriving Filipino-American community in the state contributing positively to the socio-economic development of the State of Maryland,” Ambassador Gaa said after the sessions.

“We also have Filipino teachers and nurses in Maryland whose experience and expertise allow them to contribute to growth in Maryland and in the Philippines,” added Ambassador Gaa.

Strengthening Ties with Fil-Am Leaders

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND 06 APRIL 2010 Ambassador Willy C. Gaa meets with Delegate Valderrama of the Prince George’s County 26th Legislative District.  During the meeting, Ambassador Gaa stressed the strong ties between the Philippines and the United States that are continuously renewed through the vibrant Filipino-American community and leaders elected to State positions.  Delegate Valderrama is the first Filipina-American to be elected to the Maryland House of Delegates.  Her father, former Delegate David Valderrama, was the first Filipino-American to be elected to a state legislature in the US Mainland.

Shared History and Values


ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND 06 April 2010 Ambassador Willy C. Gaa meets Speaker Michael E. Busch of the Maryland House of Delegates to renew ties based on shared history and values.  Ambassador Gaa presented Speaker Busch with the book “Joined by History,” a commemorative publication by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs on Philippine-US relations.  After being introduced by Filipina-American Delegate Kris Valderrama, Ambassador Gaa addressed the House of Delegates chaired by Speaker Busch.  In his address, Ambassador Gaa underscored the historic ties that joined the Philippines and the United States, through the State of Maryland.

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND 06 April 2010 Ambassador Willy C. Gaa is welcomed by the Senate of the State of Maryland with a standing ovation.  Ambassador Gaa was introduced by State Senator C. Anthony Muse from Prince George’s County.