WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C., and the Filipino Inter-Collegiate Networking Dialogue of District VI held the second “Merienda with Ambassador Cuisia” Youth Forum at the Catholic University of America on 3 March 2013.
The forum, which is a project of Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and his wife, Ma. Victoria, was held at the University’s Pryzbyla Center and was attended by Filipino and Filipino-American college students in Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas. The forum focused on “Preparing for the Workforce” and “Community Engagement.”
In his remarks, Ambassador Cuisia called on young Filipino American professionals and university students to become involved and to advance the interests of their broader communities.
“We feel that it is important for us to reach out to (the younger generation) and learn more about (them) as the future leaders of the Filipino American community and a critical resource in the dynamics of Philippine-US relations,” Ambassador Cuisia said.
He noted first and second generation Filipinos in America have contributed much to the growth of the United States and urged the Filipino American youth to “become an even stronger force in society.”
The forum panelists included Associate Justice Maribeth Raffinan of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia; Sonia Aranza, President of Aranza Communications, a consulting practice specializing in Cross-Cultural Strategies, Diversity and Leadership; Dr. Maria Paz Carlos, a trained virologist with a focus on infectious diseases and who currently serves as Chief of the Division of Virology and Immunology of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Professor Gem Daus, an award-winning adjunct faculty member of the University of Maryland Asian American Studies Program where he teaches Filipino American History and Biography, Asian American Health, and Asian American Sexualities;
Angela Lagdameo, a 2012 recipient of the Philippine American Foundation for Charities Dakila Award for Public Service, Ms. Lagdameo is the Director of Policy and Planning for Maryland’s social services agency, the Department of Human Resources; and Ireene Leoncio, is ABS-CBN International’s incoming public relations and events executive. Moderators were John Austin of the United States Naval Academy and Jacquelyn Piansay of Townson University, while Margaret Lacson-Ecarma served as master of ceremonies.
This is the second forum the embassy co-organized with the Filipino Inter-Collegiate Networking Dialogue of District VI, which is currently headed by Selina Lara of George Washington University.
More than 200 attended last Sunday’s event. Last year, around 200 students attended the forum held at Georgetown University. ###