LAOAG CITY, Aug. 26– The United States Embassy literally brought America to Ilocos Norte through a two-day road show that showcased diplomacy, development and defense (3D) on August 25 and 26 at the activity area of Robinsons Mall Ilocos at nearby San Nicolas town.
(No less than US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. and his staff key personnel arrived here and graced the occasion. The diplomat visited the American Corner at Mariano Marcos State University in Batac City where students and members of the academe led by MMSU President Dr. Miriam Pascua warmly welcomed him. During a forum, Ambassador Thomas talked about the success story of Ilocano US immigrant Atty. Artemio Baxa, who defied all odds to rise from poverty and become a prominent figure in Hawaii. On August 24, the envoy also met Gov. Imee Marcos at the provincial capitol and both had a talk in festive mood at snack time . In Paoay town, local officials led by Mayor Bobby Clemente welcomed the Ambassador when he visited the UN World Heritage landmark, the famous centuries-old Paoay Church. In San Nicolas, Mayor Alfredo Valdez Jr. also expressed appreciation to the US Ambassador for visiting his town, the origin of many Ilocano immigrants now residing in Hawaii and US mainland. Ilocano folks described the US Embassy’s America 3D road show in Ilocos Norte as significant as it buttressed the friendship relations between US and the country .–(EDITOR)
The event, known as “America in 3D,” was a celebration of Filipino-American friendship, depicting American culture and U.S. Embassy programs and services in the Philippines.
In a statement, the US Embassy said the event was a unique opportunity for Ilocanos as they met embassy representatives including experts from the Consular Section, Department of Veterans Affairs, Peace Corps, United States Agency for International Development, and the Philippine-American Educational Foundation.
Representatives from the U.S. Embassy was on hand throughout the program as they answered questions and provided information ranging from applying for a US visa and how to study in the United States.
A forum with university students and professors was included in the opening day activities.
The public also enjoyed dances and musical performances of American music including performances of the U.S. Navy’s high energy rock-and-roll band, Orient Express.
The US performers was joined by Ilocos Norte’s own talented and globally-known artists namely the Nasudi Cultural Group of the Mariano Marcos State University and the Samiweng Singers of the Ilocos Norte National High School.
Other event sidelights included free samplings of American food and an exhibit of classic American cars and motorcycles.
Launched in 2011 by U.S. Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. in Quezon City, the event was the fifth America in 3D program to take place in the Philippines. The road show had since taken place in Baguio, Cebu, and Iloilo.