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Consul General Bensurto greets guests at the Filipino American History Month reception. [photo credit: Filipino Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest]

On 6 October 2016, Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. joined the State of Washington in celebrating Filipino American History Month with a reception at the Ranier Square Conference Center in Seattle.  The event was hosted by the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest with the support of Wells Fargo, and featured the theme “Celebrating our Filipino Heritage in Washington State.”

At the reception, the Consul General spoke about the pivotal work of Filipino-Americans in Washington State.  “I am proud of our community here in Washington, especially of your achievements in public service, civil rights, community work, land ownership, and the economic development of this great State throughout the years," he said.

He also praised community leaders and those who run for public office for working towards strive towards the betterment of the community, and expressed his hopes for the youth.  “May this younger generation hold sacred the dreams and aspirations of their manongs and manangs, who labored to usher in policies and attitudes that shape the greater community we live in today,” he said.

The undersigned discussed the forthcoming Trade Mission to the Philippines, and encouraged the community to explore business and investment opportunities in the Philippines. He emphasized President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to prioritizing higher infrastructure spending, faster approval and implementation of projects, investments in human capital, tax reforms, agricultural development, among others, to move the Philippine economy forward and improve the welfare of Filipinos.

The reception honored community leaders whose achievements directly impacted the welfare of Filipino-Americans in the region, namely: Dr. Dorothy Cordova, Co-founder and National Executive Director of the Filipino American National Historical Society; Mr. Rey Pascua, President of the Filipino Community of Yakima Valley and Advocate for Washington State Government’s recognition of Filipino American History Month; and Mr. Ron Sims, former King County Executive and supporter of Pista Sa Nayon.

Other speakers include Dr. A. Barretto Ogilvie, President of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest, and Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim, representing the City Government of Seattle. END