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2 September 2016, San Francisco – A six-member team from the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, led by Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, travelled to America’s Last Frontier, Alaska, to extend consular services to Filipinos and Filipino Americans residing there. The outreach was held on 19 and 20 August, and in Kodiak Island on 21 and 22 August 2016.

Left photo: Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon met with Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.  Right photo: Mayor Berkowitz discussed his projects with DCG Ascalon and some members of the Fil-Am community in Anchorage, Alaska.

Upon arrival in Anchorage, the outreach team paid a courtesy call on Mayor Ethan Berkowitz at the City Hall.  During the meeting, the Mayor shared his administration’s plans for the Filipino community. For instance, with an estimated 12,768 Filipinos living in Anchorage, Mayor Berkowitz wants promote language access among the Filipinos by including Filipino as one of the official languages of the City government.

Mayor Berkowitz also expressed interest in a possible Sister City partnership with a major Philippine city. He also wants to promote voting registration among the Filipino American community in the municipality.  Consul Ascalon and the members of the Filipino Community in Anchorage, who were present during the call, assured Mayor Berkowitz of the support and assistance of the Consulate and the Filipino American community implementing the said projects.

Team SF PCG at work during the consular outreach in Anchorage and Kodiak Island, Alaska.

The Consulate was able to assist hundreds of Filipinos in its recently concluded Alaska outreach.  In Anchorage, it received a total of 321 applications for passports, notarials, civil registry documents and dual citizenship.  Meanwhile, in the Kodiak Island leg of the outreach, the team processed 208 passport, notarials, civil registry and dual citizenship applications.

DCG Ascalon and Ms. Mary Guilas-Hawver, outreach coordinator for Kodiak, with the newly sworn-in Dual Citizens.

During the closing reception in Kodiak, which was hosted by the Filipino American Association of Kodiak, Consul Ascalon thanked the Filipino community, especially the parents of 2nd and 3rd generation of Filipino Americans for instilling Filipino culture and values in their children, and for projecting a positive image of the Filipino people in the United States. He also thanked the elected and appointed officials for recognizing the contributions of the Filipino American community in Kodiak.

Among those present during this event were elected officials and representatives from Kodiak City and Borough. City Mayor Patricia Branson and State Assembly Representative Louise Stutes thanked the Filipino Americans for their contribution to the community and congratulated them for their achievements. Other officials also thanked the Filipino community for enriching the culture and diversity of Kodiak.

The success of the consular outreach would not have been possible without the support and assistance of the various Filipino American community organizations in Anchorage and Kodiak, most specially through the leadership of Mr. Jesse Vizcocho (Anchorage) and Ms. Mary Guilas-Hawver (Kodiak) and their respective teams of volunteers.

For more information on the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco’s Consular Outreach Program, please check the website or like the Consulate’s Facebook page.  END