Viva España

[The following excerpt is a letter from Ana Ugarte, the Ambassador of the Philippines to Spain]

My dearest Kababayans,

I arrived in Spain to assume my position as Ambassador of the Philippines to Spain last July 23, 2009. I was told that technically I could perform my duties as Ambassador however I wasn’t a full fledged ambassador until I had presented my credentials to the King. That big day was scheduled on Sept 28, 2009..The activities I attended during the weeks that lead up to this day have been significant. These included: my courtesy calls to the Spanish Ministers of Foreign Affairs, A visit to the Feria de Madrid for the gifts fair & meetings with its directors, a visit to the Madrid Stock Exchange & meetings with its directors, a visit to the Museo Naval of San Sebastian where I was the VIP visitor of their ongoing exhibit of the Basques in the Pacific, attendance of a Filipina nun receiving her temporal vows in Burgos…

During this little time I realize how genuinely the Spanish love the Filipinos…They have a sincere “cariño” for our country and people that is indescribable and I have received NOTHING BUT PRAISES. Our OFW’s are treated with respect and in many altercations with Spanish authorities are ALWAYS given the benefit of the doubt. Their childlike enthusiasm for our country & people is fascinating and most heart-warming…

The concern & expression of sadness I have received for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy is beyond belief…The embassy continuously receives calls from people asking where to send donations. This morning I was called by the Directora de la Agencia de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo to officially give us notice that Spain will be sending 1M Euros worth of aid to the Philippines. A cargo plane will be departing tomorrow from the military base at Torrejon. I asked if I could attend to witness the departure and to personally thank those numerous NGO’s involved with the operation…

Spain is the largest donor of development and emergency aid to the Philippines in all of Europe. Yet our kababyans do not know this. We do not see Ambassador Luis Arias photo ops kissing babies or handing over emergency kits to those in need. Spain remains under the radar and does not seek publicity and yet all of their good will remains unnoticed and on the contrary is always the butt of criticism by our politicians.

Spain needs proper public relations and I write this hoping that my friends can assist me in helping a country that deserves a better image. I am open to your suggestions…I would like to send press releases and pictures of all our activities..Please forward them to your contacts in the media…

Que os parece?

My day with the King was one of the most exciting days of my life….

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas….y que…Viva España!!

Un abrazo muy fuerte…

Ana

3 Responses to “Viva España”

  1. Viva España y de las islas Filipinas

  2. Dear Ana,

    I hope you recall me..Connie Blanco here..For some strange reason,I thought of you and looked you up and came across this web page with this beautiful letter you wrote and wanting to say a big HELLO,congratulations and also,my deepest sympathy on the passing of dear Inaki..he is now in a much better dimension and I hope this letter finds you and kids in the best of health and happiness.I am so proud,that you have pursued the environmental causes you have so much passion for ,since before! I also am spanish living still in the Philippines and if there is a way for me to get involved in whatever small way ,pls let me know! Many thanks and hope to hear from you and thanks again for your attention given.

    Lots of love,
    Connie

  3. José Miguel Razón Says:

    Beaverton, Oregon EE.UU

    ¡Hola Ana!

    As an hispanofilipino I am proud that the country that brought me generous doses of Spanish blood and culture and language through ancestry is doing ALL it can to help the Philippines. We are as you probably know “la hija perdida de España” (Lost daughter of Spain). Nos enorgullecemos tenerte a tí representando a Filipinas en España. My father was Chito Razón. I know I must have met you at some time 26 years ago in Manila.

    José Miguel Razón

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