The 14 delegates of the Eighth Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) successfully completed their immersion trip in the Philippines from 24 to 29 November 2019.
Launched in 2012, FYLPRO is a flagship initiative of the Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the United States that aims to encourage outstanding next-generation members of the Filipino diaspora community to be more involved in strengthening the alliance between the Philippines and the United States, and in national development efforts in the Philippines.
The annual FYLPRO immersion in the Philippines is jointly organized by the Philippine Embassy in Washington, Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI), and the FYLPRO non-profit organization, which is composed of the program’s alumni.
During the weeklong immersion program in the Philippines, the eighth batch of FYLPRO delegates met and engaged with leading personalities in government, business, and culture, media and the arts. They were also paired with Filipino mentors who will take the journey with them as they work on their respective legacy projects.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) organized the “Government Day” of the program, which includes interactions with government officials and a luncheon for the delegates with senior DFA officials led by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique A. Manalo.
In his remarks, Undersecretary Manalo spoke about how the immersion program marked the beginning of the delegates’ commitment to advance the interests of the Philippines.
“We hope that the FYLPRO immersion experience is inspiring you to further embrace your Filipino identity, take greater pride in your heritage, and push you to think bigger and do more for both peoples of the Philippines and the United States,” Undersecretary Manalo said.
The delegates also met with Department of Tourism (DOT) Officer-in-Charge of the Office of Product and Market Development Renee Marie N. Reyes and other DOT officials who briefed the delegates on the Philippines’ tourism program including “Eats More Fun in the Philippines.”
In the afternoon, the delegates had a courtesy call on Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso where they discussed the programs of the City of Manila, and the delegates’ legacy projects.
Following the courtesy call, the delegates proceeded to the Department of Trade and Industry where they met Assistant Secretary Angelo B. Taningco with whom they discussed export and investment promotion in the Philippines.
Government Day concluded with a reception hosted by U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) John Law at his residence. DCM Law highlighted how the people-to-people ties between Philippines-U.S. relations are an asset to the PH-U.S. relations.
Aside from government officials, the FYLPRO delegates had the opportunity to meet and discuss with captains of industry, principally the members of the Philippine-US Business Council, Makati Business Club and American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines.
The specially crafted immersion program also included a “Bambikes Tour” in Intramuros; interaction with Filipino-Americans who have relocated to and are now doing business in the Philippines, and an Indigenous People’s community exposure hosted by the local government of Sitio Monicayo, Pampanga.
At the closing ceremony, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Strategic Communications and Research Ernesto C. Abella encouraged the delegates to embrace their Filipino roots as part of their identity.
“Keep the fire going. Be a Filipino worthy of the nation and a nation worthy of the Filipino,” Undescretary Abella said.
This year’s program is generously supported by Ayala Corporation, Ayala Land Inc., Globe Telecom, SGV Foundation, Makati Business Club, American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Seda Residences Makati and the FYLPRO organization.
Following the program, the delegates are expected to maintain ties with the Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the United States, Ayala Foundation, Inc. and the FYLPRO alumni’s non-profit organization to work on their legacy projects that will promote the interest of the Philippines and Filipinos.