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ng development plans and programs in the Chinatown area.
During then-Mayor, now VP Sara's term, being her City Tourism Officer, I headed the Secretariat
of the Chinatown Council, and I would ensure that we had monthly meetings to discuss any
issues that would affect Chinatown, organize events that would promote Chinese culture,
and receive Chinese guests in the city.
More importantly, I, with the Chinatown Council, pushed for the creation of a development plan
for the Davao Chinatown, which would complement the Davao City Tourism Master Plan, wherein
we ensured that Chinatown would be one of the top three tourism development areas.
In my present job, I've continued to promote amity and goodwill between our countries
in the different places in Mindanao that I visit.
Not because Congen Lilin asked me to, but because instilled in me is what I have learned
from my interaction with Davao's Chinese community.
The values of hard work, benevolence, courtesy, wisdom, and filial piety, which are some of
the most important values of Chinese traditional values, much akin to Filipinos.
Through the years, we have walked, worked, and learned greatly from one another, and
if there's anything more that I would like to promote, it is to make all of us, Filipinos
and Chinese, respect each other and affirm our oneness as brothers and sisters.
We are not just friends.
Dagang salamat, xie xie.
Congratulations, Ms. Nexon.
Our next laureate is Mr. Jose Ong Tahan.
Mr. Tahan is the former president of APCU Baguio and former chairman of the Filipino-Chinese
Chamber of Commerce of Baguio City.
As an active member of the APCU Baguio Chapter for 42 years, he has lent his assistance
to planning educational, cultural, military, political, and trade visits of more than
100 official delegates from China.
Once again, congratulations to the major contribution laureates.
His Excellency, President of the Republic of the Philippines, Lieutenant Bomong Marcos, Jr.
Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, Huang Shilian, APCO Chairman, Antonio
Na'o Lamino, and APCO President, Sixto Benito.
Distinguished guests, friends, good evening.
It is truly a great privilege to be among the awardees today, and I thank APCO and
the Chinese Embassy for this recognition and honor.
In all honesty, I had no intention to make any submission for this prestigious award,
as I believe my contributions are humble compared to others.
But last February, during the years of Spring Festival celebration in Baguio, our friends
from our consulate office encouraged and urged me to make a submission.
Unexpectedly, I was chosen as one of the awardees, for which recognition I was very
grateful in a testimony that my 42 years of membership and efforts in APCO's 48 years
history has not gone unnoticed.
This distinction and honor, however, is not mine alone.
I share with APCO as we continuously work for increasing enhancement of Filipino-Chinese
Again, thank you very much and Mabuhayo.
Thank you so much.
All right, ladies and gentlemen, we will now proceed with the Outstanding Contribution
To help us present our next awards, we would like to request the presence of His Excellency
Huang Xilian, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Philippines, and
Attorney Raul Lampino, APCU Chairman.
Our first laureate with Outstanding Contribution is Ambassador Roberto D. Tiglao.
Ambassador Tiglao is one of the country's renowned journalists, columnists, and public
He's also a public servant who held various honorary posts in the Philippine government.
Ambassador Tiglao, may we please invite you for a few words.
His Excellency President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Honorable Bongbeng Medeldea, the representative
of former President Duterte, His Excellency Ambassador Huang Xilian of the People's Republic
of China, trustees and members of the Association for Philippine-China Friendship.
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
It is a high honor for me to be in the same event with the representatives of two former
very respected presidents, President Duterte and my former boss in Malacañang, President
Both of them, during their presidencies, made heroic efforts to strengthen relations
with China while enhancing friendships with other peoples.
It was indeed praiseworthy as they upended Cold War propaganda by the West portraying
China as hostile to the Philippines when nothing could be further from the truth.
And of course, it's an honor to be here with the presence of President Bongbeng Marcos
since it was his father who made history when he boldly established diplomatic relations
with China on June 9, 1975, tomorrow nearly half a century ago.
President BBM, together with his mother Imelda and his sisters, were among the very few
Filipinos who were able to shake hands with the Asian great leader, the founder
of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong.
I'm a fan of Mao Zedong and I hope Mao Zedong's vibes rubbed on President Marcos.
To APCO Chairman Emeritus President Arroyo, Chairman Raul Lampino, Vice Chairman Jeffrey
Leung, and to the other trustees of this association, I'm deeply honored and grateful
to receive this award, especially since it also gives credit to my lifelong work as a journalist.
I will not evade talking about the elephant in the room, about China.
I have been writing about China, specifically the South China Sea dispute, for over a decade now.
In my articles in the Manila Times and in my two books entitled Debunk and Debacle,
these weren't opinion or speculative pieces.
Many of these were investigative reports based on detailed research and documentation.
I've struggled in my writings to expose the hypocrisy and attempts of the West
to demonize China so that it can maintain its hegemony in the world.
Unfortunately, I have not been that successful in convincing too many people,
and I hope this award will convince many of my countrymen to really look into this problem.
It is a challenge re-educating people on the real issues and forgotten histories of nations.
The West has a powerful media machinery, and its agents in media and even in the academia
aren't even aware of this.
I was astonished, for instance, that even my old anti-imperialist comrades
who used to storm the U.S. Embassy's gates in the 1970s are now big fans of the U.S.,
even recommending that the U.S. wars with China.
The author and American intellectual, Noam Chomsky, said it best in one of his books,
He who controls media, controls the mind.
Now guess who controls global media, whose view of the world most of our local media sheepishly follow?
Philippine media must take some of the blame for this continued brainwashing of Filipinos
that we are brown Americans rather than brown Asians.
The difficulty really in understanding the South China Sea issue
lies in the fact that many of us have not realized that after a century,
there is a new world order emerging.
It is becoming a multipolar world that will not be dominated by single power,
which is even at the opposite side of the globe.
I am proud to be awarded among Filipinos who have helped in their own ways
in promoting Philippines-China understanding.
Understanding controversial issues involving close labor
should be of paramount concern during these uncertain times.
The world does not need another world war,
no matter how hard the current hegemon with its military-industrial complex seems to want it.
I would not be receiving this award, of course, without the help of my editor,
intellectual partner, my wife, Betsy,
and the support of my son, Dart, and the creative works of my daughter, Ria,
and my son-in-law, Perry.
To them, my deepest thanks.
Again, may I express my gratitude to APCU for this award,
which I am very proud of. Thank you.
Thank you and congratulations, Ambassador Tiglao.
Our next laureate is Ambassador Jamie T. Cruz.
AMBASSADOR JAMIE T. CRUZ
Ambassador Cruz was a former Special Envoy to the People's Republic of China,
Trade and Investment.
This year, APPCU recognizes his works and contribution
in promoting Philippines-China relations, friendship, and mutual understanding.
Now to receive the award on behalf of Ambassador Cruz
is his daughter, Ms. Kimberly Cruz.
AMBASSADOR KIMBERLY CRUZ
Thank you so much. Let's give a round of applause
to the Outstanding Contribution Laureates.
Finally, we will now recognize the Hall of Famers.
May we request Atty. Raul M. Vino,
Chairman of the Association for Philippine-China Understanding,
and of course, His Excellency, Huang Xi Lian,
Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Philippines,
to please remain on stage to help us present the awards.
Our first Hall of Fame Laureate is
Ambassador Carlos Chan.
AMBASSADOR CARLOS CHAN
Ambassador Chan is a philanthropist
who is respected by major organizations
not only from the Philippines and China,
but in other countries with OECD offices.
The Ambassador was appointed as Special Envoy to China
by three consecutive presidents.
His company, OECD, has been helping Filipinos in China
in promoting the Philippines among the Chinese.
The Chinese hold the Filipino-made brand in such high regard
that OECD has successfully established itself
as a global Filipino brand.
Ambassador Chan was also one of the first
major private donors who sent medical supplies
to the Philippines at the height of the pandemic.
He has also donated over 700 schoolhouses
across the Philippines and supported the maintenance
of the Royal Tomb of the Sultan of Sulu in Teochew, China
that stand witness to the 600 years of friendly exchanges
between China and the Philippines.
And on behalf of Ambassador Chan,
let us listen to his son, Mr. Ozen Chan.
Please allow me to deliver the message of Ambassador Carlos Chan
His Excellency, President Ferdinand Romaldez Marcos, Jr.
His Excellency, former Rodrigo Roa Duterte,
represented by former Executive Secretary Salvador Medaldea.
His Excellency, Ambassador Juan Silian,
members of the Cabinet and other government officials.
APPCEU Chairman Raul Lambino.
APPCEU Vice Chairman Jeffrey Nang.
Fellow awardees, distinguished guests,
ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
I am deeply honored and humbled to accept this award
from the Association Promoting Philippine-China Understanding.
Being selected for the Hall of Fame category for year 2023
alongside other distinguished awardees,
including former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,
fills me with immense pride and gratitude.
For almost 20 years, I had the privilege of serving
as Philippine Special Envoy to China,
allowing me to represent Philippines in various capacities.
My responsibilities included promoting trade and investment,
fostering tourism, and facilitating cultural exchanges
between our two nations.
These efforts have contributed to mutual understanding,
respect, and warm friendship between Filipino and the Chinese people,
as well as enrichment of the Philippine economy.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation
to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
the late President Binigno Noynoy Aquino,
and former President Rodrigo Duterte
for the trust and confidence and for the opportunity.
Lastly, I am so grateful to ABPCU for this invaluable recognition.
Thank you and good evening.
Once again, let's put our hands together
for our first Hall of Fame Laureate, Ambassador Chan.
Our next Hall of Famer is former Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
And in behalf of former President Duterte,
Attorney Salvador Medialdeo will receive the award.
Former President Duterte has accomplished long-wished-for dreams
for our country and the Filipino people,
showed their gratitude,
giving him the highest approval and trust ratings consistently
during his whole term of office,
even with a two-year pandemic that caught the whole world off guard.
Among his monumental achievements were the following,
resolution of the Marawi crisis,
our improved relations with China,
resulted in the delivery of emergency weapons
when our soldiers were being outgunned,
the reestablishment of trust relations with China,
which led to the stabilization of the South China Sea issues.
This was also recognized by other Asian leaders,
allowing for the reopening of our fishermen's access
and the expansion of tourism, trade, employment,
and international investments in the Philippines.
The early delivery of millions of vaccines donated by China
protected our frontliners and helped the economy reopen.
May we request Attorney Salvador Medialdeo
for a few words on behalf of former President Duterte.
His Excellency Ferdinand Romaldez Marcos, Jr.,
President of the Republic of the Philippines.
His Excellency Ambassador Wang Zilian,
officers and members of the APCU,
honored guests, ladies and gentlemen.
On behalf of former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,
I would like to extend his deepest appreciation
to the Association for Philippines-China Understanding
and Embassy of the PROC
for being bestowed this Hall of Fame award.
It is indeed a great honor coming from this great organization
whose main goal is to strengthen the relationship
between the two nations.
I am sure former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
will always cherish this award with the thought that
both countries must continue to move forward
in order to achieve what is best for all its people.
Mabuhay ang APCO. Mabuhay tayin lahat.
Thank you so much and once again congratulations
to former Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
And of course, former Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
is represented by former Executive Secretary Salvador Medialde
and PDP-Laban President Congressman Jose Alvarez
of the 2nd District of Palawan.
Congratulations to all the 2023 APPCU awardees.
Now at this point, may we invite here on stage
the Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Zocno
to introduce our guest of honor.
Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the Republic of the Philippines,
His Excellency Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
Thank you very much to Secretary Ben Zocno
for his kind introduction.
His Excellency Ambassador Wang Ziliang,
the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China,
members of the Cabinet present here with us today,
the Honorable Members of the Senate,
and of course, the Association for the Philippines-China Understanding Chairman,
2023 APPCU awardees,
my fellow workers in government,
ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
It is a great pleasure and honor to join you here today
for the Association for Philippines-China Understanding Award Ceremony.
If only to demonstrate how important this ceremony is for us
and all that it symbolizes.
Indeed, this evening is significant for a variety of reasons.
It is a fitting prelude to our celebration of the 48th year
of the formal establishment of the relations between Philippines and China,
a significant event of our history
that reckoned from the presidency of my father.
Built on a long and rich history of commercial and cultural exchanges
this bilateral relationship has been a boon
to our country's economic strength over the past years.
The figures say it all.
Following centuries-old trade history,
China has emerged as our top partner in terms of total trade,
ranking first as our import source
and second as our export destination.
China and its special administrative regions
are also second home to a substantial number of overseas Filipinos.
This evening's award ceremony is likewise an occasion
not only to honor individuals for their key achievements,
it is also an opportunity to recognize our collective efforts
as a nation to nurture and strengthen this healthy relationship
that has served us so well through the years.
We appreciate the initiative of the Association of Philippines-China Understanding
in having organized this event
and all its efforts to strengthen the bond between our nations
through all these years.
The role of the former president, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
in rejuvenating the APCO organization,
which led in many ways to the launching of these awards,
must certainly be recognized.
In doing so, she recognized the great importance
of maintaining mutual understanding between our two countries.
Perhaps the highlight of this awards night
is the high recognition bestowed to the former president of our republic,
our Tatay, Digong Duterte,
and I join the entire nation in recognizing the former president
for his strong leadership and for all that he has done
in building a more resilient nation.
But the reverie of tonight's proceedings,
there is a lot more that we can and must do
to celebrate our bilateral partnership.
Time and again, we have proven that it is in our mutual interest
to preserve the special rapport and kindred spirit
that we have established and nurtured throughout our history.
So, we will exert our utmost efforts to strengthen this relationship.
We will strive to make it more comprehensive, more strategic,
all with a view to advancing the paramount interests
of both our nations and our peoples.
It is my firm belief that our relationship
must not be defined by our innate differences.
We may have such differences, all friends do,
but we recognize in the Philippines the commitment of President Xi
and the People's Republic of China to overcome such difficulties.
And I can assure our good ambassador here
that that commitment also is present in the Philippines' efforts
to bring us closer together, Philippines and the People's Republic of China.
So, let us be bound rather by our similarities,
our common purpose, our shared goals.
As a guiding principle, we will pursue constant dialogue
in an amicable approach to our decision-making
and the resolution of issues.
As a peace-loving nation, we will adhere to all intents and purposes
with the fundamental adage that good communication
is key to a good relationship.
For the honorees this evening, the saying is very appropriate.
The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do even more.
Our esteemed awardees shall have fresh motivation
to pursue their worthy causes with more vigor,
but they will also serve as exemplars for our countrymen to emulate
and to provide the spark to generate and spread goodwill
between our countries and our peoples.
All in all, we will draw collective inspiration
and firmer resolve from these proceedings.
We will depend on this relationship more than ever
as we push towards a half-century of our diplomatic relationship.
And we will call upon APCO to assist us in this effort.
To end, let me say that I have nothing but bright optimism
for the future of the bilateral ties of the Philippines and China.
Let us continue to work together to usher in an exciting chapter
for our respective nations, one in which peace and mutual progress
will be at the heart of the stories that we will write side by side
as friends, as partners, and as neighbors.
Once again, congratulations to this year's APCO awardees.
Mabuhay ang APCO.
Mabuhay ang magandang ugnayan sa pagitan ng ating bansa at ng China.
Maraming salamat at magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat.
Thank you, Mr. President.
At this point, may we request the President to kindly grant us a photo opportunity.
May we call on the 2023 APPCO awardees on stage.
Next batch, please prepare the Chinese Embassy officials.
Thank you so much and congratulations to the 2023 APPCO awardees.
Up next, we would like to invite the members of the Chinese Embassy officials on stage.