The Philippine Embassy’s Minister and Consul-General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa, also known as Kabayan Arlene, with husband Allan. Thanks for the pic guys!
RIGHT NOW, the image of our government, looking from the outside or in, is horribly bad. I mean, really bad. I’m no expert, but offhand, there is simply nothing good we can say at this time. (Whether or not it’s deserved is something I leave to you Precious Reader.)
Except for the Philippine foreign service.
Owing either to exceptional good luck, or just the basic high standards set by tradition, training and recruitment, both New Zealand and its Pinoy migrant community have enjoyed, in flash and substance, quality from officials and staff of the Philippine Embassy.
I’ve mentioned this to you at least twice in the form of critically good reviews for our current ambassador, His Excellency Jesus Gary Domingo, but his Number Two Man (actually a woman) is every bit as good as he, in the person of Minister and Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa (Arlene na lang, please, I can almost hear her say).
No exaj, she has hit the ground running under previous boss Her Excellency Ambassador Virginia Benavidez, nailed the Mobile Consular Services Outreach gig all over New Zealand, has ably assisted Ambassador Gary in many liaisons with MFAT (the DFA’s counterpart) and the diplomatic corps in Wellington, and lent her organizational and managerial pizzazz to nearly everything our Embassy has been involved in, the four years she’s been here.
As long as you provide her the plan and vision, she is usually the person who gets down to brass tacks, the intricate and involving details needed to see a project through. Her strong suits are research and preparation, but she is just as fine networking and negotiating our embassy’s way through swells and tides.
I was lucky enough to have a chat-cum-interview with ConGen Arlene for our KABAYANews summer 2017 issue before her tour of duty here in Wellington ends next month. (Hopefully Precious Reader you’ll see it soon, please watch this space.) She will work out of the DFA’s home office for the next two years before another overseas adventure in… who knows where the globe stops spinning?
No doubt she will outdo herself anywhere she is posted.
Don’t worry ConGen, we’ll get you a copy of that summer issue wherever you are! Mabuhay ka, kudos and salud, Kabayan Arlene and family, from all of us in the Pinoy community of New Zealand especially Wellington!
Thanks for reading!