Philippine Ambassador Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr. presented his credentials to Irish President Michael Higgins as the non-resident Ambassador to Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin, Ireland, on December 19, 2023. This ceremony marks an important milestone in the diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Ireland.
Ambassador Locsin, who has been serving as the Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom since August 30, 2022, brings a wealth of experience to his new role. Prior to his ambassadorial appointments, he served as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Duterte administration from 2018 to 2022.
During the presentation of credentials, Ambassador Locsin greeted President Higgins in Irish, showcasing his respect for the local customs and traditions. He also conveyed warm greetings from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Filipino people, expressing their well-wishes for President Higgins and the people of Ireland.
Ambassador Locsin expressed his hope that the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and Ireland would continue to strengthen and deepen during his tenure. This sentiment reflects the commitment of both nations to foster stronger ties in various areas of cooperation, including trade, culture, and people-to-people exchanges.
President Higgins, in turn, expressed his anticipation of celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Ireland in 2024. This significant milestone highlights the longstanding friendship between the two countries and serves as a testament to the shared values and interests that have shaped their partnership over the years.
President Higgins also took the opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of the Filipino community in Ireland, particularly those in the healthcare sector. He commended their dedication and assistance during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Filipino diaspora in Ireland plays a vital role in the country, contributing to its cultural diversity and economic growth.
Furthermore, President Higgins recognized the growing number of Filipino students in Ireland, emphasizing the importance of educational exchanges in strengthening mutual understanding and fostering people-to-people connections. This acknowledgment reflects Ireland’s commitment to providing a welcoming environment for international students and promoting educational collaboration with the Philippines.
During the ceremony, President Higgins highlighted the remarkable act of bravery by Leo Villamayor, a heroic Filipino nurse who played a crucial role in saving a young girl who was stabbed by an armed man in Dublin in November of the previous year. This recognition serves as a testament to the resilience and courage of individuals within the Filipino community in Ireland.
President Higgins was joined at the ceremony by Mr. Dara Calleary TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Ms. Fiona Penollar, Director General of the Citizen Services Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs; and Ms. Orla O’Hanrahan, Secretary-General to the President. Their presence underscores the importance that the Irish government places on the bilateral relationship with the Philippines.
Accompanying Ambassador Locsin were his wife, Maria Lourdes Locsin, his daughter, Maria Patricia Louise Barcelon, and Second Secretary and Consul Beatriz Alexandra Martinez. Their presence at the ceremony reflects the strong support and commitment of Ambassador Locsin’s family to his diplomatic endeavors.
In conclusion, the presentation of Ambassador Locsin’s credentials to President Higgins signifies the deepening ties between the Philippines and Ireland. The ceremony not only highlights the diplomatic relationship between the two nations but also acknowledges the contributions of the Filipino community in Ireland and the growing number of Filipino students in the country. This occasion sets the stage for further collaboration and cooperation in various fields, fostering a stronger and more affectionate relationship between the Philippines and Ireland in the years to come.
Source: The Manila Times