Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. (3rd from left) accepts his certificate of conferment as Knight Grand Officer of Rizal from (l.-r.) Sir Atty. Ferdinand Suba, Madame Eleanor de Leon, Consul General Mario L. de Leon, Jr., Sir Dr. Prospero Lim and Sir Francis Sison.

The Knights of Rizal New York presented honors to exemplary members of the community during the Jose Rizal Awards for Excellence at the Astoria World Manor in Queens, N.Y. on Nov. 28, 2015.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. was conferred as Grand Knight Officer of Rizal for his patriotic duty as the Philippine envoy to the United States.

In his keynote address, the ambassador likened the Philippines’ recent principled actions to that of Dr. Rizal’s in pursuing positive change through peaceful means.

He cited the arbitration case filed by the Philippines to find a pacific resolution to the maritime dispute with China over the South China Sea.

He echoed the administration’s principle of “Good governance is good economics,” on the reforms happening within our borders, which paved the way to economic progress recognized by the international community.

The ambassador emphasized the Philippines’ commitment in preserving the gains from these reforms especially demonstrated during the country’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting, with inclusive growth as this year’s central theme.

Lastly, Cuisia reported the strengthening Philippine-U.S. bilateral relations and reaffirmation of the treaty alliance, strategic partnership, and historic friendship when President Barack Obama met with President Benigno Aquino III before the APEC.

Consul General Mario L. de Leon, Jr. praised the ambassador on his leadership of the Foreign Service Posts in the U.S. and his visionary leadership focusing on economic, political and community relations to the youth.

He cited the roadshows the ambassador spearheaded to boost the business sector, his face-to-face meetings with politicians in 41 U.S. states to push the Philippine and Filipino-American agenda in the United States, and the ambassador’s brainchild, FYLPRO — which grants young Filipino-Americans an immersion opportunity in the Philippines to incite a transformative spirit in the young leaders.

Along with Cuisia, four other gentlemen were given special awards for excellence: Deacon Dr. Gary Villanueva for Medicine; Marvin Cadornigara for Education; Carlos L. Esguerra for Arts and Literature; and Eric Celedonio for Youth.

(PCG - New York)


From left, Consul General Mario L. de Leon, Jr., Eric Celedonio, Carlos L. Esguerra, Marvin Cadornigara, Deacon Dr. Gary Villanueva and Atty. Ferdinand Suba.