Consul General Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega with the crowd at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Consulate General in New York on Feb. 28, 2018.  (Photo by Lambert Parong/ Filipino American Press Club of New York)

Exclusive to the Filipino Reporter

At a jam-packed Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Consulate General in New York on Feb. 28, 2018, Consul General Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega addressed the Filipino-American community thanking them for their outstanding support.

De Vega is slated for another assignment and will depart New York at the end of March.

She assumed the position of consul general to New York in November 2016.

It was a festive atmosphere during a Filipino-American Community to an Appreciation Night with The Band of Brothers performing — prompting the crowd to dance to their brilliant Rock ‘n’ Roll music.

Guests were provided with sumptuous “street food” such as barbeque sticks, as well as popular Filipino beverages.

The consul general was given a Citation from the New York State Assembly and the Manhattan Borough Council.

Consul Kerwin Tate served as the emcee for the evening.

De Vega stated that her “secret sauce” is the energy of the Filipino community.

“It is an honor and privilege to be of service to our country and Kababayans in the U.S. Northeast. You all make us proud!” said De Vega.

In a Facebook post, she also thanked the New York Consulate Team for their service and professionalism, as well as Ambassador Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin who addressed the crowd Wednesday.

Locsin is currently the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations.


Consul General Tess Dizon-De Vega speaking to the audience.  (Photo by Lambert Parong/ FAPCNY)

In a previous e-mail to the Filipino Reporter, De Vega provided some insights on her stint in New York when she was deputy consul general.

It read:

• High point — There are truthfully too many to mention and all equally significant to single out just one.

I guess with a relatively short stint, all the projects I’ve had the good fortune to be a part of during a limited period of time are all “highlights.”

The Leadership Management Seminars (LMS) to provide a venue and resources for the community to be more grounded in management and organizational approaches; serving as Coordinator/Facilitator of the first ever Filipino American Youth Leadership Program (FYLPro) which just concluded its 2nd year (one of the last major projects I’m still overseeing) and relatedly working closely with 2nd generation Fil-Ams; the Homecoming sa Konsulado; the December activities like Simbang Gabi and last year the first-ever Panunuluyan; and working with the community on disaster relief.

A project near and dear to my heart is the Sinehan sa Summer which we hold every August because I’m a film buff and truly believe in the power of the artform.

• The lows — None.

The lows when we receive criticism or negative feedback I consider challenges which we have to overcome.

These are all part and parcel of public service and should be seen as an opportunity to do better.

• Priorities — Everything from frontline services whether its passports, civil registry, legalization, assistance to nationals visas to political, economic, cultural, public diplomacy, and harnessing the diaspora are all equally important.

The passport issuance matter is largely dependent on the operations in the Philippines under the ePassport and before it the machine-readable passport system.

Rest assured the DFA is constantly working on making the system more efficient.

• The Community — This is a vibrant, concerned and caring community, but there is potential for an even wider reach with an even deeper impact.

I think the community can start looking at cross-issues and develop synergies among organizations, individuals.

Also engage the emerging generation, as well as other non-Filipino groups like Asian-American/Pacific Islander advocacy groups on other cross-cultural issues like immigration reform.


Steven Raga presents a Citation from the New York State Assembly to Consul General Tess Dizon-De Vega.  (Photo by Lambert Parong/ FAPCNY)

De Vega has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of the Philippines; and obtained her juris doctor degree from Ateneo de Manila University School of Law.

The versatile consul general speaks various languages: Spanish, French and Kapampangan.

Her husband is Philippine ambassador to Mexico Eduardo Jose A. de Vega, and they have a daughter, Montserrat.

Amongst her accomplishments are placing first place in the Foreign Service Officers Examination in 1994.

Before her appointment as consul general general in New York, her earlier stints at the Department of Foreign Affairs include assignments in Mexico (third and then second secretary; and consul; Hong Kong SAR, China (consul); the United Kingdom (minister and consul general); and as deputy consul general and Philippine Center Manager in New York.

To date, we cannot disclose the exact designation she will hold in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Your guess is as good as anybody’s.


Delectable food served at the Kalayaan Hall, courtesy of the New York Consulate Team and some members of the Filipino-American community.  (Photo by Lambert Parong/ FAPCNY)

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