Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr. (far left) encourages the youth to “Experience the Philippines with NOW PH Tour” at the Philippine Center Gallery lobby in New York on March 7.  (Photo by Carlos Cruz)

With Spring just around the corner, Filipino-American young professionals trooped to the Philippine Center Gallery lobby on March 7 for a fellowship night hosted by the Philippine Consulate General New York and Philippine Department of Tourism New York.

While enjoying Filipino food and drinks by Maharlika Jeepney, and music by DJ Norman Dalager, some 55 attendees learned about the NOW PH Tour, an eight-day tour specially designed for the Fil-Am millennials.

During the brief program, Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr. spoke to the guests, noting the many initiatives the Consulate has done to engage the young community members, such as the Leadership and Mentoring Seminar series, the FYLPRO Town Hall, and the Philippine Graduation (PGRAD).

He hailed the NOW PH Tour for its unique itinerary and the valuable lessons it can teach the young: appreciation for their heritage and history, understanding of the government and business situation in the Philippines, fun and friendship during the adventure tours and, most importantly, a spirit of giving back on the many opportunities to join social enterprise programs in the country.

Zeny Palugna, Department of Tourism-New York Administrative Officer, discussed the details of the eight-day tour, which arrives in the Philippines on April 8, and highlighted the sights and experiences featured in the NOW PH Tour: a visit to Malacañang Palace, meeting with Business Leaders, tour of Intramuros and nightlife spots in Manila, heritage tour of Dumaguete, swimming with whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu, gastronomy and traditional industries in Cebu City.

NOW PH Tour is a project of the Philippine Embassy Washington with the support of the Department of Tourism, US-Philippines Society, and the Philippine Consulates General in the U.S.

More information may be found in the NOW PH website at


PDOT-NY’s Zeny Palugna (left) describes the NOW PH Tour itinerary to guests at the Philippine Center Gallery lobby in New York on March 7.  (Photo by Carlos Cruz)

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