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Monday, November 28, 2016


"Makilala" Town Hall with Consul General Tess Dizon-de Vega.(Lambert Parong/Kababayan Media)

New York – The Filipino community and FilAm press had an opportunity to meet newly-appointed Philippine Consul General Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-de Vega when New York-based Filipino-American talk show “Makilala” hosted a community town hall forum at the Kalayaan Hall of the New York Philippine Center last November 21. The show will be aired on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) in December 2016.

During the interview, Consul General de Vega addressed important queries from community members as well as conveyed her take on the foreign and economic policy of Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, her goals as the top Philippine government official in the Northeast U.S. region, and various consular matters, including passport, legal and visa issues.  

ConGen Tess Dizon-de Vega.(Lambert Parong/Kababayan Media)
Consul General Dizon-De Vega took the opportunity to encourage younger generation Filipino-Americans to participate in nation-building and country-promotion activities through programs such as FYLPRO (Filipino-American Youth Leadership Program). She likewise talked about the recent positive Philippine economic growth figure of 7.1% GDP for the third quarter of 2016.  She also pointed out that tourism remains a bright spot in the economy with continued influx of foreign tourists to local destinations.   She added that the Consulate General also has collaborative projects with the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT-NY) to promote inbound visitor arrival to the Philippines through participation in travel/tourism conventions and by partnering with US tour operator’s association. 

She additionally spoke about the 10-point Socioeconomic agenda of the Duterte Administration, the safety nets being implemented for vulnerable sectors, the new public infrastructure “Build. Build. Build.” program, and the country’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2017.

“Makilala” (“get to know” in Tagalog) is the first Filipino-American TV talk show in the New York metropolitan area.  Since it began airing in 2013, it has served as a platform for members of the Filipino-American community to engage in various political, economic, social and cultural topics of relevance to the Philippines and its countrymen residing in the United States.  Now in its fourth season, “Makilala” is regularly hosted by media and community figures Jen Furer, Rachelle Ocampo and Cristina Pastor. “Makilala” is The Outstanding Filipino Americans (TOFA) in NY Awardee for Media and Publishing for 2015, and guests on the show have included community leaders, government and corporate officials, social advocates and emerging artists/musicians.  

Rachelle Ocampo, Jen Furer & Cristina Pastor.(Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media)

More information on the town hall forum with Consul General de Vega is available on

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