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US Ambassador Harry Thomas, Jr. meets with Mindanaoan youth leaders

Here’s more about my 2-day task of accompanying US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Jr. around Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao. Thanks to the folks over at US Embassy Manila, this Mindanao blogger got the chance of a lifetime to experience first hand how it was to officially be a part of an American ambassador’s party 🙂

After the awarding of HACCP certificates to 10 Mindanao companies, our next stop was the roundtable discussion with the alumni of the Congressional Internship Program for Mindanao Youth Leaders (CIPYML). The roundtable discussion of these Mindanaoan youth leaders with US Ambassador Harry Thomas, Jr. was held at the American Corner at the Xavier University Library.

Ambassador Harry Thomas, Jr. was welcomed by Xavier University officials:

On our way to the American Corner, a lot of Xavier University students cheered upon seeing the ambassador. I even patted one student, who was so excited after he managed to take a quick photo of the ambassador! The student told me that he was so excited to share the photo, as it was the Ambassador Thomas’ very first visit to Cagayan de Oro City.

About 10 CIPMYL alumni gathered inside a room. They all welcomed Ambassador Thomas and they all extended their thanks for the CIPMYL program, which they say truly helped them understand peace and nation building, community relations, youth affairs and even political processes.

Ambassador Thomas, meanwhile, encouraged the CIPMYL graduates to “pay it forward” and continue being role models.

CIPYML is a USAID-supported project. USAID stands for United States Agency for International Development. CIPYML began in 2002, implemented under the Growth with Equity in Mindanao Program in partnership with the Philippine House of Representatives. The CIPMYL projects allows ARMM students the chance to work with Congressional Committees. The CIPMYL participants get to assist in policy formulation, research as well as preparation of legislative proposals/measures.

The highlight of that CIPMYL event? Well…after the roundtable discussion and partaking of light snacks, Ambassador Harry Thomas approached me and handed me a brownie! That was so kind and thoughtful of him, yes? 🙂

Please follow this blog series for more of my two-day adventure accompanying US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas, Jr.

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