Abu Dhabi – Her Excellency Hjayceelyn Mancenido Quintana- the newly appointed Philippine Ambassador to the UAE has arrived in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Aug 20 and has commenced her post on same day with a warm welcoming by the Philippine Embassy’s staff and some Filipino community leaders upon her arrival in the early morning.
A native of Lucena City and Mauban, Quintana’s nomination as ambassador was confirmed last February 21 this year by the Commission on Appointments.
She has made her presence in Abu Dhabi with the huge Filipino delegation during the grand finale celebration of the 120th Philippine Independence on June 29 where she stood as the keynote speaker while she was still serving as the Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Middle East and African Affairs (OMEAA) and the Philippine’s Consul General in Oman.
Aside from her recently concluded posts prior to being the Ambassador, Quintana has been also posted in Beijing, Washington DC, and Dublin.
As for her educational background, she took up diplomatic studies at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, as a British Chevening scholar. She pursued a master’s degree in international public policy at John Hopkins University in Washington DC as a Fulbright scholar. She was a first-placer in the competitive Foreign Service Officers’ Examination in the Philippines.
Just very recently, last Thursday, August 16 she received the highest award from Quezon Province – the Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan (Quezon Medal of Honor) which was announced by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday, August 18 as quoted by Rappler.
The DFA said the Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan “is the highest award given to a native of Quezon who has exemplified the qualities and characteristics of former President Quezon”, as quoted by rappler.com.
Quintana said she is “honored to receive this award named after President Manuel L. Quezon. President Quezon made ‘social justice’ the cornerstone of his philosophy and his ‘open door policy’ made the Philippines a safe haven for Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust in the 1930s,” Quintana said adding that these are important and inspiring facets of history that make her proud to be a recipient of an award that bears the President’s name.
Filipino Community looks upon a new leadership, offers support
Meanwhile, Filipino community leaders in Abu Dhabi are excited to work with the new Ambassador believing that a unique kind of leadership will be shared and learned among each other.
Allen Samonte who chairs the upcoming Bayanihan Leadership Summit this coming September 7, hopes to learn a leverage kind of leadership.
“Apart from the core principles of leaderships that will be laid at the summit and the end-result as product of the leadership skills development program for the participants and leaders, I believe that we will gain a unique leadership from Ambassador Quintana that will put us to a higher level”.
Mr. Samonte has mentioned that as part of the plan of the Leadership Summit to obtain a study of its impact, it will be Ambassador Quintana to channel and submit the result in a formal writing to the President of the Philippines through the Philippine Embassy.
“The result of the summit will be a form of commitment to support the new Ambassador in the implementation of each organization’s programs aligned to the standards of right leaderships,” Mr. Samonte added.
Bayanihan Council Chairman Engr. Elmer O. Casao is optimistic and even excited to coordinate and support the Ambassador in carrying out the programs of the government.
“I am very happy to have had the chance to talk to Ambassador Quintana on her first day of work as the Philippine Ambassador to the UAE. Based from our discussion, I can say that we are on the same page. She wants results. She has many plans and expects everyone’s support to make things happen”, told Engr. Casao.
“We [Bayanihan Council] assured her of the support that she needs from the Filipino Community and we are excited and very much looking forward to accomplishing more under our new Ambassador’s watch”, he added.
From the professional group, Engr. Bernie N. Favorito – Chairman of the Philippine Professional Organization (PPO UAE) has said, “We, from Professional Organizations are expecting the full support and guidance from the new Ambassador in conducting programs and events related to career enhancements and development. In return, we are looking up to her as an inspiration to explore the working standards of a true professional here in the Middle East”.
“We look forward to the strengthening of Technical Education and Skills Certification of Filipinos in the UAE. I hope the mutual recognition of technical qualifications between UAE and TESDA will be materialized very soon”, quoted Juan Paolo Arao, President of the Association of Filipino TESDA Trainers & Assessors and Founder of the first TESDA Assessment Center in UAE.
Meanwhile, one of the leaders of an active socio group OKO has suggested that scholarship programs be granted to overseas Filipinos.
“On behalf of OKO, we support the new Ambassador and will continue our advocacies which we have started. We wish that the Philippine government in collaboration with accredited professional organizations will allot budget for skills training and other short courses for deserving Filipinos in UAE ”, Ms. Emma Wenceslao Sentones told Kabayan Weekly.