Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Delia D. Albert (front row, seventh from right) with women ambassadors and key officials during the launch of her book. (Above Photo Caption)
The Department of Foreign Affairs, through the initiative of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Delia D. Albert, held an official launch of the book Women in Diplomacy: The Remarkable Ambassadors in the Philippine Foreign Service at the Carlos P. Romulo Library on October 11, with key officials and ambassadors—both active and retired—as well as DFA personnel, in attendance.
Albert introduced the book and thanked all her fellow women ambassadors who contributed their reflections that were featured in the book. She also mentioned of drawing inspiration to undertake the publication as a project from an observation by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan when she chaired the UN Security Council in 2004. The latter’s observations made the former secretary contemplate on the many remarkable Filipino women diplomats who served with dedication around the world whose achievements are worth recognizing.
Ambassadors Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia, Narcisa Escaler, Celia Anna Feria, Linglingay Lacanlale and Grace Princesa, whose stories were featured in the book, served as panelists. They shared highlights of their journeys as diplomats and how they were able to overcome the challenges of working in a male-dominated profession as they advanced not only the national interests of the country, but also addressed the aspirations of a Filipino diplomat, regardless of gender.
A first-of-its-kind, the book was well-received by key officials, ambassadors and the DFA personnel. Ambassadors Eduardo Meñez and Rosalinda Tirona, as well as Foreign Service Officer 4 May-I Fabros, who served as reactors, expressed their commendations during the launch. They said the stories in the book would serve as an inspiration to the new generation of Filipino diplomats who aspire to serve the country well.
To date, a total of 90 women ambassadors have served in the Philippine foreign service. Albert announced that she had already begun work on the second volume, which will include many others who have yet to contribute their stories. DFA