Bringing the Stars and Stripes closer to Filipinos


H.E. Philip Goldberg tours guests through the US Embassy’s grand exhibit. PHOTO BY RUY MARTINEZ

The Embassy of the United States continued to reach out to more Filipinos through a two-day road show over the weekend at the SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

Dubbed “America in 3D,” the series of events and exhibits showcased the diversity of American culture, while presenting the embassy’s extensive lineup of programs and services. The three Ds—“development, diplomacy and defense”—which make up the embassy’s thrust were also highlighted throughout the road show.

No less than newly appointed American Ambassador Philip Goldberg opened the festivities, joining guests as they toured the exhibit.

“This is a way for us to share to the public the things that we do [as part of]the American culture, including singing and dancing,” he said during an interview with the press.

Accordingly an impressive lineup of performances was highlighted from Filipino pop singers like Charice, Luke Mejares and Jed Madela, while hip-hop group The Crew danced and conducted workshops for interested visitors. The US Navy’s 7th Fleet Band also took to the stage for a much anticipated performance with a grand finale from rock band Razorback, with songs that were born in good old USA.

Thoroughly enjoying the show, Ambassador Goldberberg happily noted how Philippine mainstream music is highly influenced by American pop culture.

The ambassador further shared a first for “America in 3D,” which is now on its seventh year run. “This year, we have [invited]a chef from the United States [to join us]here, which is a new innovation for the exhibit.”

Giving Filipinos an authentic “taste of America,” Chef Grant Gordon from Texas conducted entertaining demonstrations, which happily meant food samplings for the road show’s attendees at the SM Mall of Asia’s main atrium.

With much of the entertainment covered, the ambassador went on to present the more important goal of “America in 3D,” which is to spread awareness on the works of the US Embassy.

“What we are really trying to do is to bring the embassy to people. So [much so]that the embassy sections’ representatives came out here to help explain what they do,” explained the diplomat.

Embassy representatives from the Consular Section, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the US Peace Corps, the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), the Thomas Jefferson Information Center, and the Philippine-American Educational Foundation were readily on hand to address endless concerns and queries from Filipinos on traveling, studying or even doing business in American throughout the weekend.

The most successful among the embassy FYI activities were the Consular Section’s also held talks, titled “The Visa Process Demystified.”

“The road show aims to demystify in some way the services that we do . . . because sometimes people are intimidated by the big American Embassy and its high walls,” Goldberg explained.

“America in 3D” events were available for free to the public, including a screening of award-winning film, Alagwa; a showcase of vintage American cars and motorbikes; and an information drive on studying in the United States.


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