100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf: Filipino Ambassadors to the GCC
Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain – Alfonso Ferdinand Agbayani Ver
Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain, Alfonso Ver brings with him a wealth of experience in Foreign Service before his first ambassadorial posting in the country. His first foreign assignment was as Vice Consul, then promoted to Consul, in Guam (1996 to 2002). He later became First Secretary and Consul General, then Minister, Consul General and Deputy Head of Mission, in Ankara, Turkey (2005 to 2009), before he moved to San Francisco, USA as Consul then Deputy Consul General (2009 2012). At the Department of Foreign Affairs, he was Executive Director of the Office of Personnel and Administrative Services (2012 to 2015).
As the head of the 60,000 strong Filipino community in Bahrain, the Ambassador has made his people’s welfare integral in his function. This year, a community center slated to further improve bilateral ties, is expected to rise in the country in time for the embassy’s 40th anniversary.
Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia – Adnan V Alonto
Ambassador Adnan Villanula Alonto comes from a family of politicians. He is the son of the late Senator Domocao Alonto and brother of Lanao del Sur Governor Soraya Alonto-Adiong. Since passing the bar exams in 1985, he has worked in many different law offices in the Philippines.
In 1996, Ambassador Alonto and his family left for the US. He then worked in several companies as a legal professional until 2016 before accepting his assignment from the President as Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
With a little over two months in his position, he has already made strides in bridging the connection between the Philippine government and Filipino residents of the country. He says, “I am here to fulfill the mandate given to me by the President to ensure that the rights and well-being of our people are protected while they are working here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Philippine Ambassador to Oman – Narciso Castañeda
A seasoned diplomat having carried out Foreign Service posts representing the Philippines in the US, the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, France, and Chile, Ambassador Narciso Castañeda, now stationed in Oman, notes that all the work that he does is ultimately rooted in helping Filipinos, and solidifying the motherland’s associations internationally with other countries.
Last year, a significant advancement in the bilateral ties shared by Oman and the Philippines was made when Ambassador Narciso paid a courtesy call on Oman’s Minister of Justice, Sheikh Abdulmalik bin Abdullah bin Ali al Khalili. In the meeting held at the office of the Justice Minister in Muscat, Castañeda discussed ways of which the liaison between the two nations could be enhanced. Acknowledging the importance Filipinos towards the development of Oman, the success of the conference resulted in the Justice Minister conveying a willingness to help improve the significant bilateral bond. Not only is this triumph indicative of the Ambassador’s influence in the nation, it too highlights his commitment to his home and its people.
Illustrado 100 was made possible by sponsors: Giordano, Liali Jewellery, Mitsubishi UAE- Al Habtoor Motors, Michael Cinco Couture, Mapúa Institute of Technology, Centro – Amwaj Rotana Hotel , Max’s Restaurant Middle East and GVER – Your Friendly MarketPlace for Sharing
Co-Sponsors: Herschel Supply Co., Rove Hotels, The Medical City – Dubai , Filipino Institute UAE, MPQ Tourism, JAMES Travel and Tours Dubai, Off the Hook Seafood Restaurant, The Original Barrio Fiesta Restaurant – Dubai and Tapa King UAE.
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