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Keeping up with Congen: Are Filipinos too kind to a fault?
Aug28

Keeping up with Congen: Are Filipinos too kind to a fault?

By Con Gen Paul Raymund Cortes     There are an estimated half a million Filipinos in the gem of the Middle East, Dubai. Compared to Dubai, however, there are not as many Filipinos in Istanbul. In a megalopolis of 15 million souls, the Filipino population of just around 3000 are almost invisible, inconspicuous. Just as our experience in Budapest some 20 years ago taught us, locals are genuinely amazed and pleasantly surprised...

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Keeping Up With Congen: The Latent Filipino
Jul30

Keeping Up With Congen: The Latent Filipino

By Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes     I grew up in the 70s and 80s in the metropolis, a time when being Manileño was hip, cool, and well – trendy. Corollary to that, it was also the time when speaking Ilokano in the midst of my Manila-boy schoolmates meant being teased as one from the barrios or the mountains (well – I was born in Baguio!) or to put it as I remembered some of my schoolmates did – “rural.”   I...

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My Life in Dubai: The ConGen’s Weekend
Jun19

My Life in Dubai: The ConGen’s Weekend

By Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes     My past weekend was typical of my Dubai weekends – packed, extremely hectic. Fridays, for most, even for most of my staff, are reserved for families, outings and gallivanting around the malls, or just plain lounging at home. I harbor no complaints though. I get it.  Weekends are when the Filipino community schedules their organizations’ events and activities, and what better...

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Keeping Up With ConGen: Talking Tourism
Jun05

Keeping Up With ConGen: Talking Tourism

Marketing The Philippines as a Travel Destination By Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes     “It’s been Asia’s best kept secret,” he tells me. And I silently wonder back:” Yes, a secret we’ve long been whispering to the whole world for so long.” I looked away, pondering on the loud musings of a “concerned” Philippines fan, the ails of our tourism industry reasserting itself on my consciousness at the heels of Dubai’s famed...

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