Thursday, September 17, 2015

First female Asian consul general in Saudi Arabia is a Pinay

The first female consul general from Asia who will serve in Saudi Arabia is from the Philippines.

Imelda Panolong arrived in the Kingdom last week and will serve as the Philippine Consul General in the Middle Eastern country's Western Region.

It was Panolong's second tour of duty in Saudi Arabia. From 1996 to 2001, she was assigned to the Assistance to National Section of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah.

Aside from that, she has also been assigned in other Philippine overseas posts, particularly in Bahrain, Canada, Indonesia and, just recently, Los Angeles in the US.

Panolong doesn't see her being a woman as a hindrance in performing her new duties, despite her post being usually occupied by male officials.

"Kahit saang society o grupo pag may babae na naroroon, iba pa rin 'yung may tinatawag na woman’s touch o 'yung motherly touch," she told GMA News in an interview.

"Hindi ko sinasabi na cold ang aking predecessor, they were are all very efficient officials pero iba pa rin 'yung may personal o motherly touch," she added.

Filipinos in Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, welcomed Panolong.

Atoy Esguerra, leader of a Filipino community in Jeddah, described Panolong as one of the best Filipino officials he had ever met, referring to her first stint in Saudi Arabia over a decade ago. —Ronaldo Z. Concha/KBK, GMA News - See more at:

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