U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. started his visit to Ilocos Norte through a courtesy call to Gov. Imee R. Marcos at the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol on August 24, 2012 together with the rest of the American delegation from the U.S. Embassy.
Ambassador Thomas was designated by US President Barack Obama last November 2009 as the new envoy to the Philippines, succeeding Ambassador Kristie Kenney.
The main purpose of Ambassador Thomas on his four-day stay in Ilocos Norte is the launching of the 5th “America in 3D” on August 25, 2012 at Robinsons Mall, Valdez Center in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. It is a road show highlighting the U.S. Diplomacy, Development and Defense organized by the U.S Embassy. According to the ambassador, the road show aims to bring the Embassy folks out of the Embassy and into different areas of the Philippines to share the story of U.S.-Philippines friendship with people who may never have an occasion to pass through the Embassy’s gates. It was opened to all Ilocano and it was free of charge.
“America in 3D” is also a celebration of Filipino-American friendship showcasing American cultures. It was an opportunity for Ilocano to meet representatives of the U.S. Embassy who were there on hand throughout the program. There were musical performances and an exhibit of classic American cars and motorcycles.
Despite his hectic schedule, Ambassador Thomas and the rest of the delegates were able to visit Paoay Church in Paoay Ilocos Norte, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best examples of Baroque Churches in the Philippines. (Aiza Marie Viloria, PGIN-CMO)