The ally America
Some may say that the America in 3D road show is a superfluity especially that the Philippines has been an ally of the United States of America since World War II and will always be.
Candidly, though, it is one program of the US Embassy in Manila that is comparable to the “barangayan” program of local government units in the Philippines. This brainchild of US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr was more likely to bring the Philippine-American friendship to a more sensual level, one that is warmly felt by local residents.
On its sixth tour in the country, America in 3D is a project that makes the America’s amity with the Filipinos more palpable. According to US Embassy Deputy Press Attache Cynthia Cook, it has nothing to do with the economic recession in the US that has possible impact on the people from the third world countries to strive to achieve the so-called “American Dream”. Neither should it be construed as a defensive effort against China’s bullish stance of becoming another super power on Planet Earth.
Cook explained, America in 3D (Diplomacy, Democracy and Defense) is a replication of a similar program Ambassador Thomas has started in a smaller scale during his assignment in Bangladesh. Launched in 2011 in Quezon City, A3D “showcases American culture and services in the Philippines highlighting on the aforementioned 3D.” It rolled in Baguio, Cebu, Iloilo and Ilocos Norte. Cook said she has yet no idea where the next tour will be after Tacloban.
In the news release distributed to local newsmen during the press conference held at the Robinsons Place on March 2, Amb. Thomas was quoted, “America in 3D is the signature outreach program of the US Embassy” that “allows us to meet Filipinos of all walks of life, and to celebrate our two cultures and the longstanding US-Philippines relationship. I am delighted that the next America in 3D will occur where General MacArthur returned to the Philippines – it is a great symbol of our shared history and friendship.”
On the lighter side, Amb. Thomas expressed excitement in being back to Leyte where his father, a US Army veteran, was once deployed. He said in the interview that if it used to be his dad who would talk to the family about the Leyte and nice things about the people of Leyte, now it would be him who will tell her mom about the goodness of Leyte and her people. This is one reason, as Ms. Cook said in an exclusive talk with this writer, that made Amb. Thomas choose Leyte and Tacloban as among the first places to do the A3D road show.
A3D is an added boost to the good relations between the US and the Philippines although may not at all be required in the light of the consistent cooperation that the US has forged with the Philippine government on various developmental pursuits. Although not all visa applications for migration to US are approved in fact there could be more denied applications than not, the strong ties between these two nations is enough reason for Filipinos to nurture that “American Dream,” more so that US remains the “land of opportunities.”
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