Another gentleman-diplomat is leaving the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and Northern Emirates. He is in the person of Deputy Consul General Giovanni “Giovy” Endencia Palec who will be going back to the home office in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs.
I met Atty. Palec, he was a private sector lawyer before joining the foreign service more than 20 years ago, in Muscat, Oman in 2006 when I chaperoned ABS-CBN Showgirl Cherry Lou in March 2006 for a show before the Filipino community. He was very accommodating and he even invited me to have lunch at their home but my schedule was full of meetings that time being in charge of sales and marketing of The Filipino Channel. The next time I saw Atty. Palec was in Dubai two years ago. Actually, he has been in Dubai for the past three and a half years coming from Wellington, New Zealand where he was posted for two and a half years.
The tour of duty of diplomats is for six years in any overseas posting and then they go back home for two to three years. I’m pretty sure our paths will cross someday and I would be addressing Atty. Palec Mr. Ambassador. My previous consul general friends Benito Valeriano and Noel Servigon are already ambassadors. It is also a matter of time for Frank Cimafranca to become one. And, of course, for Paul Raymund Cortes to be an ambassador, too, but not in the near term because he has five more years in Dubai.
Atty. Palec is a good father to his and her wife’s, Novalyn Andaya, three daughters. His paternalistic character was evident when our nephew needed assistance from the consulate and Atty. Palec treated my nephew like he was a son. He would sometimes ask for an update about my nephew whenever we see each other.
We had collaborated together in the registration of absentee voters in October 2015 when the Consulate field team visited St. Francis Church in Jebel Ali. Atty. Palec supervised the registration with Consul Ryan Pondoc. He has also given me valuable advice on cases which I have forwarded to him being in charge of the Assistance to Nationals office.
See you wherever, whenever future Ambassador Giovanni Palec!