“I have been admiring her and her work from afar – very impressed and more importantly proud, seeing her as a “superwoman” and role model to many – from the young to the veterans and more seasoned kababayans.” – Venessa Manzano
Editor’s Note: During the 2018 Distinguished Filipino Women honoring night on March 12, which the Philippine Consulate started as a tradition since 2015, The Filipino School of NY NJ founder Venessa Manzano, also past awardee, gives it to Consul General Tess Dizon de Vega, for being an incredibly inspiring and energetic leader herself.
As we sit here today, celebrating Women’s History Month and the accomplishments of this year’s honorees, it is also an opportune moment for us to acknowledge another distinguished woman in our midst, someone who has always put others before herself, someone who always reminded us of the importance of love of country, love of our heritage, love of our people and culture; trying to put the Philippines and the Filipino in the forefront so that we receive the recognition we have so-long deserved.
She has been a staunch advocate and supporter of second generation Filipino Americans, giving us opportunities to become more involved in the community, in giving back, in connecting us to our ancestral lands, in becoming more politically engaged. And she is also giving voice to other segments of our community that have been unrecognized for quite some time, like the World War II veterans, migrant workers and other immigrants, senior citizens as well as families with young children.
In addition to her work with the community, she also manages to spend quality time with her beautiful daughter Monsie, be a supportive and loving wife to her equally busy and hardworking other half, Ambassador Eddie De Vega, and geek out on the latest, as well as classic, films and books.
Since her arrival in NYC years ago under then Consul General Mario De Leon, she might not have known this but she has been one of my role models as she embodies and shares many of the same ideals and attributes as me – so I can totally relate and I have someone to aspire to. She is thoughtful and kind, intelligent, creative and innovative, well-dressed (I just love her outfits especially those made of native fabrics and design), poised and beautiful all throughout.
Although I haven’t been able to attend many of the events and activities she hosts, I have been admiring her and her work from afar – very impressed and more importantly proud, seeing her as a “superwoman” and role model to many – from the young to the veterans and more seasoned kababayans.
If only we had more time with you ConGen, it is our time with you and the memories we have of you that we will treasure while you move on to your next post, which you so rightfully deserve. And while you continue on the path that God has chosen for you, we will continue the legacy you have started here in order to help you fulfill your dream of providing for a better everything for the Filipino people.
Consul General Tess, you’ve committed yourself to a lifetime of dedicated service to Filipinos, both in the Philippines and abroad. And there are no words to express how very appreciative and how lucky we are to have had the chance to work with you and know you during your time here in New York City. So, on behalf of The Filipino School of New York & New Jersey, the members of CORE, second generation Filipino Americans, Filipina women and mothers, I present you this certificate of appreciation that serves as a simple reminder of how loved you are here and how much you will be missed. So, please keep posting on social media so we know how you are and keep us abreast of the great things you’re working on… so that it also feels like we’re still there with you.
Thank you again for everything, and best wishes! Hanggang sa muli.
The Filipino School of New York and New Jersey