Recognitions, acknowledgements, appreciations and a lot of kind words were heard from leaders of different groups and organizations led by no less than Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr, himself who presented DCG with a certificate of recognition. . .
The certificate was given to Ascalon “to express a deep appreciation for the outstanding leadership and invaluable service that he has provided to the Philippine Consul-General in San Francisco (PCG-SF) during his tenure from November 2011 to November 2017. We commend you for the untiring sense of commitment and dedication especially in promoting and imbibing the consulate’s vision to spark, connect and empower the Filipino community in the Bay Area and beyond.”
In an interview later, Bensurto shared his happiness to see the Filipino community come over here not just to see the Consulate but also to pay their last farewell and appreciation to DCG Ascalon who has always been a part of what we are trying to do.
“He has been a leader and I feel the community feels the warmth and the love the DCG has shown and I think it is their way of giving back and showing their affection to DCG. I am personally so happy to see that there is a personal connection the DCG and the community,” Bensurto added. “The person to person skills of DCG is phenomenal so as the sincerity and genuine desire of DCG to really help and do public service in all its authentic form. That speaks a lot and I am proud of that because that is what we public servants are all about to do service in all sincerity and happy to do that. The DCG exemplifies and personifies all those values and all those virtues. That is what we want the consulate to be known for.”
Aside from the Consulate, Ascalon was also given plaques and certificates by the office of State Senator Scott Weiner, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Baguio-Vallejo sister city committee on behalf of Vallejo City Mayor Bob Sampayan. .
In his response, Ascalon extended his and his family’s appreciation to all particularly the PCG-SF family led by Bensurto, the leaders and members of the Filipino community and other supporters. He did not forget to thank the Lord Almighty watched after them through all the challenges that confronted them.
“To the Filipino community, we appreciate your kind words and praises but please know that you have equally inspired us with what you have been doing, with your passion and with the service, for sending kids to school back home, helping young Filipino technopreneurs succeed, for going on your annual dental/ medical missions, for your quick response during crises in the Philippines and here in the U.S., for helping Kababayans here facing various challenges, whether it is legal, domestic abuse, labor, for promoting Philippine culture, Filipino cuisine, our heritage, Filipino-American history and many many more. It has been an honor and pleasure working with some of you on may initiatives that benefits our kababayans,” an appreciative Ascalon responded.
Mrs. Cecile Ascalon disclosed that they not made a lot of friends in San Francisco that they will never forget but also was able to grow professionally as a person.
“We had a lot of friend here. I feel that I was able to grow here in my chosen advocacy and ministry which is to serve the underprivileged especially children and seniors. It is very overwhelming to see friends, relatives with a brother coming straight from the Philippines even the seniors who are supposed to be already sleeping,” Cecile uttered.
Cecile’s younger brother long-time Philippine Basketball Association coach Ryan Gregorio who is now in the management team of Meralco PBA team was also definitely overwhelmed and happy to be associated with DCG.
“It is a great experience I am very happy that we were able to fly in here to see the love and tremendous support that Jaimon and my sister were able to generate in all six years that they were here. It is such a great feeling that they are so loved here in this part of the world. I wasn’t surprise on the sincere love that they got but I am definitely overwhelmed by the number of people that attended this standing room only event. I really did not expect this many people really loved them and for sure these were the people that were touched by the genuine service that they were able to render to our countrymen,” conveyed Gregorio who flew straight from Manila for the occasion.
Consul Rachel Oronce, one of Ascalon’s wing women together with Consul Carlyn Monastrial, admitted that along with ConGen Bensurto, DCG Ascalon “have become our guides, mentors and role models.
“It was unexpected that DCG called us his wing women but was at the same time very flattering. We have been fortunate enough to serve under DCG besides ConGen. I will miss most his sense of humor and his rendition of the song Laklak. I wish that I can follow his footsteps.”