Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton in the Philippines

November 13, 2009
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Talks with Secretary Clinton
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Walks Beside Secretary Clinton
Secretary Clinton Speaks at a Forum with Students at the University of Santo Tomas
Secretary Clinton Claps During a Forum with Students at the University of Santo Tomas
Secretary Clinton Smiles During a Forum with Students at the University of Santo Tomas
Secretary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney at a Ceremony Remembering U.S. and Allied Forces in World War II
Secretary Clinton Pauses as She Lays a Wreath for Fallen Soldiers and Allied Forces in World War II
Secretary Clinton Tours the American Cemetery Following a Wreath-laying Ceremony for Fallen Soldiers and Allied Forces in World War II

Trip Information Page | Interactive Travel Map | Text the SecretaryAbout the Author: Kristie A. Kenney serves as U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines.

Secretary Clinton's first day in Manila ended with a lovely and gracious dinner hosted by Philippine President Arroyo. The thirty guests ate local fish and fruit specialties while talking about world issues, cultural trends and sharing stories and laughs.

The next morning found her heading out super early for a live, televised "Townterview" with students from across the Philippines. Held at 400-year-old University of Santo Tomas, more than a thousand students from Manila universities packed the auditorium, all wearing school colors. Others participated via remote link from around the country and still others sent in questions via YouTube and text messages. Secretary Clinton was relaxed as she talked big global issues and Philippine issues. Her passion for the role of civil society in promoting peace, human rights and good governance was obvious. She also reflected with pride on serving her country and on being part of President Obama's team. She laughed with the sports enthusiasts in the student crowd when describing her support for the not-so-victorious New York Knicks.

After shaking more hands and posing for more pictures, she took time to talk to a local radio DJ about the importance of voting and getting young voters engaged in elections.

The mood shifted more somber as she then headed to the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. The cemetery, built and maintained by the American Battlefield Monument Commission, holds graves of more than 17,000 World War II dead while the walls list the names of thousands more missing-in-action from World War II. Secretary Clinton laid a wreath at the cemetery and took a few moments to talk with World War II veterans who had come to the cemetery to greet her.

She then headed back across town, through the world famous Manila traffic, to the historic U.S. Embassy located on Manila Bay. There she swore in 68 new Peace Corps volunteers, telling them of the great service they provide to both the Philippines and the United States. She told them of the great tradition of the Peace Corps in the Philippines where more than 8,000 volunteers have served since the program began decades ago. She thanked the Filipino partners of the Peace Corps as well as the Filipino "host" families of the Peace Corps who were also in attendance.

She ended her Manila visit with a short session with U.S. military temporarily deployed in the Philippines, hearing of their experiences and thanking them for serving our nation. And then she greeted her thousands of U.S. Embassy Filipino and American fans for whom she is the ultimate superstar!

Read Ambassador Kenney's previous entry.



California, USA
November 14, 2009

Normita in California writes:

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I am so proud to have followed your visit to the Philippines through your dip notes and press releases, which I gladly shared with my relatives, friends and colleagues. The depth of your knowledge and understanding of the issues are commendable and inspiring.

The thousands of students who cheered and applauded you in the auditorium and on the streets are living proof of how much you are admired and respected. You are truly a superstar wherever you stand!

God bless you in your journey.

Normita, a proud hillaryvillager

South Korea
November 14, 2009

Palgye in South Korea writes:

(Spratlys),(Paracels),(Macclesfield Bank),(Pratas)

Alfred J.
November 14, 2009

Alfred in the Philippines writes:

Secretary Clinton,

Thank you very much in taking time to visit our wonderful Country. Hopefully on your next visit you can see the famous places and Tourists spots here in the Philippines. All the best on your endeavors! I admire you in being very strong, firm and dependable Secretary on the Obama Administration. Kudos!

Jong C.
November 14, 2009

Jong C. in the Philippines writes:

Thank you Ambassador Kenney for keeping us updated. Didn't have the chance to see Secretary Clinton, but we are all one in feeling that this is a historic moment. The Philippines has always been an ally of the U.S. and we are very thankful of all the support by the USAID, the Peace Corps, the Visiting Forces and all help extended by the U.S. Manila was all abuzz about the visit as it became an extraordinary opportunity to see such a great lady of U.S. politics. The Philippines loves Hillary Clinton!

California, USA
November 14, 2009

Normita in California writes:

Madame Secretary, the beautiful images and sounds of your visit to the Philippines have been embedded in the hearts of the people who joined in spirit, in person, on television, on radio to welcome you. You have inspired and renewed their belief in the long standing relationship between the two countries. More importantly, you now know that you and your husband have the biggest fun club in the Philippines!

Salamat po at Mabuhay! God bless you in your journey.

November 18, 2009

Heilpflanzen in Germany writes:

The Philippines are honored to have the opportunity to personally express our deep gratitude to Secretary Clinton for the timely and substantial assistance given by the U.S. Government during natural disasters. As Secretary Clinton has said, she was visiting them to show solidarity with our friends in the Philippines who have been battered and have suffered so much.


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