New Congen Senen Mangalile extends ‘offer of partnership’ to Northeast FilAms

‘Seasoned diplomat, well-loved by the Filipino community in London.’ Facebook photos

By Cristina DC Pastor

Ambassador Senen Mangalile, a career diplomat and a former teacher in a Catholic school for boys, is the new consul general in New York.

In a New Year’s message to the Filipino community on January 9, Mangalile said he extends “with absolute sincerity an offer of partnership” to Filipino Americans in the U.S. Northeast. He noted how the consulate in NYC is ushering in the new year with “colleagues having left for reassignment at home or to other Foreign Service posts” and others like himself arriving to “continue the task of providing consular service to this region.

He said, “I hope that in the next 12 months, we can spark new collaborations among various organizations and individuals for a myriad of positive endeavours, such as promoting Philippine culture, protecting the rights of migrants, strengthening economic linkages, and celebrating the significant contributions of Filipino Americans to the fabric of American society.”

“And so the new mission begins,” he writes on Facebook with a photo of the imposing Philippine Center building on Fifth Avenue. With this image, he informally announced on social media the next chapter in his diplomatic journey. He succeeds former Consul General Elmer Cato who is now  the consul general in Milan, Italy.

Before coming to New York, Mangalile was Chief of Mission II in the Philippine Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. He was previously Deputy Chief of Mission and consul general at the Philippine Embassy in the United Kingdom. He was elected the 2018 president of the Consular Corps of London (CCL), the association of all Consuls General and consular officers, both career and honorary, working in London. He is the first ASEAN diplomat to lead the prestigious club with a 121-year history. 

With Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo in Manila.

When Queen Elizabeth passed on September 8, 2022, he recalled the rare occasions he had met the Queen up close when he was in London: his presentations of credentials, three evening receptions for the diplomatic corps, and garden parties at Buckingham Palace and the Royal Ascot. He remembered an evening reception in 2014, when he and then-Ambassador and now Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo decided to attend wearing the Barong Tagalog instead of the customary White Tie.

He writes with deadpan humor  in a Rotary Club newsletter: “And so, clad with piña fabric on that cold December evening, (we) shivered our way to Buckingham Palace. The result was worth it, indeed. In a sea of formal tails and long gowns, attendees who wore national dresses stood out.”

Mangalile was a born-and-bred Bulakeno, with roots in Baliuag and Malolos.

Before becoming a career diplomat, he worked as public relations officer at Philippine National Bank (1993-1997), Philosophy instructor at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Guiguinto, Bulacan (1990-1995), and classroom teacher at the Immaculate Conception School for Boys in Malolos. He has a Master of Science (with Distinction) degree in Diplomacy, Statecraft, and Foreign Policy from Loughborough University (2016-2017). He went to the University of the Philippines for his Law studies in 1993 and before that Ateneo de Manila University where he majored in Philosophy (1990-1992).

“Incoming Consul General Senen Mangalile is a seasoned career diplomat. He has the appropriate qualifications, experience and skill set to deal with the various interests of the Filipino diaspora,” said Ambassador Mario de Leon when reached by The FilAm. “I know that he was well loved by the Filipino community when he served as the consul general in the Philippine Embassy in London. I have no doubt that he will hit the ground running when he assumes his post in New York.”

De Leon also noted that  Mangalile will be the “third consul general in the Big Apple who previously served in London in the same capacity. The others being myself and then Congen Tess de Vega.”

On departing  Switzerland, Mangalile thanked the central European nation for a “short but chocolatey sweet” tour of duty. Bern is the birthplace of Toblerone.

De Leon said Mangalile has a good sense of humor.

© The FilAm 2023

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