LOS ANGELES — Farewells are always both sad and bright like after the rain. June has been a string of goodbye parties for LA Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim
Out of their ink-stained asylums, the LA media trooped to the Philippine Consulate. From town hall meetings at the Rizal Hall, where elbows, perfumes and conversations invaded even the cramped space of one’s chair, the meetings were more like a little convergence of the relatively tame media that constantly complain in silence that they’re treated with benign neglect.
The Fil-Am community who are bound by strength in numbers and locked with dedication to their respected endeavors, represent and affect collective thoughts and ideas in order to ensure the victory of any undertaking. The ConGen had given us his over all reflections on his 3 1/2 years stint as representative of the president.
The media, youth group, Fil-Am organizations, prominent businessmen women, and civil leaders will remember his renowned skills on economic diplomacy, comprehensive knowledge on local and international economy.
It is said that the art of diplomacy is a blend of fact, fiction and poetry. With its peculiar comments of hints and harmonious overtures, it is about the important, the tragic, the smug, the amusing and humane. In a wealth of lighthearted knowledge about how foreign services actually work from their cloistered embassy, to summit meetings on the problems of international life. Thru a fund of anecdotes and quotations, we’re able to parch on, now and then lies a persuasive message.
Splendid requirements? But these are the qualities expected of an ideal diplomat.
The public image of diplomats (particularly reflected in the media) could be at times, strangely confusing — their life and work, their skills and abilities, flaws and vulnerability and their wit.
How they ever deal between posturings of the politically committed, to find a middle course into the well-oiled mechanism of international relations, of its complexities, negotiations and political assessment; we will never know.
For some time, we’ve meant to ask the ConGen some of the lighter aspects on diplomacy. If there are more entertaining and amusing aspects, including the trivialities of diplomacy helped by fiction, and a bit of humor like, “Sir, was there ever a time, you had marched us to the president, whom you represent in a foreign land and had politely asked, ‘Mr. President, Sir, is there something I should know, or do not know?’” And before he could reply, we continued, You know, sir, for deniability.”
The ensuing repartee was such a diplomatic treat that I have yet to recover as we found ourselves conversing with with such polish and elegance,
We have varying reasons for liking our very own Consul General. First, he is a good ConGen, as he supports the Fil-Am community under his jurisdiction and defends our interest, without blinked insularity. He is just and expedient, and applies a mix of tact and humor in any form of conduct.
At the Consulate our consuls are there to help us with accidents, illness, death, emergency passports and imprisonment. They cannot, of course, do everything that is asked of them. They are not (surprisingly often expected) travel agents, bankers, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, detectives or nannies. But if something goes seriously wrong, they are there for our countrymen.
Good Luck, Good health Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim, till we meet again!