The following is an excerpt from what an FSN in the Philippines posted in Facebook. Apparently, he was invited to the presentation of credentials by the new US ambassador to the Philippines at the presidential palace:
“When I first learned that I was invited to attend Ambassador Thomas’s presentation of credentials, I was very excited and had to read the email many times to make sure it was correct. The Ambassador was only allowed to bring five people with his delegation for the ceremonial presentation of his credentials to Malacañan Palace and he wanted a locally employed staff member to attend. There are more or less 1,200 locally engaged staff under the Chief of Mission here at the Embassy Manila and being selected to represent the local employee community was a great honor.
At the initial planning meeting I did not pay much attention to the discussion and was more worried about what I would wear to such an important event. After this meeting, I called my wife and asked her if the dark suit I had in the closet since 1996 can still be used and if she could bring it to the laundry shop for rush cleaning. I have never been to Malacañan Palace and have never met a Philippine President in person, especially while accompanying the Ambassador with the rest of the delegation from the Embassy. Wow!
The ceremonial events, including the wreath laying at the Rizal monument, were amazing to say the least. It is not common that locally employed staff working at an Embassy be given an opportunity to join the Ambassador during the ceremonial presentation of their credentials to the Palace. I want to thank Ambassador Thomas and DCM Basset for giving me the opportunity to represent the local community at this important ceremony. Through this act of inviting me to the ceremony, I know firsthand that our new Ambassador is aware of the important role that locally employed staff have in the operations of U.S. Embassy and has a great respect for the services we all provide.”