Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Courtesy Call of the Honolulu City Council Delegation (HCCD) and participants of the 31st Trade Mission of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (FCCH)

Event Courtesy Call of the Honolulu City Council Delegation
Location Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace

PRESIDENT MARCOS: I suppose we have to start with a traditional Hawaiian greeting. Aloha!

CROWD: Aloha!

PRESIDENT MARCOS: And welcome for those who have come from Hawaii, originally from Hawaii, welcome to the Philippines. For our Hawaiian— Filipino-Hawaiian members here, welcome back to the Philippines and welcome to you all to the Palace. And I’m so happy to be able to welcome you here.

As I can see that the work that you’re doing is something very important for all of us. Of course, the connection between Hawaii and the Philippines and especially to northern Philippines where myself and the Executive Secretary come from, is quite a longstanding one.

And immediately brings us to— my own experience and despite the difficult circumstances that surrounded our stay in Hawaii, Hawaiians made it as pleasant and as best as we could make it. And for that we will never be— we will never forget and we will be forever grateful.

Now, on to the trade missions that you have been conducting and the possibilities that you have been exploring in terms of strengthening the economic ties and trade ties between Hawaii specifically and the Philippines, I think there is a great deal of potential there.

As there are so many similarities in terms of what are needed and what needs to be done in terms of the state of Hawaii and the Philippines, and in specific areas of the Philippines.

And it is very important that we in this administration has really done all we can to encourage the strengthening of those exchanges because we consider it very, very important. We have always— we have come to a very clear principle that the only way forward in terms of the economy in the Philippines and for that matter, the rest of the world is trade.

And although we had to be a little protectionist during the pandemic and we had to protect our own people first before anything else— well that situation has changed; the circumstances have changed.

And now I think we are presented with so many grand opportunities that we should–it behooves us to do our best, to try and explore those, to make those potentialities into reality and there are many, many areas that we can do that.

For our part, in the Philippines, what we have been trying to do— is to make the investments or the exchanges easier so that it is more transparent, more accountable, and in terms of cost as well. I mean all of these—the supply, the supply chain problems that we’ve been encountering around the world.

Those are the problems that we have tried to remedy and to alleviate and I think that we have succeeded to an extent. We will continue to work in that direction because again, trade is important to us and specifically for Hawaii, trade is particularly important to the Philippines because as you say, that connection between the Philippines and Hawaii, and especially northern Philippines and Hawaii is really quite the traditional already, we can say.

And so again, I think I see many grand opportunities and I thank you for coming and— to explore those opportunities and try to make them into a reality for the betterment of both Hawaii and this— your partnership with the Philippines.

Again, as I said, it’s a— you say that we— you have a special space in your hearts and in like-fashion, I have a special place in my heart for Hawaii, especially the people of Hawaii for [applause] for the kindnesses that we were shown. I mean it is a– on a more personal intimate level–the kindnesses that we were shown, as again, in difficult circumstances are something that we will forever be grateful for and that we will never forget. And therefore, you have your number one supporter here in the Philippines. [applause and cheers]

Maraming salamat po. Mahalo! Thank you very much.