Even before the Honorable Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz, was formally introduced to the various members of the Filipino American community of the Los Angeles area last Aug. 17 changes at his new assignment had already become visible and people were leaving the premises with smile on their faces after transacting their businesses with the consulate.
The committed staff that held the fort when the previous envoy ended his tour of duty did a wonderful job of making the local expats experience what the new Philippine administration herald as an era of change. As a frequent visitor to the Consulate, I can attest to the changes starting at the reception with a new security guard in place.
In a short span of time, change has been actualized in a Philippine government office thousands of miles away and people like it and expects more.
The Consular staff at the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles were successful in “manning the fort” at the end of the tour of service of the previous envoy. Drawing inspiration from the new dispensation determined at infusing more meaning and urgency in serving the public may have done it.
This change did not escape the notice of the new Consul General, a career officer whose forte is crisis management, in his brief remarks before a select group of media practitioners and civic leaders at a welcome reception at the Consulate.
The program was brief with few questions of different concerns coming from the audience and leaving enough time for “fellowship and getting to know you”.
Congen Cruz has struck his audience as a no nonsense diplomat endowed with “strategic vision”. Prior to his Los Angeles assignment, he served as Vice Consul of the Philippine Consulate in Chicago, from1997-2003.
He was the First Secretary and Consul from March 2007 until December 2009 at the United Arab Emirates; First Secretary and Consul General from December 2009 to November 2010.
He served as Minister and Consul General at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and as Consul General and Head of Post at the Philippine Consulate in the People’s Republic of China.
Congen Cruz graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Political Science and had units in law from the Ateneo de Manila which earned a ticket to serve in the Department of Foreign Affairs in various capacities.
He served as Acting Director in the Office of Protocol and State Visits; Acting Director in the Office of American Affairs, and Executive Director of the Office of Protocol and State Visits. He has been in public service for more than 3 decades.
Congen Cruz hails from a family of engineers (his father is a mechanical engineer as well as his four brothers and an aunt) and not becoming one had “disappointed the latter” as previously reported.
What Congen Cruz might have missed building infrastructures as an engineer, he more than made up in his career building human relationship among people as a consul general.
Originally from Quezon City, Congen Cruz is married to Catherine Amon Cruz with whom he has three children – Christian Nathan, Aaron Matthew and Angeline Nicole.
The LA Consulate has consular jurisdiction covering Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Kern, and San Luis Obispo; Southern Nevada (Clark, Lincoln and Nye); Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
With all indications, more is yet to come and the Filipino community is just as eager to help “walk the talk”.
Welcome to California, Congen Cruz!