DFA, DLSU Celebrate National Women’s Month with a Diplomatic Dialogue on Women in Diplomacy for DLSU Students


Amb. Belen Anota, Usec. Linglingay Lacanlale, Amb. Cristina Ortega, Amb. Cecilia Rebong, and Amb. Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek during the panel discussion.

04 April 2018 MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) celebrated National Women’s Month at The Learning Commons, Henry Sy, Sr. Hall on March 23 with a Diplomatic Dialogue entitled “Women in Diplomacy: Do Women Make Better Diplomats?”, an interactive discussion with students of De La Salle University and the College of Saint Benilde.

The diplomatic dialogue featured five distinguished women diplomats in the Philippine Foreign Service Corps: Undersecretary Linglingay F. Lacanlale, Ambassador Belen F. Anota, Ambassador Cristina G. Ortega, Ambassador Cecilia B. Rebong, and Ambassador Melita S. Sta. Maria-Thomeczek.

The women diplomats shared their experiences and the challenges they had to overcome to be effective ambassadors. While they shared that they had not experienced the proverbial glass ceiling in the Philippine Foreign Service – thanks to the work of the women who came before them, such as the late Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Ambassador Delia D. Albert, the first and only female Secretary of Foreign Affairs – all agreed that the biggest challenge facing women diplomats was achieving a balance between family and career.

On whether women made better diplomats, not all the ambassadors were in agreement. However, they all agreed that what made a better diplomat were the values they believed in: love of country and the desire to serve the Filipinos here and abroad.

The event was spearheaded by Ambassador Delia D. Albert, De La Salle University and the Human Resources Management Office of the DFA.

The event also featured an exhibit entitled “Filipina Firsts” which featured 13 Filipina Diplomats who served as First Female Heads of Posts and First Female Secretary of Foreign Affairs. END


Usec. Linglingay Lacanlale, Amb. Belen Anota, Amb. Delia Albert, Amb. Cristina Ortega, Amb. Cecilia Rebong, and Amb. Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek during the opening of the exhibit.