DISPATCHES FROM THE PHILIPPINES
Lingle begins ceremony-filled Philippine trip
She is given several honors, including a key to Manila
MANILA » Gov. Linda Lingle began a day of ceremony by laying a wreath at a monument dedicated to Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, the martyr whose execution led to the Philippine revolution against the Spanish.
Star-Bulletin reporter Craig Gima is on assignment in the Philippines, where Gov. Linda Lingle is leading an official visit to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Filipino immigration to Hawaii.
Lingle was accompanied today by Manila Mayor Lito Atienza and an honor guard as a military band played "Pilipinas Kong Mahal" ("My Beloved Philippines").
After the ceremony, Atienza presented Lingle with a key to the city.
Later today, Lingle was to meet with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and help unveil a stamp commemorating 100 years of Filipino immigration to Hawaii.
She is also being presented an honorary degree in public management from the University of Manila, a rare honor, said deputy Honolulu consul general Eva Betita, who said she cannot remember another U.S. governor who has received the degree.
Lingle is scheduled to meet the local press before a dinner at the Pantalan Seafood Restaurant overlooking Manila Bay. The dinner is hosted by Atienza, a former Hawaii resident.
The big event of the night is a concert with "American Idol" star Jasmine Trias and dancers from Tihati's Polynesian Review on the baywalk fronting Manila Bay.
Trias is popular in the Philippines. Her face is on billboards all over the city advertising cell phones and other products.
Roxas Boulevard, the Kalakaua Avenue of Manila, is being closed down to traffic to accommodate the expected crowd of at least 4,000 people.
COURTESY GOV. LINGLE
Gov. Linda Lingle, Mandaluyong Mayor Neptali "Boyet" Gonzales and his wife, Queenie, attended a welcome dinner yesterday for the Hawaii delegation, hosted by Mayor Gonzales.