Consul Mary Jennifer Dingal & Vice Consul Alfred Guiang – Illustrado 300 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf
Consul Mary Jennifer Dingal
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Currently, the Head of the Political, Economic, Community Relations and Special Concerns Sections, and Focal Point Officer for Gender and Development (GAD) and Overseas Voting of the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Consul Mary Jennifer Dingal started her career as a diplomat 2003. Since then, she has been assigned to the Office of Protocol; Office of Consular Affairs; Office of Middle East and African Affairs; and Office of Personnel and Administrative Services, while in Manila. She has been assigned to the Philippine Embassies in Tripoli, Libya (with concurrent jurisdiction of Algeria, Chad, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia) and Riyadh, Kingdom Saudi Arabia (with concurrent jurisdiction over the Republic of Yemen) during her foreign assignments. She was also the first female officer to be assigned to the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli since the beginning of the Philippines-Libya diplomatic relations.
Besides the promotion of migrant welfare and rights, Consul Dingal’s advocacies include female and people empowerment, promotion of quality education, the advancement of arts and culture, and the promotion of indigenous culture. Hoping for a more empowered representation of the Filipino community, she remarks, “It’s high time that our host country and other expat communities see us as not just a source of competent and hardworking manpower,” she says. “I want them to see the beauty, richness, and diversity of Philippine culture through our songs, dances, films, and fashion.” She furthers, “Filipinos can elevate themselves by continuing to learn, grow, develop, and master the values of excellence and competitiveness, professionalism and selfless service.”
Vice Consul Alfred Guiang
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Working to oversee the largest percentage of Filipinos away from home is often a tedious and complex task – one that vice consul Alfred Guiang takes to heart. Posted as the Vice Consul of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah, he undertakes the legal, security, and domestic issues that take place on a day to day basis within the Filipino community – ensuring stability and maintaining harmony between the Philippines and KSA. “Being able to assist Filipinos in distress is a form of public service and a vocation as well,” he says.
As Administrative Officer and Head of the Cultural Section, Vice Consul Guiang also plays the lead in espousing and supporting initiatives that both enhance and promote Filipino culture and heritage across the region. He has been instrumental in mounting community events such as the Independence Day celebration, National Arts Month, Filipino Food Festival, Rizal Day, and etc. which aim to engage the Filipino community, especially the young ones in order to educate them about Philippine history, culture, tradition, and arts. He shares,” Through these activities, we hope that we would be able to instill in them a love for their country despite being far away from home.”