Foreign Service Institute Officer-in-Charge Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat (standing) explains that the book, “Women in Diplomacy: The Remarkable Ambassadors in the Philippine Foreign Service” is released in time for the 10th year of the Philippine Magna Carta of Women.
Seated (L-R): Amb. Rosalinda Tirona, Amb. Narcisa Escaler, Amb. Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia, Usec. Ernesto Abella, Amb. Linglingay Lacanlale, Amb. Celia Anna Feria, and Amb. Grace Princesa.

The Philippines’s women diplomats, from across generations and geographic assignments, gathered together to share their experiences in foreign service during the launch of the pioneering book, “Women in Diplomacy: The Remarkable Ambassadors in the Philippine Foreign Service,” on 11 October 2019 at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The book is a joint publication of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) and the DFA and is the Institute’s first book that humanizes the demands of foreign relations through narratives from women Ambassadors.

FSI Officer-in-Charge Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat explained, “This publication is made more special because it highlights and celebrates the achievements of Filipino women Ambassadors who have special footprints in the history of global women empowerment.”

FSI launched the book as the country celebrates the 10th year of its enactment of the Magna Carta of Women.

During the launch, book editor and former DFA Secretary Delia Domingo-Albert noted that from 1958 when the first woman Ambassador was appointed, “a total of 90 women ambassadors have served and continue to serve in the Philippine Foreign Service.”

Ambassador Albert was the first career woman Ambassador to have served as Foreign Affairs Secretary in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia.

Amb. Delia Domingo-Albert, book editor and the first career woman Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, explains the long history of the book “Women in Diplomacy: The Remarkable Ambassadors in the Philippine Foreign Service,” which, she says, had drawn inspiration from the 2004 remarks of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who had met a number of remarkable women diplomats serving in various Philippine Embassies around the world.

Thirty-seven (37) women Ambassadors wrote their “reflections” for the book. There were also contributed tributes for the late Ambassadors Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Helena Benitez. The following Ambassadors participated as panelists during the book launch: Amb. Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia, Amb. Narcisa Escaler, Amb. Celia Anna Feria, Amb. Linglingay Lacanlale, and Amb. Grace Princesa.