MISTER INTERNATIONAL VISITS CONSULATE OF LEBANON IN THE PHILIPPINES
Reigning Mister International Ali Hammoud from Lebanon visited their consulate in Manila last Saturday. The visit was part of his goodwill visit in the country to promote healthy lifestyle, friendship, generosity and the Mister International Philippines 2013 finals. Together with Mister International founder Alan Sim and Mister International Philippines 2013 organizers, Ali was warmly welcomed by honorary consul Joseph Assad and his staff.
While we are on our way to the office of Consulate of Lebanon in Alabang, Ali was very excited to meet someone that is also from Lebanon. He cannot imagine how Lebanese made a good mark in a country that is very far from Lebanon.
The moment we entered the office, we felt the presence of Lebanese culture, its like “Lebanon in the Philippines”, all pictures, posters and ads were all about Lebanon. We learned that Lebanon has four seasons and it’s a country of warm and loving people as the way the consulate treated the whole entourage.
Hon. Joseph Assad and Ali had great time discussing the life in Lebanon and also how’s Lebanese people enjoy the Philippines. Hon. Assad is now permanently living in the Philippines with his family including his very handsome son, that can be a future Mister lebanon or Mister Philippines!
The profile of Hon Assad shows that he was an easy go lucky “laki sa layaw” before but became serious when he started to raise his own family.
On May 2, 2000, a hiccup hit his idyllic life when the extremist Abu Sayyaf snatched 21 people, including Lebanese Marie Moarbes and nine other tourists, from Sipadan, Malaysia.
And since Joe’s mother, father and brother served as consul, diplomatic communications began coming in by fax to Joe’s office. They wanted the consul—that’s his brother who was back in Lebanon—to help in the crisis.
With his brother’s absence, Joe was appointed acting consul to accompany the girl’s father until her release.
On February 14, 2005, Joe was officially appointed as consul of Lebanon.
“I couldn’t be happier right now, I’m so proud of myself that I was able to mature from a hopeless case…. I feel that I have given my children also these principles,”
On the other hand, Ali was very happy knowing how Lebanese made their mark in the country. Some of them are famous businessman, musician and politicians.
Ali and Joe enjoyed both the Philippines and Lebanon and they have countless of stories about their native country. Ali told everyone how good and peaceful his life in Lebanon is. According to him, it is a country of peace and not war.
Ali was born in Lebanon’s Sidon district, Kfarmilki, a place he is quick to praise for its uniqueness in which the rich and poor work harmoniously to make the town an even better place. With such a conducive environment, he spent a large part of his childhood playing football with his neighbors. Ali cites his family as a positive influence in his life and the source of his strength.
Before we left the consulate, Ali said that he is always and forever grateful to meet someone that is making him proud as a Lebanese.
Ali is in the Philippines as part of Mister International Philippines 2013 that will be held on June 12 at the historic city of San Juan and produced by Prime Events Productions.