Diplomacy 101

I have read a very interesting article about Foreign Service Officer examination. When I say ‘interesting’, I am referring that to my personal scale and interest.

Sixteen years ago, aside from pursuing law school, Foreign Service Officer (or even a staff) is the career path that I want to pursue. I envy my classmates and friends who eventually worked either at the Department of Foreign Affairs or at foreign embassies/consulates — local and international posts (again, this is aside from envying my colleagues who became lawyers — but that is another issue).

After earning my bachelor degree (AB major in Political Science) in 1996, I pursued graduate studies (MA major Political Science) for another two years, until I eventually came to Saudi Arabia to begin my ‘career’ as an OFW in 1999. At the UST Graduate School, I have had several classmates who are diplomats from Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia, this is in addition to my other classmates who are officers from the military and others working from the government including DFA, that I reckon requiring to obtain graduate degrees to further their respective careers. While me, I am just a 20 year-old ‘kid’ fresh from college. Every time there is a class discussion, my classmates would share their stories and experiences on first person basis (e.g. “my ‘blue helmet’ duty in Bosnia”, “my assignment in Turkey”, “how I negotiated to free fishermen caught fishing off our territorial sea”). Their first hand experiences, to me, are very interesting. Soon, I want to go out of the country. The first chance I got was Saudi Arabia (after not qualifying for a teaching post bound to Papua New Guinea) at the age of 23. Fortunately or unfortunately — and that I myself sometimes still find it difficult to accept, after several contracts and employers, I am still here in Saudi Arabia (a silent witness to the pre-9/11 and post-9/11 Saudi Arabia, perhaps one day I can write a book about it).

Anyhow, to those intending to become a Foreign Service Officer, this is a very good read: How to take the Foreign Service Officer exam posted at http://www.rappler.com a couple of days ago.

Meantime, the article brought me back to Youtube videos, that I stumbled upon last year. I would insist the video remains educational, particularly with the ‘spelling bee’ portion, lol.

Diplomacy 101 with Philippine Ambassador to China, Domingo Lee:

I do not usually post articles about politics on this blogsite, but hey what the heck, I may start posting similar blogs soon.

By the way, there are two ways to become a Foreign Service Officer:

  • 1. Take the FSO Examination and be a career diplomat (preparation requires being knowledgeable in Philippine and world history, awareness on current events and issues, be able to learn at least another Language aside from Filipino and English, and should know a lot about politics, economic dynamics and international relations — among others.)
  • or

  • 2. Know someone from the government and get an appointment. Bonus I believe, is that political appointees usually get the juicy posts.

Seriously, I hope the Philippines can have more career diplomats than that of those appointed with questionable credentials and qualifications.

“A diplomat is a perfect gentleman sent abroad to lie for his country.”


About swrphome

Sophie's World, Rinojo's Playground. Almost crazy. Usually sane. Occasionally busy. Always lazy.

Posted on 26 November 2012, in Me, Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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