How a GenSan Tuna Slicer Wowed US Ambassador Kristie Kenney
Following the graduation of 30 out-of-school youth from Marcellin Foundation (read account here), my friend Kristie Kenney, the US Ambassador to the Philippines rushed to one of the country’s TOP 5 Model Markets, the Gen. Santos City Central Public Market for another USAID-funded project for the city under the EcoGov program.
There, she was met by about 2,000 excited market people all eager to see her. It took her awhile to negotiate the access road separating Phase A building and Phase B building to the tent where the program will be held, because a lot of her new fans wanted to shake her hand, a wish she most easily acquiesced to. It was 1:30pm and despite the scorching heat, she also gamely waved and flashed her million wattage smile to everyone from the steps of both phases. [quote1]
The occasion was actually the Memo of Agreement-signing between the city government of GenSan and Basic Needs Services-Phils. regarding the (brace for this looonnng title) (#1) Preparation of the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) & Detailed Cost Plan for the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) of the City Public Market and the (another looongg one) (#2) Presentation of BNS Philippines’ contract to GenSan for the Preparation of the Public Market’s WWTF’s Detailed Engineering Design and Detailed Cost Plan (whew).
My friend Ambassador Kristie Kenney‘s assigned role is to simply hand over to GenSan Mayor Jun Acharon the signed contract during #2.
After the short ceremony brilliantly emceed by Assistant City Administrator Glennville Gonzales and a few photo ops, she dropped by the wet market where she witnessed in astonishment a master slicer cutting up a giant 40-kg yellow fin tuna for her.
It must have been a “life-changing” experience for my friend Kristie that she dug into her pocket and gave the slicer P500.00 who then immediately packed five kilos of meat from the belly of the freshly-opened fish for her.
Then it was bye-bye time for my gracious pal Kristie Kenney as she went back to the air-conditioned comfort of her car but not after leaving memories of her short, sweet visit to the palengke people of Gensan.
Below are the pictures I took of that eventful afternoon when my BFF US Ambassador Kristie Kenney visited the Central Public Market of the Tuna Capital of the Philippines and brought home with her the smiles and cheers of her market-vendor fans including two kilos of freshly-sliced yellow fin tuna belly.