US ambassador to the Philippines bids farewell to the country

Published October 4, 2020, 8:14 AM

by Vianca Gamboa

After four years of alliance, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim leaves post in the United States’ “oldest ally” in Asia after being appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Indonesia.

In his farewell letter, the diplomat recounted the most valuable days of his tenure—from the embassy’s partnership to end the Marawi Siege, to the historic return of the Balangiga bells, to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Time and time again I was amazed at what Americans and Filipinos could achieve together. When I depart, I will take with me many indelible memories,” he says.

The departure comes as a surprise, especially for the youth groups and the partnerships he has harnessed for outstanding students. 

“Recognizing the unlimited potential of these ties, our governments elevated higher education cooperation to a bilateral strategic priority,” he says.“This mutual investment reinforces our shared values as democracies and underscores that the Philippines’ greatest resource has, and always will be, its people.

Ambassador Sung Kim has also cited his life-changing experience from the embassy’s intervention in the Marawi conflict, in which the sector provided P3.1billion to support the recovery of its communities.

“While the massive destruction caused by the terrorists was heartbreaking, I saw the best of humanity in the strength and resilience of the Marawi people,” he says.“During a meeting with teachers and students, I was awestruck by their positive attitude, energy, and resolve to rebuild.” 

The duration may have been short, but he promises to continue forging bond and partnership with the country he called home, even in small ways. 

“The next time I wear a barong, enjoy lechon, crispy tilapia, or buko pandan with my wife and daughters, we will remember with fondness the wonderful friendships we made here.  It has been an honor and a privilege to serve in the Philippines these past four years. With profound gratitude I bid the Philippines and my Filipino friends farewell and say maraming, maraming salamat, and until next time—hanggang sa muli!