The Philippines established its Embassy in Oslo, Norway on 30 April 2007. It is the Philippine government's official contact point with the authorities of its jurisdiction, namely, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. The main task is to safeguard Philippine interests in these countries and also work for the enhancement of relations between them. The Philippine Embassy in Oslo is the Philippines' 86th Foreign Service post.
Establishing a resident Embassy in Norway became a priority concern of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines for various reasons: Philippines-Norway diplomatic relations span 60 years of meaningful interaction, and Norway is a recognized leader in the area of conflict resolution and has played a substantive role as third-country facilitator in the GRP-NDF peace talks since 2001.
On the economic front, prospects are good for Philippine agricultural products, of which Norway is a net importer, as well as information technology goods and services. The same can be said for potential Norwegian investments in the Philippines , particularly in oil and natural gas exploration and equities, as well as renewable energy such as hydropower and geothermal. There is also room for further cooperation in the maritime sector, particularly marine resources management, marine environmental protection and maritime safety. Around 7,000 Norwegian tourists visit the Philippines annually. There is good reason to be optimistic that, with adequate information dissemination, the number of Norwegian visitors, noted for their high purchasing power, would increase even more.
On the consular side, there is an estimated 14,600 Filipinos working and living in Norway (first- and second-generation immigrants and OFWs) in addition to some 32,000 Filipino seafarers on board Norwegian vessels. There is an estimated number of 6,000 Filipinos in Denmark and around 1,500 in Iceland. Denmark is a staunch partner of the Philippines in counter-terrorism initiatives. A number of Danish companies operate in the Philipines. The Philippines and Iceland also cooperate in the area of hydropower.
Second Secretary and Consul Porfirio M. Mayo, Jr. was the Embassy's Chargé d'Affaires, ad interim (CDA) before Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan arrived in Norway in May 2007. In January 2009, Ambassador Elizabeth P. Buensuceso took over the the post as AEP. In September 2011, Ambassador Bayani S. Mercado replaced Amb. Buensuceso.
Listed below are regular holidays and special non-working days in the Philippines and Norway (wherein the Philippine Embassy in Oslo, Norway will be closed to the public) for the year 2013:
New Year’s Day January 1 (Tuesday)
Maundy Thursday March 28
Good Friday March 29
Easter Monday (Norwegian Public Holiday) April 1
Araw ng Kagitingan April 9 (Tuesday)
Labor Day May 1 (Wednesday)
Ascension Day (Norwegian Public Holiday) May 9 (Thursday)
Constitution Day (Norwegian Public Holiday) May 17 (Friday)
Whit Monday (Norwegian Public Holiday) May 20
Independence Day June 12 (Wednesday)
Eid'l Fitr (Feast of Ramadan) August 9 (Friday)
Ninoy Aquino Day August 21 (Wednesday)
National Heroes Day August 26 (Last Monday of August)
Bonifacio Day November 30 (Saturday)
Christmas Day December 25 (Wednesday)
Boxing Day (Norwegian Public Holiday) December 26 (Thursday)
Rizal Day December 30 (Monday)
Special (non-working) Days
Black Saturday March 30
Ninoy Aquino Day August 21 (Wednesday)
All Saints Day November 1 (Friday)
Additional special (non-working) days
December 24 (Tuesday)
December 31 (Tuesday)
Special Holiday (for all schools)
EDSA Revolution Anniversary February 25 (Monday)
The proclamations declaring national holidays for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha shall hereafter be issued after the approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar (Hijra) or the lunar calendar, or upon Islamic astronomical calculations, whichever is possible or convenient, the proclamation read. The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) shall inform the Office of the President on which day the holiday shall fall.
Ambassador Mercado is a career Foreign Service Officer who joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1979.
In the foreign service he served as Consul General in Guam (2002-2003, 2007-2008 and 2010- September 2011), Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, New York (2003 – 2007), Alternate Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations Security Council (2004 – 2005), Acting Head of Post in Vancouver, Canada (1998 – 1999), Consul and Executive Officer in Vancouver, Canada (1993 – 1999), Second Secretary and later First Secretary, Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York (1988 - 1990), Vice Consul and later Consul, Philippine Consulate General, New York (1982 – 1988).
In the Department of Foreign Affairs, he served as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Liaison – Office of the Secretary (2008 – 2010), Executive Director for American Affairs (2000 – 2001), Deputy Chief of Protocol (1999 – 2000), Director and later Acting Executive Director for United Nations and Other International Organization (1990 – 1993), Principal Assistant, Office of ASEAN Affairs (1981 – 1982) and Acting Director for South Asia and later U.S. Division (1979 – 1981).
Ambassador Mercado hails from Binan, Laguna, is married and has three children. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from St. John’s University in New York and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Foreign Service from the Lyceum of the Philippines.
Patrick John U. Hilado
Minister and Consul General
Patrick John U. Hilado graduated from De La Salle University Manila with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1997 after passing the examinations to become a Foreign Service Officer.
In the foreign service, he served as First Secretary and Consul General at the Philippine Embassy in Helsinki (2010-2012), Vice Consul then later as Consul at the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago (2003-2007) and Third Secretary and Vice Consul at the Philippine Embassy in Port Moresby.
In the Department of Foreign Affairs, he served as Director for the Coratel and MIS Division of the Office of the Secretary (2007-2010) and Principal Assistant at the Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs (1997-2000).
Maria Louella C. Duarte
First Secretary and Consul
Ms. Maria Louella C. Duarte is the First Secretary and Consul. She joined the DFA in 1998 after passing the examinations to become a Foreign Service Officer.
Marcelo M. Cunanan Jr.
FSSO I Finance Officer & Attaché
Mr. Marcelo M. Cunanan Jr. holds a degree in Commerce from the Immaculate Concepcion College (ICC).
He sees to it that the Embassy finances and accounting are in proper order.
He has been with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for 37 years now. His foreign posting includes the Philippine Embassies in Santiago, Chile; New York, USA; Santiago, Chile; Stockholm, Sweden; and Oslo, Norway.
Samuel M. Fesalbon
Administrative Officer, Visa Officer, Signing Officer & Attaché
Mr. Samuel M. Fesalbon has been posted in various capacities at Philippine Embassies in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Philippine Consulate General in Agana, Guam. He also headed the Consular Records Division (CRD), Office of Consular Affairs. He assumed office on 25 February 2013.
He is the Administrative Officer and Visa Officer.
Ramon Marty Ebalo
FSSO II Property Officer, Consular, Assistance to Nationals, Alternate Protocol Officer and Attaché
Mr. Ebalo has a Bachelors of Law degreee from the Lyceum University and a Graduate degree in Foreign Relations, Government and International Organizations from the George Washington University.
He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1981 and prior to Oslo, has been previously posted in Tokyo, Washington and Stockholm.
Theresa R. Bantolo-Heikkilä
FSSO IV Consular and Assistance to Nationals Officer and Attaché
She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.
She joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1997 and has served at the Philippine Embassies in Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki.
Maeleen V. Segovia
FSSE I Consular Assistant and Attaché
Maeleen V. Segovia graduated from De La Salle University Manila with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies major in European Studies. She joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1998 and served at the Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) and the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy (OUP).
Before being assigned at the Philippine Embassy in Oslo, she served as Administrative Officer, Cultural Assistant and Consular Assistant at the Philippine Embassy in Helsinki, Finland
Mr. Bernard F. Bartolome is a graduate of Foreign Service, Major in Diplomacy in the Lyceum University, where he also completed his academic units in MA Diplomacy.
He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2001, assigned initially in the Office of Consular Affairs and later on to the Office of American Affairs. This is his first foreign service posting.
Ma. Cecilia Suyat-Cabutotan
FSSE II Secretary to the Ambassador, Cultural Officer and Assistant & Attaché
Ms. Ma. Cecilia Suyat-Cabutotan has a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree from the University of Santo Tomas (UST). She joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1999 and served at the Authentication and Visa Division of the Office of Consular Affairs and later on at the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Coordination.
Oslo is her first foreign service posting.
Generosa C. Collado
General Utility Person
Ms. Generosa Collado graduated from the University of Northern Philippines with a degree in Education. She maintains the cleanliness and orderliness of the Embassy. She helps in ensuring the success of embassy functions by preparing food and refreshments .
At the same time, she assists at the Consular Section and performs other duties that may be assigned to her from time to time.
Brandon S. Memeg
Mr. Brandon S. Memeg studied Civil Engineering in Baguio Central University. He once served as a service driver for a Non-Governmental Organization in the Philippines.
Mr. Memeg is the Ambassador’s official driver and sees to it that the Ambassador arrives safely and on time for his appointments, including those held outide Oslo. He also performs other duties that may be assigned to him from time to time.
Skogarsel 39, 109 Reykjavik, Iceland
Maria Priscilla Zanoria
Consul a. h.
Honorary Consul Zanoria is a graduate of the University of the Visayas with a degree in Civil Engineering. She first worked for an engineering firm in Reykjavik before opening a Filipino store in the area. She is the owner of the MPZ Ltd. and the "Kaerleikshusid" Charity Center for women and children Her store became a focal meeting place for Filipinos in the city. She speaks Filipino, English and Icelandic. Ms. Zanoria is an active member of the Icelandic community and has good working relations with top members of the Icelandic government. She is married and has three daughters.
Philippine Consulate General
Aurehøjvej 30 2900 Hellerup
Consul General a. h.
Honorary Consul Krogh is the founder of DEKO LOFT & VÆG A/S, a company in the construction business since 1967. He now owns several multinational businesses and is a board member of several Danish companies. He speaks English and German at negotiating level, has good knowledge of the Scandinavian languages and a little of French and Arabic. Mr. Krogh was appointed the Philippines' Honorary Consul in Denmark in April 2009. The Honorary consulate's office provides visa services, performs notarial services and extends assistance to as well as promote the welfare of Filipino nationals in his area of jurisdiction.
Senior AS, Løkkeveien 13, 4008 Stavanger
Renee S. Ikdal
Consul a. h.
Honorary Consul Renee S. Ikdal is a certified public accountant, holds a BSBA degree from the University of the Philippines, Diliman and a Masters in Business Economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific.
She is a long-time resident in Stavanger, Norway. Having been the President of the Filipino Association in Rogaland (FAR) for many years, she is very active in the Filipino community and Catholic church affairs.
Philippine diplomatic relations with Scandinavian countries go way back, some dating back to more than 60 years. Migration of Filipinos to said countries, however, could be traced around 40 years ago when during the late 1960s and early 70s, Filipinos who were mostly seafarers and medical professionals settled in some parts of Scandinavia. Today, over 25,000 Filipinos consider Norway, Denmark, and Iceland – the three Scandinavian countries which fall under the Embassy’s jurisdiction – their second home.
Norway, Denmark and Iceland have been steady partners of the Philippines in the areas of maritime, mining, renewable energy, fishing and medical services among others. Trade expansion and development cooperation are also areas which the Philippines and these Scandinavian countries are also currently placing much focus on and importance.