by Quay Evano
Just like the definition of his last name, the newest Philippine Consul General for Alberta and Saskatchewan Zaldy Patron is definitely a person and a government official who gives his utmost support and service to his fellow Filipinos, Filipino organizations, causes and activities wherever they may be. In his illustrious 23-year career as a diplomat, he has worked tirelessly for his kababayans and for the Philippines in different posts and responsibilities around the world.
Prior to his posting in Calgary in April 2018 as Deputy Consul General, he was Consul then Deputy Consul General in the Philippine Consulate General in New York, U.S.A. from 2008 to 2014. From 2002 to 2005, he was the Second Secretary and Consul in the Philippine Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil and from 1999 to 2002, he was Third Secretary and Vice Consul in the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. While in Indonesia, he received a plaque of appreciation from the Directorate General for Immigration of the Republic of Indonesia in December 1999 for helping Indonesian authorities “arrest a human smuggling syndicate sending illegal foreign nationals to various countries, including the Philippines.”
Consul General Patron was the Executive Director of the DFA-Office of ASEAN Affairs from 2015 to 2018 where he got heavily involved in the Philippines’ Chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2017. He helped manage the Philippines’ relations in ASEAN and became part of the various Philippine delegations to the ASEAN Summits, ASEAN Ministerial Meetings and ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meetings. He also served as Senior Assistant to the Philippine Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).
From November 2014 to June 2015, he was a Senior Special Assistant in the Office of the Director General for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) National Organizing Council under the Office of the President. His other assignments in the DFA included being a Director for Institutional Relations and for Functional Cooperation in DFA-ASEAN from 2005 to 2008. He also served as Special Assistant in the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, Principal Assistant in the Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs, Acting Director in the Office of Protocol, and Principal Assistant in the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination.
Consul General Patron was born in Tuktukan, Taguig City but both his parents come from Bagong Pook, San Jose, Batangas so he considers himself both a Taguigeño and Batangueño. He graduated valedictorian from Taguig Elementary School then took his high school in Pasig Catholic College.
“Graduating valedictorian in elementary gave me the confidence to aim for higher and bigger things,” says Patron. “My father wanted me to become an engineer so for some time that became my aspiration. In college, I first started as BS Agriculture student in the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus, then shifted to BS Economics. I finished BS Economics, Major in Development Economics. I finished my MBA from Ateneo De Manila University Graduate School of Business. Entering and surviving UP were also great achievements by themselves. When I already joined the world of professionals, I sometimes look back at my past experiences to remind myself of the things that I am capable to do.”
As a proud UP alumni, ConGen Patron brings with him his UP education and experience wherever he goes.
“UP education goes beyond the four corners of the classroom. As I was trying to pass UP’s very competitive courses, I also got exposed to various social issues and became active in different student organizations and campus activities. UP taught me how to be analytical and resourceful. It was in UP that I developed people skills and leadership. These training, experience and qualities served me well in my work during the past 23 years as a career diplomat. “
Consul General Patron’s career with the Department of Foreign Affairs was started with a chance meeting with a former UPLB classmate.