Former ambassador shares wisdom with Cebu Doctors’ University students

LECTURE. Cebuano poet Vicente Vivencio Bandillo, a retired diplomat, talks about the Foreign Service Officer Examination to international studies students of Cebu Doctors’ University in Mandaue City on May 15, 2024. A member of the audience was his daughter Angeli Marijopaz Apalisok Bandillo (right)./ CONTRIBUTED

RETIRED Philippine Ambassador Vicente Vivencio Bandillo shared his experiences with young students at Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU) on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, with a lecture titled “Diplomatic Dialogue: Navigating the World with Wisdom.”

Bandillo, who previously served as the Philippine ambassador to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, shared his valuable insights into the world of diplomacy and the life of foreign service officers.

“Diplomacy exists because you have something to share with the other party (country),” he said.

More than 20 students taking up international studies and teachers listened to Bandillo, a native of Alcantara, Cebu, and a renowned poet who has published multiple poetry books and edited literary anthologies.


He shared the challenges and responsibilities of representing the country and assisting Filipinos living and working abroad.

Bandillo shared his journey into the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), highlighting the competitive foreign service exam he took in the 1990s.

The event provided attendees with a deeper understanding of diplomatic careers and the dedication required to serve the nation in the global arena.

“A diplomatic career is not just about getting a chance to travel the world. It is also about helping your fellow countrymen. It is also a chance to become a citizen of the world, and grow as a person,” Bandillo said.

Before working in the DFA, Bandillo had stints in multiple government agencies and led the literary group Bathalan-ong Halad sa Dagang (Bathalad) Cebu during his time as the group’s president.

Bandillo has been the major driving force behind Bathalad Cebu’s creative writing workshops since 2017. The workshop took a backseat in 2021 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. It returned after Bandillo’s retirement in 2022.

Since his retirement, Bandillo has been focused on his poetry and translations, and his family which includes 37 cats and three dogs.


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