Queen Elizabeth II honors Filipino driver of UK envoys in PH
MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino who has served as the driver for several British envoys to the Philippines has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his 33-year service at the British Embassy in Manila.
“Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II has honoured Mr Roland Quitevis with the British Empire Medal for his services to UK-Philippine Relations,” British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce was quoted as saying in the embassy’s Facebook post on Tuesday. “This is a thoroughly well-deserved recognition of Roland’s long service at the Embassy, mostly spent as the Ambassador’s driver.”
"I am delighted to announce that Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II has honoured Mr Roland Quitevis with the British…
In the same Facebook post, Quitevis recounted his experience during his more than three decades in service.
Aside from having been the official driver to eight British ambassadors, Quiteves said he was also able to drive for some members of the British royal family.
“These include three visits by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, two visits by Princess Anne and a visit by Prince Charles. It has been such a memorable experience to me to meet each one in person,” he said.
“In fact, during the most recent visit of Princess Anne to the country, she commented that I was very young when she first came to Manila and visited the indigenous community in Clark in the aftermath of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption,” he further narrated.
Quitevis said he was able to secure his first job at the embassy as a messenger when he moved to Manila from Ilocos Sur at the age of 22.
“After I was regularised, I obtained the necessary skills and was promoted to become the official driver of the Ambassador,” he said.
“I remember being so grateful for the opportunity, which is why I have always loved every single day of it — come monsoon rains, heavy Manila traffic and day-to-day encounters with British Embassy staff in action,” he added.
Quitevis described “every moment” he spent with the ambassadors as “unforgettable.”
“They have treated me like family and always with utmost respect,” he said.
He noted that it was Pruce who “presented him the opportunity of receiving the Honorary British Empire Medal (BEM),” which Quitevis said was a “defining moment” he would “always treasure.”
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