The Philippine-Austrian Cultural and Educational Society (PACES) inducted its newly elected set of officers at a virtual oath-taking ceremony held via Xoom in Vienna, Austria on 9 January 2021.

Assuming their posts as officers and Executive Board Members of PACES are: Ms. Maria Zelda „Marizel“ Rojas as President; Ms. Priscila Ramo-Confiado, Vice President for Internal Affairs; Mr. Franz Berner, Vice President for External Affairs; Ms. Robee Sallegue, Secretary: Ms. Nilsa Fischer, Treasurer; Ms. Jane Abaya and Mr. Rodolfo Quevenco, Auditors; Mr. Efren Abaya, Chair, Scholarship Committee; and Ms. Gina Villanueva-Weinzierl, Chair, Fundraising Committee. Their term of office will be from 9 January 2021 until 31 December 2022.

After the invocation delivered by Mr. Anson Samuel of the Archdiocese of Vienna, the formal program started. Outgoing PACES President Malou Reininger, in her inspirational speech, expressed her gratitude for her three-year term, wherein significant professional tools were introduced that would contribute to PACES‘ projects sustainability.“ Her statement was followed by the oath-taking ceremony which was administered by Philippine Ambassador to Egypt, HE Sulpicio M. Confiado, who joined online all the way from Cairo, Egypt. Ambassador Confiado is an Honorary Member of PACES. In a brief statement, he praised the work that PACES has done thus far and encouraged the new officers to carry on with their mission of uplifting the lives of students in the Philippines.

Former Philippine Ambassador to Austria Maria Zeneida Angara Collinson, PACES Founding Ambassador, also conveyed her inspirational message for the new Executive Board from her base in Australia.

“I share the pride and good wishes of all PACES members and contributors in congratulating the four graduates of the STEMs 70 scholarship program. Let our passion, determination, hard work and belief in the mission and vision of PACES be our lodestar as we navigate through the uncharted waters of these times. Science and Humanity will prevail,“ she said.

The event concluded with the song “Light of a Million Morning” sang by Ms. Sonia Macatangay. This was followed by the acceptance and closing remarks of the new PACES President, Ms. Marizel Rojas.

PACES is an association of like-minded members of the Philippine-Austrian community, which aims to provide full scholarship to deserving students in the Philippines pursuing college degrees in the scientific fields. Furthermore, these efforts strengthen the inter-cultural dialogue and the bilateral relationship between these two nations. PACES has partnered with ANCOP (ANswering the Cry Of the Poor), Philippines, a social ministry of the religious organization, Couples for Christ, in managing the scholarships of the sponsored Filipino students.

The official PACES press release on the virtual induction is available here.