Cebuana Lhuillier head honcho the first Filipino to be conferred knighthood by San Marino

Jean Henri Lhuillier, the honorary consul general of the Republic of San Marino to the Philippines, was recently conferred the rank of Official Knight of the Equestrian Order of Saint Agatha and was given the emblem for Cavaliere Ufficiale dell’ordine di Sant’Agata by San Marino Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Pasquale Valentini, with functions of Prime Minister of San Marino, in simple ceremonies held at the Palazzo Begni in San Marino.

Lhuillier, who is also the President and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier, the Philippines’ largest microfinancial company, received the knighthood in recognition of his active and consistent efforts to strengthen the bilateral relationship between San Marino and the Philippines.

The Order, given only to foreign nationals who have positively contributed charitable and other services for the benefit of San Marino with at least 10 years of service, was bestowed on Lhuillier, despite serving for only seven years, because of his exemplary work and contribution to the state as its Consul General in the Philippines.

“I am grateful to the Republic of San Marino for this valuable distinction. Seven years ago, they have entrusted to me the responsibility of representing them in the Philippines, and it continues to be an honor for me to take on the role. I may have been in service for less 10 years, but the state still gave this distinction for all my efforts here in Manila, despite the short service period,” said Lhuillier.

Since his appointment to office in 2007, Lhuillier spearheaded various programs that promoted the culture, trade, and social programs of the microstate situated north-east of Italy.

One of his flagship projects is the facilitation of San Marino’s inter-country adoption program, wherein he helped orphaned and abandoned young Filipinos get adopted by Sanmarinese families. Through this program, these children were given a chance to live a more serene life in San Marino, and assisting the candidates for adoption to be mentally and emotionally ready for the process.

On the trade aspect, Lhuillier helped promote San Marino as a viable investment partner through coordination with the members of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and with the local investors.. Lhuillier also helped promote the wines of San Marino, one of the major products of the country, through wine appreciation events. The consulate also exhibits a vast coin and stamp collection to promote San Marino as a haven for coin and stamp enthusiasts.

The consulate also holds cultural awareness campaigns in the Philippines to promote San Marino’s rich culture and heritage. The Consular Office, located in Makati City, has set up a permanent exhibition of San Marino products and souvenirs, conducted educational seminars and museum tours for students, and held Italian language classes and film showing.

On behalf of San Marino, Consul General Lhuillier has also organized relief operations for victims of national calamities and has assisted various organizations and communities in need. The Consular Office also conducts donation and charity events regularly.

The Republic of San Marino, one the smallest republics in the world, is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy. Founded in the year 301 A.D. by stone cutter St. Marinus of Arbe, San Marino is one of the wealthiest countries in terms of GDP per capita. The country relies heavily on its finance, industry, services, and tourism.

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