Queen Elizabeth II honored Filipino driver British Empire medal for 33-years in service to the British embassy

Mr. Roland Quitevis photo from Manila Bulletin (ctto)

Manila, Philippines - The British Embassy in Manila recently awarded a Filipino driver the British Empire Medal who has served for 33-years and had been the driver to eight British ambassadors to the Philippines.

“Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II has honoured Mr. Roland Quitevis with the British Empire Medal for his services to UK-Philippine Relations,”

“This is a thoroughly well-deserved recognition of Roland’s long service at the Embassy, mostly spent as the Ambassador’s driver.” British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce as quoted from the embassy’s Facebook post on Tuesday.

Quitevis recounted his experience and for being grateful for the opportunity during his 33 years in service to the British Embassy, in the same Facebook post.

Aside from having been the official driver to eight British ambassadors, Quiteves also shared he was 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 added.

Quitevis further said he was from Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur, he moved to Manila at the age of 22, he was able to secure his first job as a messenger at the embassy.

“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.

He described “every moment” he spent with the ambassadors as “unforgettable,”  “They have treated me like family and always with the utmost respect,” he said.

According to Qitevis, it was Ambassador 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.”

Source: Inquirer

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