PHL Embassy welcomes Arjean Marie Belco to Brazil

Upon the request of the Brazilian sponsor of Ms. Arjean Marie Belco, the 18-year-old Filipina travelling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to participate in World Youth Day 2013, the Philippine Embassy in Brasilia provided assistance to Ms. Belco upon her arrival at the Galeão International Airport of Rio de Janeiro aboard KLM Flight No. KL 705 on July 23.

On July 20, Ms. Belco, a native of Bukidnon'sTalaandig tribe, was reportedly prevented by an airline company from boarding her onward flight at the Kuala Lumpur airport. Upon learning of the incident, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur immediately contacted Ms. Belco to inquire about her situation and find out how it could help. Ms. Belco thanked the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur for its offer of assistance and informed the Embassy that her sponsor,, was already taking care of the arrangements.

She was finally allowed to board her flight bound for Amsterdam en route to Rio on the late evening of July 22 after her sponsor managed to rebook her connecting flight to Brazil.

Ms. Belco was met by Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Eva G. Betita and her spouse, Mr. Mauricio P. Betita, Third Secretary and Vice Consul Carlyn A. Monastrial and Consular Assistant Joey A. Espolong along with Ms. Belco's host family, Dr. Mário Fernando Petzhold and Mrs. Maria de Lourdes MagalhãesPetzhold. 

Dr. Petzhold is a professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro.  His son, Mr. Luis Petzhold, co-founder of, tied up with Cartwheel Foundation in support of Ms. Belco's travel scholarship to Brazil.

The World Youth Day activities began on July 22, when Pope Francis arrived in Rio, and will end on July 28.  As many as 2.5 million people from all over the world are expected to participate.  Around 350 Filipino delegates are representing the country at the event. Some of the Filipino pilgrims came from other places outside the Philippines, such as New York, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Like those who came from the Philippines, these pilgrims were also waving Philippine flags during the events.

The Embassy, in cooperation with the local organizers, has arranged a secretariat in Rio de Janeiro to provide assistance to Filipino pilgrims attending the World Youth Day 2013. The Embassy also prepared to provide consular assistance for Filipinos in Rio, São Paulo and nearby cities for the duration of the World Youth Day. END



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