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The Articles started December 2007.
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Fullbright Scholar returns to DeKalb
By Barry Schrader.................................September
He had to remain in the U.S. longer than originally planned
as political unrest at home, where martial law had been declared
in the 1970s, kept him out of his homeland. He explained he had
been editor of a newspaper in the southern Philippines before
receiving the scholarship. But when then-Filipino president Ferdinand
Marcos jailed some of his colleagues who worked at the paper,
he chose to stay in DeKalb until it was safe to return and teach
MacArthur Corsino and his wife Bernadette came through DeKalb
last week and stopped to visit his old professors and friends
in town. In 1972 he came to Northern as a Fullbright Hayes Scholar
along with two others from the Philippines, Ging Smith and Antonio
Ravelo. He completed his doctorate in 1977 and returned to the
Philippines where he taught political science for several years
at his alma mater Silliman University, then joined his countrys
Corsino rose through the foreign
service ranks, becoming a consul and mission chief in several
countries including Oman, Bangladesh and Turkey, before being
named the Filipino ambassador to Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican
Republic last year by President Gloria Arroyo. He is headquartered
in Havana where he and his wife live near the embassy, but will
be adding more Caribbean countries to his ambassadorial duties.
Corsino recalled his days in the NIU married student
housing where he and his wife had one daughter. A second was
born in DeKalb. They now have three one in South Bend,
Ind., one in Alexandria, Va., and the third in the country of
Dubai. While attending NIU he served as president of the International
Relations Society on campus and also joined the Northern contingent
to the Model United Nations conference in Pennsylvania.
Ambassador MacArthur Corsino and wife Bernadette pose
in the home of their DeKalb hosts the Cichy.Second photo shows the ambassador and his wife during
a visit to the Filipino troops who are part of the UN peacekeeping
force in Haiti.
The ambassador said he concentrates
on cultural and other common interests between their two countries.
Cuba has trained some Filipino boxers and in return the Filipino
martial arts instructors have worked with Cuban athletes in preparing
for world competitions.
We have a lot in
common since both countries were once under Spanish rule and
both fought wars of independence to become free, he explained.
Corsino recently visited the Filipino contingent of 277 troops
assigned to the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti
where he has diplomatic responsibilities as ambassador as well.
He left Cuba for a visit back to his alma mater Silliman
this summer where he was honored as outstanding alumnus. He and
his wife then flew to Los Angeles and on to Chicago where they
met their daughter, came to DeKalb briefly, then flew back to
L.A. and via Mexico City to Cuba last week.
in DeKalb he enjoyed dinner with two of his former NIU professors,
Ladd Thomas and Clark Neher; along with Ging and her husband,
Jerry Smith; and Antonio Ravelo and his hosts while in town,
Steve and Evelina Cichy.
Asked about his famous
first name, he was pleased to respond that his father named him
after the American general who was very popular in the Philippines
at the end of World War II. Then I just had to inquire whether
he had any Cuban rum or leftover Cuban cigars, but he said he
was sorry to report he had passed out all the cigars to friends
earlier on the trip.
So I left the interview empty
handed but very impressed with what this man had accomplished
since his days at NIU and a lifetime of service to his country.
He plans to retire at the end of his Cuban assignment and will
return to the house he still owns in his home town of Dumaguete
The columnist can be reached via email at :
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PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115