Princess Tomas-Tayao, Embassy of the Philippines

Princess Tomas-Tayao loves the calmness of the Bern but she is still surprised by the quiet Sundays! Discover what she would do after a busy work day and how she learns more about the local culture.

Article published in the info letter April 2021

Princess Tomas-Tayao

Princess Tomas-Tayao

... is from a town in the province of Bulacan located just north of Manila, Philippines.

... acts in the function of the First Secretary and Consul at the Embassy of the Philippines.

... has been living in Switzerland since June 2017. Before coming to Switzerland, she was in Manila, assuming the position of Director in the Asian and Pacific Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

... is passionate about visiting places and taking pictures. After a busy work day, she loves to walk in the city or along the Aare, to sit in a park with a book, a cup of coffee or a drink, to meet a friend, or just to watch people going by. She likes observing how people interact or do their everyday business as it contributes to her understanding of the local culture.

10 Questions to Princess Tomas-Tayao

What are you responsible for?

I handle economic as well as consular matters at the embassy. My work involves monitoring developments and having meetings with officials, handling passport matters and dual citizenship concerns. Every day is a busy day, and it is even busier these days!

Which projects are you most excited about right now?

Given the limited engagements during this pandemic, I am looking forward to attending online activities on important issues. While this does not replace physical interaction, virtual meetings are the best alternative. This way we stay up to date regarding developments in the Philippines and elsewhere.

When you arrived in Bern, what were you most surprised by?

Its quiet Sundays! Back home and where I have been in Asia, Sundays are often bustling. People are everywhere, in restaurants, parks, malls, or in someone’s home visiting or celebrating. Here, during Sundays, the Bernese are often out of the city and so the city streets are quiet. They are in the mountains exploring nature, swimming in the river or riding their infloatable boats, especially during summer.

What do you appreciate about Bern?

Its calmness and proximity to nature. Everything and everywhere seems peaceful and organized here. I also appreciate the public transportation for its efficiency and dependability.

Is there anything you would change about Bern?

Maybe its quiet Sundays, but then again, it is part of the Bernese and the Swiss culture. Sundays would always be quiet, and reserved for families and private events. And I respect that a lot.

Tell us about your favourite place in Bern.

Rosengarten. From there, you have a beautiful view of the city, the Aare, the church towers, and the green surroundings of Bern. From there you can also watch the sunset. It makes you admire Bern even more. In summer or on a bright day, you could also bring a mat, have picnic there or simply enjoy the sun.

How would you describe the "Bernese attitude to life"?

Balanced and organized. I appreciate how the Bernese take work-life-balance seriously and to heart. It is something I could learn from! Bernese, and the Swiss in general, are very organized and on time. Even coffee time with friends have to be organized way ahead of schedule!

What do you already know you will miss when you leave Bern?

Everything! Bern has a certain charm that will remain in my memory. Also, its calmness, its clean surroundings, its tram, its comfort. Name it. Having said tram, I would miss the SBB Mobile app! It is so convenient!

What is on your “to-do list” before you move on?

There are many more mountains to hike and cantons to visit! I should also check out the Swiss Grand Tour spots.

Who would you like to hear from next?

William Jesse “Bill” Longhurst from the British Embassy.

Thank you!

Salamat din! (Thank you too!)