Filipino driver Roland Quitevis, who has served eight British Ambassadors to the Philippines for 33 years, was awarded by Queen Elizabeth II with the British Empire Medal (BEM).
Ambassador Daniel Pruce announced on July 24 that the Filipino driver for the UK Embassy in Manila is being honored by the Queen’s 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,” said Ambassador Pruce.
Quitevis recounted his more than three decades of service through a Facebook post by the British Embassy Manila. He shared that he had taken comprehensive driving courses, specialized training, and boot camps to ensure the safety and security of the Ambassadors and other VIP passengers.
Born in Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur, Quitevis moved to Manila when he was 22 and worked as a messenger in the British Embassy and was promoted as the official driver of the Ambassador after obtaining necessary skills for the position.
“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,” Quitevis said.
Aside from the BEM, Quitevis also received the Service Recognition Award for excellent service from Ambassador Stephen Lillie.
“For me, every moment with all the Ambassadors has been unforgettable, as they have treated me like family and always with the utmost respect,” Quitevis said.
Aside from driving for eight ambassadors, he was also able to drive for some members of the Royal family such as Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, and Prince Charles during their Philippine visits.
Quitevis expressed his gratitude and said, “Truly this is one for the books, and I will always be thankful to all that helped me reach this point in my career.”
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