PH Consulate General in New York visits Boston Metropolitan Area in Massachusetts for trade and investment opportunities

The Philippine Consulate General in New York, led by Consul General Senen T. Mangalile, undertook a visit to Massachusetts on 20-21 May to explore trade and investment opportunities. The tour included high-level meetings and visits to renowned research and development (R&D) institutions to foster collaboration between the Philippines and the Boston Metropolitan Area, particularly in innovation, sustainability, and economic growth.


On 20 May, the delegation met with the Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion under Boston City Mayor Michelle Wu. Discussions centered on the comparative advantage of the Philippines in developing plant-based fibers such as abaca, banana, and pineapple. Boston representatives highlighted resources, including the Silklab at Tufts University, and its active partnerships with U.S.-based business incubators Sagely, Scroobious, and SeaAhead. They expressed strong interest in supporting the expansion of Filipino enterprises into the U.S. market.

(Left photo) The Philippine Consulate General in New York delegation, led by Consul General Senen T. Mangalile [middle of the photo], at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. (Right photo) Consul General Mangalile explains the Consulate's Philippine Fiber and Textile program to Wyss Institute representatives, who examine the sample fibers and textiles with interest. (Photos by Vice Consul Cathe Aguilar)

The delegation also met with representatives from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University to explore the use of Philippine plant-based fibers in bioinspired materials. This meeting, driven by the Consulate’s effort to move away from the traditional use of these fibers in clothing and fashion, emphasized sustainability and innovative applications. The Institute showed significant interest in the environmental benefits and potential applications of these fibers in manufacturing, robotics, and sustainable architecture.

The delegation during their tour of Greentown Labs in Somerville, Massachusetts. (Photo by Vice Consul Cathe Aguilar)

On 21 May, the delegation visited Greentown Labs, considered the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, and met with EcoForge, one of its member companies. EcoForge is pioneering the use of abaca and coconut coir for sustainable building materials. The ongoing project aims to replace traditional and toxic building materials with eco-friendly alternatives. 

(Left photo) Consul General Mangalile discusses the innovative potential of Philippine plant-based fibers as the researcher from the MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group examines the samples. (Right photo) The delegation learns about the various transformative initiatives led by researchers during the tour of the MIT Media Lab. (Photos by Vice Consul Cathe Aguilar)

The delegation concluded their visit with a tour of the MIT Media Lab, an interdisciplinary research space at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology known for transformative projects. Discussions with the MIT Media Lab’s Tangible Media Group highlighted potential collaborations in advanced textiles using Philippine fibers such as pineapple fiber. The Media Lab expressed enthusiasm for integrating these fibers into their innovative research. END