60th Diamond Jubilee RP-Korea ties, Diplomatic News:
60th Diamond Jubilee RP-Korea ties, Diplomatic News:
Mar 15 2009, 04:46 PM
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RP launches 60th anniversary of RP-Korea ties in Seoul
03/06/2009 | 08:38 PM
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MANILA, Philippines – Philippine officials in Seoul launched last Tuesday the 60th anniversary commemoration of relations between the Philippines and South Korea with a reception for media.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday some 100 representatives from Korean print, broadcast, and Internet media attended the reception at the Westin Chosun Hotel.
"Milestones like today’s 60th Anniversary offer an occasion for us to revisit our past, take stock of our accomplishments and define a clearer path for our future," Ambassador Luis T. Cruz said.
"Sixty years is an important milestone. As the fifth country to extend diplomatic recognition to South Korea and the third country to send ground combat troops to South Korea during the Korean War, the Philippines is proud to have South Korea as one of its most enduring and closest partners," he added.
Excerpts of his address were posted at the DFA website (www.dfa.gov.ph).
Cruz opened the ceremony with an announcement by President Arroyo designating March 3, 2009, as “Philippines-Korea Friendship Day" and the year 2009 as “Philippines-Korea Friendship Year."
The designations aim to raise awareness about the common history, culture, and future shared by the two countries.
Also at the reception were representatives from the Korean government, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korea Local Authorities Foundation for International Relations, and the Korea Post.
The Korea Post launched the Philippines-Korea Commemorative Stamps during the same event, featuring Korea’s “Sonori in Hangawi" and the Philippine “Panagbenga Flower Festival."
Director-General Choi Jong-moon of the South Asia and Pacific Affairs Bureau of the MOFAT said that “the relationship between Korea and the Philippines, grounded on a firm foundation forged through 60 years of cooperation, will continue to develop in the future."
“Our two governments will spare no effort in lifting this relationship on a higher plain," he added.
Other major activities of the Philippine Embassy in South Korea this year include the “One Philippines" exhibit at the plaza in front of the Seoul City Hall on May 29 and 30; the launching of “The Forgotten War" at the National Theater of Korea on April 14; and the unveiling of the Philippine marker at the UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea (UNMCK) in Busan on May 28.
The “One Philippines" exhibit will showcase the history, culture, tradition, and business environment of the Philippines. The two-day event will feature a number of cultural performances, including professional performers from the Philippines and lively street dances.
“The Forgotten War" is a 90-minute feature that tackles the exploits of the Filipino soldiers who participated in the Korean War from 1950-1953 under the auspices of the United Nations Command.
On the other hand, the marker will pay tribute to the more than 7,000 Filipino soldiers who stood side by side with their South Korean brethren during the Korean War in the 1950s.
The Philippine Embassy will also take part in several cultural activities throughout the year. - GMANews.TV
From Korea Times
By Kim Se-jeong
Joint Korea- Philippines stamp
The Korea Post launched the Philippines-Korea Commemorative Stamps during the same event, featuring Korea's "Sonori in Hangawi" and the Philippine "Panagbenga Flower Festival."
The Panagbenga Flower Festival is held for a month every February in Baguio, the country's summer capital. Following a spectacular car festooned with floral decorations, dancers and citizens who decorate themselves with flowers march through the streets to cheerful music.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of formal relations between South Korea and the Philippines. Confucius described sixty years as the period of maturity, and that's what the two countries witness as they prepare grand celebrations for the anniversary.
Philippine Ambassador to Korea Luis Cruz told The Korea Times, `` With six decades of close partnership behind us, I expect the friendship between our countries to further intensify as we build on past achievements to propel a relationship that is not only enduring, but also mutually beneficial.''
The two countries knotted formal ties in 1949, one year before the outbreak of the Korean War.
After the war broke out, the Philippines deployed its first combat unit under the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) in September 1950, marking the third member country of the United Nations Command to send troops following the United States and the United Kingdom.
During the three-year war, a total of 7,420 Filipino men fought in the country for freedom and democracy, which was on the verge of extinction.
Among the thousands of Filipino soldiers were Fidel V. Ramos, who later become Philippine President; and Col. Nicanor Jimenez and Gen. Ernesto Gidaya, who were later posted to Korea as ambassadors.
In Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, a monument is dedicated to the PEFTOK, and Philippine diplomats and Koreans pay a visit there every year to commemorate the troops' efforts.
The Philippines stands atop unassailably when it comes to people-to-people exchanges with Korea. Korean citizens living in the Philippines number nearly 70,000 and Filipinos in Korea, 50,000, according to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Philippine Embassy in Seoul.
Ambassador Cruz said, ``People-to-people exchanges have been one of the proud cornerstones of our relations. A few decades ago, only a handful of Koreans live in the Philippines and vice versa. One of my favorite anecdotes is from Chang Chi-ryang, one of the first Korean ambassadors to Manila, who narrated how air travel between the two nations started with only one flight a week, carrying only five passengers for the inaugural flight. Today, there are more than five flights daily; most of the time, these are fully booked.''
Koreans in the Philippines
The Philippines without Koreans is now unthinkable.
Seventy thousand Koreans are by far the largest ethnicity of immigrants to the country, having painted a significant picture in Filipino society, especially in the economy.
Filipino shops, tour resorts and restaurants targeting Korean residents and tourists are expanding, accounting for a significant proportion of the country's domestic economy.
According to a public encyclopedia, Korean expatriates in the Philippines spend between $800 and $1,000 per month, making an ``aggregate contribution of over $1 billion per year in consumer spending.''
The mild climate and an affordable cost of living in the Southeast Asian country have made the country an attractive destination for retirement or investment to many Koreans. Furthermore, many Korean students enroll in English language institutes there.
Korean tourists also flock to the country for its climate and affordability.
Filipinos in Korea
For nearly 50,000 Filipinos in Korea, the 60th anniversary is not a cause for celebration but a reminder of unresolved matters.
Emely Abagat, 40, a Catholic missionary helping Filipino migrant workers in Korea for the past five years, said that she would like to see workers' human rights and cultural acceptance improve in the future.
``I want to see friendly working conditions and a more culture-friendly atmosphere,'' she said.
Her statement echoed the ambassador, whose priority, since he arrived last year, has been campaigning for cultural openness and the protection of migrant workers, whose rights are sometimes not respected by Korean employers.
Filipino migration to Korea has been driven mainly by economics.
With per capita gross domestic product staying at around $2,000 with a high poverty rate, Filipinos' migration to one of Asia' largest economies has grown since the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul.
Abagat also urged the Korean government to stop discriminating against Filipinos when recruiting English language instructors.
Coming from a Filipino academic background with a doctorate in education, Abagat has had first-hand experience of being turned down when applying for an English teaching position in Korea.
The Korean government last month announced that it would lift restrictions on English-speaking Filipinos teaching English in Korea.
The missionary said, ``It's commendable, but I really want to push the government to take concrete action, not just approving on paper.''
Ambassador Cruz said, ``Thousands of Filipinos have found a second home in Korea, many of whom stay here as workers, students, missionaries, professionals or spouses of Korean nationals. I expect this trend to grow as our relations mature and our people become more aware of each other's culture and history.
With their hard work and open mind, they not only help the economies of both the Philippines and South Korea, but also contribute to the globalization of South Korean society as they take an active part in promoting multiculturalism and enriching South Korea's pool of ideas and talent.
"Look around you and you will see pantheons of Filipino culture all around Hyehwa-dong, in the academic circles, in restaurants, in workplaces and in Korean households. Similarly, Korean presence in the Philippines has become stronger than ever.''
60th Anniversary of Philippines-Korea relations on March 3, 2009
How to Celebrate
The entire year will be a time of celebration.
The Philippine Embassy is planning diverse cultural presentations and lectures, at least two of which are worthy of note.
One is the launching of a documentary film on Filipino participation in the Korean War. ``The Forgotten War'' features stories of soldiers from the war and includes special interviews with Filipino veterans including former President Ramos.
The date of screening hasn't been set yet, but the embassy said, ``We hope to do it soon.''
The second eye-catching activity is ``One Philippines,'' an exhibition on the Philippines. The venue will be City Hall Plaza in Seoul. The two-day event, slated for May 30 and 31, will feature tourism, trade, retirement options and education. It will also present Filipino dishes, parades, street dances and a fashion show.
Beginning in March, the Korean government, will offer various cultural events, including firework shows, a foreign ministry official said.
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