Forum explores strengthening people-to-people relations between the Philippines and Korea

February 09, 2017
First published 12-09-2011

In history, the Philippines and South Korea cemented their friendship when the Philippines sent its own soldiers to Korea during the Korean War (1950-1953) to help bring back their democracy. Today, the nations are still actively engaging each other in various fields such as the economy, politics and culture, among others.

On December 5, 2011, the Ateneo Center for Asian Studies (ACAS) and the University of the Philippines Asian Center, together with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines, organized the 2nd Philippines-Korea Partnership Forum at the Intercontinental Hotel, Makati City.
The forum sought to explore ways of strengthening people-to-people relations between the two nations.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Carolyn Sobritchea, acting dean of the University of the Philippines Asian Center, described the forum as a “day of learning and friendship”. She highlighted the “sociological and cultural dimensions” of the papers to be presented in the forum.
Meanwhile, H.E. Ambassador Hye Min Lee cited the forum’s timeliness because of the “strong and growing people-to-people relations” between the Philippines and Korea. The establishment of the Korean Cultural Center this year is a testament to the “growing cultural affinity” between the two nations. 
Hon. Loren Legarda, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, suggested green initiatives and partnerships for next year’s forum and hoped that the partnership will “be sustained and be greener in years to come”.
The whole day forum tackled various aspects of Philippines-Korea relations, including understanding the image of Korea and Koreans in the Philippines, strengthening tourism between the Philippines and Korea, and analyzing the situation of Koreans in the Philippines.    
The forum ended with a few words from Dr. Lydia Yu Jose, ACAS director. She shared how she saw a concrete manifestation of people-to-people relations between Korea and the Philippines during the visit of the President of the Republic of South Korea His Excellency Lee Myung Bak, wherein he gave top priority to engaging Ateneo students and the youth. She said that for her, the bottom line is to “have a positive attitude toward foreign culture” and to “learn from them.”