Kekert: Korean National Day 2019

Kristalle Kekert

MARKING the Korean National Day and the 70th anniversary of Korea-Philippines diplomatic relations strengthened was a reception held at the Sinulog Grand Ballroom of the City Sports Club Cebu.

Gracing the event were Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, chairman of committee on international affairs Red Duterte, former honorary consul general of Korea in Cebu Augusto Go, commander of Central Command Dinoh Dolina, counsellor and director of consular office of Japan in Cebu Hiroshi Watanabe, president of the Cebu Korean Association Bong-hwan Cho as well as many other invited guests in attendance.

Celebrated annually, the evening event opened with the Korean national anthem, Aegukga, followed by the Philippine national anthem, Lupang Hinirang. A speech was made by the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Cebu, Won Jae Uhm, who heartedly expressed his deep appreciation to the Filipinos for the peace, democracy and economic prosperity that Korea enjoys today (referring to the sacrifice and dedication in the 1950 Korean War wherein the Philippines had sent combat troops to help fight for Korea’s freedom). As the evening unfolded, the dinner occasion was a buffet spread featuring its staples such as Korean beef bulgogi, japchae and kimchi to name a few.

Koreans are the largest source of tourism in the Philippines with 1.6 million visitors last year alone, while also having a huge influence on the Philippines through K-pop, K-drama, K-food and K-cosmetics. Working hard to reach a deal on a free trade agreement between the two countries, this bilateral deal will further enhance its business ties and benefit both economies. At present, Korea remains the fourth largest trading partner of the Philippines. As partners and friends, the two countries have a solid relationship as blood allies through the years. Cheers!