Strong PH-Korea Ties Cited During Independence Day Celebration in Seoul
Ambassador to South Korea Raul S. Hernandez delivers his Independence Day message during the diplomatic reception commemorating the 120th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence. In the background are South Korea Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Yoon Sun-gu, and Madame Ana A. Hernandez. (Seoul PE photo)
SEOUL 03 July 2018 – The Philippine Embassy in Seoul, South Korea successfully hosted a diplomatic reception at the Crystal Ballroom of Lotte Hotel on 14 June 2018, to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence.
The event was attended by about 450 guests from the diplomatic, business, and religious communities, as well as the government sector.
Korean Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Yoon Sun-gu was the Guest of Honor during the reception.
Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul S. Hernandez, in his Independence Day message, highlighted the strong economic performance of the Philippines under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Ambassador Hernandez attributed the country’s impressive GDP growth rate of 6.7 percent last year to the vision of the Duterte administration to effect transformative change in the Philippine society and economy.
“President Duterte’s efforts to form a more law-abiding society, his constant focus on fighting corruption and criminality, as well as the contributions and support of our international partners are indispensable to achieving inclusive economic growth and prosperity,” the Ambassador said.
Apart from underscoring the economic gains of the country in recent years, Ambassador Hernandez also emphasized in his remarks the strong bilateral relationship between the Philippines and South Korea.
“Today, apart from commemorating our nation’s independence, we also celebrate the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and South Korea that has grown and flourished through the years, blossoming to become a very strong partnership in the fields of politics, defense and security, trade and investment, development, education, tourism and people to people exchanges,” the Ambassador stated.
Ambassador Hernandez highlighted the important role of South Korea in the Philippines’ economic emergence, the former being the country’s fifth major trading partner, the sixth largest source of official development assistance, and the number one source of tourists for the past three years with 1.6 million Korean visitors in 2017.
In terms of people-to-people exchanges, South Korea is home to over 68,000 Filipinos while there are over 98,000 Koreans residing in the Philippines.
“Indeed, the interaction between our peoples continues to grow on an upward trajectory. This demonstrates that up to this day, our two nations continue to stand side-by-side not only as staunch defenders of freedom and democracy, but as steadfast partners in development and prosperity,” Ambassador Hernandez said.
For his part, Deputy Foreign Minister Yoon highlighted in his congratulatory remarks the special relations between the two countries, saying that the deep trust and friendship between the Philippines and South Korea “is well exemplified by the fact that Korea is the country that accounts for the greatest number of visitors to the Philippines and our trade volume has continued to exceed US$10 billion since 2010.”
“I also believe that there is still tremendous potential for the further deepening of our relations. Based on the exchange of our valuable experience and the ever-growing range of issues of common interest, I believe the ties between Korea and the Philippines will indeed expand as we move forward to the future,” the Korean Deputy Foreign Minister added.
Also present at the event were Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister for Planning and Coordination Suh Jeong-in, Korea Aerospace Industries CEO Kim Jo-Won, KIA Motors Director Kim Ik-Tae, and Hyundai Motors Senior Vice President Kim Dong Wook. They, together with Ambassador Hernandez, Madame Ana Hernandez, and Deputy Minister Yoon led the cake-cutting ceremony.
The event was capped off with remarkable performances from Leigh Jocson, Danalee Caguntas, Mary Joy Lor, Danica Torres, Jhonor Leanda, Rich Valerio, and Gil Hizon, which featured traditional and contemporary Filipino songs. END
Ambassador to South Korea Raul S. Hernandez (third from left) is joined by (from left): Director of KIA Motors Kim Ik-Tae, Deputy Minister Yoon Sun-gu; Madame Ana A. Hernandez; Deputy Minister Suh Jeong-In, and CEO of Korea Aerospace Industries Kim Jo-Won for the ceremonial cake cutting. (Seoul PE photo)
Ambassador to Korea Raul S. Hernandez and spouse Ana A. Hernandez are joined by dignitaries and foreign envoys for a group photo. (Choi Won-suk of Korea Times photo)