Philippine Embassy in Korea celebrates MANA Mo with Forum on

By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

SEOUL, 21 September 2021 - To commemorate Philippine Maritime and Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month (ManaMo) and In keeping with this year's theme of "Our Seas, Our Livelihood, Our Heritage: Connecting Lives and Nations", the Embassy of the Philippines in Korea held a webinar on 18 September 2021 entitled "Philippines-Republic of Korea Maritime Cooperation: Taking Stock and Moving Forward" with the Philippine Navy's Chief of Naval Staff Commodore Caesar Bernard N. Valencia serving as keynote speaker.

To bolster both countries' strong ties in maritime security and naval cooperation, the forum participants included Filipino military cadets and officers studying in Korea and their Korean counterparts from various Korean military institutions. A total of forty-three (43) participants joined the forum.

In her welcome remarks, Ambassador-designate Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega explained the importance of Maritime and Archipelagic Awareness for the Philippines, the need to build stronger student-officer ties in defense diplomacy, and took the opportunity to brief the forum on the gains of PH and ROK's maritime cooperation in recent years, including the sourcing of two Philippine navy frigates from Korea.

Commodore Valencia shared the history of PH-ROK maritime cooperation, ongoing and future naval cooperation efforts. He likewise encouraged cadets present to be defense diplomats in their own right.

Reactors former Philippine Defense Attache to the ROK and current Director of the Center for Naval Leadership and Excellence Capt. Armil Angeles and current PH Defense Attache Col. Enriqueto Deocadez shared ideas on how to improve current PH-ROK defense cooperation mechanisms, including ways to sustain this. The reactors also highlighted the Philippines' commitment to continuing and strengthening maritime ties fundamental to the long-standing diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea.

An engaging Q&A session followed during which participants asked questions on ways to promote maritime relations between PH and ROK and furthering maritime awareness of the Philippines as officers and cadets.