By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

31 August 2023, Seoul. The Philippine Embassy, with the support of the Filipino Community in South Korea, in commemoration of Buwan ng Wika, held the first ever Eskwelahan sa Embahada on August 6 and 13, 2023 at the Embassy premises. This was followed by a culminating event called the Palarong Pinoy and Family Day held on August 20, 2023 at the Yongsan Family Park.

In her welcome remarks, Ambassador Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega said that the activities provide Filipino multicultural families in South Korea with programs to introduce Filipino culture and heritage to second and third generation Fil-Korean children (KOPINOs). She emphasized that the programs were designed in a way that would ensure an interactive engagement with both parents and children, and showcase Filipino language learning and traditions in a fun way.

Moving forward, Ambassador Dizon-De Vega said that the Embassy hopes to deliver more innovative programs for the Filipino community and conduct similar activities in other parts of South Korea where there are similarly large concentrations of Filipino multicultural families.

Joined by at least 10 multicultural families, including both Filipino and Korean parents and children, the pilot Eskwelahan delivered a mix of lectures and activities on Filipino language and culture for both parents and children. For two straight Sundays, parents had a discussion on the Filipino Identity and Heritage led by Ms. Rina Marquez, a Filipino educator. while children learned the basics of Filipino language and history with the members of the Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea (PIKO).

Joint sessions for both parents and children were also conducted, including a lecture on Philippine national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal by The Knights of Rizal-Seoul Chapter; cooking a variety of Filipino food such as pansit, halo-halo, and turon with Ms. Cathy Israel; and learning the traditional Filipino dance tinikling with the Seoul Filipino Catholic Community. All learning materials were developed specifically by the Filcom Organizations for the program and reproduced by the Embassy for dissemination.

Meanwhile, the Palarong Pinoy was attended by at least 230 individuals, who participated in various traditional Filipino games, such as Luksong Baka/Tinik, Jak en Poy, Ten Twenty, Tumbang Preso, Patintero, Piko, Dama, Sungka, Saranggola-making, Sipa, Agawan Base, Sack Race, and Hilahang Lubid.

The same event also saw the awarding of graduation certificates to the participants of the pilot Eskwelahan sa Embahada, and Certificates of Recognition to 3 Filipino community organizations, including the Incheon Catholic International Community, Tongyeong Filipino Community, and the United Fil-Korean Families.

Partner Filcom organizations were also given certificates of recognition for their invaluable support and contribution to the success of the event, including the Bisayang Dako sa Korea, Filipino Korea Spouses Association, Filipino Photographers in South Korea, Pinoy Investors in Korea, Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea, Philippine E-9 Chess Club, Seoul Filipino Catholic Community, United Filipinos in Korea, Seoul Filipino Parents and Children Organization, Triskelion Alumni Organization International Council of Korea, and United Fil-Korean Families.

Special prizes were awarded through the support of the Department of Agriculture-Seoul, Migrant Workers' Office-Seoul, Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration-Seoul and the Department of Tourism-Seoul. END