Ambassador Raul S. Hernandez, together with Mme. Maria Ana A. Hernandez, poses with the Philippine Embassy Officers and Staff after the Bayanihan sa Korea 2017.
The annual event, which was organized by the Philippine Embassy in Seoul with the invaluable support of Stimula Productions, Inc. and the Seoul City government, was attended by around 2,000 Filipinos from all over South Korea.
The event started with a Catholic mass officiated by the Papal Nuncio to Korea Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, who is also from the Philippines. The mass was followed by a short program featuring congratulatory messages from this year's guests of honor, Vice Mayor Liu, Gyoung-Gee of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Mr. Kim, Pyung-Hee of HRD Korea.
Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul S. Hernandez, in his welcome remarks, paid tribute to the people who fought for the country's freedom. He also challenged the audience to continuously fight for our freedom against poverty, crimes, drugs, and corruption.
Ambassador Hernandez also honored the thousands of Filipinos working in South Korea who, in pursuit for change or better lives for themselves and their families back home, are faced with many difficulties. He lauded their courage and passion, as well as the role they play in the economic growth and prosperity of the Philippines.
Ms. Sandara Park, an A-list K-pop artist who started her showbiz career in the Philippines, also graced the event. She was introduced as the PH-ROK Friendship Ambassador to the members of the Filipino Community and was cited for her commitment in promoting the Philippines as well as for being an effective instrument to bridge the two countries.
Following the formal part of the program was the parade of the different Filipino Community organizations in Korea. 32 groups, in their colorful Filipiniana wear and organization shirts, joined the parade. The Seoul Filipino Community was awarded Best in Parade while the Ansan Filipino Community bagged the Best in Street Dance award.
The event also featured performances from local groups as well as live performances from Filipino celebrities, Mr. Michael Pangilinan and Ms. Liezel Garcia.
On-site services, such as labor counseling, medical services, and financial and remittance promotion, were also made available. Prizes, such as laptop computers, round trip tickets to Manila, and other prizes, were also raffled off.