By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Seoul

Seoul, 19 February 2018 ? The Embassy of the Philippines in Seoul, in a simple ceremony on 18 February 2018 at the Embassy's Rizal Hall, gave recognition to Filipino graduates and outstanding students. The semi-annual recognition ceremony, called Hayo at Gilas PIKO, is an initiative of the Embassy and a continuing tradition of the Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea, Inc. (PIKO), in sending off and congratulating young Filipino scholars in Korea.

PH Ambassador to Korea Raul S. Hernandez (front and center) poses with the officers of Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea, Inc. (PIKO), led by its President Mr. Franz Kevin Geronimo (front, 5th from left), and the Filipino graduates and achievers at this year's Hayo at Gilas PIKO.
The ceremony was the 10th recognition ceremony for graduates and the 6th recognition ceremony for achievers of PIKO since its inception in 2012.

In line with its theme "Filipino Scholars: Catalysts of Filipino Pride and Excellence," Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul S. Hernandez highlighted in his opening remarks the significant role these Filipino scholars play in their respective fields of study.

"Through your academic accomplishments as Filipino scholars, you have not just significantly contributed in your respective fields but you have also elevated the status of Filipino scholars and the Philippines in this country. Indeed, you should all be lauded for being an inspiration to your fellow students and for being exemplary representatives of the Philippines in South Korea," Ambassador Hernandez said.

Ambassador Hernandez also challenged the graduates and awardees to continuously chase after their goals. "Continue to be catalysts of Filipino pride and excellence ? pursuing your dreams through a combination of unyielding determination, sacrifice, and hard work. Continue to tackle every arduous challenge with great fortitude. Continue to build your resilience so you will all be outstanding citizens who will work for the betterment of others and of our beloved country," he said.

The Spring Hayo at Gilas PIKO recognized a total of 30 Filipino graduates (8 PhD, 20 Masters, and 2 Bachelors) and 20 outstanding students who have garnered international awards for their research presentations as well as those whose research papers have been published in international academic journals.

Representing her fellow graduates, Ms. Cherry Fernandez, a PhD graduate in Veterinary Medicine at Gyeongsang National University, presented her doctoral dissertation entitled "Comparative Expression Analysis of Cytokines in Riemerella Anatipestifier Infection in ducks and chickens."

Mr. Lorenzo Moron, a Master's graduate in Atmospheric Environment at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and a scholar of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) delivered a message on behalf of his fellow Filipino graduates. Meanwhile, Ms. Monica Dulos, a former Filipino scholar and PIKO member, now a program officer at the ASEAN-Korea Centre in Seoul, was the guest speaker at the event.

There are over 600 Filipino students in exchange, undergraduate, and graduate programs in around 40 universities in Korea.

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