By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Editor Kevin Lee
On Dec. 29, 2021, The Korea Post media presented Ambassador Maria Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega of the Philippines in Seoul with a Plaque of Citation for the valuable information and support given to The Korea Post media in the publication of a Special Report on the country in its December 2021 issue. The special report was published by both the English and Korean-language publications of The Korea Post, including the Internet editions (www.koreapost.com in English and www.koreapost.co.kr in the Korean language).
Ambassador Dizon-De Vega provided The Korea Post media with excellent answers to the interview questionnaire and picture materials essential in the publication of a quality Special Report for the promotion of relations, cooperation and friendship between Korea and the Philippines.
The occasion also marked the presentation of a separate Plaque of Citation to Translator Ms. Yoon Dong-chae of the Embassy who rendered a good measure of support for the successful publication of the Special Report.
The presentation was made by Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media also on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the founding of The Korea Post media in the upcoming 2022, which has developed into a media organization publishing a total of five news media, including one English monthly magazine and a periodical Korean-language newspaper—as well as two real-time Internet editions, one in English and the other in the Korean language.
Attending the ceremony from The Korea Post media, besides the publisher-chairman, were Managing Editor Kevin Lee and Make-up Editor Kim Myeong-keun.
While receiving the Plaque of Citation, Ambassador Dizon-De Vega said, “It was an honor and a pleasure to welcome you again to the Embassy.”
Ambassador Dizon-De Vega was wearing a unique traditional Filipino costume of exceptional beauty and elegance (see pictures). Publisher Lee (a former Cultural Editor of The Korea Herald) who extensively covered lady’s fashions at the time, inquired about the costume. The beautiful costume was called Terno top with skirts, both made from Inavel fabric which is handwoven in the Northern Philippines. The outfit is an original design by NinaInabel, a social enterprise promoting native Philippine weaves in modern, everyday design.
The Philippines is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It is situated in the western Pacific Ocean, and consists of about 7,640 islands, that are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The Philippines covers an area of 300,000 km2 and, as of 2020, had a population of around 109 million people, making it the world's 12th-most populous country. The Philippines is a multinational state, with diverse ethnicities and cultures throughout its islands. Manila is the nation's capital, while the largest city is Quezon City, both lying within the urban area of Metro Manila.
The Philippines economy expanded by 7.1 percent from July to September 2021, among the highest third quarter growths in ASEAN and the Asian region despite the pandemic, boosting optimism about the Philippines staging a strong recovery next year.
The COVID19 situation is likewise improving with less than 1,000 new cases starting in early December 2021 and a rising vaccination rate. As of the start of December 2021, over 86.4 million vaccine doses have been administered, with the Philippines ranking 19th out of 205 counties and territories globally in total doses administered. Booster shots are now being administered for frontline health workers, seniors, and persons with comorbidities. Vaccination of minors aged 12-17 years old is also ongoing.
The Philippines has also prepared for the possible re-opening of the country to foreign tourists with tourism sector workers classified as part of the vaccine priority sector.
Based on the Philippine data of National Statistics Office, the total trade between the Philippines and Korea in 2020 was at US$9.75 billion, down from US$11.72 billion in 2019 which was expected because of the manufacturing slowdown last year due to global supply chain concerns as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. The imports of the Philippines from Korea in 2020 were valued at $6.89 billion while the Philippines exported US 2.85 billion worth of products. In 2021, the trade figures will be higher than last year with the gradual easing of restrictions in the manufacturing sector for the better part of 2021.
In 2020, the Republic of Korea was the 5th major trading partner of the Philippines (out of 225 trading partners), 7th biggest export market (out of 213 markets) and 4th largest import supplier (out of 205 suppliers). Korea is also one of the Philippines’ top investments-source countries and ODA partners.