From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."

President Noynoy Aquino Meets Filipinos in South Korea

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More than 300 Filipinos came to Lotte Hotel in Myeongdong yesterday, Friday, October 18th, to meet President Benigno S. Aquino III. I was invited to attend the meeting which started at 6. The President’s meeting with representatives of various Filipino organizations in Korea is part of his two-day state visit to South Korea.

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President Aquino arrived with Senate President Franklin Drilon, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., Presidential Management Staff (PMS) chief Julia Andrea Abad, and Presidential Protocol chief Celia Anna Feria.

Photo taken from Pinoysahewa Sambayanan FB homepage

Photo taken from Pinoysahewa Sambayanan FB homepage

The President bestowed upon Rep. Jasmine Lee the Order of Lakandula, one of the highest civilian honors given by the Republic of the Philippines, in memory of Lakandula’s dedication to the responsibilities of leadership, prudence, fortitude, courage and resolve in the service of one’s people. Rep. Lee received the award with her two children.

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After the conferring ceremony, the President delivered his speech about the improvements in the country since he became president in 2010. He spoke in Filipino, which I appreciate, since it was a Filipino gathering. 

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(The videos of the President’s speech that I took are not of good quality, because I was seated in the middle row, but I’m putting them up anyway, just so you will know what the President talked about and how enthusiastic the crowd was.)

Earlier in the meeting, Ambassador Luis T. Cruz reported to President Aquino the
accomplishments of the Filipino community in South Korea. He also acknowledged the organization leaders and social workers who have made important contributions to the Filipino community and who continue to help Filipinos in Korea. (One of them is my good friend, Sr. Angel C. Libron of Guri Exodus FilKor Community. Kudos to you, Sister! ^^)

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Attendees were given 30 minutes to have their photo taken with the President. In groups, we had to come up the stage where President Aquino and his official delegation were seated. The President made a polite gesture to stand up and have his picture taken beside the oldest and longest-serving Filipina missionary in Korea, Sr. Mikaela Santiago, when she came up the stage.

When the President and his delegation left, we shared a sumptuous buffet dinner while enjoying a short Kulintang presentation and a song number. Some of the attendees indulged themselves in one of the favorite Filipino pastimes, picture-taking.

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