Philippines Ambassador to Korea Maria Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega and The Korea Herald CEO Choi Jin-young agreed to seek ways to boost people-to-people ties between the Philippines and South Korea in Seoul on Wednesday.
Dizon-De Vega proposed a partnership between Korea and the Film Development Council of the Philippines to shoot dramas and movies to enhance cultural awareness between the two countries, citing the example of Singapore's Marina Bay Sands hotel's appearance in the Korean drama "Little Women.”
"We can do something similar for Philippines," Dizon-De Vega said.
The Philippines Tourism Ministry and South Korea are actively looking to enhance people-to-people ties, the ambassador said. Before COVID-19, Koreans topped the list of foreign visitors to the Philippines. Just after the pandemic, the US became No. 1, but in 2022 Koreans once again took the top spot.
"The Philippines is now promoting new tourist destinations such as Bohol for Korean visitors,“ Dizon-De Vega said.
The envoy expressed her commitment to strategically enhancing people-to-people and economic ties ahead of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Philippines and Korea in 2024.
Meanwhile, the ambassador, who was a former journalist, also discussed the role and responsibility of traditional print media publications.
Dizon-De Vega noted that there had been questions raised in opinion editorials about the future of traditional print media such as the New York Times, The Korea Herald and the Financial Times a few years ago due to the emergence of new media.
"But everyone is still here," she said, saying this demonstrates the public's trust in and valuing of traditional print media.
According to the ambassador, people are more informed due to digitization and realize the importance of fact-checked information propagated through a systematic and organized talent pool.
She applauded print media's commitment to journalistic ethics and responsibility to the public.
"I read all the major newspapers every morning, and I can say that The Korea Herald has a maximum number of stories and pages, and there’s a lot of information," the ambassador said.
"I scan the other newspapers, but when I get to The Korea Herald, I read every story," she said.
Dizon-De Vega is a career diplomat who has worked over 25 years in foreign service. She started working for the Department of Foreign Affairs after placing first in the Foreign Service Officers Examination in 1994.