MANILA, Philippines -- Looks like President Aquino is interested to learn how to speak Korean.
During the inauguration of the PEFTOK-Korean War Memorial Hall at the Libingan ng mga Bayani annex in Taguig, Aquino noted that the president of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Paterno Viloria, speaks Korean “quite fluently.” (File photo: PNoy with Grace Lee)
“Perhaps I should ask him how one will study Korean in a most expedient manner and by which method,” Aquino said in his speech.
Aquino is dating Korean media personality Grace Lee.
Aquino unveiled the dedication marker to mark the inauguration of the Memorial Hall, built to commemorate the service of the officers and men of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) who fought in the Korean War and helped in the reconstruction of the Republic of Korea after the war.
The two-storey structure was funded by the Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs through the Embassy of Korea in the Philippines. It has a library, auditorium, and a museum highlighting the Philippine contingent’s role during the Korean war.
Former President Fidel Ramos, himself a Korean War veteran, graced the occasion, along with other veterans and dignitaries led by South Korean ambassador to the Philippines Lee Hye-min.
Aquino said the memorial serves as a “testament” to the sacrifices of the veterans and a “reminder” of the strong bond between the Philippines and South Korea.
“This memorial hall is a testament to the bravery and the sacrifice of those who took the burden of war on their shoulders so that a people might be free. Here, we remember the men of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea. Here, we look back on a shining moment in our history, and we are reminded of the special bonds that have tied our fate to that of the Korean people for more than sixty years,” Aquino said in his speech.
He said the Philippines and South Korea have a shared history, noting that both countries lived under authoritarian rule but now stand as “mature democracies committed to the development of our peoples.”
Aquino also mentioned that his father, former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., served as a news correspondent covering the Korean War.