MANILA -- For the first time, a peace concert will be staged in Manila to honor Filipino and Korean veterans who fought during the Korean War in 1950.
Dubbed as "The Korean War Memorial Peace Concert", the event is set on June 25, 7 p.m. at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo Theater, Cultural Center of the Philippines. It is jointly organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, and The Patriotic Cultural Association of Korea.
"It has been 69 years since the Korean War broke out. The present generation doesn’t suffer from hunger, oppression, or difficulties that the people from the past experienced before. Without the sacrifice of the people and countries that helped us during the Korean War, The Republic of Korea would not achieve its economic and cultural growth that we are experiencing today," Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC) Director Lee Jincheol told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.
He noted that the Philippines was also the first Asian country to send its soldiers to Korea during the Korean War. About 7,420 soldiers dubbed as the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) fought in Korea from 1950 to 1955, he added.
"Out of these (Filipino) soldiers, 112 died during the war. We, Koreans, will never forget the sacrifice and willingness of these Filipino soldiers," Lee emphasized.
The KCC director said it is vital to organize events like the peace concert so that the youth would appreciate the peace they are currently experiencing. This kind of event, he said, would help the youth realize the importance of the fallen heroes' sacrifices.
"This peace concert aims to commemorate the Philippines Armed forces and all the participants of the Korean War. We would like to look back on their contribution to the Korean peninsula and the world peace through this concert," he said.
Lee said this would be the first Korean Memorial Peace Concert in Manila, as this year also marks the 70th year of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Korea.
"We are planning to have another peace concert this November, with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra coming to Seoul, Korea. We expect to have more activities that will celebrate this milestone for both Korea and the Philippines," Lee told the PNA.
Meanwhile, aside from PPO, guests will also see the Seocho Philharmoniker of Korea at the concert.
The two philharmonic orchestras will also perform a wide repertory, including "Bimok", the Korean folk song to commemorate Korean War veterans, as well as the Korean "boating song", "Arirang Fantasy", among others. (PNA)