REMARKS DURING THE AWARDING CEREMONY OF 2023 TAIWAN SCHOLARSHIP TO
69 OUTSTANDING FILIPINO STUDENTS ON 28 JULY 2023
Acknowledged of Guests: Honorable Wallace Minn-Gan Chow, Representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, the Taiwan scholarship awardees, their proud parents, distinguish guests, ladies and gentlemen.
First, let me congratulate the 69 outstanding Filipino students who have been granted this year of Taiwan’s coveted scholarship, 24 to pursue degree courses and 45 for learning the Mandarin language.
Let me extend my congratulations and felicitation as well to their proud parents who toiled and sacrificed many of the comforts of life to inspire their children to develop their full potentials and reach for the stars, as it were.
Our two countries, the Philippines and Taiwan, have a long history of friendship, collaborative economic and cultural endeavors, shared goals on development and common aspiration to live in peace and freedom.
Taiwan is the host of some 170,000 Filipino Overseas Workers or OFWs who have considerably help Taiwan economy booming and raise the standard of living of the Taiwanese people, while leaving their families back home with adequate, if not ample resources to meet their needs and uplift the level of their life.
The Philippines, on the other hand, is the recipient of Taiwan investments, transfer of technology in agriculture, fisheries and education that enhance the living conditions of the recipient people. All of these have come a long way in raising the level of existence of many Filipino communities.
This bilateral benefits and development for the two neighbors significantly started in 1975, or some 48 years ago when the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) was organized to enhance/promote Philippines-Taiwan relations. And this has bare fruits through the years as shown by the current robust relations of the two countries.
You, the recipients of the Taiwan scholarships do not only do your parents proud, but you will also bring to your country the priceless knowledge and skills you will acquire from the great institutions of learning in Taiwan. And pass them over to the subsequent questions of Taiwan scholars. You will also serve as an enduring bond of friendship between the Filipinos and Taiwanese peoples.
And not only that, you will also, from the moment you finish your scholarship programs, act as ambassadors of goodwill of the Philippines to further enhance and enrich the friendly relations of the two countries in these uncertain and perilous times and volatile world. Who knows but you might also, by the imperative of history, act as peacemakers among adversary nations of the Asia-Pacific region by virtue of your familiarity of the Chinese and Filipino cultures.
On this note, let me wish you proud Filipino Taiwan scholars success in your future endeavors. And to the educational sector and great people of Taiwan, we extend our deep appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity you granted to the Filipino scholars.