“The making, existence, and expansion of the citizenry outside of the borders and the increasing transborder political participation of the diaspora mark a transnationalization of the nation-state and citizenship,” said Dr. Chulwoo Lee, professor of Law at Yonsei University Law School, as keynote speaker of the 2nd Philippine Koreanist Congress on August 17, 2019 at Novotel, Cubao, Quezon City.
With the title: “How does diaspora engagement reshape citizenship and nation-statehood?”, Lee’s paper was about countries redefining their ambit and according rights to migrants, based on concepts of citizenship that have been shifting alongside increased global migration.
“The Philippines and Korea are in tune with the times. Incorporating diaspora members into the active citizenry is now regarded as a democratic requirement,” Lee added. Both Korea and the Philippines have provisions for overseas voting, for example, but the Philippines is more advanced in allowing postal voting, he said.
Aside from dual citizenship, concepts such as “ethnizenship” and other forms of the “noncitizen diaspora status” are creating and expanding the “transnational nation”, Lee said.
In the open forum, he further argued that “limiting dual citizenship is increasingly unsustainable”.
The Second Philippine Koreanist Congress, with the theme: “Mapping the Korean diaspora in the Philippines: 70-year history and friendship in retrospect”, was spearheaded by the UP Korea Research Center in cooperation with The Academy of Korean Studies and supported by the Korean Cultural Center and the UP Department of Linguistics.
Present to welcome the participants and congratulate the organizers were: UP Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa, who represented UP President Danilo Concepcion; Scalabrini Migration Center Executive Director Maruja Asis; and, UP Korea Research Center Founding Director Eduardo Gonzalez.
Prof. Raymund Abejo of the UP Diliman Department of History presented interactions between Korean individuals and the Philippines since the 17th century up to the 1920s. Prof. Bubbles Beverly Asor of the De La Salle University Department of Sociology presented the migration of Koreans to the Philippines as linked to “geoarbitrage” or achieving a better life at lower cost. Antonio Miranda of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs-Foreign Service Institute surveyed the landscape of Korean communities in the Philippines, noting that mutual empathy has been impeded by power relations paralleling the disparity in economies and benefactor-beneficiary arrangement.
In the second session, Normi Son of the Kopino Children’s Association Inc. presented a study of satisfying and enduring Korean-Filipino marriages. Oliver Quintana of the Ateneo de Manila University Political Science Department made a case study of Korean War veterans in the Philippines for an organization’s role in institutionalizing national memory. Prof. Danirose Salazar of the UP Cesar Virata School of Business Department of Accounting and Finance showed that bilateral trades between South Korea and the Philippines were reflections of the economic development of the two countries over the years.
The last session was devoted to a workshop by the participants aimed at identifying milestones in their respective fields related to Korea and Korea Studies. They then assessed how these areas fare today and how these can be improved.