Ambassador Lee, singer Jannabi grace K-Culture Next Door: 2024 Korea Festival

Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Sang-hwa and South Korean indie rock band Jannabi graced the “K-Culture Next Door: 2024 Korea Festival” in Manila. 

Organized by the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC), the festival was held on May 4 and 5 at the  SM Mall of Asia Music Hall. 







The “K-Culture Next Door: 2024 Korea Festival” in Manila (KCC)

Performers were Jannabi, Filipino artist Young Cocoa; NARA (KCC's traditional dance performing team); and the Centro Escolar University (CEU) Folk Dance Troupe. 

The festival is part of the celebration of the 75th year of diplomatic relations between South Korea and the Philippines. 

Joining Ambassador Lee were SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairman  Jose Javier Reyes, Deputy Executive Director for Operation Bernan Joseph Corpuz of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), SM Supermalls MOA Senior Assistant Vice President for Operations Perkin So, and Ma. Angelica Roa Yu, executive assistant for social services of the Pasay City Social Welfare and Development Department. 

In his speech, Ambassador Lee said, This marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties and a long, enduring friendship between Korea and the Philippines. As we commemorate this milestone, it must be remembered what we are celebrating is not merely a history of relations but a friendship that has grown over the years. We are here to celebrate the exchanges of peoples and cultures between our two countries that have mutually enriched the lives of both our peoples.” 



Jannabi (Philippine K-pop Convention) 8.jpg

Young Cocoa (KCC)7.jpg

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NARA  (KCC)10.jpg

Centro Escolar University (CEU) Folk Dance Troupe (KCC)

Citing data, Lee said “92% of Filipinos hold deeply positive sentiments toward Korea.” 

“The Philippines ranked the highest among the nations in the survey conducted by the Korean government in 2023. This love for Korean culture has transcended borders, affecting many aspects of Filipino society. From K-pop to K-drama, as well as from Korean food to its innovative products, Korea has captured the hearts of many Filipinos, young and old alike,” the ambassador said. 

He said “the Philippines has become one of the top destinations for Korean tourists. The Department of Tourism reported that almost 1.5 million Koreans visited the Philippines last year. Korea ranked first among all nations in the world in the number of visitors, surpassing US, Japan and China by far.”

“This year's Korea Festival, themed ‘K-Culture Next Door,’ highlights such close connection between Korea and the Filipinos. The term “Next Door” suggests that Korea and its culture is not distant or foreign but rather, a close, neighborly part of the local experience,” he said. 

He added, “What’s more, companies like Samsung, Hyundai, and Amorepacific along with various Korean government agencies are here to showcase their initiatives and products, providing a glimpse into the dynamic, modern Korea. Also, I am thrilled to announce that a indie rock band “Jannabi” is here to offer a fresh take on K-pop that is sure to captivate audiences.”

He said the Korean Embassy will “hold series of cultural exhibitions and performances throughout the year. For instance, an immersive, digital exhibition on Korean art is currently on display at the Korean Cultural Center in Manila. So take the opportunity to immerse yourself in Korean exhibitions and performances that would entice your cultural appetite.”

“I would like to extend my congratulations to all who have worked tirelessly to make this year’s Korea Festival possible. May this festival pave the way for future collaboration, friendship and more celebrations to come,” said Ambassador Lee. 

The Cebu counterpart of the festival will be held on June 15 and 16 at the SM Seaside City Cebu’s Mountain Wing Atrium while the opening ceremony will be on June 15 at the Skyhall.