By Mortz C. Ortigoza
It was heart warming to see recently my 91 years old father and some Korean War’s veterans hugged and saluted by coat and tied South Korean executives at the lobby of the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay City.
“Thanks for your heroism and service in saving our country,” a Korean who just darted off from his family embraced my pa’ and other octogenarian and nonagenarian former warriors for their gallantry and intrepidity in the first cold war between the United States and Soviet Union that ensued 70 years ago.
The formal attired event attended by the diplomatic corps lead by U.S Ambassador to the Philippines' Sung Kim, government luminaries, cadet corps of the Philippines National Police, and surviving spouses of the veterans and their descendants, was sponsored by the burgeoning South Korean government dubbed as The Korean War Memorial Peace Concert that celebrated 70 years of the Korean War and mutual exchanges between our country and the Republic of Korea (RoK).
| SENTIMENTAL - Some members of the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) pose for posterity with the South Korean soldiers during their sentimental journey in June 27 to July 2, 2019 at the peninsula. The journey was bankrolled by the grateful South Korean government. Unlike the Philippine Civic Action Group (PhilCag) who did construction and medical works in the Vietnam War, these PEFTOK guys sacrificed their lives and limbs shooting out with the Chinese and North Koreans in the early 1950s war.|
Fourth from left is Army Major Maximo Young, the second awardee of the South Korea's Taegeuk (Medal of Valor) after Army Captain Conrado Yap. Young award was given by the Seoul government during the June 27 to July 2 visit there.
It was showcased by the world class RoK’s Seocho Philharmoniker throught the baton of conductor Jong-hoon Bae, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, soprano Rachelle Gerodias, baritone Byeong-in Park, Canadian famous trumpeter Jens Lindeman, and other popular talents.