Above: Philippine Ambassador to the UK Enrique Manalo with lecturers Dr. Chris Drakeley (left-most) and Mr. Irwin Garbiel Lopez (right-most)


(London, 19 October 2012) – The Philippine Embassy in London comm

emorated Philippine-British Friendship Day today through an academic forum that will provide the platform for highlighting the works of British and Filipino scientific researchers. 

The celebration was highlighted by the inaugural lectures of the Philippine-British Lecture Series, which was organized by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association UK (UPAA-UK). 

Speaking at the event, Philippine Ambassador to the UK Enrique Manalo underscored the growing grassroots links between the two countries. He said that “the links between our two nations and our peoples are stronger than ever, highlighted by the successful official visit of President Aquino last June and the forthcoming bilateral consultations next month.”  

“There are a quarter of a million Filipinos in Britain, and some 15,000 Britons in the Philippines. Surely, this people-to-people interaction will deepen further in the future and help strengthen the overall bilateral ties,” Ambassador Manalo added. 

The lecture series aims to provide a platform to showcase the accomplishments of distinguished British academics who have undertaken projects in the Philippines and the achievements of notable Filipino researchers in the UK. 

Topics will cover both contemporary and historical issues, across a range of disciplines that includes, but is not limited to, arts and humanities, economics, education, engineering, public administration and governance, basic and applied sciences (including the environment), social and behavioural sciences, human sciences, public health and medicine, and sustainable development. 

The lectures were given by Dr. Chris Drakeley, Malaria Centre Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Chevening scholar Irwin Gabriel Lopez of Kings College London.  

Drakeley discussed the collaborative research he has been conducting in the Philippines on the biomedical, environmental and social risk factors for human malaria infection, while Lopez tackled his research on community-based frameworks for effective flood disaster responses in the Philippines. 

Commission on Audit Chairperson Grace Pulido Tan also graced the occasion. 

This marks the 12th time that the two countries commemorated Friendship Day as a way to “celebrate, enhance and enrich the historical, political, economic and cultural ties that strongly bind” the Philippines and Britain. The first celebration was on 7 December 2000, as mandated under Presidential Proclamation 381. In 2008, it was changed to 20 October through Presidential Proclamation 1592. (END)