Ů

Skip to main content Skip to local navigation

Philippines Secretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, diplomats meet York U leadership and researchers

Philippines Secretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, diplomats meet York U leadership and researchers

Home » Category Listing » Philippines Secretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, diplomats meet York U leadership and researchers

Philippines Secretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, diplomats meet York U leadership and researchers

Manalo noted academic connections between York and Philippine educational and government institutions that strengthen bilateral relations  

York University and the Philippines have developed a deep-rooted relationship that’s “mutually beneficial,” the Philippines Secretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo said during his visit to the University’s Keele campus on Friday, May 10, 2024.

Manalo stopped by York University on the last day of his Canadian trip, to meet with members of York’s leadership and faculty researchers with a strong interest in the Philippines and its diaspora. He was accompanied by the country’s top diplomats to Canada, including Ambassador Maria Andrelita Austria; Assistant Secretary Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga, Office of American Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs; and Toronto Consul General Angelica Escalona.

Coinciding with the Asian Heritage Month events held at York University, the meeting was facilitated by York International’s Helen Balderama, director of global engagement and partnership.

“Academic linkages facilitate cooperation that strengthens the bilateral relations between the Philippines and Canada,” Manalo told the attendees, including academics who are part of the Philippine Studies Group (PSG) at York Centre for Asian Research.

“We note the active engagements between York University and Philippine educational and government institutions,” said Manalo, highlighting his country’s appreciation for PSG’s research programs and projects, conducted with funding support from the Philippines government.

Three members of the Philippine delegation visitng York University seen in the image
From left: Ambassador Maria Andrelita Austria; Secretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo; and Assistant Secretary Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga, Office of American Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs

“York University is committed to further developing strategic partnerships in the Philippines and the Filipino community in Canada that are multi-layered and multi-disciplinary,” Provost and Vice-President Academic Lisa Philipps said. Philipps noted that her recent visit to the Philippines, as part of the Universities Canada Partnership Mission, offered an insight into the opportunities available for research collaborations and partnerships.

In fact, the discussions Philipps had with government officials around York’s leadership in disaster and emergency management (DEM) research led to Professors and visiting the Pacific nation – ranked among the most disaster-prone countries in the world — with its Civil Defense Training Institute.

Kennedy and Asgary, who are the associate directors of York Emergency Mitigation, Engagement, Response, & Governance Institute, shared their experience interacting with researchers at the University of the Philippines as well as visiting active volcano sites during their recent visit to the Pacific nation. 

Kennedy said the Philippines Office of Civil Defense personnel have been invited to York University for training and collaboration, as well as to explore experiential education opportunities for students in DEM programs, including internships and placements in the Philippines.

image of Philippine delegation meeting York University leadership members and researchers with special interest in the Philippines and the Filipino community
Secretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo of the Philippines, second left, Ambassador Maria Andrelita Austria, left, and other members of the the Philippine delegation listen to Professor Philip Kelley, right, interim dean of the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, as he highlights some of the work by York's Philippine Studies Group.

Dance Professor who had accompanied Philipps on the trip, highlighted his positive experience engaging in partnership meetings to launch the course, “Philippine Folk Dance and Culture.” He said nearly a dozen students have enrolled in his innovative that begins later this month in the Philippines. The course is offered by York’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design in partnership with the University of the Philippines and other Philippine institutions. Alcedo said the course will be a window into the rich culture and traditions of the Philippines through immersive experience and will be offered to external participants in the future.

Visual art and art history Professor said her upcoming book, funded by the PSG, will be first of its kind on Filipino Canadian contemporary art published in Canada. The book, currently in manuscript stage, examines the practices and oral histories of four Filipino Canadian visual artists and their decolonial diaspora esthetics, while analyzing what it means to be a diasporic person amid a Eurocentric society.

Equity studies Professor , whose research focus includes post-disaster recovery, climate change adaptation and climate change-induced mobility in the Philippines and the Filipino community in Canada, was among the researchers present at the meeting. She told the group that more than $500,000 of a new grant for an international research study in Africa and Asia will be allocated to research in the Philippines. Su, who is a co-principal investigator on the grant noted that the fund will be used to hire researchers, invest in local communities and build capacity for research and climate change adaptation.

Professor , interim dean of the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change who is credited with establishing York’s earliest research partnership with the Philippines, in 2007, highlighted that a large number of York students are drawn from recent immigrant communities, including the Filipino community, which is also one of the fastest growing diasporas in the country. He said York also has attracted many faculty members of Philippine origin and that led to the creation of the PSG at York.

Kelly offered an overview of the group’s work, highlighting current projects of a few Philippine researchers – both faculty and students— fostering cultural understanding through the arts and humanities. He noted that the research spans disciplines across the University, including history Professor ’s research on the commonalities between Indigenous cultures and communities of Canada and the Philippines; and politics Professor ’s research studying labour activism in the Filipino diaspora. 

Philippine Secretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo (centre), and his country's top diplomats to Canada, met with Provost and Vice-President Academic Lisa Philipps (to his right) and other leadership members and researchers during his visit to York University before heading back to the Philippines, May 10.

At the end of the presentation, Philipps thanked Manalo and his colleagues for making the stop at York University to meet in person with York researchers. “We are excited to participate in the 75th anniversary celebrations of Philippines-Canada diplomatic relations, hosting several related events at York this year.”

Among the York events planned around the 75th anniversary’s theme “Building Bridges, Celebrating Connections,” are a panel discussion of Filipino-Canadian community and thought leaders concerning Filipino immigrant successes and barriers in Canadian labour markets, and a diaspora film festival, both planned for Fall 2024.