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  • Von Legolas Atienza

K-beauty, LGBTQIA+, PPOP: ‘Gen Z-poised’ Philippine-Korean Youth Forum is back and unstoppable


“Because of PKYF, I met new strangers and we [became] friends,” recalled Mark John Millena via email.

Millena was one of the best-performing delegates of the Philippine-Korean Youth Forum (PKYF) on its inaugural installment in 2021.

Returning for its 3rd installment this year, the PKYF is UP Arirang’s flagship event where Filipino and Korean youth come together to explore new possibilities for collaboration in addressing post-pandemic social issues.

The PKYF has four tracks, namely: Arts & Media, Governance & Diplomacy, Culture & Tourism, and Economy & Trade. Each track digs deeper into two more subtopics through keynote speeches, interactive workshops, and plenary sessions.

Millena got involved in the Arts & Media track in 2021. This year, the track is expected to be the most popular, as it will pay attention to the growing Pinoy pop (PPOP) fandoms and the impact of historical (sageuk) K-dramas in Philippine teleseryes.

On the other hand, JP Serraon from PKYF 2022 recollects their immersion into the Governance & Diplomacy track.

“One of the unforgettable moments I experienced was when this organization bridged me towards the rays of soft power and PEFTOK,” recalled Serraon via email.

In this year’s installment, PKYF takes a more inclusive turn, as it will also tackle student activism and the state of political participation of women and LGBTQIA+ both in the Philippines and South Korea.

Meanwhile, the Economy & Trade and Culture & Tourism tracks are no less anticipated. Under the Economy & Trade track, the increasingly “self-caring” youth can enjoy learning about Korean cosmetics, Korean skin care, and the ways how beauty trades can affect our local beauty industry and our self-perception.

Finally, through the Culture & Tourism track, Korean slangs can fully be understood by the youth, from the slangs’ mediation through the small screen to their everyday incorporation into the Filipino language (hwaiting~).

Millena hoped to qualify once again as a PKYF delegate this year, while Serraon reflected on the lessons from the Forum’s past installments.

“This forum did not just teach us to be grounded in our chosen tracks; rather, it taught us to appreciate wholeheartedly both history and contemporary culture,” said Serraon.

PKYF will conduct virtual forums starting on July 1, 2023. The event will culminate in-person in the University of the Philippines Diliman on August 5, 2023 with exclusive performances from rising PPOP groups of the day.

For more updates, follow PKYF’s Facebook page.

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