Official press release from the U.S. Embassy Manila:
Manila, March 24, 2018 — On Friday, March 23, PAEF celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright program in the Philippines with a gala dinner at The Peninsula Manila. Speaking at the dinner, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim said that “the remarkable success and longevity” of the Fulbright program in the Philippines is “a testament to the enduring relationship our two countries share.”
At a similar reception, hosted by the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. on March 22, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Cayetano affirmed via video message that “seventy years of educational and cultural exchange has greatly contributed to the strengthening and deepening of the Philippine-U.S. relationship.”
On March 23, 1948, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Emmet O’Neal and Philippine Vice President Elpidio Quirino signed an executive agreement to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the Philippines through educational exchange. That agreement officially formed the bilateral United States Educational Foundation in the Philippines, which later became the Philippine-American Educational Foundation (PAEF). At 70 years old, PAEF is the longest continuously-running Fulbright Commission in the world and the oldest international educational exchange program in the Philippines.
At the Manila event, PAEF underscored the historical impact of the program by honoring 11 notable Fulbright alumni as the first class of Fulbright Philippines Hall of Fame inductees. The inductees included Conchita Abad, one of the Philippines’ original 1948 Fulbright Scholars, who – at 94 years old – attended the event. Also inducted were former Ambassador Jose Cuisia, former President of the Philippine Social Security System Corazon Dela Paz-Bernardo, and former Senator Rene Saguisag; National Artist award recipients Bienvenido Lumbera, Napoleon Abueva, Abdulmari Asia Imao, and Lucrecia Kasilag; and National Scientist award recipients Dr. Angel Alcala, Clare Baltazar, and Bienvenido Nebres. PAEF also awarded plaques of appreciation to Former Senator Edgardo Angara and the family of Washington SyCip for their important contributions to the Fulbright program.
PAEF is a non-profit, bilateral organization responsible for the administration of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship Programs, Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowships, Global Undergraduate Exchange Programs, and other educational exchange initiatives. Since 1948, PAEF has awarded Fulbright grants to nearly 3,000 Filipinos and close to 1,000 Americans to study, teach, lecture, and conduct research in the United States and the Philippines.