SEOUL (Apr. 22) -– “The Forgotten War,” a film about the Filipino soldiers who took part in the Korean War from 1950 to 1955, had its exclusive premiere at the National Theater of Korea in Seoul April 20 to 200 Korean government officials, media and members of the diplomatic corps.
“The Forgotten War,” a 90-minute feature that tackles the exploits of the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) as they fought under the auspices of the United Nations Command, recreates important battle scenes and shares the stories of the soldiers as they faced adversity in a foreign land, finding courage, dedication, strength and love amidst the tragic backdrop of war.
It also offers a compelling account of how close ties developed between the Philippines and South Korea and highlights the valuable role that the Philippines played in safeguarding democracy in the peninsula.
“As we celebrate this year the 60 years of friendship between the Philippines and Korea, we honor the memories of the 7,500 soldiers through the world premiere of “The Forgotten War,” said Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Luis T. Cruz.
“Through this film, we hope to immortalize their stories,” he added.
The premiere is part of the yearlong activities prepared by the Philippine Embassy in order to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Korea on March 3, 1949.
The Philippines is the fifth country to extend diplomatic recognition to South Korea and the third country to send ground combat troops at the outbreak of the Korean War.
The first of five PEFTOK battalions arrived in Busan on September 19, 1950. Among the 7,500 soldiers who were deployed over a five-year period, 116 gave up their lives in the line of duty.
The Philippine Embassy also held a special advance screening for the Filipino Community on April 12 at the Tongsong Auditorium in Hyehwa-dong, which is home to the largest Filipino organization in South Korea and where a Tagalog mass is held every Sunday.
The screening coincided with the International Migrant Workers Day hosted by the Seoul Archdiocesan Pastoral Labor Center, which also provided the venue for the showing.
Some 1,000 Filipinos took part in the screening.
“The ‘Forgotten War’ refers to the Korean War, mainly because it is a major conflict in the last century that has gotten far less attention than other wars,” explained Amb. Cruz.
“I pray that the current generation will not forget the lessons of our forefathers and that, with greater awareness among our peoples, the ‘Forgotten War’ will continue to emerge from the cobwebs of memory and be forgotten no more,” he said.
The film is sponsored by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Hanjin Heavy Industries, PAGCOR, Metrobank, Il-daeil Education, PAL, CJ Corporation, Dong-kwang Construction, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Philippine Retirement Authority, Landbank, SSS, the Department of Tourism, I-Remit, and PIKOR Management.