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Malaysian Astronaut visits Manila

July 7, 2011 Leave a comment

The Asia Society Philippines recently worked with the Malaysian Embassy to bring Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, the first Malaysian Astronaut to Manila. He visited and gave talks at Far Eastern University, Ateneo de Manila University and the Quezon City Interactive Center. Photos courtesy of the Asia Society’s Tomas Cruz.

With his excellency, Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad, Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines and Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, the first Malaysian Astronaut

Giving a talk at Far Eastern University, Manila

Meeting public elementary school students at the Quezon City Interactive Center

Picture with the Asia Society Philippines staff and interns

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Asia Society and the ASEAN Astronaut

July 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Asia Society and the ASEAN Astronaut

by: Harvey S. Keh

The Manila Times

http://www.manilatimes.net/opinion/asia-society-and-the-asean-astronaut/

 

TWO months ago, I was appointed as acting Executive Director of the Asia Society here in the Philippines.

The Asia Society is based in New York and has been one of the world’s leading international organizations that helps promote understanding between the leaders and peoples of the United States of America and Asia. It was at the Asia Society where US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered the Obama administration’s foreign policy with regard to dealing with countries in Asia. Closer to home, it was at the Asia Society where the late Senator Ninoy Aquino said the famous line, “The Filipino is worth dying for.”

Here in the Philippines, the Asia Society is led by well-known business leaders and philanthropists such as Washington Sycip and Doris Magsaysay-Ho. One of the main programs of the Asia Society is its Asia 21 Young Leaders initiative which gathers the top 200 young leaders aged between 25-40 years old from different sectors across Asia for an annual leadership summit that allows them to interact and establish important networks with each other. Through this event, the Asia Society hopes that when the time comes for these young leaders to become the main prime movers of their countries they will have an easier time to establish stronger relationship between their countries given that they had met each other early in their leadership careers.

 

 

Asia 21-Philippines Young Leaders Initiative

 

As part of the Asia 21 initiative, the Asia Society here in the Philippines is now in the process of selecting 10 young Filipino leaders who will represent our country at the upcoming Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in New Delhi, India, this coming November. Prior to going to India, the chosen 10 will undergo a two-day leadership forum here in Manila so that they can have the chance to meet their fellow delegates and at the same time get to know what each other’s advocacies are. Some of the young leaders that have recently represented our nation include Mark Ruiz of Hapinoy, Ching Jorge of Bato Balani Foundation, Major Dennis Eclarin of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Ariel Hernandez of Balay Mindanao Foundation, Enrique Gonzalez of IPVG, Martin Lopez of Far Eastern University and Mayor Jeng Reyes of Alicia, Isabela.

 

 

First Asean Astronaut visits Manila 

 

 

Aside from promoting understanding between young leaders across the Asia-Pacific region, one of the main programs of the Asia Society here in the Philippines is also the development of a stronger relationship between Asian nations. Last month, as part of my duties as Executive Director, I paid a courtesy call to the Ambassador of Malaysia here in the Philippines, Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad. During the meeting, the Ambassador said that he was very interested in helping the Asia Society and that he would like to be our partner when the embassy brings the first and only astronaut from the Asean region, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, here.

 

The astronaut or should I say, the cosmonaut (since he went to space through the Russian space program in October 2007 aboard the space shuttle Soyuz TMA-11) will be visiting and talking to students at Far Eastern University and Ateneo de Manila University. Aside from this, he will also visit the Science Discovery Center at the SM Mall of Asia and the Quezon City Science Interactive Center. This is one of the projects that the Asia Society has launched to help Filipinos to better understand our Asean neighbors. It is a pity that many of us actually know more about the United States of America even if it is several thousand miles away compared with our Asean neighbors such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. If you would like to learn more about the Asia Society and its other programs, you can contact Nashey Cordero at (02) 752-4374.

 

 

Little Amadeus on Studio 23

 

On another topic altogether, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Studio 23 is airing a very educational animated series entitled, Little Amadeus. The series tells of the fictional story of a young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his adventures revolving around his family, friends and performances.

 

The stories usually involve the intrigues of his rival, Devilius, who along with a talking rat, Monti, attempts to discredit or upstage the Mozarts in the eyes of various nobles. I hope parents would encourage their children to watch more programs like this instead of our many other TV programs these days that actually teach wrong values to our youth.

 

Teachers can also use this program to encourage their students to play music actively and to also learn about the inspiring life of Mozart. Little Amadeus airs every Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

 

Comments are welcome at harveykeh@gmail.com