Cultural Relations

Taking time out of her busy schedule, Vietnamese Honorary Consul General of the Philippines Atty. Le Thi Phung speaks to Oi via email about relations between Vietnam and The Pearl of the Orient Seas

How big is the Filipino community in HCMC, and in Vietnam as a whole?

At the moment, we can’t give an accurate number because this hasn’t been cleared to us as well, but according to the High Ranking Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi there is an average of 1,000 Filipinos with three month visas and registrations, while the report from the High Ranking Officer of the Department of External Relations of HCMC [states] there are more than 5,000 Filipinos in southern Vietnam. We are working with both agencies to have this clarified.

Does the consulate office organize cultural activities?

Normally through the initiative and effort of the Filipino community, the Philippine consulate office co-hosts the Annual Family Day and Christmas Party for Filipinos. The consulate supports all the activities of the Filipino community such as the basketball league, festivals, etc.

The consulate actively participates in many festivals hosted by other agencies as well. Recently we have participated in the ASEAN Anniversary Celebration here in HCMC where we organized 70 kids to perform our traditional dance. At the moment we are working on sending our participants to the HCMC Our Common Home Festival this September.

How much remittance do the Filipinos living in Vietnam send back to the Philippines each year?

In general, 30 percent of [the Philippines’] GDP is contributed by Overseas Filipinos.

What materials do the two countries trade with each other?

Rice, instant noodles, fertilizer, canned [goods], sugar, peanuts and cashew nuts.

Tell us the history of Filipino migrant workers in Vietnam. When did they first arrive?

This is a very long history, but it has been recorded that Filipinos has been in and out of Vietnam since French colonization and the American War. Nowadays, the Filipinos are very visible and active for business.

In what industries are they mostly employed in here?

Executive leadership (Director, General Manager, etc.), construction, garments, teaching/education, advertising, and hospitality management.


Is there a Vietnamese diaspora in the Philippines?

Ten years after 1975 there are some records that say there are few Vietnamese in the Philippines but many of them already left for other countries.

Why do you think Filipinos have adapted so well here?

Both Vietnam and the Philippines share many similarities: culture, geography, climate and the likes. Vietnam and the Philippines also share the same body of water (East-West Vietnam-Philippine Sea). One great reason I can say is that how the Vietnamese people welcomed the Filipinos here in Vietnam. The natural cheerfulness, sincerity and friendliness of the Vietnamese people made the Filipinos feel at home and love Vietnam more.

How many Vietnamese tourists visit the Philippines every year?

In 2013 about 5,000 Vietnamese tourists visited the Philippines; Manila, Makati and Palawan in particular.

For Filipinos visiting Vietnam, they are interested in seeing the historical places, but they enjoy the shopping more.

An excerpt in an article in Thanh Nien News about a plan to hire Filipino teachers to teach English at Vietnamese schools stirred some controversy with critics of the plan saying the city “should hire only native English speakers or improve local teachers instead.” And a principal of a primary school in HCMC said she was concerned by the plan because “English is not the mother tongue of Filipinos. The best way to learn a foreign language is to study with a native speaker… I am afraid that they will speak English like a Filipino rather than native English speakers.” Your thoughts on this?

We respect the idea that everybody is entitled to their own opinion. The Philippines has adapted English as the second language. Vietnam, a country that is starting to do the same, the Filipinos is still thankful that the majority of the locals are still recognizing their English communication skills as globally competitive.

Images by Ngoc Tran

Share this story, choose your platform!

About the author:

Leave a Comment

The Rise of Niche Dating Apps Catering toSpecific Interests in 2024

The projected reach of the global online dating app market, estimated at $14.42 billion by 2030, marks a substantial growth trend with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.6% from 2023 to 2030. This growth is a testament to the changing preferences of users, who are now looking for more intentional and meaningful connections. With

Read More »

When To Take The Services Of A Blocked Drain Repair Service?

A blocked drain can be a nightmare. Not only is it inconvenient and messy, but it can also damage your plumbing system if left unresolved. Knowing when to call for professional drain repair services versus trying to unclog the drain yourself can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run. Here are some

Read More »

Saving Money With Affordable And Cheap Skip Bin Hire

Home renovations, office revamps, store clear-outs or warehouse cleanups inevitably generate loads of debris. Renting a skip bin provides a convenient method for disposing of high volumes of waste without blowing the budget. Follow these insider tips for scoring an affordable and  cheap skip bin hire like Aot Skip Bins to handle your rubbish removal

Read More »

Key Considerations When Hiring A Mezzanine Floor Builder

Gaining extra functional space and valuable storage capacity inside existing commercial or residential buildings often gets explored as operations scale up over time yet site acreage remains finite. While lateral expansions prove extremely expensive due to land scarcity and construction complexity, heightening ceilings to add intermediate mezzanine levels allows maximising vertical room creatively minus major

Read More »

Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Granny Flat Builder

Installing a granny flat or secondary dwelling on your property can add valuable living space for family or rental income. Hiring an experienced granny flat builder like Granny Flat Solutions is key, but not all builders are equal. Asking the right questions upfront ensures you choose the best construction team. Here are twelve essential questions

Read More »

Why You Should Hire A New Home Builder For Your New House

Building a dream home from the ground up seems like a pinnacle of achievement. And while a DIY approach may appear economical on the surface, orchestrating a major new home construction solo proves immensely challenging for most. Hiring an experienced new home builder like Vision Homes ultimately saves money, stress, and headaches in the long

Read More »