In the cultural area, the bilateral relations between Italy and the Philippines have become a reciprocal collaboration and have been regulated by cultural cooperation agreements stipulated on June 17, 1988.
The Philippine side is particularly receptive and interested in various aspects of the Italian culture, like music – classical music in particular – opera, cinema, theater and dance, art, restoration, design and cuisine.
In the Philippines they have non-government organizations like the Società Dante Alighieri, founded in 2005, and the Philippine Italian Association, which has been operating in the Philippines for abour 50 years already.
The Italian language is being taught is 2 universities in the Philippines: the University of the Philippines, where the lecturer sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) teaches, and Ateneo de Manila University.
The Italian language is also being taught in different schools, such as OB Montessori and private schools.
Culture is a very important dimension of Italian foreign policy and the Cultural Office of the Embassy, managed by the lecturer from MAE, Prof. Emanuela Adesini, whose objective is to promote and spread the Italian language and culture in the Philippines, through the organization of cultural events for the benefit of the circulation of ideas on arts and sciences.
The Cultural Office of the Embassy of Italy in Manila offers the following services to the Filipino public:
– Providing information and documentation about Italy in the cultural aspects; giving orientations on universities and information on Italian schools, academies and universities.
– Providing information and orienting numerous Filipino students who would like to study in Italy, with or without scholarships. And for those who seek for the Embassy’s help: from contacting the selected Universities to checking the applicant’s declaration of values and requested documents for the visa grants (with the collaboration of the Consular and Visa offices);
– Managing the scholarships granted yearly by the Italian government to foreign students: from the releasing of the announcements to sending documents and handling the relations between the scholar and MAE and the Universities;
– Promoting the courses offered by Italian Universities, the promotion and handling of scholarships offered by Italian Universities;
– Promoting events, competitions, conferences and courses presented by Italy.
– Organizing events that promote the Italian language and culture;
– Taking part of the EUNIC Cluster, founded in Manila on July 11 2011.
– Collaborating with the diplomatic representatives Manila: it is a member of the Cultural Group, which promotes European culture in the Philippines;
– Collaborating with the board of directors of the Philippine Italian Association and the Società Dante Alighieri Manila for the coordination of joint activies;
– Collaborating with foreign cultural institutions that are present in Manila, such as Goethe Institut, Alliance Francaise, Instituto Cervantes, British Council
– Collaborating with local academic institutions with the task to research and maintain the contact between the local universities and the Italian universities for the promotion of the inter-university relations and projects involving exchanges and collaborations.
– Participating in educational fairs on higher education and inviting Italian universities
– Organizing encounters with Italian and Philippine universities and promoting agreements on collaboration
At that purpose, useful information can be found by clicking on the following links of the Cultural Office:
DIFFUSION OF THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE:
The increase of the wellbeing of the population (in 2010 the growth of the PNL was 7.3%), the correlated enlargement of the middle class went from 21% to 48% in 2008 (Asian Dev. Bank), the governmental politics of emigration incentives and the diffusion of globalization has led to the increase in requests to take up foreign language courses.
For the Italian language in the Philippines, especially, it is being taken up for additional reasons: the tumultuous increase in the requests of high-end Italian products and, in consequence, the opening of more and more stores and, at the same time, the recent decision of Italian shipping companies to hire Filipinos seafarers over Indians. In 2011 they should have exceeded 10,000 – 3,000 of which must have taken up Italian language courses, as it is required by their employers. Meanwhile, the Italian language is well-known by the catholic clergymen, whose religion is dominant in the Philippines (there are over 85 million practicing catholics).
Therefore, the demand for courses on the Italian language and culture quickly had a constant and progressive rise: based on data collected from local universities and cultural institutions, students of the Italian language have gone up from 659 in 2007 to 1200 in 2010. Italian courses are being taught regularly at the following places: the University of the Philippines, where a lecturer from MAE currently teaches; the Ateneo de Manila University; Operation Brotherhood Montessori; Societa’ Dante Alighieri Comitato Manila; and the Philippine-Italian Association.
To these numbers one must add the other courses being done at private schools scattered all over the metropolis, whose exact number is difficult to ascertain.
Requests for Italian courses are specifically being asked at the University of Santo Tomas, Lyceum University of the Philippines, Xavier University and Ateneo de Cagayan de Oro, and this Embassy is looking to follow-up these requests of supplying teachers as there is a shortage of them there.
Sec. 2 ITALIAN PROFESSORSHIP AT THE UNIVERSITIES
Campus: UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, DILIMAN
Founded in 1977, the Italian Section has activated the degree course in 1989, thanks to the increasing number of requests and to the agreement with MAE of sending professors who are native speakers. From that time the Italian Section has offered complete courses for the fulfillment of the B.A. European Languages Program (Major Italian) that anticipated the attendance and passing of 18 exams and a thesis written in the Italian language. The teaching staff, 6 Filipino teachers in addition to the lecturer from MAE, is composed of 2 professors and 4 newly-graduated instructors who need adequate training be it in didactics or in linguistics. To try to look for a way to face the needs that have been indicated above, this Embassy, with UdF, has activated an educational plan (short and long-term) that takes place in Italy, that makes use of scholarships granted by the Ministry, resulting in the temporary absence of teachers and a reduction of classes being offered.
Total number of students: The number of students has gone up from 579 in academic year 2008 to 700 in the current year.
Campus: ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY
There are 2 courses being taught at the basic level for a total of 40 students.
SOCIETA DANTE ALIGHIERI
Venue: SOCIETA DANTE ALIGHIERI COMITATO MANILA
There are 15 regular courses at the basic and intermediate level and 4 tutorials and special classes for a total number of 150 students.
- PHILIPPINE-ITALIAN ASSOCIATION
There are five basic and intermediate courses for a total of 42 students.
- OPERATION BROTHERHOOD MONTESSORI CENTER INC. HIGH SCHOOL
There are 4 Italian sections at their campus in Greenhills and 2 sections at their campus in Sta. Ana for a total of 200 students.
Each year scholarships from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministero degli Affari Esteri/MAE) are awarded to Filipino students who deserve them, whose projects are considered valid with respect to the indications given by the Ministry and to the criteria established by the Joint Committee:
1. The priority of scholarship requests are intended to favor the continuation of the studies on the Italian language and culture and the education of qualified individuals who can work as Italian teachers for the universities in the Philippines;
2. To favor the acquisition of high-level specific competence in the economic and technological sector for those students who merit it setting down the basis for possible future activities that involve collaboration in those fields between Italy and the Philippines.
INTERNATIONALIZATION OF THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM
University of Ferrara
The University of Ferrara coordinates a project with Erasmus Mundus – Masters Degree in Quaternary and Prehistory.
Participating countries: France, Portugal, Spain and the Philippines.
The project provides for the exchange of students and teachers. The Cultural Office of the Embassy is a partner in the project for the promotion of the Masters in the Philippines, for the organization of Italian courses for the students who go to Italy, for the joint management of the relationship with the University of the Philippines and for the evaluation outside the Masters.
University of Calabria
Further to the encounters organized by the Embassy’s Cultural Office, a framework agreement was signed in 2008 between the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of Calabria for the exchange of teachers and students, the sharing of materials and information that are of mutual interest, the sending of experts for lessons, conferences and symposiums.
Politecnico di Milano
A framework agreement between Politecnico, the City Government of Vigan and the University of Northern Philippines. A working agreement for the exchange of students between Politecnico and the University of Northern Philippines. The Cultural Office has activated the exchange of correspondence between Dr. Binda, the person in charge of the Vigan city project, who declared herself to be very interested in it that she is restarting it, as it is in the phase of stagnation due to lack of fund, and we are now waiting for details and a copy of the project.
In addition to that, the letter of presentation and the illustrative material of Ateneo de Manila have already been sent.
Academy of Fine Arts in Florence
In July 2011, on the occasion of an art restoration workshop conducted at the University of the Philippines by the Vice President of the Academy of Fine Arts, Dr. Maria Teresa Castellano, negotiations and talks for the signing of an agreement of collaboration between the University of the Philippines and the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence have already begun.
Interesting cultural and academic links:
CULTURAL AGREEMENT IN OPERATION BETWEEN ITALY AND THE PHILIPPINES
1. Cultural Agreement
Date of signing: 17 June 1988
2. Memorandum of Agreement between the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the Embassy of Italy in Manila
Date of signing: 23 September 2011
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