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President of South Korea’s MMU visits OLFU, signs MoU anew
President of South Korea’s MMU visits OLFU, signs MoU anew

By: Raymond Lumagsao


By: Raymond Lumagsao


An official visit by the leadership of Mokpo National Maritime University (MMU) reestablished once again the cemented alliance between the South Korean institution and Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU).

On 06 November 2023, MMU representatives arrived at the RISE Tower where OLFU leaders warmly received their envoy comprising Dr. Han Won-heui, University President; Dr. An Kwang, Dean of International Affairs; Mr. Lee Nam-il, Deputy Director of International Affairs; Mr. Lim Joung-hun, Secretary to the University President; Mr. Park Gui-sui, Team Manager of General Affairs; and Mr. Kim Char-young, Team Manager of Maritime College.

The OLFU officials who welcomed the guests were spearheaded by Dr. Rodehlia Macaspac, Center for Professional Development and Academic Partnership (CPDAP) Manager along with Dr. Heracleo Lagrada, Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA); Dean Ernesto Leuterio Jr., OLFU Valenzuela Campus Administrator; Mr. Rafael Vicente Enriquez, OLFU Basic Education Administrator; Dr. Francis Jay Dela Cruz, Dean of the College of Maritime Education (CME); Capt. Eutiquio Reyes, Coordinator for Academic Industry Linkages in Canada; Dr. Ana Liza Ocampo, Center for Quality Management (CQM) Head; Ms. Irene Louise Gelle, Manager for Marketing and Communications, and Mr. Vicente Santos III, Social Media and Digital Head, among others.

Turning up at the RISE Indoor Gymnasium, a troupe of maritime cadets rendered an arrival honors ceremony before the formal start to the program proper. Dean Dela Cruz particularly hosted the rite to honor the foreign guests with the warmest Filipino reception.

A cultural dance performed by the Maritime Dance Troupe followed by a powerful vocal display of Cadet Alexandria Rose Almazar charmed the foreign guests. This series of presentations was a successful attempt to represent the rich values of both countries, using native Filipino sound, viral and trendy K-pop music in a variety of dance spectacle – a testimony to the commitment of OLFU to embed cultural emphasis in the partnership.

Following the brief ceremony, Dean Dela Cruz led the tour of MMU’s officials around buildings and facilities of the College of Maritime Education (CME) at OLFU Valenzuela. The naval education leader flaunted the distribution of laboratories, and equipment in delivering quality education that include an Electric Laboratory housing the brand-new Marine Refrigerator Trainer, Industrial Motor Control Trainer, among other marine power plants, training kits, and state-of-the-art naval modules.

The South Korean delegation also explored the Multiple Applications for Reality-Virtuality Experience Laboratory (MARVEL) at the RISE Tower, and heard first-hand the innovative vision of the University in providing maritime education at OLFU using the most advanced technology and the infinite potential of science and research.

The tour concluded with an invitation to the Executive Room for a sumptuous lunch.

Discussion and Signing of MOU

Following the lunch was another opportunity for OLFU to present its array of internationalization projects, highlighting a testimonial from 3rd Officer Gerald Pitt Pineda who said that his student exchange experience at MMU gave him a strong head start in his profession — a successful execution of the established partnership between OLFU and MMU.

Read: Ex-student exchange delegate, OLFU maritime grad now third officer for a Korean vessel 

On his part, Dean Dela Cruz, proudly shared with the MMU officials the motivation behind the immersion of the Korean students through a coastal cleanup to inculcate in them the sense of “responsibility to the environment” as future leaders who will be holding professional maritime posts.

As stressed earlier, the dean also pointed out the cultural immersion of the Korean students in the country that presents disparate differences but promotes the same regard of work ethics, love for food, and mutual cooperation anyway.

“History wise, [the] Philippines and Korea worked together, helped each other as a team. I think that is the important part of the cultural immersion that they have achieved in Our Lady of Fatima University,” said the dean.

For VPAA Lagrada, the relationship between OLFU and MMU simply champions excellence that is well-crafted and especially dedicated to the students.

“We look forward to continuing our engagements, [and] our partnerships,” said the dynamic academic chief that sees 2024 as another prolific year for both academic institutions in the region.

For his response, President Han of MMU could only express his gratitude and excitement for the successful and long-standing alliance between MMU and OLFU.

The discussion ended with a momentous signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to sustain the academic cooperation of the institutions especially in executing International Exchange in Maritime Education and Training. – Raymond Lumagsao