Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso with South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim In-Chil on March 9, 2021 at the Manila City Hall to discuss details regarding the soon to open “Korea Town” in Malate. (Manila Public Information Office Facebook Page)

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso plans to turn historic Malate district into a “Korea Town” after meeting with the Korean ambassador.

Moreno met Korean Ambassador Kim In-Chul at city hall on March 9 to discuss the plan, in which Malate district would showcase Korean culture.

“We are also thankful to our neighbors in South Korea for their unwavering support to the City of Manila,” Domagoso said in a statement.

Malate was an exclusive residential enclave of expatriates and Spanish mestizo families prior to World War 2. Later on, it became a tourist and entertainment district along with neighboring Ermita.

Domagoso said the project would strengthen relations between Manila and Seoul.

In November 2019, then South Korean ambassador Han Dong Man paid a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte and promised to bring more Korean tourists to the country.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry, South Korea remained the country’s top tourism market. It accounted for 22.3% of tourist arrivals in 2018, with 1,587,959 visitors. Hannah Beatrisse L. Oledan