Asia Society Global Co-Chair Ronnie Chan Visits Manila

MANILA, Philippines – In honor of the visit of Asia Society’s Global Co-Chair Mr. Ronnie Chan, Asia Society Philippines hosted a special luncheon for Mr. Chan and several business and thought leaders. The luncheon was held last May 31, 2013 at the Shang Palace of Makati Shangri-la Hotel.

Asia Society Philippines invited guests who have a special interest in Chinese-Philippine relations from varied perspectives.

In attendance were Asia Society trustees Ms. Doris Magsaysay Ho (Chair), Mr. Washington Sycip (Founding Chair), Mr. Oscar Lopez and Mr. Luis Virata.

Mr. Tony Tan Caktiong and his wife Grace of Jollibee and Jollibee Foundation, Mr. Christopher Po of Century Pacific Group, Mr. Harry Liu of Summit Securities and Dr. Alfonso Siy of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry provided their thoughts from the business sector.

To lend their insight on culture and policy, Asia Society invited Mr. Zhang Hua of the Chinese Embassy, Mr. Chito Sta. Romana, former Beijing Bureau Chief for ABC News, and Ms. Teresita Ang See, founding president of Kaisa Para sa Kaunlaran (an organization that promotes integration of Chinese heritage into Philippine mainstream society).

The group animatedly discussing Philippine-Chinese relations

Ms. Doris Ho welcomed the guests and shared her expectations for the luncheon – for it to serve as a venue for discussion on the state of Chinese-Philippine relations and to generate ideas on how it can be improved. Each guest introduced themselves and shared their concerns on the current complications the Philippines has with its Chinese neighbors.

Mr. Chan then talked about the history and objectives of Asia Society, especially on how the focus evolved from US-Asian relations to Asian-Asian relations. He also shared his insights on what makes Asia Society unique from other institutions – the fact that AS uses multiple reference points and considers the bigger picture in any situation. Finally, he briefly talked about the state of real estate business in China, which got the ball rolling on the discussion. The group talked more about how the recent circumstances are straining their relationships with partners in China.


Ronnie Chan with Asia Society Trustees (L-R) Oscar Lopez, Washington Sycip and Luis Virata

Everyone was in agreement that territory and sovereignty issues must be solved government to government (G2G), and that there is no immediate, easy solution. The group threw around ideas on how to foster cooperation through people to people (P2P) solutions i.e. sharing our arts and traditions. The luncheon ended on a positive note, with promises of future collaborations with Asia Society to make the ideas come to life.


   Top L-R: Zhang Hua, Chito Sta. Romana, Luis Virata, Tony Tan Caktiong, Dr. Alfonso Siy, Harry Liu
Bottom L-R: Teresita Ang See, Oscar Lopez, Ronnie Chan, Doris Magsaysay Ho, Grace Tan Caktiong, Suyin Liu Lee