In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the founding of bilateral relations between the Philippines and China, Beijing-based leading online English education platform 51Talk hosted the 2020 Sino-Philippines Educational Exchanges Seminar held in Beijing, China on October 16, 2020, and was broadcast via live stream. Graced by the two countries’ top diplomats, education officials, and 51Talk representatives, the activity aimed to strengthen and develop bilateral education exchange and cooperation between the two countries. 51Talk also successfully broke a Guinness World Record which was announced during the program.
H. E. Huang Xilian, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, delivered the keynote speech and emphasized the people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between China and the Philippines.
“China’s emerging industries such as online education under the epidemic have catalyzed a new win-win cooperation model for China and the Philippines. On the one hand, it has helped China’s distance education, and on the other hand, it has provided a large number of online job opportunities for the Filipino people,” said Ambassador Xilian.
“Under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Duterte, China-Philippines relations have entered a “new golden age”, and the cooperation in various fields between the two countries has achieved fruitful results,” added Ambassador Xilian. “As a well-known online English education company in China, 51Talk has fully tapped the talents from the Philippines in the past several years. With the help of online digital technology, 51Talk has opened a window for thousands of Chinese children to communicate with foreign teachers worldwide, and it has created a worthwhile online platform for China-Philippines educational cooperation,” the Ambassador added.
Philippine Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Jose Santiago Sta. Romana on the other hand shared how learning a language exposes someone to new and exciting worlds and helps broaden perspectives while enriching experiences.
“Learning a language helps bridge the present embodied by our youth to a future that is full of opportunities for their personal development—that of their families and their communities,” said Ambassador Sta. Romana.
“I’m very pleased that 51Talk is giving an opportunity to 20,000 competent Filipino educators to take part in nurturing the eagerness of nearly 300,000 young Chinese people to learn the English language. This educational exchange albeit virtual provides an enabling environment for cultural exchange between Filipinos and the Chinese. As the demand for online-based learning surges in China brought about by the new normal, it is my hope that more doors will be opened up for more and more Filipino educators in the same mutually beneficial manner,” added Ambassador Sta. Romana.
The program featured 51Talk’s outstanding Chinese students who demonstrated their excellent English communication skills honed by 51Talk’s online English teachers based in the Philippines. Shown in the photo are Xu Xuanyu, a 51Talk student in China, and 51Talk teacher Lyndon Bacon from the Philippines.
Jack Huang, CEO and Co-Founder of 51Talk, talked about the role of the online education platform in promoting the bilateral cooperation and exchanges between China and the Philippines.
“The year 2020 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines. Under the guidance of the two countries’ presidents, the support to the Belt and Road Initiative to synergize development strategies was strengthened. Because of this, the Sino-Philippines relations have grown ever more vibrant, with fruitful cooperation outcomes in various fields, particularly on the education front. And we at 51Talk are very happy to have contributed to the strengthening of the ties of our two countries through online education,” said Mr. Huang in his speech.
In May of this year, 51Talk donated 5.25 million pesos worth of medical equipment and supplies to several hospitals in the Philippines to aid in their efforts to combat COVID-19. As the pandemic additionally caused economic fallout and the loss of millions of jobs, 51Talk launched several campaigns to spread awareness of the livelihood opportunities available in the platform to attract 30,000 online English teachers.
“Through 51Talk, nowadays, Filipino online teachers are well-received among Chinese families. Chinese parents understand that Filipinos share their roots from Asia and that they have a better understanding of the Chinese culture which helps them in teaching Chinese kids effectively,” added Mr. Huang.
A Guinness World Records official award a plaque to 51Talk Founder and CEO Jack Huang and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Allen Carillo of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines certifying its achievement of the “the largest online video album of people waving.”
Another highlight of the seminar was the official announcement of 51Talk’s successful attempt to set a Guinness World Record of “the largest online video album of people waving.”
“I’m so honored to be here in Beijing today on behalf of Guinness World Records and as having adjudicated the attempt for the largest online video album of people waving,” announced Iris Hou, Guinness World Records adjudicator. “It’s been a great pleasure to witness this amazing attempt!”
The Guinness World Records, originating from the United Kingdom, has over 65 years of global authority of record-breaking achievements.
51Talk launched a campaign to set the record in June of this year in both the Philippines and China and was able to engage more than 5000 people to participate. 51Talk initiated the feat to express the friendship between the two countries in celebration of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations as well as to show to the world the unity and relationship between the peoples of both countries.