The Philippines recognised the Republic of Estonia on 17 September 1991, and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 19 December 1991.
Estonia is covered by the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Warsaw.
Since February 2009 Meelis Virkebau has been the honorary consul of the Philippines in Estonia.
Estonia's Honorary Consul General for the entire territory of the Republic of the Philippines has since 1997 been Dr. Juan N. Peña Rivadeneira. The second honorary consul in the country is Fernando Martin O. Pena, who covers the Subic Bay and Olongapo City areas.
Agreement on cultural and educational co-operation between the governments of Estonia and the Republic of the Philippines (came into force 20 December 2005).
Trade between Estonia and the Philippines 2005 – 2012 (million EUR)
Source: Statistics Estonia
Main export articles are organic chemicals, measuring equipment, and animal products.
Main import articles are machinery and equipment, shoes, optikal devices, and plastic and rubber products.
The Filipino choir San Beda College Chorale has visited Estonia. To celebrate the signing of the cultural co-operation agreement, they performed the concert "Pearls of the sea" outside the Stenbock House on Toompea. Within the framework of the agreement, Filipino artist Manuel Baldemor spent the year 2006 in Estonia, and the paintings he completed here were exhibited in the National Library of Estonia. Filipino films have been showed in the PÖFF film festival.
Despite the signed agreements, contacts are scarce due to distance. At the initiation of the Embassy of the Phillipines in Stockholm, an artist Exchange has taken place (Manuel Baldemor to Estonia in June 2006, August Künnapu to the Phillipines in October-November 2008).
There have been more contacts in the field of cinema. Filipino films have been shown at Estonian film festivals. At PÖFF, Auraeus Solito’s film “Palawan’s Fate: Busong” was screened in 2011 and his debut film “The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros” in 2006. Seymour Barros Sanches’ films were shown at the Matsalu Nature Film Festival in 2008. In the framework of Tallinn2011, the project “60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero) took place with participation from two Filipino directors: Brillante Ma Mendoza, who is one of the highest-rated Filipino directors (his previous films, including “Masahista” and “Foster Child” have been screened at PÖFF) as well as Auraeus Solito, who is one of the Phillipines’ leading independent directors. An article about the Filipino movie industry has appeared in the magazine “Sirp” (Aare Ermel, Filipino Cinema, and Brillante Mendoza 22.12.2011). In the magazine “Teater.Muusika.Kino”, there has been an interview with Auraeus Solito (interviewer Teet Teinemaa, January 2012 nr 1).
In 2008, Kadri Kõusaare’s “Magnus” was screened at the “Cinemanila” international film festival.
History of contact between Estonia and the Philippines
Relations between Estonia and the Philippines go all the way back to the beginning of the 19th century.
The first news of the Philippines appeared in Estonian journalism in 1825, in the newspaper „Marahwa Näddala-leht”. It was mentioned because O. Von Kotzebue and J. Fr. Eschscholtz returned from their second world tour by way of the Philippines.
C. R. Jakobson was the first to call the archipelago "the Philippines".
Trade relations with the Philippines began in the late 1920s—a shipment of paper in 1928 was the first registered shipment to the Philippines, and the first purchase from the Philippines was made in 1929.
In the first half of the 1930s, regardless of international trade difficulties, Estonia and the Philippines began trading quite regularly. From 1930-1939, Estonia would almost every year import small quantities of hemp, artificial resins, and other Filipino products, altogether over 27 tonnes with a value of about 14,000 kroons. The only Estonian product that found a market in the Philippines was paper, of which a total of 503 tonnes was exported altogether, with a value of about 65,000 kroons. Trade between the two nations ceased in 1939.
Source: Olaf Klaassen "Aasia ja Aafrika 16.-19. sajandil ning kontaktid Eestiga".
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