The 70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between
the Philippines and Thailand

A Talk by Her Excellency Mary Jo A. Bernardo-Aragon
and Dr Piemsak Hongjamrassilp

Saturday 21 September 2019 at 2.15pm at The Siam Society



As part of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Thailand, Her Excellency Mary Jo A. Bernardo-Aragon, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Thailand, will give an address in celebration of 70 years of friendship between the two countries.

The relationship between the Philippines and Thailand can be traced back to the 12th century, according to the discovery of underwater archaeological findings of Sangkhalok ceramics from the shipwrecks off the Luzon and Visayan coasts. These artifacts reflect economic interactions that continued steadfastly until the arrival of the Spaniards in 1521 and the establishment of Manila as permanent Spanish capital in the Orient in 1571. Geopolitically, the Philippine Islands served as the Spanish Monarchy´s trampoline towards the Chinese Empire and the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. This historical conjuncture entails a wide spectrum of relations, like the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between King Thaisa (ruler of Ayutthaya 1709-1732) and Governor General Fernando Bustamante, in 1718, and the diaspora of natives of the Islands to Siam. After the Proclamation of the Republic of the Philippines in 1946, the Treaty of Friendship with the Kingdom of Thailand was signed on 14 June 1949, marking the official commencement of Filipino-Thai diplomatic relations, the highlights of which include the state visit to the Philippines of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand in July 1963, and the official visit to Thailand of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in March 2017.

Her Excellency Mary Jo A. Bernardo-Aragon is the current Philippine ambassador to Thailand. After high school studies in Vienna, a degree in political science from Schiller College, and a diploma in international affairs from the UK, Ms. Bernardo-Aragon started her diplomatic career at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. Since the mid-1980s, Her Excellency has been posted to Belgium and the USA. In 2015, Her Excellency was posted to Thailand as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.

After a BA degree in Hispanic Philology at Chulalongkorn University, Dr Piemsak Hongjamrassilp enrolled at the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid to pursue an MA on ‘The Spanish Monarchy 16th-18th centuries’ and then a PhD on relations between Siam and the Philippines for the same period. Ajarn Piemsak lectures in the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Thammasat University and is a specialist in the history of Spain of the 16th-18th centuries, related to the Philippines and Hispano-Siamese relations.

This event is free of charge. For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri at arunsri@siam-society.org or tel. 02-661-6470 ext. 126.

Date: Saturday 21 September 2019
Time: 2.15 p.m.
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri or

Office Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:00am. – 5:00pm.

The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2019-2020 Lecture Series.