As the Philippines hosts the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting this week, we are republishing this video feature, first published on March 29, 2016.

Ask average Filipinos what the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is, and most would give answers that vary from vague to downright wrong.

They confuse ASEAN with “Asia,” even APEC or the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and hardly know its significance.

ASEAN turns 50 this year, but experts interviewed for this video feature say getting Filipinos to understand the regional organization remains a work in progress.

The sooner they do, the better, so they can fully appreciate what they stand to gain from the ASEAN integration project, the experts say.


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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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