Thursday, June 06, 2013


MANILA, Philippines - Even before the phenomenal dance craze Gangnam Style became viral, hit the world, and crack the blast-hardened firewall of the music billboard. Philippines was already swept up by Korean wave.  How? Let me count the ways…  

RESTAURANTS
 Korean restaurants grow like mushrooms in every city and in almost every malls. From fancy restaurants to food stall there’s surely some spice and sauce of Kimchi.


CAFÉ
Fabulous, cozy, and warm café that we often seen on Korean dramas are now in every nook and cranny of Manila.  Especially near universities where students love to hang out, chat, or meet new people. Also in high end spots where elites drink a good cup while listening to soft music, a place to read, or spent an idle time away from busy city.

BAKESHOP
Korean bakeshop is starting to be well known too, aside from its pastries, their cakes are getting attention from Filipinos. Korean cake is one of the most artistic, mouth watering, over-the-top elaborate cakes that in town. It's so beautiful that you don’t want to eat it.


GROCERY STORE
Today it’s not hard to find Korean snacks, ice cream, noodles, fermented vegetables like kimchi or any Korean food in my country. In fact you don’t need to find Korean grocery stores to find these products because in every supermarket or malls has a line of Korean goods.


 TELEVISION
Korean dramas captivate and capture the hearts of Filipinos because of its charming actors and actresses, interesting plots and exciting twists and turns of events. What else but Korean dramas influenced Filipinos the most, and its not only by entertaining Filipinos in a fresh and new level of entertainment fare, but by promoting Korean products that became a household word. Sample of some foods that we seen only in these dramas that Filipino became familiar with are Kimchi, bulgogi, japchae, bibimbap, kimbap, and soju. Products like cell phones, appliances, cars, skin care and cosmetics, and even fashion were so subtly introduce to Filipino through these dramas.


MUSIC
KPOP is defined as fusion of synthesized music, sharp dance routines and fashionable, colorful outfits combining bubblegum pop idols.  Every KPOP fanatic Filipinos followed and memorized not only the song and dance moves of their idols but every hairstyles, fashions, and gadgets of their idols too. Some teenagers even studied the Korean language just to be able to sing and understand the songs and to try it on noraebang.  




BEAUTY Shops
Filipino took their plunge in Korean cosmetics because of its pretty packaging, very effective, inspired by nature, and mostly endorsed by their loved celebrities. Whether to be look alike of their idols or to support the product endorsed by idols, Filipinos are really hooked in Korean cosmetics..



FASHION
Korean fashion is a big hit to Filipinos, especially to the youth, they tried to copy Korean star by wearing hip and chic Korean fashion trend.  Although some clothes are not suitable to our country’s warm climate they still wear it and matched it up with different accessories from head to toe. From large colorful sunglasses to huge edgy shoes. K-pop popularized high-heel shoes, sleeveless tops and fashionable accessories, short shorts, and boots. Few years ago Filipinos bought their Korean outfits and accessories online but today some department store, boutique, fancy store,  and clothing shops have Korean inspired clothing designs ranging from basic casual items to stylish items for trend-conscious consumers.  


SALON
Korean salons are popping up all over the city. Filipino love the oh-so-gorgeous 'dos they get as a result from the new techniques and cool gadgets that these salons brought to the local hair arena.



GADGETS
Korea leads the innovation in technology through cell phones, smartphones, tablets, TV, and computer. These high-quality and reliable devices captured the heart of many techie Filipinos.

CARS  
 Korean made cars of KIA and Hyundai are gaining popularity and growing faster than its competitor company. It's stylish models, technology, quality plus affordable and fuel efficient surely wins the heart of every money conscious Filipinos.



CULTURE and ARTS
Since Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines open its door two years ago in public, it never failed to attract number of students, young or adult. Many Filipinos are getting interested in their offered classes like language class, culture immersion, arts and culture, traditional dance and instruments year after year.  It's truly a gateway to Korea.



TOURISM
The impressive boost of Filipino tourist statistics in Korea made them to put up the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) Manila Office last year. It spearheaded the marketing activities, tour packages, introduced medical tourism, and launched advertising campaigns to give a better picture of what Korea is and what visitors can expect to see when they go to the land of Morning Calm.



LIBRARY – Window to Korea
Its been a year since the library called “Window to Korea”  opened at the Rizal Library of the Ateneo de Manila University . This library consists of books, periodicals, CDs/DVDs, and other Korea-related materials in the first year, and an additional 200 volumes per year for the next five years.  The main purpose of this library is to promote and understand Korea beyond Korean Wave. 
Images from Korean Embassy of the Phillipines 

Did I miss anything? Did you find some great influences of Korea that I missed? What are those exciting points?Please do let me know in the comments.






Tuesday, June 04, 2013

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“Wars come and go, but my soldiers stay eternal.” – Tupac Shakur

Carl Mydans—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
   We have all seen how the war torn apart Korea over the past decades. We have seen how soldiers fought and conquered all the battles until their last breath to bring peace and harmony not only for their family but for the whole country. We have seen all sons of Korea trained and experienced mandatory military service. They faced it all wholeheartedly and bravely for their mother land. Today, modern day Korean men were facing another battle in life. They are fighting not in battlefield but in society, not with weapons and battle gear but with hopes and dreams. In the midst of sickness and loneliness, they strive hard to meet their goals and provide a better life for their loved ones.

South Korea’s government today is not only busy branding their country but also serious in shaping their future society. Korea is one of the leaders in economy, technology, education, and transportation, and maybe to be the next ‘English speaking country’ was not on their list but if the country’s current rate of English students in and out of the country continues, there’s a possibility that they would be in the near future.

I admire Koreans for their endless thirst for excellence and their continuous pursuit of English education.  They have this curiosity for what is beyond the horizon .That is why to have better English education, Koreans sent their children together with the mother to English speaking country while the father was left in Korea to work as hard as he can, living alone, to finance the living and children’s education expenses abroad.  Everyday more and more Korean families were separated, living apart, to learn this universal and hegemonic language called - English. Parents, mostly fathers sacrificed themselves to give their children better education and more advantages in life and this where the battle of Korean men begun. 


This phenomenon form the term - Giroegi Appa (Romanization of 기러기 아빠) which literally means “goose dad”, inspired by an iconic bird, Giroegi. It has a natural devotion on its partner and its offspring, Korean fathers showed their absolute and unconditional love by staying in their homeland for the sake of bright future of their children. Their main destinations of studying English are United States, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and recently Philippines.
Like migratory wild geese, these geese dads only visit their families during holidays, because frequent visit and travel expenses would be expensive.
 
image by www.thepowerofintroverts.com
But is it really worth it? What has forced to these loving fathers to be on this state that so lonely and miserable?

Like the life of a soldier they spent many months sometimes years away from their loved ones, instead of long hours of drill, marching on hot, dusty roads or in a driving rainstorm, modern day father work round the clock, like in war they often had inadequate food, since no wife to cook for them, like in battle field they get sick or disease, they face illnesses alone. These fathers have to endure the following hardships and risks in order to fulfill the dreams of his family.  

If there were long stretches of boredom in camp interspersed with moments of sheer terror experienced on the battlefield there's also boredom in living in solitude for being a Giroegi Appa and add the terror of these risks :

-                Risk of weakening husband and wife relationship
-                Risk of children not being guided properly
-                Risk of creating gaps between the father and children        
   
I have to pause for a minute to remember that these fathers give up so much to make sure their families have everything they need to have a good life - just like so many soldiers did in history. Making paycheck stretched beyond its limit to make sure that, aside from tuition fees, basic needs like food and shelter are met.

Fathers who sacrifice time with their kids and miss seeing their kids growing up and just spending their days providing a roof over their heads and food on their plates, for their family in the other side of the planet, in their heart, these heroes always knows that their ultimate role is to shield their children from pain, and stop at nothing to make sure their dreams come true.

A nation where competition is high and inevitable, where social status, education and reputation are highly valued, the English language almost became the society’s standard, and prerequisite for everything, school, work, and even partner in life. In short, education is highly valued as the path to status, money and success. Korea has come so far yet they still have a long way to go.

Honoring dead heroes is not a hard thing to do. Keeping the ones that are alive from dying is much more difficult. Keeping them from losing morale during this battle is what the government needs to do.  Let not the sacrifices of all these countrymen be in vain.

Monday, June 03, 2013



MANILA, Philippines - Since its inception in 2011, The Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines has become a space where artists, scholars, craftsmen, and designers engage and exhibit their work of art.   
This year, aiming to strengthen collaborative endeavors, the Korean Cultural Center or simply KCC has organized/coordinated exhibitions of Philippine and Korean contemporary art.
The center featured the various trends and influences in the art of both noted Filipino and Korean artists in its exhibit “A Midsummer Night’s Reunion” launched last May 17.
The arts exchange exhibit is hinged on the summer season of the Philippines as it seeks to find a common ground for aesthetics for contemporary tastes. For the Filipino set, the participating artists are National Artist for visual arts Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera; prominent installation artist Luis “Junyee” Yee, Jr. whose artwork was sourced through Galleria Duemila; Angono Rizal Province -based Nemesio “Nemiranda” Miranda Jr.; the abstractionist Raul Isidro; watercolorist Ephraim Samson; and printmaker Fil de la Cruz, known for integrating indigenous elements in his works. Representing the younger generation are Geraldine Javier, Mark Orozco Justiniani, Michael Adrao and Alfredo Esquillo Jr. whose works for this show were collectively sourced from Tin-aw Gallery.

Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera's "CALAVERAS SHRINE"

Michael Adrao -"SUNOG" (Fire)

Fil de la Cruz - "KISAP MATA"

Nemesio “Nemiranda” Miranda Jr. - "FISHERMAN"

Geraldine Javier -  from left to right - "Pelvissomniumpapilio_E", "Costaesomniumblattaria_E", "Manussomniumcrustacea_E", and Vertebraesomniumanisoptera_E

Raul Isidro - "ASIAN WIND"

Luis “Junyee” Yee, Jr. - "NOON - NGAYON"
  The arts exchange exhibit is hinged on the summer season of the Philippines as it seeks to find a common ground for aesthetics for contemporary tastes. For the Filipino set, the participating artists are National Artist for visual arts Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera; prominent installation artist Luis “Junyee” Yee, Jr. whose artwork was sourced through Galleria Duemila; Angono Rizal Province -based Nemesio “Nemiranda” Miranda Jr.; the abstractionist Raul Isidro; watercolorist Ephraim Samson; and printmaker Fil de la Cruz, known for integrating indigenous elements in his works. Representing the younger generation are Geraldine Javier, Mark Orozco Justiniani, Michael Adrao and Alfredo Esquillo Jr. whose works for this show were collectively sourced from Tin-aw Gallery.


Mark Orozco Justiniani - "HOLE"
The works from Korea are by Hwang Sung-joon, Park Gye-hoon, Oh Seung-min, Jeong Hye-jeong, Choi Uk, Lee Dong-jae, Hong Kyeong-tak, Choi Sung-du, Yoo Bong-sang and Hong Da-seul.


Jeong Hye-jeong - "SINLIMDONG - INTERSECTION"

Choi Sung-du - "PASSAGE OF TIME - CROWD OF LIFE"

Lee Dong-jae - "ICON"

Oh Seung-min - "GO SOMEWHERE 10"

Park Gye-hoon - "MATERIALIZING CONSIENCE"

Yoo Bong-sang - "E 20091103"

Hong Kyeong-taek - "PATIENCE"

Hwang Sung-joon - PAUSE

Hong Da-seul- "BEYOND THE SPACE"
The collection explores contemporary painting condition of strategies of aesthetic pluralism through the application of random materials and images painted over abstract fields of expressive mark making and figurative compositions.
Their works were sourced from the Korean Art Bank, which was established under the auspices of the National Museum of Contemporary Art as a support system for their homegrown talents through purchases of outstanding pieces of contemporary artworks. Along with these it has been a significant meeting point for Philippines and Korea, bringing together artists from varied background to engage in critical and creative display of their works and highlighted the best of the contemporary arts of both countries.

The exhibit will run until July 31.
For further information and queries, visit the Korean Cultural Center website or e-mail pr@koreanculture.ph. Poster of Exhibit is from KCC's Facebook Page.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

1. Coffee Prince

 

 2. Sungkyunkwan Scandal

 3. Beethoven Virus


 4. My Lovely Sam Soon

 5. Goong (Princess Hour)

 7. Dae Jang Geum


 8. Nice Guy

 

10. Secret Garden


Credits to all images and videos owners.