Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Rubber Duck Project in Korea

The giant yellow rubber duck floating in Seokchon lake(석촌호수) in Seoul

The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn't discriminate people and doesn't have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages!”, says Florentijn Hofman, a Dutch artist who is responsible for this whole rubber duck thing. Hofman created the giant rubber duck in 2007 to “spread joy around the world”.

The rubber duck has been first exhibited in the creator’s homeland in Amsterdam and then to other 14 different cities. It has been displayed in several countries already including Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and in some states in the US. The latest appearance of the giant rubber duck is in Seoul, South Korea after the Lotte Group invited the duck to celebrate with them in the opening of their newest branch of Lotte World Mall in Seoul. So the giant rubber duck with the dimension of 16.5×19.8×16.5 metres has became an instant celebrity amongst the people of Korea after it has been put up at Seokchon lake in Seoul last October 14, 2014. You can see how people swamped to Seokchon lake to get a glance of this very famous rubber duck and take pictures of it.

People in Korea taking photos and selfies of yellow rubber duck

And true to its purpose, the rubber duck welcomed everybody without any discrimination. It also became the reason of bonding among family members who visited the place to see him.

The father and daughter enjoying the sight of the rubber duck

Not only that, the rubber duck project booth was also installed in front of the lake to sell merchandises like picture frames, pins, stickers and whatnot…. And yes, it’s selling like hotcake. People need to line up to buy their rubber duck remembrance because the booth could only accommodate few people.

The pop-up shop of rubber duck project
And because I am a conscious spender, I know I should not spend my money on this so I decided to create my own memoirs of the rubber duck in this photo. Excuse me!!!.. haha

Me and the rubber duck

The yellow giant rubber duck will stay floating in the Seokchon lake until November 14, 2014. If you want to pay tribute to this newest celebrity in town, visit and take pictures of it. If you will go there via public transportation, I suggest using the subway. Get off at the Jamsil Station on Subway line number 2 (Green Line), then go to Exit Number 3. Seokchon lake is just 200 meters away from the Exit 3, so you will not find it hard to locate the lake.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

OPM song ANAK Included as a Soundtrack to Lee Min-ho's New Movie Gangnam 1970

I was listening to Arirang radio station the other day and the DJ was interviewing this rookie Korean boyband. The DJ asked if they know any other languages aside from Korean. I was so surprised that one of the members said he knows Filipino, so he was asked to showcase what Filipino words he knew. Then he recited the lyrics of a filipino classic by Freddie Aguilar ANAK in a gibberish way but if you are strongly familiar with the song, you will immediately get it. I was dumbfounded because I am aware that Koreans in the 1970s are familiar with this song, but new generation Koreans perhaps don't know about this. But this guy who is maybe in his 20s knows the lyrics of the song ANAK. I can't imagine how great the influence of this classic Filipino song to the world, let alone to the Koreans. It has even a Korean version which I often listen to.

Lee Min Ho's upcoming movie "Gangnam 1970" used the song ANAK by Freddie Aguilar as one of its soundtrack. This song has already accomplished a lot when it became a phenomenal hit during the 1970s not only in the Philippines but in some Asian countries. In fact, it has been translated to 26 languages. This could not be a big deal, but let's face it, we are so into Korean materials nowadays in the field of entertainment, plus it's Lee Min-ho's movie, how do you think Filipino react when they find out that our very own classing song ANAK is a soundtrack of this upcoming Korean movie.

The story of Gangnam 1970 is all about two childhood friends Jong-dae (Lee Min Ho) and Yong-ki (Kim Rae-Won) who were involved in violent political clashes during the development of Gangnam, the southern part of Seoul. Their shanties were demolished due to this development plan and they were put into compromising situation which separate them. After three years, Jong-dae(Lee Min-ho) lived an honest life while Yong-ki(Kim Rae-won) became a member of a gangster and involved in a political trouble.

Here is the trailer of the movie with ANAK as a Soundtrack:

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

How To Go to South Korea from Philippines VISA FREE

In front of  Heunginjimun Gate- One of  8 gates of Seoul

With its more than 5000 years of history and culture, stunning landscapes and impressive places to visit, no doubt that Korea is one of the many countries sought after by travelers all around the world. The economy of this country is also on the verge of glory with many manufacturing firms developed that is why there are a lot of people who wanted to work in the land of the calm morning. Not only that, the Kpop and Kdramas start to dominate the world of entertainment and people from different countries appreciate it despite the language barrier. All that and more are the reasons why Korea should be on your travel bucket list.

At the Namsan Seoul Tower of Korea

However, obtaining a visa to go to Korea is not a simple process. They’re very strict when it comes to approving Visa especially for the tourist visa. Here is a good news, it is now possible to go to Korea from Philippines and other selected countries without a VISA. The Korea Immigration office has recently announced the conditions to be satisfied for a VISA free entry to Korea. Check the following conditions below and see if you are qualified for this offer,

1. Frequent Visitors

If you frequently travel to Korea, you may have the chance for a free visa. How frequent is frequent? Well, you should have traveled at least 11 times to Korea for the past two years. This could be true to people doing business in Korea, or for somebody who has big reasons why he needs to travel to Korea that often. Of course, they will also check if you have no Immigration offence or other criminal records before the free visa will be granted. This condition is applicable to all countries including Philippines with the exception of China, Cuba and Macedonia.

2. Transit tourists bound for another Country

This may sound expensive but this could be good news to all hardcore travelers out there. If you are going to travel to U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, you can drop by at Korea without being questioned of a Visa. These five countries should be your final destination. So all you need to do is to acquire a visa to any of the 5 countries mentioned and then you can go to Korea with no Visa. In order to be qualified with this condition, you must have a confirmed onward flight ticket for departure. You can stay up to 30 days in Korea, and at the 30th day, you must leave Korea and proceed to any of the 5 countries I mentioned. But of course, this condition is on top of you having no record of criminal offence in those five countries. This is applicable to all countries including Philippines except Macedonia, Cuba, Syria and Iran and to unincorporated territories of US which are Guam and Saipan.

Wedding rites at Korean Folk Village

3. Special Entry arrangements for the Jeju island

So you think the first two conditions are too difficult to satisfy? Why not check out this 3rd condition, the special entry arrangements for Jeju Island.
You can arrange a trip to Jeju Island from Philippines. Korea will not require Visa for visitors who will arrive directly into Jeju Island by flights or by ships. You can stay up to 30 days in this very famous island of Korea. However, the special entry arrangement is not applicable for the following 11 countries: -Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, Syria, Macedonia, Palestine, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Ghana

4. APEC Business Travel Card(ABTC)

If you are an APEC Business Travel Card(ABTC) holder, visa-free entry is permitted for you. As of October 2009, 18 countries are eligible for this condition namely Korea, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Mexico.

Please note that ABTC holders are given Short Term Business or a C-2 Visa status and they can stay in Korea up to 90 days.

Enjoying the sand and sunset at Muchangpo Beach

So there you go everyone. If you are from Philippines, you can check the four conditions applicable to that country in order to enter Korea without a Visa.

If you are not from Philippines, check the complete list of conditions for a No Visa Entry in the Hi-Korea website. There are also special arrangements for China, Japan, Europe and many more. Before you get your sleeves up for a hard procedure of processing your Korean Visa, you may want to check first if you can have options to go to Korea with no Visa.

See you soon here in Korea!!!
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Saturday, October 11, 2014

3 Things To Look Forward During Autumn in Korea

autumn korea
Leafing or Fall Foliage is a common thing you can see all over Korea During Autumn
If there's one season I love in Korea, no doubt that it would be AUTUMN. Compared to other three seasons of Korea, autumn brings out the best look of this country. This season could play trick on people. Usually, it is so cold in the morning and in the evening, but warm in the duration of daytime. So sometimes you need to decide properly what to wear so you will not end up sweating during the daytime and chilling when night time comes. Nevertheless, aside from the capricious weather, I still like Autumn season. I don't know, I just find it romantic and relaxing. It is this time of the year when you want to just walk in the shadow cast by colorful trees in the alleys of the city and enjoy the warring warmth and coldness of the atmosphere.

To support my claim that Autumn is best season in Korea, here are the three things that we can look forward to during this season.

1. The Fall Foliage

autumn in korea
Leaves turn to fiery red during autumn
The main reason behind the fiery colors of autumn in Korea is the LEAFING or commonly known as Fall Foliage. Korea has a lot of rural destinations where you can enjoy looking at the colorful leaves of the trees. You don't even need to go to far places to be amazed with the changing of color of the leaves because even right within the city particularly in Seoul, there are a lot of themed parks and places that can show you the color of autumn. Be amazed with the mountains and side streets blanketed by vivid golden and red autumnal leaves. Isn't it awesome?

2. The changing of temperature

As I've said, there's a big temperature difference in the morning, at noon and in the evening. Although I find it annoying sometimes, most of the times I think it's interesting because it makes a pleasant weather. It's a bit of a challenge to keep up with the changing of temperature but one can just enjoy the mild days during the autumn season.

3. Festivals everywhere

Yeah, autumn is the festival season of Korea. Ok fine, I just made that up, but at least that is what I observed. Festivals are starting to pop up from almost every corner of Korea once the gentle breeze of Autumn Season takes the scene away from the suffocating heat of summer. There's dance festival, book festival, any kind of fruits festival, any kind of flowers festival, any kind of food festival, any kind of music festival, and yes, even the ginseng has a festival. All these kind of festivals are scheduled during the autumn months from September to November every year.

And I don't know why.

I am sure there are gazillions of things to look forward during the autumn season in Korea but at least I can think of these three. How about you? If you think of an Autumn, what are the things you anticipate?
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Friday, October 3, 2014

From Factory Worker to Sajangnim

SAJANGNIM (사장님)  is a Korean word which means BOSS in English. If you are the BOSS, that means you are either the owner of the company or somebody with the highest position.

How would you like that sound?

Being a factory worker here in South Korea is not a joke. Sure factory workers in Korea earn more than the Ayala employees in the Philippines, but the job is not a joke. You are going to do odd jobs that fall under the category of 3D which means Dirty, Dangerous and Demeaning.

But there’s more to life aside from being a Factory Worker.  I mean, working in a manufacturing industry is not a bad job especially if you are earning good amount of money from it. However,  I think all of us would rather want to be a sajangnim than a worker. Isn't it too much for an ambition? Why not? We can use our fate as a corporate slave for a better opportunity, and the only way for us to become a sajangnim, or an owner of our company, is to build our own business.

Is it possible?

A big YES!!! It is very much possible. We have been hearing a lot of horror stories of OFWs from South Korea going home without money, or some even opted to stay as illegal workers just so they could continue earning money from doing 3D jobs. But there are also success stories of Factory workers who went home and established their own business and became SAJANGNIM.

In the dissertation "Status, Sacrifices and Success of Filipino Migrants in South Korea" of Pastor Jerry Yusi, a minister in one of the Christian churches here in Korea, he cited the fate of Filipino workers. He also presented in the paper the stories of successful EPS workers who made their way to build their own business in the Philippines using the knowledge and the money they saved when they were working here in Korea.  Let’s take for example Mr. Jimson Arce.

Jim’s Chicken on the Road

According to Pastor Jerry, Mr. Arce owns a rolling store with roasted chicken. He calls it “Jim’s Chicken on the Road.” He bought the chicken roasting equipment in Korea and adopted the technology in the Philippines.

Pastor Jerry also shared the story of Mr. Odilon Tamayo. According to him, Mr Tamayo was a factory worker in Korea. He worked in Korea from 1991-2012. He was an overstayer (TNT) for that period. He now owns a store in Baguio, a jeepney and a recording studio inside his house. How awesome is that?

This is their store in the Maharlika Market of Baguio City. Odilon is on the right most and his wife on the left.
The jeepney he bought out of his savings from working in Korea

These are just two of the many inspiring success stories of OFWs in Korea. There are a lot of them who started as a factory worker, and with proper discipline, knowledge and determination, they managed to step up the ladder and became sajangnim of their business in the Philippines.

How did they do it?

Honestly, I don’t know. One thing is for sure, they’re now the boss!!!

Starting a business is not simple. Money is not enough, you also need to have the idea, a goal and most of all, proper knowledge. It’s like a battlefield and requires a lot of preparation. You need to read a lot of books, observe a lot of things and attend a lot of seminars.

I have news. Somebody from Philippines will come here in Korea to guide us on how to start a business. Basically, the seminar is all about building the foundation to jump start a business. This is to give you ideas and proper planning to find your way of making your own company. Please see information below on how to attend the seminar.

TITLE:  “How To Start A Business?”
SPEAKER: Paulo Tibig – Motivational Speaker, Best Selling Author
DATE AND TIME: December 14, 2014, 8 am- 2 pm
Venue: NH Art Hall, 85 Chungjeongro1ga Jung-gu Seoul-si
Direction to the Venue: Seodamun Stn., Line 5. Exit 6 or Exit 5


Marionne Lauron – 010-2188-0499
Ronnie Billones – 010-2150-5895
Marlon Albao- 010-6875-4672

Learning Fee:
Early Bird: 15, 000 won
Regular: 20, 000 won
Walk in: 25, 000 won
Early Birds until November 2, 2014-10-03
Last Day of Registration: December 7, 2014

Visit and Like “PINOY STOCK MARKET IN KOREA” page on Facebook to get latest updates regarding the seminar.

Korea has opened us good opportunity to work but for a limited time only. After the expiration of visa, you must be ready to face another chapter of your life, this time not as a factory worker but a Sajangnim of your own business. Start educating yourself as early as now. It’s time to build your own empire.

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