South Korea in the Perspective of a Filipino Expatriate

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Journey of a Filipina TV Host and Radio DJ in Korea

Korea is a place of hope and a land filled of opportunities for those who dream to expand and develop their personal career. However, these opportunities require perseverance and determination especially for foreigners who want to make it big in this country. Aside from the culture, you need to learn the language and embrace the customs and traditions of the Koreans. It may not be apparent, but some foreigners were actually able to penetrate into corporate ladder of Korea and that include some Filipinos who started small but eventually make it big into Korean corporations.

How did they do that?

Ms Amy Laguitao-Hwang
Let’s ask a Filipina who once a stranger to this place, she made herself accustomed to Korean culture and language and finally paved her way to Korean Television and started an online radio station here in Korea. Ms. Amy Laguitao-Hwang is the host of KTV Saranghamnida Daehan Minguk, a Korean TV show about culture and traditions. She is also a DJ in an online radio station called MWFM Love Radio Korea. Like any other Filipinos who are excelling on their respective field of expertise here in Korea, Ms. Amy also started small. She inched her way from an exchange student to a TV host in a government hosted channel in Korean Television and founded a radio station that would cater to the information needs of every multicultural family and Filipino workers here in Korea.

I wanted to know how she started her career on TV and radio, so I invited her for an interview and we met up that cold Saturday afternoon at Hyehwa. She arrived at our meeting place first. I was actually intimidated when I first saw her, but when we started talking, I can feel how approachable she was. So I started rolling the ball and asked her questions and she answered without any hesitations.

Interview with Ms. Amy
Life and Career in the Philippines

Ms Amy’s encounter with Koreans started way back in her college years. She was taking Bachelor of Journalism in Baguio Central University and she was a part time tutor of English language to Koreans. She realized later on that she enjoys teaching, so she took some units for Education so she could get a licensure examination for teachers.  Her part time job as English teacher to Koreans had developed her passion for teaching.

Nung nasa college ako, may mga Koreans na pumupunta sa Baguio, tapos nag English tutor ako, and then nagkaroon ako ng passion na magturo, and then after I graduated from Baguio Central University, they offered me some units to teach in College” .

 Since teaching is just her part time job, she also ventured into DJ-ing. She was a DJ of an FM station in Baguio City. At an early age, she already started her career in radio and teaching, these opportunities helped her earn money for her allowance.

The Journey to Korea began.

When she passed the Licensure examination for teachers in 2002, she has to leave Baguio and the career she started to get her Masters degree in UP Diliman. She thought her venture with Koreans has ended when she left Baguio City, but Korea was calling her. In 2005, she was sent to Korea as an exchange student of UP Diliman in Hoseo Universtiy in Cheonan, South Korea. She studied Masters in Education for one year. During her stay in Korea as an exchange student, she also started learning the language.


Goodbye Korea, for awhile.

After the one year exchange student program, she had to go back to Philippines. She enrolled for a Doctorate degree in UP Diliman. With the knowledge she acquired in Korean language, she established a Korean language training center for those who want to take the Korean Language Test to work in Korea.

In 2006, I went back to the Philippines and enrolled PhD in UP Diliman. And then while studying my doctorate degree, nagtayo ako ng eskwelahan doon for Korean language para sa mga gustong magtrabaho sa Korea.

Although she had been busy with her doctorate study and the language center, she also tried several businesses like MLM in the Philippines and taught English in the Cultural Department of UP. However, her heart is longing for Korea. She knew she has to go back to Korea, and like a magnet, Korea attracted her back.

Hello Again Korea.

Without any assurance of what would be her life in Korea, she returned to Korea as a tourist. While she was here, she further studied Korean language in a University in Pohang. In order to support her expenses, she did some tutorial jobs without pay in exchange of a free apartment. She also worked part time in a Hagwon as a tutor just to support her personal expenses while she was here.

Dahil kulang ang kaalaman ko sa Korean language, bumalik ako ng Korea para matuto pa. Binigyan nila ako ng C-3 Visa (Tourist)

She then decided to move up to Suwon and continued her Korean language study there under student visa status. She studied a lot and took TOPIK test, she got Level 4 which allowed her to study Business course in International trade.

Her stay in Korea also opened the door to her budding friendship with a Korean guy that she met when she was in Singapore. Eventually, the Korean guy married her and that was the start of her embracing more of Korean culture and lifestyle.

Early life in Korea

Ms. Amy has her own share of difficulties in coping up with the Korean culture and language. She especially experienced a lot of shenanigans with Korean language.

Ang daming nakakahiya na nangyari sa akin, kagaya nung naghatid ng Taekbe, sinabihan ko yong ahjussi ng ‘Saranghamnida’ (I Love you), tumatawa na lang syang umalis, na coconfuse ako sa ‘saranghamnida’(I Love you) at ‘Kamsahamnida’ (Thank you)“.

Her life had been even put to risk when she acquired an allergy eating Ramyeon to the point of her wanting to give up.

Gusto ko ng umuwi nun dahil grabeng allergy ko dahil sa Ramyon.”

Not to mention the mishaps, gross experiences and other challenging events during her early years here in Korea.

Hindi ko makalimutan nung nahulog ang pustiso ko sa toilet bowl. Very gross na nangyari sa akin yon, nakakahiya na tinatawanan ako ng estudyante but I didn’t care.”

Hindi ko rin makalimutan yong sa elevator. Diba pag puno may lalabas na “Manwon”, sabi ko ano? Pati elevator may bayad? Yon pala Manwon means full.”

Despite all of these difficulties and embarrassing experiences, she persevered and continued her journey in Korea.

Starting a Career as TV Host and Radio DJ

While studying PHD in Policy in Korea, she met a lot of people and managed to establish connection with people in position. When Korea KTV was looking for a TV reporter, she was advised to apply and audition for it. Apparently, she got the job of a TV reporter for Korea KTV’s program “Saranghamnida Daehan Minguk”.

Syempre meron akong nakilalang mga tao, yong may mga matataas na posisyon, and then pinag apply ako sa as a reporter sa KTV at natanggap naman.”

She also just recently started a career in radio.

Yong radio naman, kakastart lang actually yan. Actually tinuro lang yon kung paano gumawa ng radio program, tapos nakita nila na parang alam ko na

Because she’s already a DJ in Philippines, she was able to get into the field of radio broadcasting. She started in a training program and since she already knew radio per se, she was able to put up an online radio station here in Korea in partnership with a fellow Filipina in Korea.

About the TV program.

Korea KTV is a TV network by the government. It shows activities of the president and can be watched nationwide. Her show is every Monday at 2 PM entitled “KTV Saranghamnida Daehan Minguk". She hosts the show together with her partner from Ukraine.

Ms. Amy and her partner interviewing a guest on their show KTV Saranghamnida Daehan Minguk


KTV Saranghamnida Daehan Minguk is all about multicultural issues and information. It tackles culture, language and everything related to it.

For more information about this channel, go check their official website at http://www.ktv.go.kr.

Also, you can like the Facebook page Amy & Dean KTV I Love Korea

About the Radio program

She recently started an online radio program called “MWFM Love Radio Korea”. The radio program is all about the general life of expats here in Korea. In this program, they have different topics in every episode. Here, they tackle the life of people, festivals, benefits of workers and marriage immigrant and employment information.

Ms. Amy and her Filipina partner in the radio program

Also, the program is accepting broadcast request for anybody who has organizations and needed donations, you can request them to announce on air about your donation drive for as long as your organization is legit.

If you have events or activities that you want to announce on air, they can also do that for you.
For events and other activities, you can also contact them.

And if you have suggestions and recommendations, you are welcome to contact them.

You can check out their Facebook page online MWFM Love radio Korea and feel free to send them your message and questions especially about Visa and work issues.

In order to listen to MWFM Love Radio Korea, just CLICK HERE. You can also download the MWFM Love Radio Korea application to listen to the podcasts.





The Journey of Ms. Amy here in Korea is truly an inspiration to every OFW here in Korea. Like her, if you are new in this country, you will most likely experience awkwardness and culture shock. Don't give up, continue with your journey, embrace Korea and it will embrace you back to make your life easy in its bosom.

20 comments:

  1. This is a story of great achievement of a Filipino in a foreign land. Kudos to her and may she be more successful in her future endeavors.

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  2. Congratulations for being an inspiration to our country. Hope that you will fulfill your dreams in the foreign land.

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  3. Yes, she is another another inspiration to the Filipino people. Let us not stop on being proud of them as this enables them to work harder and better on what they do.

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  4. I sooo envy you! I always wanted to go to Korea. Keep inspiring other Filipino people :)

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  5. I love success stories like this! I also love how down-to-earth she still is with her status! Truly, bloom where you are planted.. and she did! Galing!

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  6. Life is a continuous process of ups and downs, likes and dislikes, but passion is a must to be fulfilled. Find her a determined person with great determination to succeed. Congratz and more power!

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  7. Her journey is amazing. She started in Baguio and now she has found solid foothold in Korea. Do update us more with her achievements.

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  8. Iba talaga ang Pinoy pagdating sa determination! Hanga ako sa tatag ni Ms. Amy. True that success cannot be accomplished overnight. Inch by inch, one day at a time, until your day comes.

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  9. Wow! Parang gusto ko naring magpunta ng Korea. Hahahaha... I love listening to their language, actually I watch Korean TV series sa cable kasi may Korean Channel.

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  10. She's also from Baguio like me. It's nice to see her succeed from Korea after all her difficulties.

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  11. Amazing...Very inspiring, nakakaproud :-)

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  12. Loving her down-to-earth character! Keep it up... and more updates about her pls!

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  14. Inspirational and motivational! An example of a person who doesn't let her success get into her brain. Rather, she lets her success get into her heart. Kudos!

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  15. Great Edutainer of all time. Thoughtful and intellectual!!!

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  16. Loving her story! Please tell us more...

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  17. Great one!
    May she be more successful in her future endeavors! I heard, she has started DJing on KBS radio. ^^

    Ps) Nice website, SaranghaeKorea! More power!!!

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  18. Reading about this inspiring story makes this site more awesome. Thank you for sharing. Great site!

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