Friday, August 9, 2013

15 Minutes Exposure of Davao City in the Korean Film "No Breathing" (노 브레싱)

노 브레싱 - read as "No Beuresing", the romanized version of the word "No Breathing" is the title of the upcoming Korean film. And what's so special about this movie? Oh well, a 15 minutes part of this movie will be shot in the most beautiful city in the Philippines- DAVAO City. Among the first choices of location for shooting are Manila, Cebu and Davao. The film producers chose Davao City because they were impressed with the vast natural richness and the cleanliness of Davao City, and I will so much agree with that fact. It is indeed the right and the best choice, not only because I have spent several years of my life on that beautiful city, but because it is the most livable city in the Philippines.

"No Breathing" is a story about rivalry over love and achievement. It is about the two swimmers competing for the top spot in the national team. However, the situation becomes more complicated when they found out that both of them fall in love with the same girl. This is about love, friendship and competition. The movie topbills big Korean celebrities like Lee Jong-Suk, Seo In-Guk and Park Jeong Cheol.

There are so much to be proud about Davao City that 15 minutes could be not enough to showcase the greatness of the city. But of course, it is already a big thing and something to be thankful of to the Korean producers for choosing Davao. In that 15 minutes exposure, here are my unsolicited suggestions for locations.

I think Samal Island of Davao is one of the perfect locations to shoot this movie because it is after all about swimming. Maybe go to Babu Santa and shoot some swimming scenes there.

And not only that, actors and actresses can also shoot some scenes underwater. In Davao City, diving is one of the activities tourists must try.

I once tried diving at the Angel's Cove and I was in awe in the wonders of under the sea world of the island. I think it's worth a movie exposure.

Since we are in the beach, why not include a sunrise scene at the Talicud Island? The atmosphere seems to be happy during sunrise there and would be a good scene for the movie.

Ok fine, it could not just be beaches and islands that must be exposed in that 15 minutes slot. How about do some swimming scenes in the infinity pool at Mati, Davao Oriental?

I think I would stop talking about wet things here. Just because it's a movie about swimming doesn't mean water, water and water. To expose more about Davao, I would recommend scenes like getting lost in the public market of Bankerohan market or Agdao market.

This is to expose tropical fruits from a tropical country. It would also be good to showcase some Filipino foods in a movie. I hope they could include a feast scene in a fiesta with all those yummy Pinoy foodies.

For some happy moment scenes, Crocodile Park could be a good shooting location too. The casts can feed the crocodiles, dance with the fire dancers and do some romantic scenes in the butterfly garden.

You would probably wouldn't want to leave Davao without trying some extreme adventures like the Zip Line:

Or play at the zorb:

And why not include some chillax scenes at The Peak of Gaisano Mall?

There are a lot to share about Davao. Being included in this upcoming big Korean film is a great opportunity for the city to introduce tourism and remove the stereotypical idea about Mindanao in general. For Davao City, congratulations for this another milestone. Life really is in Davao and I am very positive that the movie will turn out good. "No Breathing" will hit theaters at the later part of 2013.

Monday, August 5, 2013

4 Worth-Knowing Do's/Don'ts in South Korea

Like any other countries in the Universe, South Korea has also its own "standard" when it comes to lifestyle. While Southeast Asian countries have generally similar traditions and culture, the land of the calm morning has also some strange practices that may appear unique to foreigners and expatriates alike.

If in the future you get the chance to work or visit South Korea, you may like to check out the following Do's and Don'ts and learn it by heart.

1. When dining in a fast food, don't you ever leave your table with all those food wastes.

Fastfoods here in South Korea like Lotteria is self-service. From ordering, to getting your orders, to waste disposal, you have to do it all by yourself. Don't wait for a staff to serve you your food or clean up your mess because nobody would do it for you. When you order your food, you will be given this cute buzzer. If this buzzer will activate, that means your food is now ready and you have to go to the counter and get your own food.

After you finished your food, you must dispose your food waste "properly", and when I say properly, you must separate the plastic, the food left overs and the biodegradable ones. You can't just sit there, wait for your order, eat your food and leave. Here in South Korea, you just pay and work for your food when eating in the fast foods.

2. Don't you ever dare sit in the specially designated seat in the train or in the bus.

In every public transportation here in South Korea, oldies, disabled, pregnant women and kids have always a special spot. Even if the seat is empty, do not take it or you will get some scolding from "halmonies" like her:

Korean seniors can scold the young ones even in the public, so please, for God sake, avoid competing with them.

3. Do always take the right lane of stairs and escalators.

Stairs and elevators don't have really a standard when it comes to using it, but not here. Almost every staircase has this encrypted signage that reminds people to always take the right lane. The purpose of this is to avoid bumping with whoever is going against your direction because they too will take the right lane.

The same is true with the escalators, albeit it's always one way, you must stay always in the right lane to give way for those who are in hurry.

When I was still new here in South Korea, I was standing in the wrong lane of the escalator and I was a little bit humiliated when this "ahjumma" behind me shoved me and I was told to always stay on the right. But of course, retaliation is not an option. This could be a little bit of a culture shock to us but yes, somebody older than you can  just shove you out of their way minus the "Excuse me". For us, it's rude, but for them, it is not a big deal, so you must just have to swallow and accept it.

4. Do acknowledge your host before and after you eat.

If somebody serves you food, you must say "Siksahaseyo" before you eat which means "Let's eat" or something similar to that. And after you eat, you must say "Chal Mogotssumnida" which means "Thanks for the delicious meal" or something similar to that. It is not really required to do that but if you don't want to appear rude in the Korean cuisine, you should do that.

And the list of do's and don'ts continue, but for now, I can only provide you these four basic and important reminders. You may violate these rules, but if you want to gain respect from the nationals, it would be good if you can follow the standards.