Sunday, December 28, 2014

Jobs for Filipinos in South Korea in 2015

Korea is one of the most sought after destination of Filipinos to work. Aside from the promising salary, Korea is also famous in the Philippines because of Kpop and the Korean drama. The image of Korea shown in the media entices Filipinos to go to Korea and work. However, one must know that there is only very limited job market for foreigners in Korea. You have to compete with the Koreans who were trained and educated to obtain skills necessary and intended for Korean corporation. Learning the language alone is very challenging and yes, difficult. Language is one of the most important qualifications here in Korea, unless otherwise you'll teach English, the knowledge in Korean language is a must to get a job.

Hopeless as it may sounds. Korea is not completely burning bridges for foreigners who want to work in the country. There are several opportunities especially for Filipinos for the year 2015 and the upcoming years. This is a sign that Korea is becoming open to the idea of letting Filipinos to penetrate in their job market. As of now, there are limited opportunities but if  you find yourself fit in the position, the next step would be to market yourself to Korean companies so you could pack your back and go to Korea and work.

As of this year, there are total of almost 50,000 Filipinos in Korea and there are a lot of undocumented stayers that are not included in that number. Now, let's look at the possible jobs that Filipinos can acquire in Korea for the year 2015.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As you can see, this blogpost has been flooded with questions. I could no longer answer questions here. If you have questions, CLICK HERE to see if it has been answered in the FAQ. If not, just leave your question in the comment box of that page.

1. Factory Worker


Based on the statistics, most Filipinos are here in Korea to work as a Factory worker or in manufacturing industry. Through the program called Exam Permit System or EPS, foreigners including Filipinos can apply a job in the manufacturing industry. To apply as a factory worker, you must be between 18 and 38 years old, you should have no records of imprisonment for a heinous crime, no record of deportation or departure orders from Korea, must not be restricted from departure from Philippines, must be physically and mentally fit, at least a high school graduate and with a minimum work experience of 1 year.

How to apply as a Factory Worker in Korea?

You MUST ONLY apply at POEA or Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. You should not apply to any agency or any person for this. This is a direct agreement between Korea and Philippines so all transaction must be done right within POEA. If somebody or an agency is recruiting you for this, please double check. Wait for an announcement from POEA website for the Korean Language Test. There is no specific date for this, POEA announces this at any random dates within the year. Usually, they conduct KLT in the Philippines 2 to 3 times a year. You better watch out for the announcement, keep checking POEA website so you could register yourself.

Once you passed the Korean Language Test, POEA will further instruct you to provide requirements for the selection process. The total cost for job seekers from taking the language exam to your departure would be around 30, 000 pesos to 40, 000 pesos. The salary also depends on the number of hours you work in the company. For a minimum wage, salary may range from 35,000 pesos to 40,000 pesos. If you work overtime and you work hard enough, you may get up to 70,000 pesos salary as a factory worker.

You can read full information on How to Apply as Factory Worker in Korea HERE.

2. Engineers

If you have the right skill and up for the competition, you may land on an engineering job here in Korea. There are a lot of good Korean engineers, but Korea is also open to Filipino engineers who are very exemplary in their field of expertise. In fact, there are several Filipino engineers here in Korea. According to the statistics, out of more than 50,000 Filipinos in Korea (including illegal stayers), there are 787 E-7 Visa holders or professionals working here and that includes the Filipino Engineers. It's very small compared to the more than 20,000 factory workers but still, it's a good sign that Filipino engineers are welcome to work in Korea, albeit tough and restricted. Needless to say that it needs a very remarkable skill to work as an engineer and Korea can still accept more workers in this field for the year 2015.

3. Arts and Performances

Filipino talents are being admired by Koreans. Singers, theatre actors and other skills in terms of arts and performances are very much welcome here in Korea. Korea is open for Filipino entertainers since then and it continues to welcome more and more entertainers as time goes by. So the year 2015 could be a good year for those who are into arts and performances. Usually, you can apply for this through agencies in the Philippines. Just always make sure that the agency is legal and credited by the POEA.

Other possible jobs for Filipinos in Korea for the year 2015 are Professors, Researchers, and household workers, but there could be a slim chance for these jobs for Filipinos as Korea prefers other foreign workers or their own native Koreans to take over the job. There are several Filipinos working in these fields but you can count them with your fingers, so this might not be a job market for Filipinos.

Korea is a beautiful country and it is possible to come here and work. You just have to improve yourself and update your skills to keep up with the competition. In the year 2015, Korea is planning to hire more Filipinos especially in the field of manufacturing because they like the handiwork of Filipinos and their attitude when it comes to work. Hoping for a bright future for Korea and for the Filipinos who will venture to find a job in the country.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Faces of Christmas in Korea

One of the many huge Christmas trees in Seoul
Christmas in Korea is way different from the Western countries or any other countries in the world. It is used to be not a big deal here because most Koreans don't believe in Christmas and if there is any commemoration, it was so subtle that you could not even feel it. However, as time goes by, Koreans eventually adapted  Christmas. When you are in Korea in the month of December, you can hear Christmas carols, lanterns and giant christmas trees all over the places. I don't know if it's because of the influence of the foreigners thriving in the country or they simply became open to the idea of celebrating Christmas.

Koreans enjoying Christmas music at the European Christmas market

The diversity of Korean culture opens the opportunity for other races to practice their beliefs and cultural values. Christmas is one of those many occasions that believers can freely exercise in this country. For a religious belief that is outside Christianity, Christmas could be a big issue, and even though Christianity is not the main religion here in Korea, people can still celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Let’s face it, regardless of how people commercialized the celebration of Christmas, it will all boils down to the main reason of the festivity and the mentioning of the story of Christ’s birth is inevitable. Although Christmas is not heard of with other Koreans, the main fact that it’s a holiday and some Christmas enigmas like lanterns and lights are tangible during this season, it simply means that the belief is highly acceptable in this Country.

Christians can always celebrate Christmas here in Korea in their traditional singing of holiday hymns that tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christian choir singing Christmas hymns

They need not to hide or worry because they can sing their heart out to share about Jesus Christ and to emphasize the real meaning of Christmas. Korea understands the sentimental value of this celebration that is why they support Christian and they allow every single believer to express faith through singing and studying the words of God in the Bible. During Christmas season, Christians from different churches usually gather for singing presentation and other activities to develop camaraderie among each others in the spirit of Thanksgiving for the birth of the Savior.

Celebrating Christmas with Christian songs

Even foreigners here in Korea can enjoy Christmas parties without any discrimination from the locals.

European Christmas music filled the air
In Europe, people feast on food and music to make a lively party during this special day. Regardless of whether they acknowledge Christianity or not in this matter, Christmas for them equates to a joyful noise to the tune of jingle bell songs and diverse type of foods coming from different part of the Country. And of course, Christmas is not without Santa Claus and the ornaments that add spice to the festivities. During this season, you can see people celebrate Christmas in their own cultural way.

Celebrating Christmas in Korea the Filipino way
But Filipinos will not let themselves left behind when in it comes to Christmas. This is a very special event of the year for the Pinoys. Even here in Korea, Filipinos can execute their own fun and happy way of celebrating Christmas and you can see these Pinoy trademarks despite the fact that they are in the foreign land.

Filipino play parlor games during Christmas party

The typical way of a Pinoy Christmas is exchanging of gifts, games, music, and food. This is the time of the year when they set aside grudges, problems and other negativities in life to enjoy the celebration. It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.

Dancing to the tune of a jolly Christmas tune
Since Christmas falls on the Winter Season here in Korea, usually it’s a white Christmas celebration for everyone. Despite the below zero degrees temperature and the threat of heavy snowfalls, people can still go out and celebrate Christmas and Korea acknowledge and respect that practice. In fact, Koreans themselves are into this whole Christmas thing. I have some Korean acquaintances who are not believers of this but they still greet “Merry Christmas” anyway. It’s a sign that this is maybe beyond their beliefs, they can understand and they can even celebrate with us.

There’s no reason to be Mr. Scrooge here in Korea. If Christmas is something you used to celebrate in your country every December, by all means go out and join Christmas parties and events, sing Christmas songs out loud and greet everybody you meet a “Merry Christmas”, you will never be judged, promise.

How about you? How do people celebrate Christmas in your country? I'd like to know! Share your thoughts on the comment box below.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Did Philippine DOH Plagiarize F(x)'s "Rum Pum Pum Pum" KPOP Song for an Anti Teen Pregnancy Campaign?

GABO stands for "Gaga Girl" (Bitch Girl) and Bobo Boy(Stupid Boy)
As an effort of Philippine Government to spread awareness and anti teen pregnancy campaign to the Filipino people, an ad of a DOH (Department of Health) public service reminder has been released for public viewing in  Social Media Networking websites. A supposed to be entertaining and friendly reminder turns out to be a cringing ad. Since when did they allow to use the word "Gaga"(Bitch) in a public campaign, let alone a government public campaign? I couldn't even use that word because I know it's a negative word. And I guess "Bobo"(Stupid) is not a good term too since it is such a degrading word. The campaign talks about teen pregnancy, pre-marital sex and young relationship.

A more than 3 minute video features a pep squad dancing to the upbeat tune to reach out to the teens. We all know that teens like to listen to upbeat music and cheerleading is indeed a good way to get their attention. However, the beat of the song did not slip through the ears of the K-pop fanatics in the Philippines because it was identified to be a rip off of a Korean girl group f(x)'s Rum Pum Pum Pum song.  Although the message of the songs are completely different, the beat and the rhythm are very similar.

K-pop is growing in the Philippines and it influences  even the Original Philippine Music and the taste of the Filipino youth in terms of music. Eventhough they could not understand the lyrics of a Korean song, Filipinos are adapting the Korean music because of its unique beat and the artists behind the song. Any attempt to copy the rhythm of any Kpop song will surely be identified by the Filipino fans and this DOH Anti Teen Pregnancy campaign is not an exemption.

Be the judge if the  DOH Anti Teen Pregnancy campaign plagiarized F(x)'s
Rum Pum Pum Pum.

Here is the music video of F(x)'s Rum Pum Pum Pum:

And here is the video of DOH's Anti Teen Pregnancy campaign:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

At Gwanghwamun (광화문에서)

In front of Gwanghwamun
KYUHYUN (규현) of Super Junior has recently went solo with the release of his first single entitled “At Gwanghwamun” (광화에서). Maybe some of you are wondering what is Gwanghwamun. If you have visited Korea at least once or if you are a little bit exposed to Korean history and culture, you probably knew about this place. I will tell you more about the song later after we find out more information about it.

Personally, Ganghwamun is a memorable place for me because this is where I first experienced wearing a Korean traditional clothing called “Hanbuk”. I have previously shared several stories about different gates of Seoul in this blog and Gwanghwamun is actually one of the 8 gates of Seoul. However, this one is the most special because this is the main and the largest gate to the most awesome and the most famous Gyeongbokgung Palace. I have also shared an itinerary to exploring Seoul in one day and that includes Gyeongbokgung, you might want to check it HERE.

Anyways, this gate is very special for Korea because this is a landmark and symbol of Korean history. If you will visit the place, you will get the feel of Joseon Dynasty. However, because of the multiple restoration and repair, the gate looks new and modernized.

The gate was originally built in the year 1395 and it plays very important role in protecting the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the royal palace during the Joseon Dynasty. During the Japanese war, it was destroyed and reconstructed in the year 1867. Throughout the time, the gate went through a lot of restoration and innovation. Today, Gwanghwamun is still standing tall and proud in the three intersection at the northern end of Sejongno.

Statue of King Sejong at Gwanghwamun Square

Not only that, a very wide area in front of the gate which is called Gwanghwamun Square is also open to the public for leisure. In front of the main gate, you can also witness the ceremony called “Changing of Guards” every hour from 10 AM to 3 PM. In general, this is a place where one can actually find out more about the history and culture of Korea and at the same time enjoy the different activities especially created for the tourists. I was not surprise that the place has been the inspiration of Kyuhyun’s newest single.

Changing of Guards ceremony

About the song “Gwanghwamuneso” or “At Gwanghwamun”, it is actually a story of a guy who recalls the memory of love that took place at Gwanghwamun. The place is very special for him because that is where they used to walk and hold hands and celebrate and share the love together. He also described how beautiful is the place especially when the season is changing from Summer to Autumn as the leaves of the trees at the sidewalk of Gwanghwamun are starting to change colors. Although he looks like a fool standing in front of Gwanghwamun under the rain waiting for her love to come back, he still feel happy because he can just recall the past when he shared memorable moments with the love of his life.

Watch the music video of “At Gwanghwamun” by Kyuhyun.  

Here is the direction to go to Gwanghwamun:

Take Subway Line Number 3(orange Line) and get off at Gyeongbokgung Station, go to exit number 5.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

12 Months Money Challenge for OFWs in Korea- The Won Edition

Money earned from a 52 weeks money challenge
We are now gearing towards the end of 2014. How was your year 2014 so far? Have you been productive all throughout the year? How much money you have saved for this year? For all of you fellow won earners here in Korea who happened to visit this blog and read about the 52 weeks money challenge that I posted in the beginning of this year, did you follow the saving scheme presented on that blogpost? Or can you even remember that? If you have religiously followed the 52 weeks money challenge, guess what, you are about to be 3 Million won richer at the end of December. If you were not able to do it or you have done it but stopped along the way, don’t worry, there’s still 2015 and you can start all over again and discipline yourself to save money for your future needs.

52 weeks money challenge piggybank
Our colleagues from TGFI(The Global Filipino Investors)-Korea will not stop to advocate financial literacy to the OFWs here in Korea. That is why a new saving scheme has been developed courtesy of Mr. Kuripot of TGFI-Korea to give you more options to save money. When I posted the 52 weeks money challenge, I have received several reactions from the readers. From that reactions, I have identified the pessimistic people and the optimistic ones. The optimistic minded people said that they will follow it and they found the challenge quite exciting. However, the pessimistic minded people said that they don’t have enough money to save for this challenge because they need to send it to the Philippines. Ok, we got that point. So Mr. Kuripot of TGFI Korea improvised the scheme for 2015, instead of making it a weekly challenge, he made it a monthly challenge and you have options for the money goal. That means, if you think 3 Million won is too big to save for the whole year, you can choose the lower money goal. So I am going to present to you the Monthly Money Challenge for the year 2015. You can start doing this on January until the end of the year. If you want to learn more about financial literacy, savings, investments and anything related to finance, feel free to join the PINOY STOCK MARKET INVESTORS IN KOREA Facebook group. We have a lot of financial advisers in this group, so if you have any questions regarding money matters like how to invest in stock market, how to start a business and how to improve your financial status in life, you can post your questions and our friends from TGFI-Korea will answer you.

Without further adieu, check out if you are up to these 12 Months Money Challenge, the won edition. Again this is courtesy of Mr. Kuripot, our friend from TGFI-Korea, so we should thank him for coming up with this plan and he generously shared it with us.

Here are the first two money goals. the 3.5 Million won and the 4 Million won money goal. The mechanics is pretty simple. Every month, you take part of your salary and put it in your savings bank account, or if you have no bank account, you can use a piggy bank or any box which will allow you to put your money, but PLEASE, discipline yourself, the first rule is Thou Shall not Use the Money that you have set aside from this challenge. The amount that you set aside every month depends on the corresponding amount as shown in the table below. The table for each money goal has three columns:

*the first column represents the months
*the second column represents the amount you should save for that particular month
*the third column represents the total amount of money that you have already accumulated for that particular month.

So simple right?

And you are like, the challenge is so intimidating!!!!! 3.5 Million won and 4 Million won are too big and we have to send money to the Philippines and we have to buy things for ourselves, etc. etc. etc.... We understand your point, so here is another option for you. Much lesser demand per month but lesser money goal too. Check the table below if you can take the 3 Million won and/or 2.5 Million Won Money challenge.

What???? You still find it hard to save that amount of money? Wow, you have endless reasons. Ok, take a look at the last two tables below. 1.5 Million Won and 2 Million won are not bad at all.

So why are we doing this and why we have to do this? Well, aside from accumulating your money goal for the whole year, this will help you develop your attitude in terms of money. Setting aside a part of your money for your personal savings every month is some kind of a discipline. And of course, to reward yourself also to buy things you want out of this savings without the guilt feeling.

Remember, your future is in your hand. We have provided you the guide, it's all up to you if you will follow it or not, but one thing is for sure, this is for your own's sake. Take the challenge and make a difference!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tips for a Convenient Trip to Nami Island (남이섬)

Entrance to the Naminara Republic

Nami Island(남이섬) is one of the most visited places in South Korea. All my friends who are planning to travel to Korea will always ask about Nami Island. They asked how to go Nami Island or if there are travel agencies who can help them go to the place. I guess this place is really special for Korea and for the tourists because this is always present in the itinerary. Nami Island or also known as Naminara Republic is an imaginary country. It also has its own passport, stamp, currency and visa.

Nami Island at Fall

If you have watched the Korean drama “Winter Sonata”, you are probably familiar with Nami Island. Yes, this is the shooting place of that particular drama. However, the island is not only famous because of that, there are a lot of things that Nami could offer to people aside from it being the primary shooting location of a famous show. The beautiful tree lanes and the breathtaking view in the island are something to look forward to. To maximize your time and to enjoy your relaxing moment, here are my tips for those who want to go to Nami Island.

1. Know the most convenient direction to go to Nami Island

Just as there are hundreds of ways to cook a fish, there are a lot of road directions in going to Nami Island. If you are going to take public transportation, you can either take the subway or a bus but for your convenience, I would suggest to take the Subway. Why? Because it is much cheaper and you have the freedom to control your own time. There is actually a shuttle bus that would take you from Seoul to Nami Island but it is expensive compared to taking the subway and you should pay a round trip ticket, that means you need to leave Nami Island at a specified time so that the shuttle bus can take you back to Seoul. When you take subway, you can just go there at any time and you can also leave any time you want.

To go to Nami island via the subway station, get off at Gapyeong Station, it’s in Kyungchun line. The route is based on where you are from, I suggest you download the Metroid App, you can input the departure and the arrival stations and it will give you suggestion on how to go to that area. For your perusal, the subway map below highlights the location of Gapyeong station (see the red arrow on the right most part). Once you arrived at Gapyeong Station, Nami Island is just 20 minutes away if you will walk. You can also take a bus from the station, ask around where to get a bus ride to Nami Island. You can also take taxi but I don’t recommend because it’s too expensive compared to bus.

I also suggest another route which is also convenient at the same time practical. If you have ample time, you can take the shuttle bus from Cheongpyeong station, it is two stations before Gapyeong Station, please check the subway map above. Why this? Because the shuttle bus, which costs 5,000 won, will drop you off at the Petite France, another tourist attraction in Korea, which is just few kilometers away from the Island. So before you go to Nami, you can have the chance to see what’s inside Petite France. But there’s an entrance fee of 8,000 won, so if you are not interested, take my first suggestion for the direction then.

If you have your own car, use the navigation and search for this address:
Gyeonggi-do, Gapyeong-gun, Gapyeong-eup, Daljeon-ri 144-1

2. Buy  tickets first before lining up to the ferry ride

Don’t make the same mistake we did when we visited Nami Island. In order to go the island, a Ferry will be waiting for the passengers. This will take you there, but there’s a long line (depending on the season, usually there are a lot during autumn and spring) before you can get into a ferry. So you need to wait for your turn. It may sound stupid, but we lined up without a ticket. Good thing the ahjussi in charged allowed us to get out of the line first to buy our tickets and did not require us to line up again.

In the entrance area, look for a place where you can see the “VISA” booth. The tickets are called Visa in Nami Island. It costs 10,000 won for adults, 8,000 won for youth, olds and foreigners and 4,000 won for kids.

Again, secure your tickets first, go to the VISA booth before you line up for the ferry ride to Nami Island.

3. Rent a bike

Bike ride in Nami Island

Nami Island in the form of a half moon measures 462,809 miles. While it is good to walk around the island, I suggest to rent a bike. This is more convenient than walking plus you can even roam around the whole area especially if you have limited time. You can rent a single bike, couple bike and even family bike.

What if you have baby? You can also rent a stroller for only 4,000 won.

4. Rent a locker space

If you have bags or you brought things with you which is unnecessary for this trip, there are locker space where you can rent for only 1,000 to 1,500 won. I suggest you leave things there so you can freely walk or bike in the whole area. The lockers are located just in the entrance area so people could easily see it.

5. Bring some cash for food and rental fees

Nami Island has a variety of coffee shops and restaurants. You may find yourself hungry along the way, so cash would come in handy to buy you some ice cream or maybe coffee or if you want to dine-in in some restaurants in the island.

Last phase of autumn in Nami Island

Most of all, go to Nami Island with just one thing in mind, to have fun! It’s a place that will give you a chance to commune with nature and appreciate the beauty of the world. Naminara Republic has gained its cultural independence already. You can think you have visited another country, another world and another life in this island. It’s a place created for you to enjoy and to relax. So have fun.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

How Can an OFW in Korea Start a Business? Learn from the Entrep Champ Paulo Tibig

I watched this video entitled PERSONAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT- for the OFW in South Korea created by Smoke and Mirrors Entertainment, it is a 25 minute video covering the problems of OFWs in South Korea about savings and tips on how to save and invest. I recommend you to watch that video so you can gain valuable financial insights for yourself. I have shared the video at the bottom of this page.

One of the most striking topic in that video is all about INVESTING. This one word is the key for all of us OFWs here in Korea to achieve the financial freedom that we desire. However, there are some pre-requisites before you can get into the investing stage. It is not enough that you are earning a lot of money to invest. One must have proper financial plan and management before he can invest in any business or investment vehicles. Check yourself, you have all the money you needed, but are you capable of handling a business? Or can you even start a business?

So how to actually start?

In every rag to riches story I read, there's one and only common reason why a person succeed, and that reason is KNOWLEDGE. They read book, the observed, they studied and they attended seminars hosted by remarkable speakers who are also successful in their own businesses. If you have a dream for yourself and for your family, start educating yourself financially. Learn what kind of business you can do so you don't need to stay an OFW forever.

Here's a wonderful opportunity for all OFWs in South Korea who have strong desire to get out the bondage of slavery to earn money. The Global Filipino Investors (TGFI) Korea will conduct a seminar on how an OFW can start a business.

TGFI Korea

You say, "Why would I spend my precious time and money on that seminar? I have money to start a business and I don't need that!" . And I say "weee?". You see, business is not just all about money. Fine, money is important, but no matter how big your capital is if you are not capable of the business you chose, I'll tell you, it will not stay long in the industry. That is why seminars are very important because this is where you can acquire proper knowledge needed for you to build your own empire.

What is this seminar all about?

Definitely not about Multi Level Marketing. The seminar will not offer you any business if that is what you expect. This seminar is not connected to any existing enterprises out there. What can you get from this then? You will be tested here if you are even capable of starting a business. You may have plans and ideas about the business that you will about to venture but the question is, are you ready? If you want to find out if you are ready or not, this seminar is a perfect venue for you. This will give you a heads up on what are the things you need to learn and improve to yourself before you can even pull up your sleeves to start your business.

This seminar will also give you step by step idea on how to start and manage your business. It may sound complicated but if you will attend, you can finally choose and decide the path that you are going to take towards getting into your ultimate goal.

Who is the speaker?

The Entrep Champ Mr. Paulo Tibig

The one and only Entrep Champ of the Philippines, Mr. Paulo Tibig. If you watch business news and maybe check random videos about business seminars, his name will most probably come out. Let's check more about his profile:

Paulo Tibig
Entrepreneur, Professional Speaker, Author and Entrepreneurship advocate

One of the sought after professional speakers today, he earned the moniker of “THE ENTREP CHAMP” in the Entrepreneurship community because of his business savvy and wisdom.

Worked his way up the ladder of entrepreneurship and success. As graduate of B.S.Airline Business Administration, was a working student taking on not-so-popular jobs like utility, messenger and delivery man from his freshman year up to his senior year in college.

Worked in various companies as medical representative, marketing assistant, and market development assistant before he ventured into entrepreneurship.

He started several enterprises like t-shirt trading, nata de coco production, handmade paper production and laundry business before he was able to strike the proverbial “pot of gold” in the logistics business offering courier, freight, logistics marketing, food logistics,  third party logistics and other supply chain services to complete as total logistics solutions provider.

At present, he is also engaged in several business enterprises: a business retail center, a Gas company and a transport service company.

 In 2005, Paulo was awarded as one of the TOP TEN ENTREPRENEURS by Entrepreneur Philippines and the 2007 TEENPRENEUR CHALLENGE WINNING MENTOR of Entrepreneur School of Asia.

He is also a finalist for 2008 NOKIA MOBILE ENTREPRENEURS AWARDS.

In 2011, he was recognized as one of Balanga’s City “Dangal Balangueño”- a recognition for outstanding achievers who made mark in entrepreneurship. In 2013 he was awarded by Bataan National High School as Outstanding Alumni. 2014  Outstanding Alumni of PATTS College Aeronautics, and also in 2014 he was awarded by Asean Business Awards as Young Entrepreneur of the year.

Mr. Tibig is also active in various organizations. He is one of the Directors of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Board of Regent, Bataan Peninsula State University. An Honorary Member, Young Entrepreneurs Society (Worldwide).
He is also a Go Negosyo Angelpreneur, Past President of the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI). And lastly, Past President of Bataan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BACCII).

He has been invited to several universities, trade organizations, corporate seminars and other related business and entrepreneurship forums all over the country to share, inspire, motivate and talk about entrepreneurship.

You can often see him guestings or featured in several TV, Radio programs and various national dailies and publications.

Mr Tibig has been featured in books such as “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” published in 2007 and Entrepreneur Philippines 67 Success Stories in its December 2008 issue.

A cover feature of the following publications: Masigasig Magazine and Express Life Commuter express newspaper.

In 2010, he was one of the Endorsers in print and television Ad of Globe Business Negostar. 

An author of the best selling book entitled “Strategies of a Champion Entrepreneur”. A book that gives you 10 guidelines for your entrepreneurial journey towards success. This book presents experiential, engaging & educational  perspectives on negosyo for aspiring, starting, and existing entrepreneurs.

Lastly, Mr. Tibig conducts experiential, engaging and educational talk on topics such as – Entrepreneurship, Franchising & Logistics.

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

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.

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.

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:

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!!!

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?

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.

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.