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: