Saturday, January 31, 2015

Common Words/Phrases in Kpop Songs

You can't help but fall in love to Kpop songs in any genre because of the beat and the soul that the Korean singers are putting into their respective music. Despite the language barrier, Korean songs were able to penetrate to the youth in different part of the world because of several aspects like the influence of the singer and the emotion that you can feel when listening to the song. I have big respect to Korean music because every song is a masterpiece. Whether it is a ballad, hip hop, RnB or Kpop Rock, the enthusiasm and the energy of the singer are very apparent in their songs. Here in Korea, before a singer will debut, he or she will undergo intensive training from the chosen company. It usually takes them 3 years or more to train before they can debut as a solo or as a member of a band or group. That is why when a new Korean song comes out, it will surely rake appreciation not only among the Koreans but also the Kpop fanatics which really do exist all over the globe.

What better way to appreciate a Korean song is to understand the language. You may be swayed by the melody of a Kpop song but I am pretty sure you will appreciate it more if you know what the lyrics mean. In this day and age, you can just easily search the meaning of the song online and in a few click, you can definitely understand it. But for random Korean song, you might want to have the ability to understand it. I could not walk you though the whole Korean language tutorials but hopefully these common words/phrases will help you understand the context of the song. I will share to you some that you can hear most often in a Korean song.


Most, if not all, Korean songs revolve around the concept of LOVE. And what is a love song without mentioning the word LOVE or the Phrase I Love You. Saranghae, as the name of this blog suggests, means "I love you" and it is in the context of informality. Usually, you will say this to people close to you or same age as you or younger than you. Other forms of the phrase "I Love you" are Saranghamnida, Saranghaeyo, or Sarangeul convey the same meaning but in different levels of formality. For as long you hear one of these words in a song, it simply means that it is just saying I Love You.

2. BABO CHEOROM (바보처럼)

I don't know why I always hear this phrase in Kpop especially in love song . Babo Cheorom means "Like a Fool". Babo(바보) means FOOL while Cheorom(처럼) means LIKE or SAME.

The word Cheorom(처럼)  is always associated with a noun. So if you will put a noun and followed by the word Cheorom, it means "Like that NOUN" or "Same as that NOUN".

Babo(바보) is also often used in colloquial conversations especially if you want to call someone a fool or stupid.

So next time you hear Babo Cheorom in a Korean song, that means he is like a fool or the singer is calling somebody Like a Fool.

3. BOGO SHIPO (보고싶어)

One of the most common phrases in Kpop, like all the songs have this phrase and that is without any exaggeration, is BOGO SHIPO which means I MISS YOU.

Let's try to break it down so you can use the parts of this phrase to create other Korean words or phrases.

BOGO SHIPO is a combination of two words BO(보) + GOSHIPO (고싶어). BO() comes from the word BODA (보다) which means "TO SEE" and GOSHIPO (고싶어) is an expression which means "I WANT TO". So litreally, BOGOSHIPO simple means "I Want to See You" and if you want to see somebody that only translates to "I MISS YOU".

Any verb that you will attach to this expression "GOSHIPO" would make it mean that you want to do that verb.

For example, the word GA(가) which means GO, if you will attach GOSHIPO to GA, it will result to GAGOSHIPO which means "I Want To Go". Aside from BOGOSHIPO, this GOSHIPO expression also often comes out in Korean songs. If you hear it next time, that would only mean that he or she wants to do the verb or the action.

4. KOJIMAL (거짓말)

In love and in war, there's always a LIE. KOJIMAL simple means a LIE and you can often hear this in a break up song. It sounds negative but whether we like it or not, dishonesty is inevitable in a relationship. So expect to hear this word in most of the break up and a not so happy ending songs.

5. HAENGBOK (행복)

Let's spread some positivity. Not all Korean songs are all about sadness or disappointments. Some are simply about HAPPINESS, that is why the word HAENGBOK (행복) often appears in the lyrics. It means Happy or Happiness and  a love song is not without this word.

I hope you learned something from this article and hopefully this could give you a better understanding of your favorite Korean song.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hanbok Tour at Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)

Wearing Hanbok while enjoying the sights at Gyeongbokgung Palace
Photo Credit to Anny Martinez

Gyeongbokgung Palace also known as "Gyeongbokgung" or "Gyeongbok Palace" is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Seoul, South Korea. There are actually five palaces in Korea but Gyeongbokgung stands out because it is the largest and at the same time the most beautiful. A tourist should never leave Korea without paying a visit to this famous palace.

Gyeongbokgung was built in 1935 during the Joseon Dynasty. It was destroyed during the Japanese invasion and was restored by King Gojong during his reign. The place is full of historical information that could help you travel back to the Joseon Dynasty era. If you want to experience traditional Korean culture and reminisce the past of Korea, the walls, the building and other artifacts in Gyeongbokgung will help you imagine how was it living in a palace during the Joseon Dynasty.

What better way to engulf yourself in Korean culture is to wear the Korean traditional dress called Hanbok while enjoying the historical ambiance of Gyeongbokgung. It was such an interesting experience for us to wear Hanbok while roaming around the palace because we felt like we were reliving the memories of Joseon Dynasty. We are not really familiar about the history of Korea and the way people live in the palace, but the Hanbok that we wore during that tour, it made us part of the history.

Let me introduce you to some parts of Gyeongbokgung while wearing the Hanbok with pride and honor. Let's start here:

Entrance to the living quarter of the King and Queen

This door is the entrance to the King and Queen's living quarter. This is the area where they carried on their routine affairs.

Spacious area in Gyeongbokgung

The whole palace is not just congested with buildings and walls, there are spacious areas where you can just take a walk or relax or breath some fresh air. If you feel like tired of discovering ancient artifacts and whatnot in the palace, you can go these areas to relax a little bit.

In front of Hyangwonjeong
Photo credit to Anny Martinez

This is Hyangwonjeong, it is a hexagonal pavilion built in the middle of an islet. You need to cross the bridge to go to the pavilion.

Part of Hungnyemun
Photo credit to Anny Martinez

 If you enter Gyeongbokgung via Gwanghwamun gate, these pillars will welcome you as these are part of Hungnyemun gate, the first gate inside the palace. We thought it's an interesting place for a photo opportunity as it compliments with our Hanbok.

Gunjeongjun area
This is the Gunjeongjun area or a throne hall. This is where you can see the throne of the King. And if you are wondering what is inside the throne hall at Gunjeongjun and how's the throne of the King looks like, this is it:

Throne of the King

Nobody could get closer to the throne. You can only look at it at a certain area.

These are just few things you can see at Gyeongbokgung. There are still a lot of areas that must be visited. These are the places that could help you get familiar with the Korean history, culture and tradition. And of course, the trip to Gyeongbokgung palace was extra special because of the Hanbok we wore. If you want to experience this kind of trip, you can rent a Hanbok for one day for a very cheap price only. The only rental shop of Hanbok in Seoul I know is the One Day Hanbok shop which is located approximately 300 meters away from the Exit 3 of Anguk Station. For only 3,500 Korean won per hour, you can enjoy your trip and make it extra special with this special Korean dress. If you want to rent it for one whole day, you can pay for only 21,500 Korean won. If you want to rent it for only 4 hours, you can pay for only 9,500 Korean won. The price is cheap compared to any other Hanbok rental shops available in Seoul. The shop is also easy to locate, check out the detailed direction to go to One Day Hanbok shop HERE.

Aside from Gyeongbokgung, you can also rent Hanbok and wear it on tour to other tourist spots in Korea like Bukchon Hanok Village, Namsan Tower, Dongdaemun Design Plaza and everywhere. It is your prerogative to choose where you want to bring and wear the Hanbok within South Korea.

For more information about One Day Hanbok, contact the owner through the following links:

Website Contact Page:
Telephone: (+82) 70-4202-4310

Next time you plan your trip to Korea, do it with a twist. Wear Hanbok and enjoy the attractions in Korea. It will give you a different feeling because Koreans will look up to you and you will gain their respect for wearing their traditional dress. So if you want an extra memorable and special trip, rent a Hanbok and tour Seoul in one day.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Food Trip Venue at Self Bar (셀 빠) Buffet Restaurant In Hyehwa

Self Bar building

I love buffet!!! It gives me the freedom to eat anything I want. If you are not on a diet and you never mind getting extra pounds from eating delicious stuffs, I suggest you treat yourself into a buffet restaurant, and when you are here in Korea, you can have so many selections of that type of restaurants all over the city, but the place I will gladly recommend is the Self Bar Buffet Restaurant which is located in Hyehwa-dong in Seoul.

Whether you come there by group, or with one or two companions or alone, it doesn't matter. Inside the restaurant, there are a lot of tables that could accommodate a number of people. The place could turn out as a good venue for a reunion or just to hang out with friends. I went there during lunch time to catch up with my classmates in photography class after how many months of not seeing each others. We really enjoyed our chit chat in this awesome resto as much as we enjoyed the food.

Actual dining table of Self bar good for a group of people

Self Bar restaurant offers a variety of food for their customers to enjoy. You can have different kind of meat like pork and beef which you can grill in your respective tables the Korean way. Aside from the unlimited meat which is usually for Samgyeopsal, galbi and barbeque, there are also some seafoods, sausages and bacons available. You can literally eat with gusto all these kind of foods.

grilling some good stuffs on the table

Aside from the unlimited meat for barbeque, you can also enjoy other types of food like Carbonara, fruits and soup. I consider Self Bar now a haven of food which really taste good. I also like how they presented the food in the table and make everybody feel free to get what they want.

The food corner

I also like the ambiance of the place, it's clean and peaceful, a place you would choose if you want to talk to somebody whether intimate, casual or even a group meeting.

Inside the Self Bar restaurant

I know Hyehwa is a place where Filipinos gather every Sunday for flea market, remittance, Sunday mass and whatnot, but it is also a theatre district where Koreans go to watch Korean musicals and theatre, so we need a restaurant like this in the area. For only 9,900 Korean Won, you can enjoy unlimited food at Self Bar Buffet restaurant. But wait, don't get too excited because if you have left-overs, you will pay 5,000 Korean won as a penalty. So to avoid penalty, get only what you think you can accommodate to your stomach, don't be too greedy. Self Bar is located near the Exit 2 of Hyehwa Station. It is very accessible for everybody.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Productive Leisure Time at Incheon Grand Park with TGFI Korea Team

Jump shot in front of Incheon Grand Park Entrance
One of the many things I admire in Korea is the effort of the government to improve their public parks. I have been to a lot of parks in Korea and each one has utilities installed for everyone to enjoy like hiking, picnicking, biking and even just for a small talk with a group of friends. The Incheon Grand Park is one of the many public parks in Korea where people can just go and enjoy the sceneries and even sled during the winter time. It is located in Namdong-gu in Incheon Metropolitan City and it offers a lot of breathtaking sights and various services that entertain people and it is also a good venue for families and friends to bond together. There are activities held in this place every season. During spring time, you will be amazed by the beautiful presence of Sakura or Cherry Blossoms. During summer, you can enjoy the rose festival and during winter, an inline skating ring is installed in the park for sledding. You can go and enjoy at Incheon Grand Park at any season of the year.

The Global Filipino Investors (TGFI)- Korea ,went to Incheon Grand Park during the peak of the winter season to try sledding at their inline skating ring. It was also a great opportunity for us to talk about finances and money matters especially that it was the first day of the year 2015. The place is so huge that we have to walk about 500 meters from the entrance to reach the sledding area. However, we didn't mind it because doing that is just like "a walk in the park", literally. There are a lot of attractive things to see in the park and it is so perfect for people who want to relax and jog. Since we went there by group, we found it a perfect spot to talk some serious matters without compromising the fun. We talked a lot about insurance, stock market, mutual funds, business and anything related to personal finance while we enjoy the view. I think it was my first time to really learn something from the conversation while walking in the park and enjoying the attractions that the park can offer.

Walking while dicussing financial matters

Whatever topic we discussed while walking in the alleys of Incheon Grand Park, it became more interesting with the views of different themed parks inside. Yes, parks inside a park! That's how huge it is. There's rock, rose, sculpture, wild plant garden and whatnot. All these and other attractions like Children's zoo, a huge botanical garden and a forest area, take that!.... There's so much to enjoy at Incheon Grand Park. But of course, the most amazing part of the park and the most visited area during winter is the skating ring where you can sled all you want for a very cheap cost of only 7,000 won.

Sledding at Incheon Grand Park

When I saw the skating ring, I was so terrified at first because it looks dangerous. I saw some kids sledding on the slope and I saw them coming out from the ring just fine, so I decided to try it at once for the sake of experience. At first, it was indeed intimidating, but when you get the hang of it, you will repeat it again and again. I guess I like sledding more than skiing. I tried to ski last year and it was so difficult because I always stumbled. In my book, sledding is more fun and easy than snowboarding and skiing.

skating ring at Incheon Grand Park

Also, expect that the place is congested especially during the peak of winter season. There are not so much to do during winter season except for sledding, but don't worry, they are so organized at Incheon Grand Park and everybody will have their fair share of sliding over the slope. You just need to have patience and you also need to bundle yourself up because it is really freezing out there.

Enjoying the view at Incheon Grand Park

The park is open every day. During summer season, it is open from 5 am to 11 pm while during winter season, it is open from 5 am to 10 pm. The Botanical garden and the Children's zoo is open from 9 am to 6 pm and closed every Monday. The entrance to Incheon Grand Park is free but some attractions charged a very small fee.

Different attractions in Incheon Grand Park

The easiest way to go to  Incheon Grand Park is through the subway. Take Subway Line Number 1 and get off at Songnae Station. Go to Exit Number 1 and walk straight about 30 meters to the bus stop. Take Bus Number 909, Incheon Grand Park is two stops away from Songnae Station.

A single park with different attractions and special services dedicated for every season, Incheon Grand Park is indeed a one stop venue for leisure. For those who want to go out and try sledding on winter, or see cherry blossoms during spring and smell the beautiful roses every summer, Incheon Grand Park is a must place to visit.