Wednesday, December 20, 2017

New Generation Ex Korea OFWs Who Owned Businesses


Crossing the line between being employed to self-employed is never easy. Most of us, especially the OFWs, always look forward to become the boss of their own. The OFWs, of all people, have been through a lot of struggles and challenges just to provide a food on the table of their respective families. Aside from the hard work, they have to experience homesick, culture shock and sometimes fear. If there’s only a better option, nobody would want to leave their family behind to work abroad.


However, working abroad, especially in South Korea, provides a better opportunity to help the family back in the Philippines to survive the challenge of poverty. The question now is, what will happen after Korea? We know that “Walang Forever” in working abroad, let alone in South Korea. Until when will you work for other people? If your contract in Korea will end, do you have enough savings to continue the lifestyle? Are you going back to the state of poverty? Are you going to leave your family again and continue your work abroad?


While there are several options for every returning OFW, some of them chose to go back and stay in the Philippines and bootstrap their own start up business. Using the savings they had during their time working in Korea, here are some of the “Petmalu” and “LODI” ex OFWs in Korea who were able to cross the line between being employed in South Korea to being the boss of their own business in the Philippines. Let’s get to know them better and let’s see what kind of business they have in the Philippines.


Dondon Paclarin



Meet Mr. Dondon Paclarin, he was one of the 8th KLT batch of EPS workers. He worked in South Korea from year 2013 up to 2017. Now that he’s back in the Philippines, he started his Airconditioning Trading and Services business. Why this? It is because he studied refrigeration and airconditioning before he went to South Korea.


Nagtapos kasi ako ng refrigeration and airconditioning at ito na naging hanap buhay ko. Nag factory worker lang ako sa korea para makaipon ng pondo para sa negosyo. Tsaka masarap sa pakiramdam na makapag kumpuni ka ng mga sirang gamit.lalo na pag may ibang nag repair at hindi nila nagawa tapos ikaw mapapagana mo.


Mr. Paclarin worked in South Korea to earn a startup fund, but he earned more than money from his experience in korea. He learned a lot of lessons that he can use for his business.


Natutunan ko sa korea ang salitang pag titiis. Hindi porket nahirapan ka o hindi maganda napuntahan mo aayaw ka na. Kung umayaw ako sa korea ng mga time na tinakasan ako ng amo ko at nakitira lang sa loob ng 3 months sa ibang tao baka wala nangyari sa pag abroad ko. In general pagtitiis at pagtityaga ang matinding aral na natutunan ko sa korea.


Although he was tempted to stay as illegal alien in South Korea to earn more startup fund, Mr. Paclarin chose to stay in the Philippines.


Dalawa lang choice ko ng matapos kontrata ko. Una magnegosyo para makasama ang pamilya pangalawa mag TNT para magpatuloy ang siguradong kita. Pinili ko ang una dahil yun naman ang layunin ko ng mag abroad ako. At gusto ko madala at maipasyal ang pamilya ko sa bansang south korea.hindi ko magagawa yun kung masisira ang record dahil sa pag T-TNT.


It was his second contract in Korea already, and he decided to focus on earning money so that he can stop going back to Korea and start his business.


“Simula pa lang ng eps nakapagtrabaho na ako sa korea.2003 to 2007 doon ako nakapag pundar ng bahay. Dahil hindi din maganda ang kumpanya na napasukan ko noon nag pasya ako na mag dubai upang magamit ko ang skills ko. Nuong nasa dubai ako kinikita ko din ang kita ng nasa korea pero dahil mataas ang cost of living sa dubai kokonti ang natitira at wala ako naiipon. Kaya 2013 nag decide uli ako mag korea at pinalad nga makabalik at nag tapos ang kontrata noong august 2017.


Mr. Paclarin recalled the hard experiences he had working in South Korea. Those hardships are his stepping stone to become what he is today.


“Una kong trabaho sa gawaan ng barko. Naglalatag kami ng mga wirings ng barko. Pero sa kasawiang palad itinakbo ng boss namin ang pera ng kumpanya at nawala syang parang bula. Pangalawang trabaho. Sa insulation naman ng barko. Nag lalagay kami ng insulation sa mga deck ng barko para kung mainit o malamig ang panahon hindi mag penetrate sa loob ng barko. Sa kasamaang palad uli humina ang pag gawa ng barko. Lagi kaming walang pasok at wala ding overtime kaya walang naiipon. Sa ikatlong kumpanya welder naman ako sa pagawaan ng mga andamyo sa construction sites. May ot pero konti lang . Sa 4 years and 10 months ko pag tatrabaho sa korea isang beses ko lang natikman makasahod 2million won.”


It took him a while before he was able to earn enough to save money and to invest in businesses.


“Gusto ko mainspire ang mga kapwa natin na ofw na mag ipon lalo na yung mga masuswerte na sumasahod ng 3million won at kung ano ano lang ang binibili. Kahit hirap at halos walang gaanong kinikita nakapag pundar ako ng tricycle at nakapag invest ako sa stock market at nakaipon din ng konti para sa negosyo. Hindi dahilan ang maliit ang sahod kaya walang naiipon. Halos buong pagtatrabaho ko nag average lang ng 1.5 million ang sahod ko.pero kung gusto mo mag ipon makakaipon ka.”

 

Ronnie Billones



Contrary to his last name, Mr. Billones is not a billionaire, and for somebody who aspire to become one and to stand up for his name, Ronnie used to believe that working in South Korea could make him become one. So he labored for 7 1/2 years in Korea doing some odd jobs and a machine operator to earn money for his future. For him, seven years is more than enough time to gather all the courage to leave his blue collar job and step into the limelight of entrepreneurship. So he decided to go back to the Philippines and started BillGREEN ENTERPRISES, a manufacturing business of all Agri Products.



Mr. Billones saw the need of helping local farmers, so he got out of his comfort zone, learned everything he need to learn to come up with a business that could help the local farmers. His experiences of working in South Korea have contributed a lot in what he is today.


“I've learned a lot things especially when it comes to money management, investing and how to grow your money.”


He decided not to return in South Korea because he felt like he was a slave there. He believes that Filipinos can do better than any other nationalities, so he decided never to let other people look down on him, and the only way to do that is to establish his own empire, so he comes up with the idea of BillGREEN Enterprises.



Now, Billy (that’s what we call him), is busy promoting his products to different trade fairs and events in his area. He already has clients abroad like Australia, Chicago, Canada, Singapore and planning to expand in Dubai soon. As for the local market, you can find his products in four supermarkets already, it is also available in Harbor Point in Subic, SBMA. Billy uses the power of the internet to promote his products.

 

Cholo Cara



Mr. Cara worked in South Korea for four years and 10 months only. He belonged to 6th KLT Batch of EPS workers and he worked in a Car Manufacturing company, basically making parts of KIA and Hyundai cars. Mr. Cara has observed that more and more people are interested to work in South Korea, so he took it as an opportunity to help and at the same time start a business. He started a Korean Language School to “help other aspiring applicants experience working in South Korea”.



While working in South Korea, he learned that being professional by being on time is very essential values for his business. In his observation, this kind of business can actually earn him the same amount as working in South Korea. So he decided to stick into this business, for as long as he work hard and dedicate his heart into this business, he knows he can survive and develop his business.

 

Jerome Abillon



Mr. Abillon was a fresh blood ex OFW in South Korea. He worked as a CNC operator in Korea for 4 years and 10 months, and after that, he decided to go back to the Philippines and started a Heat Press Printing business. Jerome’s business is just a baby because he just came back from Korea. He made sure that his business is something he likes to do.


For me designing shirts, mugs etc... is an art. I totally love arts... and I am enjoying this.”


He also treasured his experience in Korea because it somehow contributed to his good attitude towards his business.

“As all we know being an ofw is very hard... for me mga "LODI" tlga tau mga boss. I think the most important that i have learned in South Korea is "ATTITUDE".. Having faith in HIM, being more patience, giving more heart in my work... and trusting in my self. I hope this is my opening key to pursue this business I’m starting."


Because of this, Jerome decided to stay in the Philippines and not to return to South Korea


 “I want to spend more of my times to my family. And for me this is a big opportunity to start on my own small business. Most important is " ITS MORE LOVE IN THE PHILIPPINES" 


 

Eric Tiongson



Mr. Eric Tiongson had been in South Korea for quite a long time. He worked as a legal worker for 4 years and 10 months until June 2012. He decided to stay as illegal worker for another 3 years together with his wife. He worked as Machine Operator at Namdong, Incheon and he dreamed of starting his business so that he doesn’t need to stay illegal in South Korea.



When he got tired of working for other people and when he was able to save enough money, he pursued his dream business, which is to build residential houses seeing that he was an undergraduate of Architecture. He used what he learned in South Korea to start and manage his dream business in the Philippines.


Sa Korea natuto akong mag save ng pera kc sobrang hirap ang work ko sa korea..



Nag lagay lang ako ng time frame na kaylangan sa ganitong panahon mayroon na akong ipon dahil sa dami ng nakilala ko sa korea na matagal na at nag TNT pa ay walang ipon kaya d maka uwi ng pinas..ako at mrs ko ay nag ipon lang ng husto sa korea para matupad namin ang mga pangarap namin d2 sa pinas.”



And now, Mr. Tiongson is enjoying the fruit of his labor. He is now building residential houses and he doesn’t need to return to Korea or stay illegal to earn money because his business is completely legal.

 

Maricel Paneda Agregado



As part of 6th KLT Batch of EPS worker, Ms. Maricel understood the price of working abroad. That means, she has to leave her family behind to work in South Korea. She worked in a plastic injection for 4 years and 10 months. She felt she needs to work harder and better, so she came back to Korea after her contract as a Sincere Worker and continued working. However, she decided to break her contract after 18 months of working and decided to start a Poultry Business in the Philippines.



Napili namin ang poultry kasi sA lugar ng asawa ko walang nag aalaga ng manok dun kaya nagtry kami nagsimula sa maliit at tinignan namin kung mag click..so ayon okey naman naging outcome bale sa lugar nila kami na nagsusuply sa mga tindahan kaya nagpadagdag uli kami ng manok...mas marami mas kikita.


She learned a lot of lesson during her stay in South Korea and she was thankful for that because it develops her personality as a wife and a businesswoman.



Natutunan ko sa korea ung pagiging masinop at pagiging simple..dapat pahalagahan ang bawat kita at ilaan sa makabuluhang bagay.”


When asked if she wants to return in South Korea.


“Di na ako babalik sa korea kasi okey naman na ang kita ng maliit naming manukan isa pa gusto ko ding makasama ang aking pamilya for good...simpleng buhay basta kasama ang pamilya at kahit papanu may kita."


They are just few of new generation Ex Korea OFWs who decided to start their own business in the Philippines using their hard earned money. If you are a Filipino in Korea and still wondering what to do next after your contract, better start doing your homework so you can have an idea what business to start when you go back to the Philippines. Use this as an opportunity to start earning and save to bootstrap your own business someday.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Pay Less for Cosmetic Surgery in Korea Via VAT Refund System by Medical Korea Information Center


Korea is very famous because of the upbeat kpop, thanks to the EXO and BTC. It is also known for its addicting TV Drama series, well, Goblin, Legend of the Blue Sea, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and a lot more. People also go there because of its attractive and world class tourist spots like Nami Island, Jeju Island and, whew, Everland. Of course, we can't take out the shopping experience, the food trip and the overall culture of Korea. Recently, new interesting things about Korea have evolved like the technology and even cosmetic surgery.


One of the many reasons why people go to Korea is because of cosmetic surgery. Korea is one of the best countries to visit when it comes to this. With the experienced doctor, complete hospital facilities and affordable price, cosmetic surgery has become a household word in this country. While other countries raise their eyebrow about the concept of cosmetic surgery, Korea is open minded enough to accept this procedure as normal and without judgment. That is why people from neighboring countries flock to Korea to undergo cosmetic surgery.


Well, I have good news for foreign visitors of Korea who wish to go through cosmetic surgery. If you will spend 30,000 won and above, you can actually get a tax refund via the VAT Refund System which was organized by the Medical Korea Information Center.


If you will subscribe to the VAT Refund System, you have the right to choose your legal organization and you can have the transparency of the cost of care. If you are not a resident of Korea and you are a foreign tourist, you can avail your Tax Refund. However, you must make sure to use cosmetic surgery in allocated tax refundable organization and you must depart Korea within 3 months staying in the country.


Now, how can you actually claim your VAT refund? The first step should be, you must identify the affiliate medical organization. You must visit the Medical Korea website and search for these organizations. After identifying and selecting a medical organization, go and visit and experience the service. Pay the organization the corresponding amount including your tax. You must ask for a tax refund statement when you pay the organization. The last step would be to visit the tax refundable counter and get your refund.


That's how easy it is. Next time you plan to go to Korea to undergo cosmetic surgery, feel free to contact the Medical Korea Information Center and inquire about the possible tax refund.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Medical Korea Information Center- The Shield of Foreign Patients in Korea


When I was in Korea, I experienced being confined in a hospital. I went through a minor surgery and it took me three days before I was able to fully recover from the medication. The hospital experience was not pleasant seeing that I was sick and I was alone. There's no family member to watch over me and my needs. I did it all alone. However, due to complete hospital facilities, caring nurses and doctors and clean environment, I found comfort and convenience in my confinement in a foreign hospital. I wished there's a community or organization for foreigners that could replace the absence of the family members. As a foreigner, I must say that it's hard to undergo medication in a foreign land.



There's a good news for all the foreigners in South Korea though. There's this service called Medical Korea Information Center where foreign patients can receive comprehensive and trustworthy support. Not all foreigners know how to speak Korean, the center will provide exact translation and other legal aids you need as a foreigner. The services are available in English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian and even Arabic. They have competitive staffs that can deliver professional and medical information. The credibility of the center is anchored with the fact that it is being supported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Korea and is being operated by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute.


How can Medical Korea Information Center help you as a foreign patient? First and foremost, if you are a foreigner outside Korea and you wish to go to Korea to undergo medication, the center can actually help you by providing consultation on immigration and visa issuance. They also provide information on health institutions and medical services, so you can guarantee you get the right hospital and right services based on your circumstances. They can also support you in reservation of medical services you needed. In the event that you want to undergo cosmetic surgery in Korea, as a foreigner, you are entitled for a VAT refund. The center can help you claim your tax refund. It will also translate all your medical records so you can get it in the language you can understand. Not only that, the center can also help you find a good place to stay in Korea, suggest places where you can experience Korean cuisine and even guide you through famous tourist spots in the country.
In the event that you may encounter malpractice in your medication, the center will be there to hear your complaints. It will then coordinate between you and the medical service providers. In case you have proof of medical malpractice, the center will help you go through filing medical malpractice suits. It also offers legal information related to arbitration and mediation. So the center will be your assurance that in case something go wrong with the medication process, you can get the justice you deserve. We all know it's hard to prove your point if you don't speak the country's language. The center will stand right beside you while you investigate the problem.


The medical Korean Information Center also provides consultation on illegal broker and other related issues concerning this. It also provides information on report reward on illegal broker and reporting them afterwards.


If you wish to know more about Medical Korea Information Center, you can contact them via phone or online board. Their office is located at the 2F, Shinil Building, Toegye-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. You can call them at the telephone number 1577-7129. If you want to call outside Korea, you can dial +82-1577-7129. Visit their website at www.visitmedicalkorea.com and email callmcc@khidi.or.kr. They are open from 9:00 am up to 6 pm from Monday to Friday.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Odongdo- The Heart of Yeosu


I like going to places less traveled. Although I do visit touristy places most of the time, I always see to it to go to places where most locals go. Take for example the Odongdo Island located in Yeosu. The city of Yeosu in itself is not where usually tourists go when in South Korea. It is not a famous city until the Yeosu Expo happened around 4 years ago. While there are touristy places in Yeosu, most of its visitors are just locals coming from other parts of the city. Only few tourists go to Yeosu because it's so far and not a lot of people know about it.



When in Yeosu, one of the places you should not dare miss to visit is the Odongdo. For me, if Yeosu has a heart, it should be Odongdo because of its ecological contribution to the city and at the same time the role it's playing in the tourism of Yeosu. Odongdo is an island and it's quite far off the coast of Yeosu. However, there's a breakwater installed from Yeosu port up to Odongdo Island, so it's less hassle to go there. Odongdo is a perfect spot if you want to go forest bathing. It's an island with a lot of wild flowers, trees and grasses. Perfect place to visit if you want to relax and commune with nature.



I think one of the most interesting part of the island is this landmark they call "Dragon Cave". According to the legend, a dragon lived in this cave. The dragon use this cave as a passage to come out and eat raindrops when it is raining. The dragon cave is such an interesting view, plus it is facing the vast ocean. They believe that the dragon causes big waves to the ocean.


Since Yeosu is a port city, the ocean is a common view in this island. When you are in Odongdo, it's a perfect spot because you are viewing the ocean in the middle of the forest. There are also other amusements in the area like the dancing fountain where the water dances along with the music and light. They have schedule for the dancing fountain, so it is good if you can get the right timing.



I went to Odongdo in the late afternoon, so I was able to catch the sunset right behind the city of Yeosu. It was such a beautiful sight to look at. The elements of the sunset over the port city and its reflection in the ocean water, it feels like paradise.



Odongdo is surely a place you shoud choose for a brisk walk, the fresh air and the beautiful view are so romantic you could even hold hands with your lover while walking. Odongdo is very near Yeosu. You can actually take a taxi from the center of the city, it would take around 5 minutes to travel from Yeosu Expo up to the entrance of Odongdo. You can actually walk if you want to, but to save time and energy, you can take either the bus or a taxi.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

That Little Town Called Gimhae

If you hear the name of a place called GIMHAE, the first thing that would come into your mind would probably be AIRPORT! Gimhae houses the Gimhae International Airport, one of Korea's international airport. However, Gimhae has a lot more to offer than housing an airport. Gimhae is located in the South Gyeongsang Province, just right in the West of Busan. Unlike Seoul, Gimhae is some sort of a laidback city. It's not as lively as Seoul, or as touristy as Busan, but it sure has a character that could attract foreign visitors and even locals.



If Gyeongju is an open museum for Korean traditional houses, I must say that Gimhae is an open museum for Korea's history. Right in the middle of the city, you'll see in an outdoor setting, the statues of what appears to be the soldiers with their armors and horses fighting for freedom or God knows what.



Speaking of Museum, just a few minutes away from the statues, you'll find the Gimhae National Museum where they preserve the cultural heritage of the ancient Kingdom Gaya. It's a huge building that somehow looks industrial you would'nt notice it's museum. Unfortunately, it was closed when we visited the place, it would be great to see what's inside the museum.



Another interesting landmark right in the middle of the city is the Tomb of King Suro. It's obvious that this man was a very important personality in Gimhae because you would not make a good entrance like this just to see the tomb.Accordingly, the value of a person who died can be determined by the height of the hill on its tomb, and this King has a very gigantic hill on his tomb. It just so happened that King Suro was actually the founder of the Gimhae Kim family. It's the family who founded the place Gimhae and the place was actually named after them.



Aside from the tomb, there are a lot of things to see in this garden, I could pass this place as a garden rather than a tomb because people go to this place to chill and relax because of its amenities and ambiance conducive to meetup, walking and even picture taking.



Inside the park slash tomb , there's a little museum where you can see the ancient relics and armors. It looks like these stuff had been buried and later on discovered and put on display in the museum.



The marketplace of Gimhae is also alive and colorful. Although it's not as high end and as classy as in Myeongdong and other famous Korean market, I must say that Gimhae market is a very traditional one. Most of the people I saw in their market were foreigners. I seldom saw locals roaming around the market.


Gimhae is a small city but old, but it is a home to some important people in Korea and a working place of some foreigners and a good chunk of that foreign workers came from the Philippines. There are other places to visit in Gimhae like the Lotte Water Park, the Gaya Theme Park, Yeojwhacheon and a lot more. It's a good place to visit for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Meet and Greet the World's Famous Personalities at Grévin Museum (서울 그레뱅 뮤지엄)


Do you want to meet Korea's remarkable actors, famous kpop idols, Hollywood's brightest stars and world renowned personalities? There are a lot of ways to do it, you can attend concerts, stalk your celebrity bias on social media and go to the places where they usually go, attend MTV Awards, Oscard Awards and even Superbowl and whatnot. Or, just go to the Grevin Museum in Seoul because all the biggest stars of Korea and the world are there. Yes, you read it right!!! They are all at the Grevin Museum and they can't be moved because they can't move after all. I am talking about the wax figures of the biggest personalities of the world in the field of entertainment, sports, technology and politics.


At Grevin Museum, you can be one of the famous Korean stars in the 90s.



You can even join Al Pacino and Robert Dinero in their dinner party.



Or get wisdom from the geniuses like my uncle Steve Jobs and grandfather Albert Einstein.



You may want to get the taste of Bruce Lee's flying kick.



And be part of Rambo's shenanigans.



Play a game of roulette against Brad Pitt and George Clooney



How about taking the religious path with Pope Francis, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi.



Fly business class with the Queen Elizabeth.



Set up meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon



Or start a conversation with Mr. President Donald Trump.



Go Figure Skating with the famous Yuna Kim



Or play football with You Know Who, haha.. Coz I don't know who is this.



Have a coffee date with this guy...



Be classy like Audrey Hepburn



How about dealing with Paris Hilton?



And make beso beso with THE MERYLL STREEP.



And feel like the King with the King of Pop.



Strike a conversation with Lee Min Ho



Or strike a pose with Song Jong Ki



How about a sparring with Jackie Chan?



Thanks, but no Thanks. I'd rather dance Gangnam Style with PSY.



If you have time, feel free to visit Seoul Grevin Museum. It is located at 23 Eulji-ro, Euljiro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. To go there via subway, get off at Euljiro 1-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), go to Exit 1 and walk straight for 3 min. Be crazy, be silly and be creative. Don't worry, wax figures won't bite you. Entrance fee for Adults (ages 19-64) is 18,000 won and for Children (ages 5-18) & Seniors (ages 65 or older) is 15,000 won.