Pinay Seoulites

I was looking for pictures for the May 29th edition of Litratong Pinoy when I thought that it would be nice to post something about my friends here, after seeing all the pictures I’d taken with them.
I came to Korea on my own, i.e. not through a marriage nor an employment agency. I didn’t meet my husband through a match-making agency. He isn’t a farmer and he’s not 50 years older than me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wasn’t domesticated before I got married and I’m definitely not a bombshell. Before coming here, I often wondered if I’ll ever find friends. I was sure I’ll find some Filipinos here since we are everywhere — even in North Korea and Vladivostok. The question was how?
The first Filipino I met here lives in the province of Jeollabukdo, so far away from Seoul. Then I met Ate Rowena, who introduced me to other foreign spouses (i.e. non-Filipinos) here. I joined an email group of Filipinos living in Korea, most of them married to nationals here. I met some friends there but I didn’t expect I’ll experience something so negative from my own countrymen. When you move to a foreign land where you don’t speak the language, you want to have that sense of belongingness that you can only get from people who speak the same language as you. In short, I really wanted to meet and learn from my fellow Pinoys.
I’m not gonna talk about that bad experience I had with two Filipinas married to Koreans. The members of the email group know about it and I often tell newbies here to be wary of the oldtimers. I think I’m lucky to have met my group of friends here that I met through Anna Banana (whom I met through a blog). Four years and although we don’t see each other as often as we’d like to, the friendship is still the same. Three of the group’s members have left but we still communicate. Shey is now in California, Karen is in Italy while Banana has been in the Philippines for almost two years now.
We usually meet at someone’s house and prepare pinoy food (which almost always include spaghetti!). If not, we’d just go to a family restaurant that has a salad bar and stay there for four hours eating and catching up. Of course, a meeting in Korea isn’t complete without a trip to the noraebang (singing room).
We went out for a bowling once and had a blast! We all attended the “Parokya ni Edgar” concert in Hyehwa-dong too. (The band was TWO HOURS LATE!) We went out once to Nami Island and my husband even drove us to Dae Jang Geum theme park.
I remember missing a few gatherings that we had because family always comes first in Korea. I really wanted to attend a friend’s daughter’s first birthday but I couldn’t since my PILs wanted to travel down south. Nobody in the group wants to miss a party. That’s because we always talk about the person who’s absent! Yup, Anna Banana lagi ka naming pinag-uusapan ๐Ÿ˜‰


  1. i really envy you… have a lot of filipino friends in korea….at least you have a good support system eventhough you live in a foreign land, do you all live in Seoul?
    p.s.what’s the bad experience with the 2 filipinas?sorry i just go so curious.
    chers last blog post..Ala family’s visit in Korea-March 2008

  2. i also had a bad experience meeting a fellow Filipina who married a Korean, my husband’s manager knew the couple way back from the Philippines and since my husband wanted me to go around and meet friends they tried to introduce me to her. She was so arrogant and she looked down on me( according to her she came from a prestigious political family in the philippines….which i don’t actually believe). She even had the guts to criticize our fellowmen who gather in Hyehwa-dong every Sunday (she said Filipinos are making Seoul look like Divisoria by gathering in Hyehwa-dong like that). Anyway, after all the talk she made about herself(for almost 2hours all she did was brag about herself and her life in Korea), she finally asked me about myself and my husband, so I gave her the details (my educational/family background and stuff). When she found out that my background was a lot better than hers (she bragged about being a law school graduate from the philippines but she didn’t even take the bar exam and the school she graduated from was not even considered prestigious back home…..she even said i can never get a job here in Korea…..she was so proud of her part-time job proofreading english documents in a law firm in seoul), she finally shut her mouth and decided to end the meeting….bwahahahaa. She was such a show-off!!!!!!!!
    chers last blog post..Ala family’s visit in Korea-March 2008

  3. halu ate betchay! matagal pa siguro ako pupunta ng korea… my and i went to pagsanjan falls last saturday,may31. he said the spot is really popular among koreans and is really expensive (via travel agency). so when i told him last thursday that we’ll spend P3000 back and forth (quezon city-pagsanjan), including the boat ride, bus fare, food, and resort accommodation, he was just too excited to really go (kase as in talagang makakamura sya). we met lots of korean and chinese tourists.. since natural singkit ako, the locals were also surprised na filipina pala ako.. would proudly say to his fellow men “”my filipina wife”” and the koreans would just form an “”o”‘ with their mouth.. i reprimanded him and said “they might think you have a korean wife in korea and a chinese wife in china”” and he said, “”no, cant you understand? i’m so proud of my filipina wife, that’s why i always say “”my filipina wife””… ako natahimik, although our wedding is still far, wife na kung ipakilala nya ko…
    i hope to really get along well with our fellow filipinos in korea. is not rich.. and i said to him i think it would be more difficult to marry a rich korean man.. he’s not a farmer nor too old for me too.. hehe.. sana nga i wont get much stereotyping din (sa incheon) when i get there…

  4. @cher >> is that “Atty. E” you’re talking about? she once said that she wouldn’t be bothered going to hyewha ‘coz she doesn’t want to be mistaken for a factory worker
    @jehan >> hey! it’s really good that you’re taking the time to know each other well… imbitado ako sa kasal ha?
    @paka & emil >> sa hyehwa meron masarap magluto ng caldereta… hanep ang mahal ng pinoy foods dito… buti na lang marunong ako magluto ๐Ÿ˜€
    @beena >> you’re such a smart girl, i bet you could live anywhere you wish ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. betchay…it sounds like we’re talking about the same person(is her husband working in a law firm too?she claims to be very close with the people in the philippine embassy in seoul and she also mentioned that she belongs to the so called “elite group” of filipinos in korea)…bwahahaha…although i can’t really remember her name anymore and i even threw away her business card because i was so disappointed with her…..i’m just glad i never took her offer of joining the “elite group” of filipinos in korea……i don’t think it’s worth my time at all, don’t you think so?
    chers last blog post..Ala family’s visit in Korea-March 2008

  6. oh, sabi nga ng matatanda, ang latang maingay, walang laman… nothing between the ears… those who talk much actually know nothing…

  7. Hi Bechay!
    My 2 cents… Like most of you, I left Philippines years back (now in California) and had a couple of encounters of the same kind, so to speak, during my early days here. The crab mentality (and the bragging) indeed exist to some of our kababayans, sad to say. In my case, I found then at a local church (typical, I guess). But I guess I was a little bit more receptive of these kind of people, thanks to a much needed warning of a cousin, so my irratation was only elevated to a certain degree. Best thing to do, which I did, was completely ignore them. I was even rude at some point, rising from my seat in the middle of her bragging without a word. Why spend your precious time and waste it then end up upset and irritated?
    There are good people everywhere, I learned. We find them, spend time with them, learn and grow.

  8. Tease! It sounded like you were finally going to tell the love story of a lifetime, but then you started to talk about your friends.
    It’s good to have a strong connection of friends to fall back on, and it is awful to discover when someone is not who they claim to be. While I admire and respect those who stay close to their country and people, my close circle of friends and trusted are a hodge-podge of folks. There is only one person close to my own country and culture, but we (as a country) hate them, haha.
    What little you did write is ambiguous, and I want to ask more… for many reasons… =)

  9. Hey Row! I’ll do the same when I get to Korea. Thanks for all the helpful posts here…the warnings I mean…

  10. Hi ms. betchay,
    I’m a friend of “Ana Banana”. I printed your blog and showed her some of the pictures. Sobrang natuwa s’ya when she saw it. She told me about your adventures there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. ^^i miss bananing… if not for her, i wouldn’t meet my other friends… looking at the pictures we took last saturday made me miss her more, ako na lang kasi ang mataba sa grupo eh ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. wish i can meet some filipinos here in korea to talk to and share somethings very filipino. there are only two of us filipinos here in the university.. hehehe a very young man who has a world of his own.

  13. i still remember reading this from before and i’ve been looking for it for the past month so i could show alex how Pinays here in korea gather to just relax and enjoy one another’s company and of course, deep friendship. somebody kept on inviting me to visit their house but i always avoided her since she kept on calling me and asking me about my “situation” here like i look pathetic because alex doesn’t have a job yet then brag about her location or condition. i somehow feel pity for her coz her mother in law is really old and very sickly while my mom in law is still strong and really takes care of me instead, hehe. at the women’s center too, i also had an annoying experience with one pinay who thought i also met my husband the way she did.
    jehans last blog post..Little Cacheros…

  14. hi po ate betchay,leslie poname ko. help naman po nag aply po q ng tourist visa eh almost 1 month n la pa confirmation ang embassy. may tumawag skin dati xa daw un ngiinterview…hnd kc ntps ng maaus un usapan kc ngloloko linya.tlga bang cp gmit ng mg iinterview and nagmimiscol b un embassy oficial?may nag assist kc skin n tao 2longan dw you think n naloko aq?its been a month n kc malabo parn.d ko lam deny o aprrove la po prob s requirments mern aq lhat,the thing is pina ubaya ko s iba un pgpass nun documents,..pahingi naman po ng advice…thnks po

  15. hey I am looking to meet filipinas on my trip to seoul cause I think they are genuine and warm….how can I get to meet people from the philipines?

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