Jasmine on Korea Times

So goes the title of the article written by Cathy Garcia and currently the fifth most read story in Korea Times. It is nice to know that the KT is doing a series of interviews of the “leading members of Korea’s multicultural society” and rightly so they have Jasmine Lee, a fellow Filipino immigrant in Korea, as their first subject. Media outlets usually feature members of the multicultural society before and during Chuseok and Seollal. ;p
The interview, according to the article, was held last Monday in a coffee shop in Hongdae. The picture posted was taken on the same day and it’s nice to know that Jasmine is smiling. A few days ago she posted a message on her FB “life goes on”. Yes, life goes on for Jasmine. Fighting!
The article talks about Jasmine’s experiences from the first time she came to Korea to the time of her husband’s death. The content of the article is nothing new to me but they made me remember the way she tells stories. She’s just so lively.
My favorite part is: “For foreign spouses, she encourages them to make efforts to learn the language and to venture into Korean society, which she says are the keys to being accepted.
“There is a big difference between those who speak and don’t speak Korean. Especially when the children are growing up, they get annoyed when they speak better Korean than their mothers,’’ she added.”

Great advice for foreigners who are married to Koreans. Applicable too to those who are living here or who have been living here for a long time. Learning Korean might just make your life a little easier.
Read the article on Tragedy Fails to Shake Filipina’s Belief in Korea or checkout Jehan’s blog too for an easier-on-the-eyes version.


  1. Hi..Ms Betchay
    Her story is very inspiring. Nakapag-isip tuloy ako na dapat pala mag-aral ng mabuti ng korean language.. At lahat ng sinabi nya ay tama.

  2. teka i didnt read the whole article pero nabasa ko tong phrase na toh : “There is a big difference between those who speak and don’t speak Korean. Especially when the children are growing up, they get annoyed when they speak better Korean than their mothers,’’ she added.” sinong they sa “they get annoyed”? i don’t speak korean.. and it has never been a problem for me and my hubby kasi he speaks english.. heck he is hell of a lot better than me.. korean american kasi..anways we have a 2 year old daughter.. and parang gusto nya yata lumaki yung bata sa korea.. so someone please tell me kung sinong they..lol

    1. as i understand that statement, the “they” that she’s talking about are the children, the offspring of those foreign wives and Korean husband. I also believe that the children will get annoyed when they are better in speaking Korean rather than their mothers especially when they are living in Korea.Your case is different I guess..because you can communicate with each other well because you both speaking English and when you make your daughter grow up in Korea, I think your child will also be annoyed when she is better in speaking Korean that to you… sooner or later (((I GUESS))) what do you think Ms. Betchay???

      1. Oo. She’s referring to the children of Korean-foreigners. I have a four year old son and he speaks Korean and English (but he follows the Korean sentence pattern). He prefers Korean over English since that the language he usually hears. There are some children of Korean-foreigners who grew up learning only one language and it could be frustrating if they couldn’t talk to their moms.

  3. So true, when it come s to learning Korean. It’s so hard to make a decision kapag di mo naiintindihan ang situation, and you’ll always end up not being able to be a part of a major decision-making situations if you don’t speak and understand Korean well. People will just push you aside, ignore you or take or for granted becoz you can’t get yourself to be a part of the society (in terms of acquiring the language).

    1. yup,,, I know a woman, married with a Japanese and have a daughter grew up in Japan, her mother cant speak Japanese well,, and her child was saying something that she cant understand, she cant get her point… and then her daughter told her “”see??? coz your not good in Japanese,you are lost in translation”‘ then her daughter come to his father for assistance…””

      1. the woman i know is a Filipina, married to a Japanese,,, the form of their communication in their house are.English-Japanese-Tagalog. The woman is not fluent in Japanese, but shes fluent in Tagalog and English while her husband and daughter are of course fluent in Japanese, but not in English and Tagalog…so theres always a conflict.

    2. Unfortunately, there are people here who base your intelligence on how well you can speak Korean. If you can’t express yourself in their language, your opinion doesn’t matter.

  4. ^ And nobody wants to be ignored, right? Lalo na if you have a strong issue that you want to be voiced out. You’ll feel like a handicap, you can’t speak for yourself, you can’t do want you want, that is so frustrating!

    1. Korek! So for those who are planning to stay here for good or for a long time, it’s really best to learn the language. It’s difficult but it’s not impossible.

      1. ate Betchay, thanks for the special mention ah, kkk..
        honestly, since i stopped working, nong time lang na nabasa ko yung article ako nag-strive bulkatin ulit yung korean language books ko. i would only capture one or two expressions from what i watch everyday but forget using or practicing them with Alex…
        pag strangers naman nakaka survive ako.. pag in laws ko na kumakausap sa akin na-me-mental block ako, haha… Chuseok na pa man din, kkk…

  5. Yeah, it’s really hard to learn korean but we need to do our best because we are already here. Our family just moved here recently, and my son’s korean is better than mine. Oftentimes, he was correcting me….Anyway, we have to try so that we can be fully accepted in this society, and we can accept them, too.

  6. hi betchay!
    i read the article, and i saw jas’ picture. im greatly relieved to see her smiling. since i left korea, i’ve been out of touch with most of the pinay seoulites and i miss each and everyone of you. rememeber how we met? you left comments on my then blog and after that we started calling each other on the phone. i remember asking you for help everytime something is wrong with my PC, and you were always there to get me technical support whatever time of day or night it is. i think cathy should write about you in her next article…isa ka rin sa mga pride ng pinays dyan sa seoul. you have always been so generous with your time and know how, and a great cook too! i can also say that you are a trustworthy person and a fun bubbly person to talk to. i miss you betch…ikaw at ang mga pinay seoulites natin…sana next time na kitakits kasama na ako! 🙂

  7. san qo kaya pwedE makita c ate jasmine??
    pede po b malaman websitE nia??
    faceebook or bLog site bah..??

Leave a Reply