From Korea with Love

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Philippines: Too Dangerous for Koreans?

The news of the death of a Korean student in the Philippines hit the headlines this week and sparks worry about the safety of Koreans living in the country. The 21-year old student, who had been living in Manila with her brother for several years, was abducted last month. She was last seen riding a taxi in Pasay City on March 3. On April 8 (Tuesday), her remains were found in her captor’s hideout. The police were able to arrest one of the suspected kidnappers. The taxi driver is also a suspect.

According to The Chosun Ilbo, the Korean community in the Philippines “is blaming local police for mishandling the investigation, and accusing the Korean Foreign Ministry for standing idly by.” Some Korean netizens are already ‘generalizing’ the Philippines as being dangerous. One of the writers of The Korea Times has branded the Philippines as a death trap for Koreans as if every Korean going to the country has a sniper aimed at him.


Korea Joongang Daily reports:

Since 2009, there have been 40 Koreans killed in the Philippines as Koreans have poured into the country to start businesses, study English and play golf. Between 2009 and 2013, 44 percent of some 160 murder cases of Korean nationals abroad occurred in the Philippines, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Two months ago, when my husband and I were in the Philippines, a 65 year-old Korean tourist was shot dead in my hometown (Angeles City). Last week, a 43-year-old Korean businessman was gunned down in a restaurant in Angeles City while having dinner with his wife.

Last year, 13 Koreans were killed in the Philippines and four this year.

In an article from The Korea Times, Professor Kim Dong-yeob of Busan University of Foreign Studies said it is more likely that Koreans are behind the crimes.

…the majority of cases involving Korean victims are contract killings. Many Koreans flying to the Philippines have a reason to flee Korea. Many are gang members escaping law enforcement. What they end up doing is paying people to swindle money from Koreans. businessmen, students and tourists.

The Korea Times gave Cho Yang-eun, leader of a mafia called Yangeunyi  and one of South Korea’s most wanted fugitives, as an example of criminals who have fled to the Philippines to escape capture. He was caught in Pampanga in November 2013. A few years ago, news about Koreans kidnapping fellow Koreans in the Philippines  also came out.

Photo taken from

A photo of Cho Yang-eun’s detention taken from Philstar


It saddens me that despite the possibility of Koreans masterminding the crimes in the Korean community, fingers are all pointed at Filipinos.

A certain Prof. Park made this statement in The Korea Times:

You can own a gun in the Philippines. Also, it is a Catholic country, meaning people probably feel freer than those visiting Malaysia or Indonesia which are Muslim countries. And take Thailand, for example. They have better protection for foreign tourists.

I think it’s unfair to assume that everybody can own a gun in the Philippines, (that’s why crimes are rampant) and what does being a Catholic country have to do with crimes?

While we Filipinos understand Koreans’ concern for the safety of their fellow Koreans living in the Philippines, we hope that our people will not be blamed for every crime that involves tourists in our country, and that the Philippines will not be thought of as a “death trap” for foreigners. The Philippines is not the only place in the world where crimes happen. Many Filipinos were angered and disheartened by the news of this poor Korean student’s demise. Many Filipinos seek justice, too. I assure you, despite the country’s frailty and corruption, the Philippines is still a country surrounded by a lot of good people who value the life of others.



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Sookmyung Women’s University Invites Filipina Marriage Migrants to Participate in a Study

All Filipino women married to Koreans are invited to participate in the Filipino Women’s Study spearheaded by Sookmyung Women’s University Food and Nutrition Department. Those who are divorced or separated from their Korean husband may also join. The study aims to to evaluate the health status of Filipino women married to Korean men, as well as their children. Results from this work will be presented in a scientific journal and the mainstream press. Information gathered will help shape health guidelines for Filipino women and their children living in Korea and other countries.

The study will be conducted on March 16, March 23 and April 13,  from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. at Hanyang University Guri Hospital.

If you would like to participate, you may choose the most convenient date and time for you to come. You only need to attend one Sunday and you don’t have to be in the venue the whole day.

The process will take around 2 hours, so you can go home as soon as you are done. There will be blood sampling, BP and over all check up on your nutritional health status.

For those coming by subway, get off at Guri Station (color teal, Jungang line), exit 3; take the yellow town bus (마을 버스) no. 6. The hospital is very near. Just to make sure, ask the driver if the bus is going to Hanyangdae Guri Byeongwon. After you get off, you will see Hanyang University Guri Hospital right away. Walk straight a little further and you will find the hospital’s entrance. Proceed to the 12th floor, second conference room.


For enquiries, please contact GRACE P. ABRIS at 010-4780-6590 or Sherlyn Mae Provido at 010-2372-1029.

Important Instructions for those who will participate

Preparation for blood collection:
1. Blood will be collected after 12 hours of fasting. Please don’t eat or drink tea, coffee and other beverages 12 hours before you have your blood collected. Also, avoid smoking. Reasonable amount of water intake is permitted.
2. Alcohol intake is not permitted 2 days before sampling.

Preparation for the interview:
1. Please bring your identification card such as your alien card or your Korean citizen ID card, but if you have none, it’s all right.
2. For those who have children, please bring the vaccination record of your children if you still have them.
3. For those women who have kept their prenatal test results, please bring them all.
4. For those who are taking supplements or medication please bring the container/bottle of the supplement or medicine, but if you can’t bring it, it’s all right.

Participants will be given a special gift, either cash or cosmetics.


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