From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."

Seoul’s Little Manila

11 Comments

What a busy, busy, busy week!

Thank God, I was able to unwind last Sunday after my hospital visit. I thought of going to the Filipino market since I was already in Hyewadong.

Every Sunday, the road between Dongseong High School and Hyehwa Catholic Church transforms into Little Manila. The vibrant and convivial atmosphere of the Filipino market attracts not only Filipinos but also Koreans and other foreigners.

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Haraboji (grandfather in Korean) looked amused as he was looking at the items in this stall.

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Genuine smile that is truly Pinoy (Filipino)

When I visited the Filipino market for the first time, I saw only a few stalls, but last Sunday, new stalls had mushroomed. The place was busier, noisier and there were more foreign visitors.

You can buy just about anything “Filipino” in Little Manila: cosmetics, toiletries, snacks and pastries, condiments, meat, vegetables and fruit, beverages, etc.

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Little Manila is also home to a variety of authentic Filipino dishes.

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Pork barbecue

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Balut (a popular Filipino street food that consists of a whole egg containing a duckling or chicken fetus)

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Turon (deep fried bananas wrapped in spring roll wrappers)

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Bananacue (deep fried bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar)

I decided to have my lunch in one of the carinderias (eatery) that serve some of these popular Filipino dishes. A Korean ajossi who was busy mixing pancit (Filipino noodles) and enthusiastically calling out customers caught my attention. With him was his Filipina wife who had that big smile on her face as she was inviting passersby to try their food. I wanted to try all of the food in the menu! Oh, how I missed Filipino food.

The carinderia is owned by Ate Violy and her Korean husband. The food is good and very affordable.

For 6, 000 KRW (242 PHP) (5.58 USD), you can choose two main dishes or viands with Filipino style-rice (not the sticky one) and soup. I ordered menudo and lumpiang gulay (vegetable roll). The soup of the day was sinigang, my favorite. ^^

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After enjoying the meal, I had a little chat with Kuya Ed Atienza, the cook, and Ate Violy. I asked them if I could take some photos of the carinderia, and they were more than happy to oblige.

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Ate Violy makes these sausages.

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Pancit and barbecue… perfect combination! =)

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Empanada (stuffed bread)

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Lumpiang gulay (vegetable roll)

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Kutsinta and Puto (Filipino rice cake)

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Kakanin (Filipino dessert made from glutinous rice)

I rarely cook Filipino food in the house, because my in-laws prefer Korean food (of course), but every now and then, I crave Filipino dishes. It’s too bad that Little Manila is open only on Sunday, and I have to travel for nearly two hours just to get there.

More than just the food, it’s Filipino amiability, hospitality, simplicity and enthusiasm that I like about going to the Filipino market. I hope, in years to come, Little Manila will not just be a little place in one corner where Filipinos gather and enjoy a weekend of food and shopping, but a bigger and stronger community where Filipinos relive their culture and embrace their distinctiveness.

11 thoughts on “Seoul’s Little Manila

  1. Yup, every Sunday lang Filipino Market sa Hyewa. ^^

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  2. Every sunday ba meron? I want to go

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  3. Meron ba ganito every sunday? Gusto ko pumunta

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  4. hello po! ask ko ang sketch pano papunta d2 if galing kaming itaewon?…salamat po

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  5. hello!pwede pong makuha ang sketch papunta jan if galing po ako sa itaewon?…I want my whole family to see this place:) I miss Phlippines:(

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  6. Such a different vibe when I walk down that path with my wife. She’s happy to see her native food and she instantly changes her attitude and chats with all the local vendors. I’m an American living in SK for about 8 years and when walk Little Manila it feels so “foreign” to me. Dont’ judge me yet, I’ll explain. It feels so opposite of Korea, not because of the exotic fruits, fish, cosmetics, C2 Ice Tea (favorite), or all the wonderful street food.

    The part that feels so foreign and “un-Korean” is the smiles and genuine friendliness of everyone there. No one has their head buried in a smart phone while they eat. They chat with the strangers next to them. Its a chaotic environment because the govt has reduced the space allowed and it compacted into a smaller area over the years but people didnt forget to bring their manners, patience, and etiquette when they flew out of NAIA.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nagmamadali..din kasi kami.noon.. Maybe next time I can see u again somewhere here in S.Korea..

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  8. Sana you said hello, para sana may kasabay ako kumain noon. ^^

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  9. Hi..po Chris..^_^..namali ako..napressed ko ang reblog..hahaha.. By the way.. I saw u that time when u are in Hyewadong.. I reconized u when u try to took a photo and asked the seller how much was the price..of the pinoy goods..
    but i was too shy to approached u..ㅋㅋㅋ

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  10. Wow naman basta pinoy talaga….subra hehehe gud luck…guys the journy of our life time…God Bless…

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