From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."


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I’m Back and I’m Giving away a K-Pop Book! ^^

1Alas! I’ve done the worst thing a blogger can do. I haven’t posted anything in ages! It’s not out of idleness, though most of the time I was basking in somnolence and my normally dependable cognitive functions seem to have betrayed me every time I tried to write. Have you ever experienced this? Your thoughts are whirling in your head when you are busy doing something, but when you have finally had the time to sit in front of the computer and put all your ideas into words, your mind goes blank?

1aThese past few months, I’ve been thinking about a lot of things, mostly concerning business. Hubby and I are back in the Philippines and we are planning to stay here for a year to put up our restaurant’s second branch. We are currently in the “looking-for-the-right-location-and-it’s-driving-us-crazy” mode, so pardon me for not updating my blog for nearly four months because of this. I’m not the type of blogger who would leave comments or inquiries unanswered, but it’s been a while since I last checked my Email and the comment section of my blog, so the messages have piled up, and it may be too late to answer some of them. I still have those messages from May and before I left Korea in June, staring daggers at me for taking them for granted. T.T

To make up for my looong absence, I am launching FROM KOREA WITH LOVE’s very first giveaway.

This one is surely a treat for K-Pop afficionados. If you are not into hallyu (Korean wave) or Korean boy bands and girl groups, the giveaway, which is a newly published book called K-POP Now! The Korean Music Revolution written by Mark James Russell and published by Tuttle Publishing, is still going to be interesting, because there is so much you can learn from Korean pop culture. I am not a K-Pop enthusiast, but I enjoyed reading the book and skimming through the colorful, vibrant pictures of various K-Pop artists as if I were browsing through a magazine. The book does not only feature boy bands and girl groups, but also some of South Korea’s famous solo artists. I was delighted to read some information about Rain. I like him a lot! ^^ My husband, who is a fan of Yoon Mi-Rae, was happy to see an article about his favorite rap diva that he could easily read and comprehend. Most of the articles in the book are concise and easy-to-read. Even my 2-year-old niece had fun with the book. She fancies Psy more than the Teletubbies, so when she saw his picture, she started singing “Gentleman”. I had to bribe her with ice cream to get the book back. ^^

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Here’s what you can expect to find in the book:

  • (For starters) What K-Pop is and how it has evolved
  • Profiles of all the current K-Pop artists and their hits
  • A look at Seoul’s hippest hot spots and hangouts
  • Interviews with top artists like Kevin from Ze:A and Brian Joo from Fly to the Sky
  • A look at the K-Pop idols of tomorrow
  • A guide for fans who plan to visit Seoul to explore K-Pop up close and personal

To join the giveaway, click the link below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter and will be notified through Email. It will also be announced on the blog. The contest starts today and ends on September 30th. You may begin adding points to your entry by telling us on the COMMENT section of this post who your favorite K-Pop artist is or what your favorite K-Pop group is.

Good luck, FKWL readers and happy Chuseok!

Thank you for visiting and supporting FROM KOREA WITH LOVE!

I would like to address special thanks to TUTTLE PUBLISHING for making this giveaway possible and for sending me great reads. ^^

Watch out for my next giveaway! ^^

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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.

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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.