From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."


Let Us Help the Victims of Typhoon Yolanda

For days, I have shunned images of the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. I don’t have any relatives or friends from the provinces ravaged by the typhoon, but like many Filipinos abroad, I am one of those who are deeply troubled by the tragic news back home. I have been receiving messages from some of my Korean friends and my former wonjangnim asking if my family in the Philippines is safe. My family is from Pampanga, an area not affected by Typhoon Yolanda, but my family and I know what it’s like to be scared and helpless when a calamity strikes. We were victims of a natural disaster, too, when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991.

Typhoon Yolanda has claimed the lives of thousands of people and devastated several provinces in Visayas. Millions of people have been affected by the calamity. More than a hundred thousand families have lost their homes and are seeking shelter in evacuation centers. Some are still looking for family members.

People are in desperate need for water, food and medical assistance.

If you would like to help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, you can find a list of organizations and institutions that are accepting donations for relief operations from this article:  How to Help Philippines Typhoon Victims

There is also an advisory on donations for those affected by recent disasters in the Philippines posted by the Philippine Embassy in Seoul. You may send your cash donations to the following organizations:

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center (NDRRMC)
Account Name: NDRRMC Donated Funds
Account Numbers: 0435-021927-030 (Peso Account); 0435-021927-530 (Dollar Account); Swift Code: DBPHPHMM Account #36002016.
Address: Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Camp Aguinaldo Branch, PVAO Compound, Camp Aguinaldo, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Philippines 1110
Contact Person: Ms Rufina A. Pascual, Collecting Officer NDRRMC, Office of Civil Defense, Camp Aguinaldo, Q.C.
Contact Numbers: +632-421-1920; 911-5061 up to 65 loc 116

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
Account No. 3124-0055-81
Bank Branch Address: Land Bank of the Philippines, Batasan, Quezon City, Philippines
Contact Person: Ms Fe Catalina Ea, Cash Division
Contact Numbers: +632-931-8101 loc. 226; +63-918-628-1897 (mobile phone)

Philippine Red Cross (PRC)
Contact Number: +632-527-0000
Bank Accounts for Donations:
Banco De Oro
Peso: 00-453-0018647
Dollar: 10-453-0039482; Swift Code: BNORPHMM

Peso: 151-3-041631228
Dollar: 151-2-15100218-2; Swift Code: MBTCPHMM

Philippine National Bank
Peso: 3752 8350 0034
Dollar: 3752 8350 0042; Swift Code: PNBMPHMM

Unionbank of the Philippines
Peso: 1015 4000 0201
Dollar: 1315 4000 0090; Swift Code: UBPHPHMM

Per PRC website: “For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip to PRC nos. +632-527-0575 or +632-404-0979, with your name, address and contact number.”
Donations in kind may be sent to DSWD National Resource Operations Center (NROC), with address at DSWD, Chapel Road, Pasay City, Philippines. Contact Person: Ms Francia Fabian – +63-918-930-2356.

Donation of used clothing is discouraged.

Here in South Korea, some Filipino organizations have set up a fund drive for the victims of the typhoon. You may send your donations to any of the following:




An organization in my hometown called Nurture the Children Foundation of Pampanga Inc. is asking for volunteers who can help them in preparing food packs. If you are from Pampanga or you are near the area and would like to volunteer, you may call 02 552 7930 for more information.


Tonight, I will be reading Psalm 23 for the victims of the typhoon. I don’t have much to give, but I believe that ardent prayers will help renew the strength of our fellow Filipinos.

Sa mga kababayan kong nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda, hindi po kayo nag-iisa. Marami ang nananalangin para sa inyong kaligtasan.  Marami ang gumagawa ng paraan para kayo ay matulungan. Hang on. This too shall pass. 


Lunch date in Hyewa’s Philippine Market

1382452431405Last Sunday, my husband and I went to the Philippine market, also known as Seoul’s Little Manila. I told him I wanted to eat Filipino food, so after my hospital appointment in Hyewadong, we passed by the church and headed straight to the Philippine market to have our lunch there. He seemed more excited than I was as we were looking at all the delectable Filipino dishes in the carinderia (small eatery). In fact, even before ordering our food, he started looking for our seats. There were too many customers that time, because the Holy Mass for Filipinos in Hyewa church had just finished. We went to Ate Violy’s carinderia first. I ordered “palabok” (Filipino style noodles in prawn gravy), pork barbecue and spring rolls for my husband, and “lechong kawali” (pan-roasted pork belly), “menudo” (pork stew in tomato sauce) and rice for me. While waiting for our order, I chatted a bit with Kuya Ed, the cook in the carinderia, who was kind enough to entertain us though he was very busy serving other customers.

Every time I go to the Philippine market in Hyewa, I feel like I am in my homeland. Everyone is just so amiable and accommodating. Just as I was going to my seat, I was greeted by another Filipino who was also having his lunch there. He’s a total stranger, but he smiled and said, “Magandang hapon, madam” (Good afternoon, Ma’am). I greeted him back and sat down. There were Koreans and other foreigners in the carinderia. They looked like they were enjoying not only the food and beer, but as well as the Filipino crowd and the friendly atmosphere.

It wasn’t my husband’s “drinking day”, but I let him drink four bottles of Red Horse, and jokingly warned him that I would leave him there if he got drunk, which amazingly didn’t happen. (My husband passed out drinking Red Horse before that he had to be carried back to our room. Oops! I hope he won’t read this. I made a promise I would never talk about that incident again… kkk)

lechon_kawaliThe “lechong kawali” was ambrosial, maybe because I haven’t eaten it in a looong time, and it was one of the Filipino dishes I had been craving. I had another order of that. My craving was finally satisfied. ^^

On the other hand, my husband kept bugging me to look for “balut“. He is crazy about Filipino street food. “Balut” is one of the popular street food in the Philippines, but some people, especially foreigners, may not stomach it. It looks like hard-boiled egg, but it’s no ordinary egg. It is boiled duck egg that you have to eat with the slimy, feathery embryo inside, sometimes with the feet and beak already formed! I DO eat “balut”, but only the yellow part. I give the embryo to my husband.

The first time I saw him eat “balut” was when he was my boyfriend. I thought that he was just trying to impress me, but to my surprise, he knew how to eat “balut” like a pro. He even taught me how to eat it with salt and vinegar. He couldn’t force me to eat the embryo, so he ended up eating the rest of my “balut”. ^^

20130416_192214Abonim (father-in-law) also likes “balut”, so we bought some for him. My husband called him up and asked him what else he wanted. He said, “sisig” (Filipino delicacy made from part of a pig’s head and liver, seasoned with calamansi or lemon and chilli pepper). Lucky for him, we got the last order of “sisig” from another “carinderia”.

My husband and I had a great time last Sunday. I appreciate his enthusiasm for Filipino food. He always talks about my Mom’s cooking and boasts to his friends about how well his mother-in-law can cook. I try to cook Filipino food sometimes, but he doesn’t eat as much as he does when it’s Mom who cooks for him… grrrr!