Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hwarang Musical Again!

MJ Company will have a special rerun of Hwarang Musical this incoming July. It will only run for a week so for those interested please watch it. Please support my 2 friends who are performing again Taeyong Kim and Jongseon Kim (check the link).

Hwarang (2011)
Schedule of Performances:
     July 3:        3pm and 7pm
     July 4 to 8: 8pm
     July 9:        6pm
Venue: Seoul Arts Center
( Nambu Terminal Line No. 3 Exit 5. From Exit 5. You can walk since it's a walking distance but you can also get on a shuttle bus which will take you to the venue for free)

For ticket reservation click the link below:

Other Links:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Koreatimes Economic Essay Contest for University Students

For those who are interested please join. The prizes are quite good. This is a yearly essay contest, well it started 6 years ago and considered very prestigious here in Korea. It's gaining popularity every year with participants from different parts of the world.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Favoritism for foreigners in Korea

I've read this very interesting article this morning about favoritism for foreigners here in Korea to access Namsan (Mt. Nam). FYI Namsan is a very famous tourist spot in Seoul so usually you would see a lot of tourists probably more than the number of Koreans visiting. haha. I just find this article interesting not just because of the idea of "Korea should favor Koreans" but also because discrimination against foreigners living in Korea exists this is a bit ironic. Anyway here's the article

The rule meant to give foreigners easier access to the top of Mt. Nam in Seoul is creating a dispute over “reverse discrimination” against Korean visitors. It is also raising the question: does convenience for foreign tourists worsen the environment?
The 2005 regulation obliges Korean citizens to walk, take a cable car, or ride a shuttle bus up the parkway leading to the main tower, for nature preservation. However, foreigners are allowed an additional and much more convenient option ― taxis.
At the parkway entrance adjacent to the National Theater of Korea, there is a local-language sign displaying the instruction allowing taxis carrying foreign nationals to pass through the checkpoint.
Some visitors say it is not fair to give special treatment to foreign tourists if the general idea is actually about protecting the environment.
“I’m dumbfounded,” said Kim Yang-seon, a regular visitor who was unaware of the exception. “If the purpose of the regulation was to protect Mt. Nam, everybody should follow the same rule.”
While many citizens were sighted on Friday walking along the parkway, no one who was interviewed knew about the exception for foreign nationals.
“Personally, I don’t need preferential treatment,” said Kurc Martell, a tourist from Canada who said he took the electric bus to visit Seoul Tower.
The cable car, which climbs the mountain on the opposite side, was full of kindergarten children on school trips and tourists, domestic and foreign, on Friday morning.
Most buses, recently changed to environment-friendly electric units, had no more than 10 passengers. On the weekends, however, it is common to see filled with Korean passengers.
Rick Stautz, an engineer from California on a family vacation, said that the concierge at his hotel hailed him a cab, dissuading him from taking the bus. “He told us it was too complicated,” he said. “With the traffic in Seoul, the bus would definitely be slower.” He, however, agreed that zero-emission buses would make more sense for the environment and in terms of fairness.
“The information about the bus was in my guidebook,” said Yung Shin from Taipei, Taiwan. “It makes sense to me, though, that tourists should have easy access. But then again, tourists have a lot of time, and so we can walk.”
Lee Dong-ju, an official at the Central Green Seoul Management Office, said, “The exception was not meant to be favoritism; it was actually based on requests from tourist agencies as well as bus and taxi companies.“
The official said the Seoul city government has no plan to change the rule for now.

by: Kwaak Je-yup (

North Korea's 'beauty corps' revealed

North Korea (NK)really knows how to get public attention. Indeed this is a very good strategy. I remember when I joined a program organized by DMZ Docs, a five-day camp traveling the DMZ area from Gangwon to Gyeonggi provinces, during the tour our guide mentioned something very interesting. There is an area called "Fairy Falls" if I could remember the name right, on the NK side because sometimes NK girls take a bath in the said waterfalls just like fairies in the forest. You're getting the idea right? haha. Anyway,  you can see it through telescopes from the South Korean (SK) side. The purpose was to tell SK that NK's got beautiful girls. So, as a sort of answer from the SK side, they built a swimming pool and held Ms.Korea pageant, I couldn't remember which year, anyway, and I guess it was for swimsuit competition. Interesting isn't it? haha

Anyway here's the article
North Korea’s “beauty corps,” featured in a video clip on a Chinese website, is causing a stir.
Around 753,000 Chinese web surfers have clicked a video clip named “Joseon military review,” recently uploaded on the Chinese version of Youtube,, to see a group of “beautiful” North Korean female soldiers.
The two-minute and 49-second-long video shows Kim Jong-il reviewing the corps. Considering that it also shows foreign press covering the event, people guess it to be a recording of the ceremony held on the 65th anniversary of North Korea’s Workers Party.
The event had attracted attention for its unusual openness. The North Korean regime had invited foreign journalists, even allowing them to relay stories live. Around 80 foreign press members visited Pyongyang to cover the occasion and the North even provided a press center.
Among the scenes of North Korean soldiers marching rigidly, a group of North Korean women smiling and posing for the camera around a flowerbed caught peoples’ eyes.
“I’m surprised that there still is a country that holds military reviews like that. The soldiers are ship-shaped,” one Chinese commented on the video. Other viewers expressed interest in the female soldiers, saying things like, “I’m in love with the lovely women soldiers,” or “The women are really pretty.”

Friday, June 17, 2011

Inha University Scholarships for Filipinos

Scholarship Opportunities at Inha University Graduate School

Inha University, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Philippines in Seoul, is announcing its on-going application for admission and scholarship program at its Graduate School.

As one of designated universities for Korean Government Scholarship Program, the graduate school offers world-class professional education to foster future leaders with global mind and professionalism.

The Graduate School would like to give admission information to guide potential applicants.

For detailed information, visit the graduate school homepage.

Application Period 
1) Admission for Spring semester : From mid-March to the first week of April
2) Admission for Fall semester : From mid-September to the first week of October

Admission Guidelines : All applicants must complete both on-line application and documents submission on time. You can check the list of application documents by visiting this webpage. 
1) Korean :
2) English :

Scholarship Guidelines : The graduate school provides various kinds of scholarships to graduate students. Qualified students are allowed to receive Jungseok International scholarship covering either full or half of the tuition. In addition to this, international students can also receive additional support through various kinds of assistantships. 

For detailed information, visit

Student Ambassadorship 
For e-mail assistance regarding 'Application procedures' from Inha Student Ambassadors, visit

Send an e-mail to one of student ambassadors and get some help from him or her.

Applicants may also contact the Inha University graduate school office:
- E-mail
- Phone : [International Call] +82-32-860-8389
[Domestic Call] 032-860-8389

2011 Art Major Asian Full Scholarship!!

If you have plans of studying here in Korea and your major or interest is arts, maybe you should try this scholarship. I've been to K'Arts to watch my friend's shows and also meet friends who are studying at that school. It's a good school!!

2011 Art Major Asian Full Scholarship!!
Sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, & Sports, Republic of Korea

■ Selection provision
o Deadline : July 31, 2011
o Application Form attached.
- All the necessary and required documents, personally delivered by the university, must arrive at K'Arts by the deadlines.
o Address
Korea National University of Arts
Office of External Affairs
Seokgwan-dong Campus, 146-37 Hwarang-ro 32-gil,  Seongbuk-Gu, Seokgwan-Dong,
Seoul, South Korea
- For inquiry please contact: Tel : 822 746 9073, fax : 822 746 9079

■ Types of Degree Program : Bachelor's and Master's degrees

■ Period and Amount of Scholarships
- For bachelor's: Up to four (five for architecture major)years
with an award of 18 million won each year per student
- For master's: Up to two (three for 3 year program) years
with an award of 18 million won each year per student
-AMA Scholarship offers university tuition waive, Korean language program provision,
living expenses, provision of housing and flight expenses, etc.
-For the continuation of the stipend support, the selected students should maintain the academic record of B or above for each and every semesters throughout the scholarship period

■Condition of AMA Scholarship
- Provision of Living Expenses: 700,000won is granted every month.
- Tuition Waive: 3,000,000won per semester is waived.
- 5 Month Korean Language Tuition Waive: 3,000,000won is provided.
- Provision of Dormitory: 390,000won per semester.
*Please note that Dormitory fee is included in the provision of living expenses.
- Travel Expenses: One round trip flight tickets.
- Cultural field trips, extracurriculum programs are all provided for the AMA student.

■ Qualifications for the Scholarship
- Applicants recommend by the rector (president) of the university graduated or attending. or head of government-approved organizations, companies and art related institutions, etc.
- Applicants with outstanding artistic talents, gifted skills and an excellent academic record.
- Applicants recommended by the government, or ministries, or embassies of Korea or University president or head of art and culture related organization.
** Those who speak Korean language is highly preferred.

■ Eligible Applicant Country : 21 countries
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Laos, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Kyrgizstan, Tibet, Turkey

Application Form please check the link below

Thursday, June 16, 2011

“English is the end all, be all.”

Just wanna share a blog entry written by my Korean-American friend Eddie. I also share the same sentiments with him. I hope this will serve as an eye opener...

That’s a bunch of bullshi*.
Look, living in Korea no one can deny that English is an obsession here, essentially one of the “keys to success” without which one might as well forget about any upward mobility in the future.  However, just because a certain state of affairs exist does NOT make it right.
I have a love/hate relationship with CDI.  On the one hand, they offer me a cushy job with decent pay and minimal frills.  On the other hand however, they make teachers at time feel like they’re depriving 11 and 12 year old kids of an actual childhood.  If you are or have been a teacher at CDI, you know exactly what I mean.
Now is that our fault?  Of  course not.  I could rattle off factors like obscene Korean competitiveness in this new “globally driven” era, or the border-line fanaticism of Korean mothers concerning education, or the fact that these students are actually just another  ”part of the system” and are therefore feeding into it by paying their 학원 tuition.
But that would miss the entire point, which is that the system itself is morally wrong  and unfair (that’s right I said it) and overlook those who are really suffering from all of this: the students.
That’s right.  The students.  They’re the ones who, and quite honestly it’s a legitimate tragedy, that are really suffering from all of this.
While I understand that Korea is determined beyond any doubt to become a “modernized” country (however one may define that or whatever that is to the government here) I don’t understand how depriving an entire generation of the freedom to enjoy oneself and develop as human beings is really a national formula for “success.” (being myopic here in this regard isn’t just a Korean phenomenon — I mean, look at US politics.  Massive default anyone?)
I can’t count the number of times I’ve asked students what they’ve done on the weekend, and I’ve simply heard “sleep” or “homework” or “nothing.”  Now I’m not saying that’s all of the students, but you ask the majority of CDI students that simple question, I can promise you a large number of them would respond with something along those lines.
To me, this is unforgivable.  While I understand that cramming for tests with the hope of getting a good score and then going to a good university and THEN getting a good job and THEN becoming “successful” (aka rich) is essentially the Korean Dream, I can’t help but ask myself: at what cost?  Will all of this be worth it for these kids 10 years down the line?
And the sad part is, yes it will be, and in many ways, no it won’t be.
I say yes because of what the Korean Dream is.  Good academies = Good grades.  Good grades/test score = Good uni.  Good uni = Good job.  Good job = Money.  Money = Happiness.
“But Eddie, America is the same exact way.  YOU HYPOCRITE!”
While it’s true that America is similar on the surface, beneath it all it really isn’t all the same.  Yes, Koreans have taken the most ruthless parts of capitalism, Korean-ized it (meaning taken it to an extreme), and mass produced it on a societal scale, but in the process they’ve placed human development (i.e. extracurricular activities, family time, hell even getting enough sleep for kids) on the back burner.  If you don’t think this is true, spend one year working at any private academy — where the supposed “future” leaders of the country study.   It has truly become a society where grades, test scores (numbers, essentially) and “English” have become the end all, be all.
And where are the students’ voices in all of this?  Where can their concerns be voiced? Their hopes, dreams, and desires?  Nowhere to be found.  In this Korean generation, students are told what to dream, what to study, and what is right/wrong, good/bad — which, in itself, is essentially what is deemed appropriate in the eyes of others alone, not their own sense of morality. (Another topic on the concept of individualism vs. collectivism in Korea and how it’s changing.)
I’m fed up with it.  I don’t want to teach about topics like “American Cultural Imperialism” and ram it down my students’ throats that without English, they are damned to second-tier status.  It shouldn’t be true, ever.  But sadly in Korean society, it is.  And these students,  these kids, deserve so much more, so much better.
If I could change (Korea) the world…


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Filipina friend in Arirang Fantasy

         Just read a blog entry written by Kring Elenzano ( her friend Cherish Maningat-Bae who happens to be also my friend. Cherish plays a lead role in Arirang Fantasy, a Korean musical
           "a heart-warming musical that is currently showing in different cities in Korea. It tells the story of a Filipina woman, who fell in love with a Korean man. However, her story did not turn out to be like those Tagalized Koreanovelas that she used to watch on TV. Her husband died early and she ended up taking care of their farm, her daughter and even the mother-in-law" (
            I've always been proud of Cherish. Her jolly, charming and humble personality makes everyone comfortable. She may be making waves right now through this musical but she's not only an actress. She's also a play director. I've seen two of her plays when she was still taking her graduate studies here in Korea. The plays she directed also received good responses from the audience, a proof of her talent not just in acting but also directing.
           Anyway, I'm definitely gonna watch this musical ^^  The musical will be until August this year.

Check these links for more information