Friday, December 16, 2005

Koreans in the Philippines

Before moving to the Philippines in 2002, I spent six years in South Korea. There I did basically the same I am trying to do here: promote liberal politics.

Coming from Korea, where I spent tremendously interesting and also formative times, I was receptive to the Korean presence in the Philippines from the beginning. This presence I find conspicuous and also dynamic: I go on holidays in the Philippines, and most other foreigners I meet are usually Koreans. Korean restaurants are found in all parts of the country, they are among my favorite eateries.

I have always wanted to put to paper my impressions and information concerning the Koreans in the Philippines. On the occasion of the state visit of the South Korean President Roh, Moo-hyun to Manila (14.-16. 12. 2005) I finally found a suitable occasion. Appropriately newspapers in both Manila and Seoul published my commentary entitled “The ‘Korean wave’ in the Philippines”.

There I write that bilateral relations reach far beyond the formal diplomatic level, as “migratory patterns” have become an important aspect. For me the most fascinating facet of Philippine-Korean relations is the immigration of South Koreans to the Philippines. While many Filipinos are doing what is in their power to turn the back on their country (and 8 million OFWs are already earning a living overseas) a growing number of South Koreans have found a new home away from home in the Philippines.

I invite you to read my article to find out why.

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