life in korea

Filipina Spouses of Koreans in South Korea

If there is a blog I regularly visit, it is Betchay’s. True to her blog’s name, it is very informative about life in Korea… and entertaining.

I read her readers’ reactions and most are amusing. The latest thread is that of More Korean Men Marry Foreign Nationals. It is actually an old post of Betchay but comments from readers keep on pouring in. What amuse me in the comment section are the passionate responses to another reader’s observation.

A comment came up stating that the major reason why most Filipinas marry Koreans is because of poverty back home and financial security here in Korea… with some exceptions, of course. When I first read the comment which elicited passionate responses from other readers, I was taken aback by the rather “arrogant” way of writing. But re-reading the comment, I think the person has a point. If common perception is to be taken in, there is an undeniable truth in the common perception that indeed some pinays marry foreign nationals (not just Koreans!) for financial security. Korea, which happens to be a not just very male-oriented society but a society whose people look at themselves superior over their Asian neighbors, makes this general perception almost an “absolute truth”. No offense to a dear Pinay friend who was a regular panel in the now defunt show “Love in Asia”, the featured love stories always bring out the best in the Korean spouses and the poverty in the home country of the foreign spouses (and the foreign spouses are not just from the Philippines). It is South Korea’s manifestation of extreme nationalism… but they have always been this way.

Our very different culture from Koreans may make it harder for us to understand their very protective sense of nationalism. Have you met a South Korean who make fun of themselves? I haven’t. Have you met a South Korean who is not obsessed with education? I haven’t. These and other traits are their way of putting themselves above everyone else… because this would make them and their country more successful. In contrast, we Filipinos make fun of our own mistakes… which is a healthy way of living:-). Koreans turn to suicide if they can’t face up to their mistakes. 

Back to Pinay spouses of Koreans… I used to share the same perception about Pinays marrying Koreans for financial security. Can anyone blame me for that? I don’t think so. As correctly pointed out, it is the general perception. I once wrote in my other blog that it is the responsibility of the Pinay spouses to elevate themselves from this general perception. And I feel lucky to be friends with some of these Pinays. Hey, they are a lot you can be proud of as kababayans.

I know that it is not easy to rise above the general perception, especially if there are people who live up to this perception. I pointed this out in my other blog when I met another loud Pinay in the Immigraton office in Mokdong. I feel for the smart Pinays who do not fall under this category. Well, this is an everyday challenge. But then again, being pigeon-holed under a general perception does not just happen here in Korea.

My prejudices turned to admiration when I got to meet Pinay spouses of Koreans living here in Korea. See, at the end of the day, who tells you about your self-worth? Do you go with the flow of the general perception? Or, you rise above the general perception and… to heck with those who hold on to their biases.

Kudos to my Pinay friends here in Korea!

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13 thoughts on “Filipina Spouses of Koreans in South Korea

  1. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  2. Wanted: Kasama sa Bahay (Housemaid), Job Hiring for Filipinas in Korea
    Mga Kabayang Pilipina sa Korea,

    Hiring pa po kami para sa mga Filipina na narito sa Korea na naghahanap ng marangal at maayos na trabaho at maayos na amo. Tanging legal na passport lamang po ang requirement na dokumento. Ang trabaho ay magsisimula ngayong Mayo. Nangangailangan po kami ng kasama sa bahay na babae. Kelangan mo ay marunong mag-Ingles, may kusa, at marunong sa bahay at higit sa lahat marunong sa mga bata.

    Kailangan po ay stay-in mula Lunes hanggang Byernes ng hapon. Day off po kapag Sabado at Linggo at lahat ng red-calendar days sa Korea. Lahat po ay provided, pagkain at pang-araw araw na pangangailangan. Malapit po sa subway station at sa bus terminal ang bahay (5minutes walk).

    Ang sukat ng bahay ay regular at pangkaraniwan. May tatlong maliit na kwarto, sala, at kusina. Kumplet po sa appliances. Mayroon silang dalawang anak, parehong nag-aaral. Mabait ang mga amo. Maghapon silang wala sa bahay. Aalis sila sa umaga babalik sa gabi.

    Ang sweldo ay magsisimula sa 1million korean won (P40,000) buwanan. Kailangan kailangan na po ito. Mayroon pong ibang nag-apply pero mayroon tayong isinasaalang alang na mga katangian ng kasama sa bahay na mahalaga. Lalo na at ipagkakatiwala sa kanya ang ibang desisyon (gaya ng paghawak ng credit cards, pagdala sa hospital ng mga bata, etc).

    Hangad ko po makatulong sa inyo at sa aking mga kaibigan koreano.

    Ako po ay inyong makokontak sa pamamagitan ng email: Pwede din na magiwan kayo ng comment sa baba ng blog entry na ito.

    Maraming Salamat po,


  3. hehe i know i did not. people will get offended no matter what. Im a devil in the eyes of many.

    If you will write a book review, ill take it as a reliable source 🙂 I can feel there’s quality in there.

  4. re comment on religion: you didn’t succeed. hahaha. but i understand where you’re coming from. some of those i agree, though I can’t be as blunt as you are. i’m not invisible:-) and i chose to redirect my passion to motherhood these days.

    i did write on some books i read in my older posts in this site… kahiya to call them reviews. i’m not an expert. just taking my liberty to write about them:-)

  5. believe it or not wendy..those last posts i made (re: religion), i tried very very hard not to offend anyone 🙂 Haaay. I hope it will work.

    I choose carefully the topics that i want to comment or react with in any forums. So you wont see me reacting on any topics about K-pop, K showbiz and the likes. (except HOLLYWOOD hehe).

    But i like it when you made a post about Jane Eyre. I hope you can do some book or movie reviews. 🙂

  6. hey arvinsign, you may have just came in too strong on a sensitive topic… and if i may add, you enjoyed your “perceived arrogance” status:-) it allows you to practice “intellectual debate through writing”. you prefer to be invisble and “invincible” because you stand on the objective side to which many lean on being subjective. don’t allow them to realize that dealing with you is “talo ang pikon”. i’m enjoying the show:-)

  7. “Back to Pinay spouses of Koreans… I used to share the same perception about Pinays marrying Koreans for financial security. Can anyone blame me for that? I don’t think so.”

    – In my case everybody is blaming me 🙂 Contrary to what most people think in Betchay’s blog, i am actually friends to many of these pinays married to Koreans. In the place where i am now, i know so many of them and as far as i know im treating all of them nicely and they are doing the same thing to me. I am just pointing out something which i consider as a social issue. I guess i have explained my side well however its quite unfortunate that most who responded on my post focused on my “perceived arrogance” rather than providing some facts, a counter claim or discuss what the topic is all about.

    I dont need to brag, or elevate myself for in the first place nobody knows whats my real identity, who i am, where im from and what i do. Im writing under a pen name which is neither linked to a personal site nor pointing to a personal blogsite. I dont have plans to reveal it either. Im invisible. So its pointless to say im smart, dumb, arrogant, nice, rich, poor whatever etc if im anonymous. I see no merit in that.

    Perception is perception no matter what. Its either you live with it or stand against it. Its the same as saying like Japanese people in general for example are intelligent, hardworking, innovative as well as rich people. There is an overwhelming evidence for that. The existence of 100 or 1000 lazy and poor, homeless Japanese will not change that perception. Its simply statistics.

  8. jaz, binuking mo na tv addict ako! hahaha.

    girl, i understand what you’re saying. kahit saan naman, the interesting stories are those that tug the heart. yun nga lang, it creates stereo-typing. buti lang andyan ka sa show. and yes, as an insider, it would do a great deal for you to write about it.

    and i have always been vocal that i had my own biases prior to meeting you guys… i mean, it only shows na meron talagang mga pre-conceived notions. and that’s where the individual comes in… to rise above those pre-conceived notions… buti na lang i got the chance to meet the ‘pinay seoulites’, o di ba?

    see you sat! mukhang it would be another interesting afternoon:-)

  9. back from betch’s page….hehehe…. NC
    nga pala forgive the typos (naks! i-blame daw ang typos oh hehehe)
    besides its almost 4am ….. oh diba? tao lang ako nagkakamali, blame it on the typos! 😀
    nagka-allergy ata ako after reading the betchs’ comments page harharhar

    basta see ya this sat!

    jaz´s last blog post..Basic Korean for Foreigners’ New Timeslot

  10. wendz~ loka Love in Asia’s still on air hehe

    enihoo, just for the record…. sad to say but a lot of the people who are being featured in the show, are indeed not as ‘well off’ as some. Many lived in poverty way back where they originally came from. And still live in difficulty here.
    Being with the show for almost two years now, I kind’a know the ins and outs.

    For many of us a free RT ticket back home may not be that big-a-deal but for some whose been here for 5, 10 or more years not having the chance to go back home coz of financial difficulties, a free RT ticket back home is quite tempting. Thus you see influx of featured stories which wouldn’t really make some people proud that they both came from the same country and is in somewhat in the same position.

    I’ve met a lot of people who refuses to be featured in the show coz they (in their own words) don’t want to belong in the same “bracket”. (Kumbaga hindi nila ka-level yung mga lumalabas duon~ ^^)

    And ive met some saying they wanna be featured to break the “stereotype”.

    Can’t blame them naman di ba? to each his own.

    Honestly there were folks featured in the show who are actually well-off, they lived better lives than after getting married to their Korean partners. One was even an only daughter of a hotel owner.

    Geez baka bumaha comments page mo, but I will probably make a post about the show, not in defense or anything but the way I see it from the inside. (i guess a lot of ‘insights’ has been said knowing the show from the outside~! 😉 ). Hopefully I find the time susme~

    Just one thing more, show business is business. Meaning kailangang kumita, and syempre the laws of supply and demand. May nanonood (maganda ratings eh~ kya the show’s on it’s 4th year) that’s why they have to continue the show, supply kumbaga. And if they waited or spend time to look and pursue those “not in the bracket” they won’t be able to meet the one story-a-week demand.

    i think i’ve seen the above mentioned post from betch but i haven’t seen the comments, would take a look…..

    see u on sat. 1pm!!!

    jaz´s last blog post..Basic Korean for Foreigners’ New Timeslot

  11. Hi Wendy~
    I am also fascinated by the overwhelming response on that post fr Ate Betchay’s blog. Sadly you are right, there are still people living up to that perception, whether here in Korea or back in the Philippines. A few I’ve met, unfortunately. Tsk.. Tsk..
    Anyway, an overdue greeting~새해 복 많이 받으세요.^o^

    jempres´s last blog post..Beethoven Virus Location

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