Living the Krew Life

I am a ‘krew.’ I am a part of the official supporters of the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines known as The Krew. As one, I am here to support the center in its diverse programs and events where I get to promote Korea through my passion and interest towards its culture.

I am an events crew. I am learning a lot just by being a volunteer. Through this experience, I have learned to interact with various people and familiarize the Korean culture that we are promoting to the Filipino community while I practice my area of expertise in the field and chase my own career path.

The Korean Cultural Center's 6th batch of 'The Krew' during their orientation. © KCC Philippines

I am a volunteer. I am learning more about Korea and its culture every time I am signing up for an event whether to volunteer or be a participant. I get to enjoy everything about Korea with the wonderful people who have the same passion as I am. Being a member of the group, through my participation in the activities and events organized by the Korean Cultural Center, for me it’s a learning experience as I get to appreciate Korea more and more and hone my craft at the same time. So this is how I am living The Krew life.

Most of us members of The Krew Manila are students, young dreamers, and professionals, so balancing the volunteer work from our own personal life is the first thing that we take into consideration. As a volunteer, we can only lend our hands through our spare time in particular and we are lucky enough as most of the events that the center is organizing are often set on the weekends.

As part of KCC Philippines official supporter, members of The Krew are assigned to event tasks based on the area of their expertise such as in writing, blogging, photography, video making and more.

Signing up for an event duty is where a krew begins his volunteer journey. These events are set in purpose to promote the Korean culture in its entirety through various exhibits, cultural caravans, film screenings and the major events that are hosted all throughout the year. We are usually assigned to a task based on our skills and area of expertise such as in writing news feature, blogging, photography, video making and more.

The Krew family along with the wonderful staffs of the KCC Philippines during the 2017 Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange. © Martin Andrada

Volunteering on exhibits and major events of the Korean Cultural Center is what all of us, for the most part, are looking forward to. Those exhibitions are often a Korean art showcase which is held thrice a year while the major events are mostly put on the grandest all year round. Attending an exhibit is just one of the interesting event duties we can sign-up to as part of The Krew. We are usually assigned to cover the exhibition opening and accommodate the needs of the guests and attendees. Through our attendance, not only it widens our appreciation to Korea’s art and culture but also it gives us knowledge and awareness as we get to participate as well and learn something from the artists who personally grace the event.
In addition to, you get to also volunteer to major events held yearly such as the Korean Speech Contest, Global Taste of Korea, Pinoy K-Pop Superstar, Korean Film Festival and Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Festival where you will be able to appreciate more the beautiful Korean language, inviting K-food culture, trending K-pop music, values-driven Korean films, and the flourishing bilateral relations of Korea and the Philippines.

The Krew media team shoots a series of short films to further promote Korea and its culture through rich media content that is published online.

Being a member of the official supporter group is beyond the experience as you will also improve your craft in the field work while promoting Korea as a whole. While the chance to work with the center will offer you a lot of opportunities and good experiences, it will also entitle you to privileges you will definitely enjoy throughout an entire term.

News writer, blogger, graphic artist, web designer, photographer, videographer and program assistant are just some of the basic tasks that you can choose to and assigned to you when you become a member of Krew. Those tasks seem like a serious set of responsibilities as a volunteer but attending to various event duties is just a whole lot of fun and a learning endeavor. Sometimes you can also sign-up for a special event just like an exclusive invite to a fan meet and K-pop concert where you are only tasked to cover the event and write a blog about it. Isn’t fun that while on-duty you get to also enjoy live music especially if you’re writing about is your K-pop idols’ own concert?

The Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines is purposely set-up to introduce Korea and its culture to the Filipino community along with the participation of The Krew where they support its diverse cultural programs and events organized all throughout the year.

Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines is considered a hub for everything about Korea and its culture. It is purposely set-up to cater to the growing community of K-wave enthusiasts in the country. As the term ends for the language and culture classes, the center is hosting series of class graduations which will need help from The Krew’s media and volunteer group. Through this event, you will be able to experience how it’s like to assist in the program flow as a program and judges’ assistant, tech booth operator, and or an emcee presenter. It really is such a great opportunity for you to improve and grow out of your comfort zone. If you are good enough to do volunteer work through and at the same time wants to be fluent in speaking Korean and level up your talent in dancing to K-pop music, then consider enrolling yourself through the KCC class offerings as they are as well that interesting and yet another learning experience as being a member of The Krew.

Members of The Krew in action during the Korean Cultural Center’s class orientation.

You will also get to enjoy exclusive privileges as some recognized government organizations and private institutions that are usually based in Korea are partnering with the Korean Cultural Center along with the participation of The Krew for outreach programs and projects of the same just like in the recent years in which POSCO, a Korean global total solution company, held a series of medical missions in the country.

Official supporters' blog The Krew MNL wherein members can contribute in writing articles and to feature the Korean Cultural Center’s various cultural activities and events through feature blogs.

There’s also the official newsletter of The Krew, branded as The Kronicle, which is published by Krew Writers & KCC where you can collaborate and write feature stories about the events you’ve been to. It’s a great platform along with the official supporters’ blog The Krew MNL where you can showcase your skills in writing, news lay-outing, graphics designing, photography and more. Did you know that feature blogs is gaining a lot of readerships every time they get published so what more if you share what you have for the website and publication?

Best volunteers of The Krew for the entire term are recognized as a token of their hardwork in promoting the Korean culture through their amazing works and participation in various events.

Throughout an entire term, the Korean Cultural Center is also honoring supporters and volunteers through recognition who contributed a lot in the promotion of the Korean culture and who actively participates in the different events that the center has organized. As a fruit of hard work, you will be receiving a token of appreciation based on your performance throughout the term. You will definitely enjoy your journey as a member of The Krew with fun-filled orientation, one-of-a-kind awards, year-end festivities, and series of after event dinners along with the wonderful family of the KCC Philippines.

One of The Krews’ happiest moments in the previous year-end activity organized by the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines. © Clyde Antes

As part of The Krew for me is not just about the volunteer work and my great interest towards the Korean culture as I consider it as an experience and a ground for self-improvement. If you have the same passion as ours, why not think through and join the new batch of the KCC Philippines’ official supporters group and let us all together promote Korea and its culture while as well enjoying lots of interesting events and improving our crafts through our passion.

The Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines will be accepting applications for the 7th batch of The Krew Manila until June 22, 2018. Send your applications now and we will be seeing you all soon!

Written by Krew Member Jap Vergonia


Shopping Tips in Korea

Travels always incorporate shopping – it may be for the reason of wanting to get a souvenir from your trip or bringing home some ‘pasalubong’ for your loved ones! Whatever your reasons are, if you will be doing it Korea, here are some ways to maximize your budget.


  1. Tax-Free Shops (Duty-Free)

You can easily get your branded favorites at huge department stores that offer tax-free items. These chains are operated by big Korean companies like Lotte, Shilla, and Shinsegae. You can find them in the busy downtown districts or even at the airport! Once you purchase at a duty-free shop, you just need to keep the receipt and claim your item at the airport (there’s a designated area for the duty-free products) after passing through the immigration. (Process may differ from one location to another so make sure to ask the information desk of the duty-free shop.)


  1. Tax Refund Shops

‘Tax refund’ process is actually easier than most people think. There are shops that already indicate they are ‘Tax Refund/ Tax-Free Shop’ and will give you coupons that you need to present once you pay for your items.

Here are the steps:

  1. Make sure that the items you bought accumulate at least 30,000 won (1,500 PHP) and a maximum of 200,000 won (10,000 PHP) on single receipt purchase. Also, the total amount of all your receipts would only reach 1,000,000 won (50,000 PHP) for the entire duration of your Korea trip.
  2. Keep the receipts along with the purchased goods. You must present the VAT refund receipts to the customs officer to get the Customs Export Approval stamp. You may use the kiosk for a total refund of less than 75,000 won (3,750 PHP). There are also tax refund booths that would assist you in the process.


3. Traditional markets or shopping streets

If you are sick of processed goods, then the traditional market is the best place to be. Aside from supporting small businesses, you can also get items at a lower cost. Also, there are items that you can only find in these places so keep an eye to it! The best part is that compared to huge shopping malls and shops, you can ask for discounts here! 좀 갂아주세요. (Chum- Kakkajuseiyo – Please give me a discount!) As for the shopping streets, holidays also mean bigger discounts for shoppers!


  1. Souvenir shops in famous landmarks

You are pretty much lucky if you read through until here. Even though there are ‘tax-free and tax refund shops,’ you can notice easily that souvenir and some goodies are still cheaper on local stores located at famous landmarks. I, myself got to experience buying the same item with a doubled or tripled price from the tax refund shop than in a local store. Make sure to check the prices of the items you are eyeing to score the cheapest ones!

Written by Krew Member Mikay Javier


[KCCBanner] 10 Meokbang Phrases

If you’ve been reading the KREW blog, you might have browsed through “10 Korean Phrases-ASAP!”. Now, it’s time to bring another 10 K-phrases to the table, this time with food!

Let’s first define terms : “먹방” (meok bang), means “eating program”. This term comes from the combination of two words “먹어” (meogo) meaning “eat” and “방송” (bang song) meaning show or program.

1. 맛있겠다 (ma si get da)  | Looks Delicious.

I’m sure with the recent meokbang trend in Korean variety, you got yourself saying “맛있겠다”-a hundred times! This is one of the reasons I have a love-and-hate relationship with meokbang shows because they never fail to make me crave for K-food! What’s worse, is if that K-food is hard to find in Manila!

2. 배고파요 (bae go pa yo) |  I’m hungry.

Have you heard of the four stages of meokbang? First, you watch your favorite meokbang show. Second, you start to crave for the food you see. Third, you go crazy trying to find a Korean restaurant here in Manila- that delivers. Finally, you suddenly feel “배고파요”- even though you just ate lunch. I went through that over my jjajangmyeon craving!

3. 배불러요 (bae bul leo yo) | I’m full.

This phrase, “배불러요”, on the other hand, is what you might say after you eat…again.

4. 같이 먹자 (gat ji meok ja) | Let’s eat together!

If you want to invite your friends over your own meokbang party, just say “같이 먹자”.

Formal: “같이 식사해요” (gat ji sik sa hae yo).

5. 먹었어요? (bap meok eos seo yo) | Have you eaten?

Literally “밥” (bap) means “rice” but, it can also pertain to “food” in general.

So when you see your friend glaring at you, as if she is about to “devour” you while you eat- probably she hasn’t eaten yet! Might as well ask, “밥 먹었어요?”, and share your food. If you’re the one asked, you can reply, “네 먹었어요” (ne meok eos seo yo) meaning “Yes, I already ate”.

Formal: 식사하셨어요? (sik sa ha syeos seo yo).
6. 먹겠습니다 (jal meok ges seum ni da) | I will eat well.

Said before every meal, this phrase is a very important part of the Korean dining culture. You say, “잘 먹겠습니다” to show your appreciation to the one who prepared your meal. This also means that you’ll enjoy eating it.

7. 먹었습니다 (jal meok got seum ni da) | I’ve eaten well.

After enjoying a hearty meal, you say “잘 먹었습니다” showing your gratitude to the one who prepared your meal. This also can mean you compliment the cook’s skills.

8.맛이 있어요 (mas si is seo yo) | It’s delicious.

Nothing can express your happiness after eating your favorite food than complementing it’s taste, “맛이 있어요”. No offense but, if it’s bad then you have to say “맛이 없어요” (mas si eop seo yo), “It’s not delicious” or literally, “It has no taste”. 

9.짜요, 달아요, 매워요 (jja, dal a yo, mae uo yo) | Salty, Sweet and Spicy.

Since Korean food often revolves around salty, sweet and spicy food, it’s important to know how to say them, just to express what you might taste!

10. [FOOD] 주세요 (deo ju se yo) | Can I please have more of [FOOD]?

Lastly, when the cravings doesn’t stop and you’re still not “배불러요”, you can always ask for more, [FOOD] + 더 주세요.

Ex: 물 더 주세요 (mul deo ju se yo) | Can I please have more water?

I hope you enjoyed my 10 meokbang phrases and, 잘 먹겠습니다~ ^^

God bless!

Written by Krew Member Max Chua 

Korean Architectural Film Festival Day 2: Forum and Film Screenings

Architecture is encountered in everyday life of people. But more often than not, people do not identify architecture as something significant in their lives.

Architects are the ones who conceptualize and create the spaces where people live, play, work, or relax. In building residences and establishments, a place is not only meant to be just four walls and a roof. In fact, these spaces are developed because for the users to experience the best it can be. For the architects to achieve success in this quest, they think of ways on how the air will circulate, how light can be utilized well, the amount of electricity to heat and cool a place, and other important considerations to make a great impact in designing the space for people.

And this is what the second day of the Korean Architectural Film Festival rigorously showed through films and discussed during the forum in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) at FDCP Cinematheque Manila last June 2, 2018.

Day 2 of Architecture Forum

The program started with the welcome speech of Korean Cultural Center (KCC) Director Lee Jin Cheol, who shared how much he wanted to share a different perspective of Korea to the Filipino audience. He mentioned that when people talk about his country, the things that first come to mind are K-pop and K-dramas, both are just fragments of what Korea really is. Through the architectural films that were hand-picked by KCC, Korea’s unglamorous side, which is often blocked or covered by the luxurious lifestyle and landscapes of Korea, was shown.

To start the second day of the festival the movie ‘City: Hall,’ which was directed by Jeong Jae-Eun, was shown. Under the amazing city space and prestige of Seoul were hidden conflicts on some of its architectural spaces. The documentary explores the complicated system of Seoul’s explosive development to make a modern city hall that is fitting to its international reputation. However, with the ever-changing plans, there was additional cost burden because of many ridiculous adjustments largely influenced by politics.

The project took longer than expected because there was no contentment with the results. The project took longer than expected because there was no contentment with the results. Opinions of netizens were also asked. Some people don’t see how such show of extravagance represents the people of South Korea. In fact, they think the government should’ve allocated the budget to alleviate issues such as poverty and rising unemployment.

The next film that was shown is ‘The Architecture of Time’ featuring the works of Itami Jun. He is an award-winning Korean – Japanese architect who created architectural landscapes on Jeju Island.  The focus of this film is the Stone, Wind, and Water museum. The film was slow, intense, and has slow progression focusing on every aspect of the architectural elements and showing how the key features of the landscapes complement nature.

To understand each building better, interviews from Japanese architects Shigeru Ban and Kengo Kuma, as well as Korean architectural theorists Park Gil-Ryong and Jeon Bong-hee, were shown in pieces all throughout the film. If you become enamored by the beauty of Jun’s creations, you can easily see them in one trip since they are close to each other


After the two film screenings, KCC and FDCP prepared an Architectural Forum which delved into the ‘Modern Condition in Korea and Philippines: City, Architecture, and Film.’ Korean panelists present were Yun Jae Seon of Seoul International Film Festival; Kim Young Woo of Busan International Film Festival; Kim Jeong In of Soongsil University. Filipino panelists namely, Architect Gerry Torres and Director Jose Javier Reyes, both are professors from De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, were also invited.

From left: Movie Director Joey Reyes, Arch. Gerry Torres, Kim Jung In, Yoon Jae Seon and Kim Young Woo

Some of the notable things mentioned were the subway lines of South Korea which resulted in unique and contemporary spaces present today. Korea can be divided into two architectural landscapes the old historic districts and the modern area where trendy things exist.

To show this, ‘City / Sharing’ movie trailer from the 9th Seoul International Korean Architecture Festival was played. In order to make the film possible, poets were asked to write about Seoul. After the poem, architecture students who are interested in filmmaking were asked to explore places in Seoul and match the expression of the poem. At the end of the film, it interpreted the relationship between the students and the city.

As a response, Direk Reyes agreed that architecture has to have a purpose – it captures history and culture of memory. He added that old cityscapes remind people of an era, of fond memories they have experienced in that place. However, he emphasized the conflict of giving personalities to architectural landscapes because the current Filipino architecture set up is trapped or caved in a wall, forced to settle for mediocrity because of utilitarianism.

Arch. Gerry Reyes added that architectures today are political, and the only option to preserve the memories of old architectural landscapes once they are destroyed is to record it through films.

Korean panelists also mentioned an interesting term on the majority of housing present in their country. More than 50% of Koreans live in a collective housing (also called condominiums in the Philippines). In the Philippines, 20% of the housing options are collective housing or condominiums, and the demand for it is increasing. All panelists agreed that collective housing or condominiums have negative effects on people. These high-rise buildings somehow promote less communication, depression, among many other things to an individual.

They also mentioned that single-family homes enable people to plant trees, have pets such as dogs and cats, and play with kids in the backyard which they cannot do in a collective housing or condos because there are restrictions. People are always conscious of their actions. There is also a little chance to fully express themselves because of the thin walls that separate them from other people.


After the forum is the discussion of Architect Danilo Silvestre about ‘Architecture and Film: Juxtapositions and Synergies.’ He shared the evolution of being able to make visions come to life. He presented different architectural designs, mostly from the film Blade Runner 1982. Further, he mentioned that with technological advancement, making complicated architectural designs faster is now increasingly possible. Also, he cited that most people do not perceive a building through its design but the emotions, activities, and memories it triggers in one’s memory.

Arch. Danilo Silvestre

A video documentary ‘Arkitekturang Filipino’ by Gerald Lico was shown after the lecture. It dedicated itself to the essential question of whether there is really a thing called Philippine architecture. This strong sentiment may perhaps be rooted in every Filipino as we strive to have a distinctive identity as a nation. Ancient photographs and archived materials were examined to understand how Filipino culture and beliefs contributed to the geographically unique Filipino architectures.

For the last film, ‘Korean Architecture Today: The House’ directed by Dawoon Jung and Jongshin Kim captured two remarkable landscapes: the Hyundai Capital volleyball team Skywalkers training and residential building the Castle of Skywalkers by Doojin Hwang as well as the recent Hanok (Korean traditional housing style) project called House of Prajna by Hyoungnam Lim and Eunjoo Roh. It highlighted the visions of the architects and how deeply rooted traditional structures and way of life are even with Korea’s modernization.

Written by Jean Singian

Korean Architectural Film Festival Opening

“Architecture defines our way of life and tells us how we can progress as a society.”

These are the words that Chairperson of Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Liza Diño said as she shared her thoughts on what made her agree to team up with Korean Cultural Center (KCC) for the first ever Korean Architectural Film Festival in Manila last June 1 to 3 at FDCP Cinematheque Centre.

Together with Seoul International Architecture Film Festival, this event is the first of its kind outside of Seoul.  Featuring four Korean and two Filipino architectural films, the goal of the festival is to awaken the awareness of Filipinos on how to improve the efficiency and dynamism of a certain country like Philippines and Korea through architecture and film.

KCC Director Lee Jin Cheol, in his welcoming speech, challenged everyone to understand the importance of design and structure on one country’s development and explore the underlying values behind it. Through this event, he believes that Filipinos and Koreans could share inspirations, ideas, and specialties for further advancement

Architect Harry Joseph Serrano, Chairperson for Architecture Program of De La Salle College of St. Benilde, emphasized the similarities between film and architecture in terms of process, design, and storytelling. However, a film is more effective in terms of message delivery. Through this festival, people will understand the importance of architecture easily through the featured films.

Right after, an Architectural forum under the theme ‘Architecture, Urbanism, and Film: Another mode of living’ was held. Kim Jeong In of Soongsil University gave a background on Korea’s history, the involvement of culture and modern design that helped in the architectural ideas of Seoul. During the discussion, structures constructed in Korea during the ancient time and the present time were compared. He believes that the global adaptation of Korean designs drastically contributed to the progress of the country.

Together with him are panelists Yun Jae Seon from Seoul International Film Festival and Kim Young Woo from Busan International Film Festival who both focus on how films can become a medium for the people to appreciate architecture and design.

KCC Director Lee Jincheol with the panelists during the Day 1 of Architecture Forum

After the forum, the film ‘Ecology in Concrete’ was screened followed by a director’s talk with the film director Jeong Jae Eun.

Aside from the series of screenings and forums, a photo exhibit titled ‘Mega Seoul 4 Decades’ featuring the photos of Korean photographers Kim Kichan, Lee Gapchul, Koo Bohnchang, Bang Byungsang and Ahn Sekwon about Korea’s urban and rural structures was also prepared to the public.

Capping off, a Chimaek (Chicken and Beer) party experience was organized as a way for Filipinos and Koreans to interact and discuss further the film. This tradition is quite a hit now in Korea as they enjoy Chimaek usually after watching a film.

From left: Architect Harry Joseph Serrano, Movie Director Jose Javier Reyes, Architect Gerry Torres, KCC Director Lee Jincheol, FDCP Chair Liza Dino, Movie Director Jeong Jae Eun, Yoon Jae Seon and Kim Jung In.

Written by Krew Member Mikay Javier