De La Salle Lipa Rides the Korean W​ave

The Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in the Philippines has always hosted culture caravans from various schools and organizations in Metro Manila, but this time, KCC went farther! For the first time, Korean Cultural Center visited Batangas for its culture caravan.

As of date, the biggest K-Culture Caravan took place at Sentrum, De La Salle Lipa, Batangas last October 19, 2017, with over 2,000 students participating in the whole day K-affair!

If you’re not familiar with Korean Culture Caravans, it is an event hosted in cooperation with schools to bring love and passion for Korean history and culture. Activities may vary from schools depending on the request, but the motivation remains the same – to cultivate Korean activities and make sure that faculty and students alike are given a chance to express, rediscover, and embrace the quintessence of graceful Korean culture and beauty.

The whole event was divided in five parts: 1) Film Screening featuring introduction to Korean culture, 2) Lecture on the Basics of the Korean Language, 3) Lecture on Mooninhwa (Korean Traditional Art), 4) Performances from DLSL Salindayaw Dance Troupe, Venisse Siy, and PHP, 5) Raffle Draw of special Korean goods. These events were repeated for the two batches of students who came and enjoyed the show.

The film screening taught students the Korean basic words – how they can say and write it. After this, teacher Lee Chunghee reviewed the words shown in the film as well as gave tips on how to study Hangul (Korean Alphabet), concepts, values, and customs. She even encouraged the students to visit sejonghakdang.org to know more about the lesson she introduced.

Subsequently, teacher Yoon Donghyun demonstrated the traditional Korean art of Mooninhwa and discussed the simple aesthetic themes incorporating poetry, calligraphy, and illustrations with dramatic simplicity. Mooninhwa shows vigor vividness and the feeling of a brush.

Later on, after a short break, three performances were revealed to the audiences. The performances showed how the cutting-edge music of Korea changes from traditional to modern. It really is a glimpse of experience beyond K-pop and K-dramas.

The last part of the event might be the most exciting as fans and those who are new to the K-culture got the chance to receive special prizes such as Essential Korean Grammar, Etiquette Guide to Korea, Pyeongchang 2018 Notepad, to name a few.

KCC booth was also present at the venue and had its own raffle promo where major prices such as Twice Ceci Poster (with the signature of all members!), The Heirs OST Album, and Song Joongki Poster were given away. All of the activities wouldn’t be complete without the photo booth at the event as well as the Hanbok experience booth where various students and faculty lined up to dress up and take photos on the set.

Interested to have an incredible experience like this? Email KCC at kccphcaravan@gmail.com or call at 555-1711. Your school might be the next stop for our extraordinary caravan!

Written by Krew Member Jean Singian

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Every performance is a show-stopper at this year’s BEYOND BORDERS: ASEAN-KOREA Dance Exchange!

From K-pop, K-cuisine, and K-brands, Filipinos have always encountered and experienced diverse aspects of Korean culture. To celebrate the milestones of the 50th anniversary of Southeast Nations and the ASEAN-Korea Cultural Exchange Year, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in partnership with the Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in the Philippines organized “Beyond Borders: ASEAN-Korea Dance Exchange” which took place at Star Theater, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard last October 20, 2017.

The culmination dance showcase started with the Philippine anthem, Korean anthem, and the ASEAN anthem. It was attended by diplomats from Cambodia, Indonesia, Iran, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Oman, Korea and the Philippines. The said culmination was also made possible with the unwavering support of Ballet Manila through Ballet Manila CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.

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From Left: Korean Ambassador KIM Jae Shin, Ballet Manila through Ballet Manila CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Wife of Korean Ambassador Madame LEE Jong Min and Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines Director LEE Jincheol

Ms. Adelina Suemith, OIC-Executive Director of NCCA shared on her introduction that the rich and vibrant culture of Korea can be best manifested through dance as it encompasses physical boundaries. Despite many differences, similarity happens during dance as it plays a radical role to show beyond traditional forms. This event was hosted in order to break new grounds for mutual understanding and respect between different cultures, magnifying the world with new perspectives and as the ambassador of Korea, Mr. Kim Jae-Shin aptly said, “It is not much of what we can do but who we will become in the future of the world.” He also mentioned that ASEAN is one of Korea’s key partners with its economic operations, people to people exchange, and cultural exchange.

Moving forward to the highlights of the show, the entire program showcased ballet which originated in the 15th century, specifically in Italy. It has developed in a fine art form which was visible in the fourteen (14) performances of graceful expressions, symmetry, fast movements as well as pure movement and physical expression. The night was the most spectacular manifestation of classical to neoclassical to contemporary dance, the fast-shifting movements of the performances added to the suspense and charm of the show. Take a look at the photos and performance recap below!

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  1. Sotto Voce – Choreography by Augustus “Bam” Damian III and music by Pachelbel’s Canon D in Major
  • Performed by Abigail Oliveiro (Singapore), Heewon Cho (Korea), Nanami Hasegawa (Japan), Violet Hong (Malaysia), Jihyeon Jang (Korea), and Resti Octaviani (Indonesia)
  • It showed how countries make connections, one by one, and how they harmonize each other through caring and helping each other.
  1. Rum Klong Yao (Thailand) – Music and choreography by Ministry of Culture of Thailand, Fine Arts Department
  • Performed by Narissa Porsawat and Nattachai Junlaworn
  • There’s no rush in love can best describe this performance.
  1. Morions (Philippines)– Choreography by Gerardo Francisco and music by Jessie Lucas
  • Performed by John De Dios, Rudy De Dious, Anselmo Dictado, Gerardo Francisco, Elpidio Magat, Romeo Peralta, Glenn Ragel, and Alvin Santos
  • This dance was astonishing with its highlight on how warriors leap, fly, and are just basically everywhere. The engaging warrior music and the fluidity of their moves were unstoppable.
  1. Pi Khroy KA Rom Roborsh Khnom (Behind my Dance – Cambodia ) – Choreography by Nam Narim and music by Ros Sokunthea
  • Performed by Nam Narim and Chanlyka Leav
  • This featured a lot of striking poses, from slow to fast, then gaining momentum again.
  1. Sayao Sa Pamlang (Philippines) – Choreography by Agnes Locsin and music by Bob Aves
  • Performed by Marinette Franco, Alvin Dictado, Rafael Perez, Rodney Catubay, John Carl Concepcion, Joshua Enciso, and Raymond Salcedo
  • This emphasized the use of bamboos and how folks from the early era believed that this dance helps drive away evil.
  1. Eclectic Shift (Malaysia) – Choreography by Mohd Yunus Ismail and Suhaili Micheline and music by Mat Mos
  • Performed by Chong Hoei Tzin and Mohd Shafiq Bin
  • This is a traditional Malaysian dance that depicts a sense of relationships, conflict and resolutions, companionship and competition between performers.
  1. Kinabuhing Mananagat (Philippines) – Choreography by Rudy De Dios and music by Visayan Folk Songs
  • Performed by Pia Dames, Rudy de Dios, John de Dios, Elpidio Magat, Glenn Ragel, and Alvin Santos
  • This performance depicted the life of fisher folks in the Visayas area accompanied by the fun music. Together with this, it also emphasized how Waray women are when they are in love – strong and fearless.
  1. Arachnida (Philippines) – Choreography by Agnes Locsin and music by Fagher
  • Performed by Joan Emery Sia and Romeo Peralta
  • It is a fascinating illustration of how spiders mate. Complicated stunts were made to look easy and one can see how the performers were one in their movements.
  1. Lui (Adventure Mission – Thailand ) – Choreography by Nattachai Junlaworn and music by Taylor Davis
  • Performed by Narissa Porsawat and Nattachai Junlaworn
  • An excellent performance mirroring the hardship of going through a difficult mission and successfully overcoming it.
  1. White Swan Adagio (Singapore and Philippines) – Choreography by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa and music by Peter Tchaikovsky
  • Performed by Abigail Oliverio and Mark Sumayo
  • The Swan Lake has been present for more than 130 years and is without question one of the greatest Romantic ballets in the ballet repertoire.
  1. Reve (Philippines) – Choreography by Ernest Mandap and music by Metallica as performed by Apocalyptica entitled “Nothing Else Matters”
  • Performed by Rudy De Dios and Gerardo Francisco
  • It is a journey of two men as they reach their dreams (Reve is the French word for dreams) together, no one is left behind.
  1. Muro Ami (Philippines) – Choreography by Gerardo Francisco and Music by Hanz Zimmer
  • Performed by Elyssabeth Apilado, Shaira Comeros, Kayla Coseteng, Marinette Franco, Monique Valera, Jefferson Balute, Rodney Catubay, John Carl Concepcion, Alvin Dictado, Joshua Enciso, Rafael Perez, and Raymond Salcedo.
  • Muro Ami is also one of the oldest but still relevant issues of the absolute portrayal of child labor in the high seas as they are being used in the illegal fishing system.
  1. Peung Ryu (Taste of the Arts – South Korea) – Choreography by Park So Jung and Ryu Seouk Hun and music by Ryu In Sang
  • Performed by Park So Jung and Ryu Seouk Hun
  • This performance shattered expectations and brings South Korea to stage accompanied by infused traditional music.
  1. Full Cast danced to Tinikling
  • Each representative of each country danced to Tinikling together with the Filipinos. The beat, tapping, and sliding showed how participants became one in their goal to promote the partnership between the countries.

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The event ended with the creative director and Lisa Macuja-Elizalde waving and dancing together with the whole ASEAN-Korea Dance Exchange Crew. Indeed, the night was filled with spectacular performances and there are no doubt partnerships between participating countries will only grow stronger!

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Written by Krew Member Jean Singian

Kpop Lovers Unite at 2017 Pinoy Kpop Star!

The annual Pinoy Kpop Star once again filled SM North EDSA with loud cheers and screams from Kpop enthusiasts as they root for their favorite cover group dancers and singers last July 1, 2017.

Among numerous aspirants of the audition, only 20 teams (10 vocal and 10 group performers) were able to show off their talent at the yearly competition organized by Korean Cultural Center (KCC).

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As KCC director Lee Jin Cheol said in his opening remarks, there are a growing number of people who appreciate Kpop. This is proven by the hundreds of people who still wanted to be part of the competition venue. In addition, Director LEE also mentioned that Kpop unifies and inspires everyone, including the Filipino people.

Indeed, you can feel everyone’s excitement through their banners and as the crowd jumped along to the tune of various songs. Honestly, it felt like a real live Kpop concert, that’s how awesome this year’s event is.

And as the performances drew to an end, emotions were in full swing as the results were announced. Volo Pro Veritas, who made the audience feel an adrenaline rush as they danced to the beat of BTS’ Blood, Sweat, Tears, won the grand prize in the performance category. PHP, who staged a concert-like rendition of Bigbang’s Bang Bang Bang, won the grand prize for the vocal category. Both of these groups received Php 20,000 cash prize and gained a spot in representing the Philippines in the 1st round of Semi-Finals of the 2017 Kpop World Festival which will be held online.

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Volo Pro Veritas

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PHP

Placing second in the vocal and performance category, were MiU and Fatal, respectively. Both took home, P15,000 cash prize, respectively.

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MiU

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Fatal

Grabbing the third spot for vocal and performance category, were Venisse Siy and So Nice, respectively. Both took home P10,000 cash prize.

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Venisse Siy

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So Nice

The three-hour program was jam-packed with amazing performances from the participants as well as guest performers. It started with Val John’s performance, the Philippine representative last 2015 KBS Kpop World Festival, followed by the sexy and extremely hot performance of As If It’s Your Last by Black Pink of Dasuri Choi, KCC’s K-Pop dance instructor and Eat Bulaga’s Korean Dancing Diva.

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As a closing act of the event, Hwang Yohan, the Grand Touristar of ABS-CBN’s I Love OPM serenaded the fans with his wonderful rendition of Beautiful Life by Crush from the hit Korean drama television series Goblin.

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Contestants for the vocal category were: Queen Mia – I’ll Be Your Man (BTOB), Yara – Whistle (Black Pink), MiU – Re-Bye (AKMU), PHP – Bang Bang Bang (Bigbang), Joy Locsin – Whatta Man (IOI), Venisse Siy – I Will Go To You Like The First Snow (Ailee), Dynamix – You Are The Best (Mamamoo), Ma. Soraya Salvador – Fire (Taeyeon), Rich Yap – Playing with Fire (Black Pink), and Paradox – B-day (IKON).

Contestants for the performance category were: Campus Royalties – Boombayah (Black Pink), GFries – Fingertip (GFriend), Fatal – Blood, Sweat, Tears (BTS), Indigo – My First and Last (NCT Dream), Class B – Playing with Fire (Black Pink), Saturn9ne – You Think (SNSD), Volo Pro Veritas – Blood, Sweat, Tears (BTS), Xyndra – Wee Woo (Pristine), So Nice – Signal (TWICE), and Whistlers – Black Pink (Playing with Fire).

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The judges for the competition were KCC Director Lee Jin Cheol; Choi Daesul,  KCC Dance Instructor; Hwang Yohan, I Love OPM winner; Gigi Yia of Sparkling; and Jessica Juan, President of Philippine K-pop Convention, Inc.

All in all, the event was spectacular and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the next annual event of Pinoy Kpop Star!

Written by Krew Member Jean Singian

Black Day: Jjajangmyeon for Singles

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Are you single?

If your answer is yes, then maybe this article is for you! (ㅠㅠ)

In Korea, they have a day especially made for single people (hooray!) Now, you don’t have any reason to frown or be jealous at couples during Valentine’s Day and White Day.

Mark your calendars, single women and men out there, Black Day is observed every 14th day of April in Korea. It comes one month after White Day — where men give special gifts to the special women in their life.

During this day, most articles and Korean shows portray individuals eating miserably while eating jjajangmyeon – noodles drizzled with a thick sauce of black bean paste and garnished with cubed pork and assorted vegetables. Some people eat this while donning a black outfit — they are described as people who have yet to find love in this world. (ㅠㅠ)

Jjajangmyeon Korean Noodles With Black Bean Sauce

After enjoying their jjajangmyeon, sometimes people even drink black coffee after.

** Be warned! Couples are told not to eat Jjajangmyeon together or they will break up. (o_o)

Are you scared of going outside and announcing to the world that you are single? It doesn’t have to be that way because even though such day was made for single people, there are three things you can do to get the wonderful experience when Black Day comes.

1. There are TONS of matchmaking service

If you’re not comfortable enjoying your jjajangmyeon alone, you can have a number of ways to meet someone who can possibly be THE ONE. There are variety of speed dating events, mobile apps that you can check online.

See? It’s not that bad when you announce that you are available. ㅋㅋㅋ

Online Dating

2. Single friends gather together 

The lack of romantic partner doesn’t have to be a sad reality for you. You can invite your friends and just like a normal bonding time, you get to enjoy each other’s presence.

Lee Hyori visits Seoul with SPICA's Bohyung

3. Free Food! Speed eating competitions

Free food? Channel all your depressive thoughts by winning an eating competition. Some stores may hold other games, so get all the information you need before the D-Day comes.

Embrace your “singleness.” Being single is not a curse and for those who are not yet convinced, there’s a famous saying that states, “True love waits.”

The right person for you will come. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Yes, it’s going to take time. But when it comes, you’ll know and you’re more than ready. ^^

 

Sources:

http://www.englishspectrum.com/black-day-and-a-good-bowl-of-jajangmyeon/

What is Black Day in Korea?

https://www.flickr.com

 

Written by Krew Member Jean Singian

2017 Korean Culture Caravan at LPU Manila

 

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The Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in the Philippines once again hosted another Culture Caravan at Lyceum of the Philippines University, Manila last March 22, 2017.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Korean Culture Caravans – it is an opportunity to experience Korea and learn firsthand about its history and culture. This activity is motivated to thoughtfully cultivate the Korean activities and to ensure that faculty and students are given a chance to embrace the most unique and meaningful elements of Korea.

The whole event was divided into three parts: 1) Sagunja or the Korean Traditional Painting Class, 2) Film Screening of the movie, “The Beauty Inside”, and 3) 2017 LPU K-pop Idol.

Sagunja was held simultaneously with the K-film Screening event. At the same time, a photo exhibit, hanbok experience, Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) booth, and KCC booth, which were all located at the Mabini Hall, were flocked by students.

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Sagunja Class

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Sagunja Class

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Sagunja Class

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Sagunja Class participants with their creations

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K-Film Screening of  “The Beauty Inside”

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Hanbok Wearing

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Hanbok Wearing

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LPU Students playing Tuho at KCC Booth

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Even the faculty enjoyed playing Tuho

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She won a Lee Minho photo card!

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She’s so happy she got a planner!

Director OH Choong Suk of Korean Cultural Center formally graced the afternoon program, ‘2017 LPU K-pop Idol’. During his speech, he explained the activities offered by KCC in the country as well as the classes offered to the people who want to learn Korean language, K-pop dance, and other cultural classes such as Sagunja, Salmunori, Hansik etc.

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[Director OH Choong Suk]

It was followed by a talk from Ms. Katrina C. Catajay, Assistant Manager of Korea Tourism Organization. She introduced the different activities people can do when they visit Korea.

And just before the highlight of the program, Salmunori team of KCC gave an outstanding performance with their traditional and modern infused presentation.

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[Ms. Katrina C. Catajay of KTO]

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Salmunori Performance

Three groups participated in the competition and the Little Theater was filled with excitement as students’ cheer for the groups they support. And while everyone got to enjoy the different showcase of the three groups, KCC also gave raffle prizes like power bank, KCC flash drive, KCC gift pack (bag, tumbler, pen), K-Pop: Beyond Asia book and so much more!

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Dance Competition

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Dance Competition

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Photo Op of Participants and Organizers

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Winners of the Dance Competition 

Interested to have this one-of-a-kind experience? Email KCC at library@koreanculture.ph or call at 555-1711.  Your school might be the next stop for our unforgettable caravan!

Written by Krew member Jean Singian

Celebrating Seollal (설날) or Lunar New Year’s Day in Korea

Seollal (설날), one of the most celebrated holiday in Korea, is just around the corner. Unlike the Solar New Year or Sinjeong which is celebrated every January 1st, Seollal is observed according to the lunar calendar — for this year it falls on January 28.

The celebration of the Lunar New Year is important to Koreans because they believe that good luck comes this time and bad spirits are repelled all throughout the year.  In Korea, the Seollal will be celebrated from January 27 until January 30, 2017.

Before the celebration officially starts, there are a lot of things Koreans prepare. Gifts are given during this occasion that’s why shopping can be stressful for everyone. Aside from that, people must prepare their travel arrangement ahead of time because of the heavy traffic in Korea during this season.

This is also the time when Koreans honor their ancestors through a ritual cha rye  (차례). Variety of foods such as vegetables and fruits are prepared for the ritual but the main dish is the tteokguk or rice cake soup. The rice-cake soup is usually made with beef leg bone and brisket which has been stewed and garnished with tube-shaped rice cakes, eggs, and green onions. Tteokguk or rice cake soup is the first meal of Koreans during seollal and it symbolizes long and continuous happiness, joy and richness.

Rice Cake Soup(Tteokguk )

Also, the younger people show their respect to their elders through a deep bow called sebae and present them gifts. In turn, the elders bless them and wish them a prosperous new year. Children also receive sebaetdon (New Year’s money) as their gift during Seollal.

Sebae

Another fun thing to do during Seollal is when people gather to play traditional games like ‘yutnori.’ Yutnori is a board game that involves of throwing four wooden sticks. This can be played in teams so every member of the family are encouraged to join and engage in an exciting competition.

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Other families also love to do kite flying (yeon-naligi) during this time.

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If you are a tourist, this may be the best time to visit the attractions in Seoul because almost everyone leave the city and go to their provinces. You might want to re-schedule going to other places beyond Seoul since the streets will be really busy and it might be a hassle for you to push through since everyone is trying to book train and bus tickets. To help you, below are the list of popular attractions open during the Seollal this 2017:

  1. The Independence Hall of Korea
  2. Korean Folk Village
  3. National Museum of Korea
  4. N Seoul Tower
  5. Namsan Cable Car
  6. Hangang River Ferry Cruise
  7. Gyeongbokgung Palace
  8. Lotte World
  9. Everland

To see the complete list of attractions and shops open during the Seollal, visit:

Korea Tourism Organization

Photos are taken from Flickr Commons

Written by Krew Member Jean Singian

7 WAYS MY LIFE CHANGED AFTER I BECAME PART OF THE KREW

Ever heard of The Krew? If you’re an avid follower of the Korean Cultural Center, you’ve probably heard of this term a lot of times.

A Krew member means being a volunteer for the Korean Cultural Center, but it means so MUCH MORE. The 2nd term for 2016 just ended and the recruitment for Krew Batch 5 is ongoing. So, for those of you who love Korea and is absolutely thrilled about the idea of being a promoter of its culture and tradition, being part of the KREW maybe the right thing for you.

Not yet convinced? Check out how my life changed after I became part of the Krew.

  1. You’ll meet a lot of people who can become your CLOSE FRIENDS

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Introvert? Extrovert? Ambivert? It doesn’t matter. Once you are part of the Krew, you’ll be surprised at how many friends you’ll gain in every event. Though there will a be a lot of work, there will always be an opportunity to get to know many people.

I promise you, no matter how anti-social you think you are, things will be just fine once you let things go its natural course.

Shout Out to Dawn, who talked to me first because I was like a frightened cat during the orientation!

  1. It’s SUPER HARD to give flyers to people

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I was tasked to give out flyers… I mean, how hard can it be? But boy, I was wrong about my assumption. Every flyer I successfully give out is an accomplishment. Now, I try to be nice to those who give out flyers and receive it willingly, unless I know it will just be a waste of paper If I receive it.

Giving out flyers will make you NICE.

  1. Wishing for the bus to come late at night after an event is like waiting for forever

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You probably felt this before. You stayed late in your school or work, but your ride home just won’t arrive. Every Krew member knows this feeling. But, hey, even if the bus will make you wait for a really really LONG TIME. It’s a chance for you and your co-volunteers to chit-chat about the latest happenings in your life. Riding a cab with friends is also not a far-fetched option.

  1. Or if you don’t want to wait for the bus, you can always eat out before going home

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There are many Korean restaurants nearby, but for a sweets-lover like me, Hobing Korean Dessert Café is my jam! Not only do you get to enjoy Korean food, you also get good company if you manage to invite other volunteers to stay and eat out.

  1. You’ll get to try out Korean dishes, for FREE!

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Yes, yes, and yes!!! I guess everyone’s excited if there’s a free item, especially if it concerns food. There will be events featuring Korean dishes and you get a chance to observe how the chefs cook it or at times, you even get the chance to chop the vegetables and meat. You’ll really have an awesome time and maybe find the inner chef in you. It might just convince you to take Hansik lessons at KCC!

  1. You can watch CONCERTS, for FREE!

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Say what?! Yes, you heard it right! But before you get pumped up, you need to be chosen as a writer/photographer for that event. So, if you have what it takes to write and take excellent pictures during events, this is a strong possibility! Sometimes you’ll also have the chance to watch groups even if you’re not a writer or photographer, just like the recent PHIL-KOR Cultural Exchange where I got to meet The King backstage!

  1. In good times and bad times, KCC is your family!

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The relationship doesn’t end after events; it goes beyond that. You’ll have a special bond with your co-volunteers and even KCC coordinators.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my friends at KCC who have been supportive (eek, cheesy) of my recent condition. Thank you for all your messages and for making me realize how truly blessed I am to be part of The Krew!

I hope you at least got slightly convinced of the things I shared. There are more things you can experience at KCC and I won’t share them all because it eliminates the fun out of things.

Watch out for the application announcement and I hope I get to meet you in the next term!

Written by Krew member Jean Singian