Korean Sool Exhibit; Hangwa workshop

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What comes best with an alcoholic beverage like soju or Makgeolli?

Anju, a term I first learned in a Korean Show, is not just limited to main dishes and side dishes consumed together with alcohol. It can also be traditional sweet snacks like Hangwa (한과). Hangwa literally mean ‘han’ for Hankuk (Korea) and ‘gwa’ for gwaja (snacks.)

In line with the new exhibit of KCC “Korean Sool”, a take on how to make Hangwa was conducted during the opening day. To give us an idea, here are the highlights of the workshop and the step by step procedure:

*Note: Jisung Chun, a Korea Traditional Liquor Sommelier, demonstrated the preparation of Hangwa before the attendees created their own version.

Ingredients:

  • One to two tablespoons of honey
  • Pop rice, 100 grams (You may reduce this one according to your desired amount)
  • dragon seed (optional)
  • colored flavoring (optional)
  • nuts or dried fruits (optional)

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1. Prepare all your materials.

2. Heat your pan and add honey enough to bind the pop rice and other ingredients. *If you will add flavorings, put it first before adding the pop rice.

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3. Add the pop rice and mix until the ingredients sticks well.

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4. Make sure to mold it on the shape you desire before it totally cools down!

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5. Enjoy your finish product!

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**Hangwa is not limited to this recipe alone. It’s a variety of Korean snacks ranging from traditionally made candies and biscuits. This type of hangwa, the one made with pop rice is just popularly used as snack alongside with Korean sool. Pretty easy? You can try this at home!

Written by Mikay Javier

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Korean Sool: A Culture to Share

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‘Gonbae!’ (Cheers! 건배!)

The fun that Korean drinking culture could bring is undeniable. The popularity of this culture gets stronger as K-dramas are now in mainstream media and it display how drinking bind families and friends together up to the present. Well, Korean alcoholic drinks are more than just the popular green bottle that we often see on screen. To introduce more about these beverages to Filipinos, a special exhibit on Korean Sool (한국의  술) was launched last February 8 in Korean Cultural Center’s exhibit hall.

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A walk into Korean sool’s history

Ms. Jisung Chun, a Korean rice liquor sommelier and founder of Soy and Rice, curated the program and discussed on Korea’s history of sool (alcoholic beverage) from the three Kingdom period up to present. As well, Anju (Korean food served alongside with alcohol) and varieties of sool were introduced.

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During the talk, Sool has been presented as an essential item for ancestor offering and entertaining guests. To give a little background on its types, Makgeolli is a slightly sweet and milky white beverage with an alcoholic concentration of about less than 10%. Takju, are the refined ones, almost the same ones with Yakju but can be defined by the clarity of the beverage, both has a concentration of about 10-19%. Last is the Soju which is the most popular ones, this undergoes the process of distillation and can easily be defined since it’s clear. Among all these beverages, it has the highest alcohol contents of about 19%-73%.

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Ms. Chun also gave recommendations on which ‘pulutan’ (snacks) would fit each type of drink. To give it a complete package experience, six among the types of sool were luckily tried by the audience and that includes the Horangyi (Tiger) Makgeolli, Tok Sseonin Bokbunja Makgeolli, Loa Red 19, Sanyang Sansam Gadeun Byul, Wangju and Uri Ssal Makgeolli.

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A tour on the exhibit hall followed right after the opening ceremony and talk. The seven areas display the History of Sool, which was earlier discussed during the conference. The second one is the Ingredients of Korean sool, followed by the brewing process, categories of Korean sool, Korean drinking rules and etiquette,  Jooansang (the traditional styled table served with Anju and sool). Lastly, Jeongja (pavillion) and soolsang, a perfect photo area to complete your Korea feel.

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To make the whole experience a memorable one, attendees got to try how to make Makgeolli first hand!  They say home brewed Makgeolli has the best flavor! Here’s a quick recap on the process.

Ingredients:

Rice (that could fill at least half of the jar when cooked)

Water (enough to cover the rice)

Nuruk (40-50 grams)

Instructions:

  1. Wash Korean rice until the water used is already clear.
  2. Steam for about 40 mins.
  3. Let it cool for 2-3 hours.
  4. In a jar, put the cooled rice, nuruk and water together.
  5. Mix.
  6. Make sure the jar is half lid open so the moisture would go out.
  7. On the 4th day, close it totally.
  8. You may try it on the 10th day. (It is expected that the mixture is a little sweet but if you want a more concentrate one, add five more days on the fermentation process.)

Korean Sool is more than just drinking liquor itself. It’s a fun culture shared by many. Make sure to drop by and visit KCC to see the exhibit yourself!

“Korean Sool” exhibition is open to the public for free from 9AM to 5PM Monday to Saturday at the KCC Exhibition Hall starting February 8, 2018. For more information, contact (02) 555-1711 or email curator@koreanculture.ph

Written by Krew Member Mikay Javier

Beyond Borders, Peaceful Voyage; ASEAN-ROK Collaborative Painting

ASEAN-Korea artists and 80 volunteers with a goal of showcasing the friendship between the ASEAN and Korea gathered together to paint a 35 x 27.5-meter mural in the heart of Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

This project titled, ‘Beyond Borders: The Graffiti Art Project’, is one of the featured street art in Bonifacio Global City’s BGC Arts Center Festival 2017.

The partnership between Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and Arts and Bonifacio Art Foundation Inc. lead to the creation of this mural titled ‘Beyond Borders, Peaceful Voyage.’  

Features

To keep it traditional yet pop, a Korean Chaekgado, one of the traditional paintings during the Joseon dynasty, is the main feature of the painting. Inside are symbols and popular sites of ASEAN countries who participated in this project. These objects symbolize the friendship, diplomacy and cultural exchange across borders, united through a form of art. Aside from that, it’s also in time for the recent ASEAN conference held in the Philippines.

‘Beyond Borders, Peaceful Voyage.’  

Champions of Passion: Soulful Feats of Art

Five other street art works were featured on the three-day visual and cultural experience brought by the BGC Arts Center. Alongside are murals from local artists which are inspired by their own stories. These include the feel of longing, special meeting places, technology, dreams and normal life. Aside from these murals, stage plays were also featured from November 24-26 at the Maybank Arts Center.

Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour

Free tours going to the mural sites were offered by the center for all art enthusiasts during the three-day event! Also, a ‘treasure hunt’ style map needs to be completed and snapshots of the six new paintings must be posted to get the special ‘art’ souvenir.

 

Were you able to join this event? If not, it’s not yet too late to see the murals up close. Don’t forget to share with us your photos!

The Beyond Borders: The Graffiti Art Project’ is located at 26th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

 

Written by Krew Member Mikay Javier

Reasons why B.I.G. is the next big thing

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We bump into B.I.G. (Boys In Groove) members J-hoon (leader, dancer, vocalist), Benji (vocal) Gun Min (dancer, vocalist), Min Pyo (rapper) and Heedo (maknae, rapper) during their press conference and we’ve jot down the reasons why the media instantly fell in love with these boys! See it for yourself why you must not miss their upcoming ‘The B.I.Ginning, The Asia tour’ in Manila!

1. Spontaneous energy
No one else could beat B.I.G.’s out-bursting charms and energy as they share their love for their fans and their music. During the press conference, a day prior to their third year anniversary, B.I.G members gave us a clue on how they will celebrate their special day by probably having a ‘samgyupsal party’ and a cake. Their unending charms and ‘happy virus’ type of personalities never fail to amaze the fans as they conquer a new milestone in their career.

2. Passion for music
“Gotta get your love oh, I’ll make it over tonight.”

A short serenade from their recent track ‘Hello Hello’ proved they’ve got the charisma and the talent to compete in the K-pop industry. Aside from that, the members got individual contributions in their recent album. In the coming months, they are about to conquer Taiwan, Japan and Philippines through their Asia tour so watch out for the dates!

3. Unique Style
If you want to see a realistic and talented type of performers, then this five-member team is for you. They are total performers and all of them could sing and dance. Aside from that, they can also go solo on stage and you’ll be seeing that on their concert! (Let’s not spill the beans yet! Watch it to feed your curiosity!)

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4. Fan Service
More than throwing finger hearts and doing eye contacts, B.I.G. would make their events memorable as they love to talk with their fans, share their stories, ask questions and suddenly crack jokes in the middle of interviews.

5. Funny stunts
From ‘I want to go to Mall of Asia’ to mishearing the word father to farmer, B.I.G. got lots of humor under their sleeves. There is no way you won’t laugh even for a minute. Following their contagious laughter, you’ll see yourself extremely ‘stan’-ing over these boys!

Bonus: Member’s cute accents! There’s no way you wouldn’t notice Benji’s US accent while the other members try to copy his style!

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Right after the press conference, a quick meet and greet with the fans followed! They’ve got to celebrate Jhoon’s birthday and the third anniversary of B.I.G. together!

PS: The members really loved a Filipino food chain’s chicken and one of the members wishes to visit all the branches they have in the Philippines!

Do not miss the chance to see B.I.G up close and personal on their upcoming fanmeet happening on September 2 at the Music Museum. See you all there!

Written by Krew Member Mikay Javier
Photos by Krew Member Martin Arada

Sweet and cold; Korean Ice Creams and Bingsu

June is just a few days away but Summer is far from over!

In fact, the weather in the Philippines is pretty much unpredictable. It maybe rainy in the morning but extremely sunny in the afternoon. With the kind of environment we have, beating the heat is a must! What else would pop-out in your mind when asked what to eat during such situation? ….. Ice cream!

Are you craving for some ice cream now? Then I suggest that you run into the nearest Korean shop and grab some of these featured ice cream from the freezer!

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♦ Ice pops

Eating ice cream can be messy at times but that’s something you don’t have to worry about when eating ice pops. This is the modest form of iced refreshment and also the cheapest one! It is perfect for a quick break or an after meal munch. Ice pop is the Korean version of our ice candy!

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 ♦ Fish-shaped Ice cream – (Boggupang Ice cream)

This creatively designed ice cream can be frequently seen in Korean marts and other supermarkets in the Philippines. The filling is made up of vanilla ice cream and sweet red beans, while the outer layer is composed of a thick wafer.

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♦ Ice cream sandwich and on-stick ice creams

These chiffon-like sandwich vanilla ice cream and Korean ice drops are still the easiest kinds Korean ice cream to find. You can easily spot them in ice cream freezers at convenient stores and supermarkets.

Bingsu

Bingsu is the Korean counterpart of our ‘Halo-halo.’ Nowadays, the popularity of Bingsu, a Korean dessert composed of shaved ice with fresh ingredients, also conquered the rows of choices for desserts. Yes! There are lots of bingsu shops that introduce variety of flavors for K-foodie lovers! See? Koreans love desserts as much as Filipinos do.

Just to give a quick background, bingsu is one of the most popular desserts in Korea and it is highly consumed during summer. Also, this brings a nostalgic feel to Koreans since it’s a big part of their childhood.

Must try flavors:

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Injeolmi – Traditionally, injeolmi is one of the most popular types of Korean rice cake. It has a chewy texture covered with bean powder. Could you imagine the taste when paired with almond flakes and top on a shaved ice?

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** I’ve tried a fruit-patbingsu before and the combination is pretty pleasing for me.

Red Beans – Keep it traditional. Patbingsu, with pat literally meaning red beans is the most classical type of bingsu in Korea. The dessert itself is just made up of ice, red beans and milk.

Fruit – a traditional kid’s favorite! (Sometimes even topped with ice cream).

Here in the Philippines, different shops got their own takes on their bingsu menus so try to keep an eye to it!

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Chocolate – nothing can beat a good chocolate-flavored bingsu topped with chewy small cubes of chocolate brownies or chocolate corn flakes. Sometimes it comes with a scoop of ice cream!

Suddenly craving for bingsu and ice cream after reading this? There are so many bingsu shops opening around the Philippines and convenience stores offering Korean ice cream now so there’s no more excuse not to try one.

Don’t forget to try any of them before the season ends!

Written by Krew Member Mikay Javier

Window of Pain and Glory; DMZ Docs Film Fest

“How humane can we be as a human?”

Not your traditional Korean and mainstream storyline, variety of characters from the seven internationally-acclaimed documentary films opened our eyes on the sensitive issues brought by the divided peninsula of Korea. These films were screened last May 11 to 13 during the Manila leg of DMZ Docs Korean Film Festival held at the Cine Adarna UPFI Film Center Diliman.

Mrs. B., A North Korean Woman

The film ‘Mrs. B a North Korean Woman’ by director Jero Yun, who graced the opening day, rejuvenated the atmosphere of the theater as it officially kicked off the series of documentaries for the festival. Yun’s film revolved around a North Korean who escaped from her motherland, became a human trafficker in China and eventually tried to see asylum in South Korea. The film gained loads of applause as the story ended with a melodramatic tune coming from Mrs. B.

“To inform the public about Korea’s other side through film and visual arts”

After the screening, Korean Cultural Center Director Lee Jin Cheol informed the audience that the Philippine leg of DMZ International Documentary Film festival aims to display the enormous desire of Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to be remembered as a landmark of peace for the two Koreas who are currently facing political issues.

Following are remarks from UP Film Institute Director Sari Raissa Dalena who noted that the selection of films will make known how the country deals with contemporary issues governing Korea and how such films contribute in cultural exchange.

A rundown of commentaries made by Patrick Campos, Director of the Office of Research and Publication of the College of Mass Communication of the University of the Philippines (UP), remind everyone the importance of human subjects as the base of national interest.

Wrapping up the opening ceremony was a talk made by Director Yun himself who gave his best, to answer all the points of interest by the viewers. He also admitted that the story of Mrs. B whom they refer as Madame B during the shoot made a huge impact in his view as a filmmaker and encouraged him to produce a ‘better’ film and at some point made him feel more humane.

Categorically, we may answer the question “How humane can we be as a human?” by simply explaining science theories or stating the good deeds we do for others. However, films like the ones featured in DMZ International Film Festival might also prove that your thinking might be the other way around. See how suffering and survival can make one humane and how perspective could build a strong character inside as a human.

Written by Krew Member Mikai Javier

K-Ribbon Selection; Constancy and Change of Korea

With the goal of promoting brand awareness and the best Korean products to the world, ‘The K-Ribbon Selection,’ a 10-month long worldwide promotion opened its Philippine leg last November 2 at the Shangri-la Plaza Mall Grand Atrium.

The Ministry of Korean Culture and Information Service, in partnership with Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines and Korean Embassy in Philippines, exhibited Korea’s cultural products with the brands that contain the ‘Seal of Excellence’ awarded by the Korean government for its contribution in producing products that convey the value of Korean culture.  Represented by its unique mark inspired by the Hanbok ribbon, the certification system offers organized brand marketing support to create the Korea premium.

The event, with the theme ‘Constancy and Change of Korea,’ mainly showcased the traditional items that incorporated the significant value of Korean culture and tradition. The weeklong exhibit covers a wide array of traditional items including food, crafts, clothes and cultural contents

• Opening Ceremony – November 2

The opening ceremony started with KCC’s K-Musical class as they upbeat the mood with their performances on ‘Seasons of Love’ and ‘Dream High.’ Right after are opening notes from Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Philippines Kim Jae Shin, Chairperson of Association of Royal Craft Culture Lee Chil Yong, Founder and Chairperson of Philippine Small and Medium Scale Business Development Foundation Mina Gabor and Marketing Director of Shangri-la Plaza Mall Marline Duaran. Following the program is the ribbon cutting ceremony participated by the  speakers and KCC Director Oh Choong Suk.

• Royal Heritage Craft

Alongside with the K-Ribbon selection is the Royal Heritage Craft which was managed by Korean Women’s international Network and Korean Women’s Association in the Philippines. The exhibit for Korean handicrafts is supported by the Korea Craft Art’s Association and sponsored by Korean Royal Heritage Gallery. In this area, traditional and modern designed pots and vases are displayed.

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• Korea Premium Handicrafts

In the past, wood crafts, metal and ceramics were mostly used by the royal and noble families in Korea and up to now, the use of such items are practiced in a normal Korean dining setting. Korean crafts are not just limited to kitchen wares, you may also see how detailed their crafts are through their handmade storage boxes, lamps, perfume diffusers and jewelries.

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• Hanbok

The royal ambiance filled the exhibit hall with the vibrant colors of Hanbok welcoming the guests. Hanbok is Korea’s traditional clothes and is made up of layers of different colored textiles perfect for festivals and important events. Aside from the usual designs, modern twists for the traditional clothes were introduced making Hanbok more appealing to millennial.

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• Photo booth

Just beside the Hanbok displays is the photo booth wherein you could try Korean traditional clothes in just a few clicks! You just need to select the design you want, fit your face on the screen and let the operators do the rest! In just a while, you already have a printed copy of you wearing Hanbok!

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• Virtual Reality Experience Zone

Walk under the moon and check on the paintings during the Joseon period through a virtual reality experience, The Moon vol. 2 is designed to show Koreans’ practices in the Joseon dynasty including their beliefs that praying to the moon would give them blessings and protection.

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• Kpop

A huge wall that plays the latest music videos of renowned Kpop groups was situated at the center of the venue dedicated for the Korean-pop enthusiasts. Have you felt the Kpop vibe at the venue?

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• Premium Korean Food exhibit

Korean food products with seal of excellence were displayed so that guests will be familiar to premium brands.

• Open Kitchen (November 2, 5 and 6)

To give a complete experience for Korean food, a few recipes and food samples were handed out everyone. An authentic taste of Samgyetang (Chicken in Ginseng soup), Bulgogi (marinated beef) and seaweed rice rolls are just a few of the samples!

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• K-Mall

For the most convenient shopping experience, few items on display and other items can be purchase at the K-mall. For further details regarding the online stores, you may check kmall24.com, makers.kakao.com and tradekorea.com.

For further details regarding the Premium brands at the K-ribbon selection, visit Korea Creative Content Agency’s page at http://www.kocca.kr.

The ‘K-Ribbon Selection’ Constancy and Change of Korea exhibition ran from November 2 to 8 at Shangri-la Grand Atrium.

Written by Mikay Javier