Gastronomic Fun and Culinary Creativity Rule at the 2017 Global Taste of Korea

The Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC) has yet again wrapped up another delicious affair: The Global Taste of Korea 2017.

Held at the Lyceum Philippines University (LPU) Culinary Institute last Saturday, 29 July, the most-anticipated Korean gastronomic event in the country attracted hundreds upon hundreds of avid foodies of all ages.

Now on its fourth year, the goal of Global Taste of Korea remains the same: To offer Filipinos a bite of Korean culinary culture for an entire day through fun, interactive, and educational platforms. And with the growing number of Filipinos taking interest in Korean cuisine, as seen on popular films and dramas, the annual celebration of Korean flavors has never been busier.

A variety of booths lined the 4th level hallway of LPU’s Culinary Institute, ensuring that every guest experiences Korea in a local and cost-free setting.

The Korea Tourism Organization in Manila (KTO) handed out free posters and guide books to anyone who wishes to visit the Land of the Morning Calm, while food booths gave away unlimited helpings of staple Korean snacks and side dishes such as kimchi, ramyeon, and dumplings.

Eager visitors also had the opportunity to don the hanbok, the traditional Korean costume. Gamely posing for pictures, they looked like character pulled straight from a sageuk.

Setting an avenue for a deeper understanding of Korean cuisine, KCC organized cooking workshops for attendees who want to learn more about the history and basic how-tos of Korean cooking. At the end of the workshops, the attendees were able to prepare kimchi and bulgogi, marinated slices of meat that are either grilled or stir-fried.

But perhaps, the most exciting part of this year’s Global Taste of Korea is the cooking competition. Divided into two categories, Kimchi Battle and Freestyle Korean Cooking, a total of 22 cooks took the challenge to be hailed as this year’s best Korean cook.

Betina Erika Lim’s winning dish for the Kimchi Battle Category: Kimchi Chicken Quesadilla

From Left: Lyceum of the Philippines Culinary Director Chef Christopher Bautista, Kimchi Battle grand prize winner Betina Erika Lim, and  KCC Director LEE Jincheol

For the Kimchi Battle, Betina Erika Lim bagged first prize with her Kimchi Chicken Quesadilla, which she fashioned to look like the Taegeukgi or the Korean Flag. Airose Caloobanan (Beef Sinigang with Kimchi) and Angeli Mae Sapno (Steamed Kimchi Pork Buns) also proved to be the judges’ picks, as they received the second and third prize, respectively.

Regine Monsanto’s version of Dwaejigalbi-jjim or Korean-style braised pork ribs

The Freestyle Korean Cooking was a bit more intense, as 11 cooks heated up the kitchen with their own renditions of Korean favorites. Taking the third prize is Amiel Santos, who put a modern twist to the classic bibimbap. Hazel Quiamas got creative with her take on japchae, which she stuffed in a while pan-fried chicken, and took the second prize.

From Left: KTO Director Park In-Shik, Freestyle Korean cooking grand prize winner and Best Korean Cook Regine Monsanto, and KCC Director LEE Jincheol

Besting all 11 contestants is Marianne Regine Monsanto, a 28-year-old cook, who has been joining the Global Taste of Korea’s cooking competition since its first year. She won the judges’ palates with her version of the braised pork rib dish dwaejigalbi-jjim. She is also named as this year’s Best Korean Cook. Aside from the cash prize she will be taking home, Monsanto is also awarded with a roundtrip ticket to Korea, courtesy of KTO Manila.

The day ended on a high note as the auditorium erupted in happy tears and exchanges of congratulatory messages. With this, the guests and contestants alike look forward to another exciting Global Taste of Korea event next year.

Written by Krew member Andy Flores

MOVING KOREA: Art in a Different Perspective

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As we grow up, we realize that the way we see things are not always the same as how the world views it.

Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines opened its first interactive art exhibit ‘Moving Korea’ last June 8, 2017 at the KCC Exhibit Hall.

The exhibit features 18 modern and kinetic interactive artworks of contemporary artists Na Hyoung-min, Kim Dongho, Kwon Kisoo, Vakki, Everyware, Wang Ziwon, Lee Lee-nam, Hybe, and Han Jinsoo.

KCC was given the opportunity to have Artist Na Hyoung-min in the opening ceremony last June 8. He introduced a unique method of painting –the lenticular method–which he used on his artworks displayed at the exhibit.

This method uses lenticular lenses to produce an image with an illusion of depth or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles.

Na Hyoung-min studied Oriental Painting in Seoul National University where he also earned his Master’s Degree. He is currently serving as a professor in College of Fine Arts at Kyung Hee University.

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The Artist Talk started with Mr. Na explaining the creation process of his artworks while simultaneously playing a short video. He introduced some of his creations which are currently displayed at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts in Seoul, South Korea.

He also discussed the inspirations he had in his art. According to him, there are times when he just stare into space without thinking while looking at paintings in museums. Also, most of his artworks have a background of nature because he’s from the rural area of Seoul.

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Questions from audience were also entertained. A guest asked him when did he realized that he knew he wanted to be an artist. Na shared that he was deeply immersed with arts and paintings since his childhood that when he first drew an army war between Korea and America, his mother thought he’d be a general someday. Turns out, he became an artist like Leonardo Da Vinci and Vincent Van Gogh whom he admires.

 

OPENING CEREMONY

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A short introductory speech was given by KCC Director Lee Jin Cheol during the opening ceremony of the exhibit. He expressed his warm welcome and gratitude to the artists for their contribution to the art exhibit here in the Philippines. He wanted to inform the public of Korea’s interactive and modern art installation in the country.

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Artist Na Hyoung-min introduced his artworks “The Moon” and “The Ring Around the Moon” which was inspired by Daeboreum or the First Full Moon Holiday in South Korea.

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From Left: National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) Head of International Affairs Anne Luis; Korean Copyright Commission Director JEONG Jae Woo; Instituto Cervantes de Manila Director Carlos Madrid; Korean artist NA Hyoung-min; Kim Chun Bae; UP Professor Aldrin Lee; and KCC Director LEE Jincheol

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Students from KCC's K-Musical Class wrapped up the event with two awesome performances.

Other artworks include:

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A Song of Nature by Lee Lee Nam

The artist uses the combination of traditional painting and modern technology by bringing traditional paintings of colorful butterflies to life using a four-minute short video which allows our human imagination to capture the real-life movement of butterflies.

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Lightning Bug by Kim Dong Ho

Kim Dong Ho's hybrid project is made out of little ladybug-like electronic objects which is activated according to the spectator's movement.

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Toyrider by Everyware

Kids and kids-at-heart will surely enjoy this hybrid project of Everyware. It displays different illusions of a toy village by moving the steering wheel made of lego.
우리는 매일 마주한다 (We face each other everyday) by Vakki

Using a camera and artificial intelligence computer vision algorithms, the audiences' face, skeletal motion and positions are detected. Commensurate to the detected motion, new patterns are generated and moved (rotation and expansion).
Light Tree: Interactive Dan Flavin by HYBE

Interactive Dan Flavin pays homage to Dan Flavin, an American minimalist artist famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures. Hybe's work expands the logic of Flavin by reinforcing the physical property of light through interactive media. It represents an escape from traditional lighting, as light and color changes when touched by viewers. Lighting here is divided into front and back, and colors are programmed to maintain complementary colors.

Check these and other interactive artworks from Moving Korea at Korean Cultural Center Exhibit Hall, Taguig from June 8 to July 14, 2017. Admission is FREE!

For more information contact (02)555-1711 or e-mail curator@koreanculture.ph

Hyeonchung-Il (현충일): Korean Memorial Day

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The Korean Memorial Day (현충일, 顯忠日, Hyeonchung-il) is a national non-working holiday held every June 6 to honor the soldiers and civilians who sacrificed their lives for Korea. It was declared a public holiday by the Korean Government on April 19, 1956.

On this day, memorial ceremonies are held to commemorate the men and women who died while in military service during the Korean War and other significant wars or battles. The largest ceremony is held at the National Cemetery in Seoul with the President and some government officials in attendance. Officials and citizens place flowers and offerings at the graves of those who died in battle. War veterans also salute in front of the gravestone of their fellow soldiers.

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At 10 in the morning, a siren rings all over the country, and people offer silent prayers for one minute. The Korean flag (태국기, Taegukgi)  is flown at half-staff and the Memorial Day Song (현충일 노래, Hyeonchung-il Norae) is also played.  Some houses and business establishments display the Korean flag on their front doors. All of these are done to pay respect to the people who heed the call to stand up and fight for the freedom of their countrymen.

Filipinos in the Korean War

Writer’s Note: Since this article aims to honor the people who gave their lives to protect and defend their country, I would like to take this opportunity to also acknowledge the astonishing act of humanity and selflessness our fellow Filipino soldiers did during the Korean War.

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Filipino-Korean Soldier Monument. This monument of two Filipino soldiers aiding a Korean soldier is dedicated to the Filipino combat soldiers who fought with the Korean troops during the Korean War.

The Philippines was the first Asian country to send combat troops to the Korean War. Comprised of five Battalion Combat Teams (BCTs), composed of 7,150 officers and men, President Elpidio Quirino sent the Philippine Expeditionary Forces To Korea (PEFTOK) to fight in the Korean War in September 1950.

1. PEFTOK slogan_Freedom is not Free inside the Museum

The PEFTOK creed at the Museum of the PEFTOK Korean War Memorial Hall at Fort Bonifacio.

Overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War, the Korean War is referred to as the “Forgotten War.” Many young Filipinos today are unaware of the sacrifices our brave soldiers to help South Korea gain the freedom and democracy has today.

Most, if not all, of our history classes do not discuss this important event in our country’s past. I hope that their sacrifices will not be forgotten and that the next generation of Filipinos would continue to commemorate the heroism and gallantry of our Korean War veterans.

Credits: Wikipedia.com, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/225235/filipino-soldiers-story-of-korean-war-valor-redux,  http://www.pilipino-express.com/history-a-culture/special-features-history-a-culture/1102-filipinos-in-the-korean-war.html

Written by Krew Member Miao Canlas

The Perks of Studying Korean

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Kamusta ka?, did you understand that phrase? If you did, then you might know Tagalog. I will assumt hat you are fluent in English by being able to read this post! You know, living in the Philippines has its advantages and it is because we are exposed to a bilingual type of environment: where people can speak two languages fluently.

In turn, it is easier for us to converse with other people. But as a Korean fan, did you know that adding Korean to our everyday language, is even better! Let me tell you how.

Asides from simply understanding what Song Joong Ki is saying in dramas and knowing what B.I was rapping about in “Rhythm Ta”, learning Korean can help us express ourselves more, increase our intellectual capacity- not to mention even decrease our chances of dementia and help us be ready for our “globalized” world.

There are some words in a certain dialect that cannot be translated. Can you please tell me how to translate, “kilig” in English? Nothing, right? You’d probably describe the feeling rather than a translating the word. How about “멍 (meong)” in Korean? I can’t think of an English word; “dumfounded“, “stare“, “Song Ji-Hyo“?

With this you get to express yourself more because you don’t need to find an equivalent meaning or explain yourself in long sentences when the word that you want to say is right in front of you! You might not notice how many times you already said “aigoo” during your stressful moments.

Another is that learning Korean can help deepen our cognitive ability. It can helps us in multi-tasking, thus expanding the capacity of our brain to work. Studies also show that learning another language helps decrease dementia because it helps our memory. What is it that we do when we learn Korean? We memorize, we recall and we adopt. That’s what exercises our brain constantly.

Lastly, learning Korean can help us as we enter a globalized world. Admit it or not, in finding a job, it would be an asset if you know three (3) languages- or more. Not just that but, if your boss finally assigns you a project in Korea, you won’t think twice because you can converse confidently in Korean!

There’s definitely a number of things you haven’t realized you’re gaining in studying Korean. Sometimes, a drama can get you a job, a song lyric can help you with your memory and a Korean word can help you express yourself!

Face it, there’s more than just understanding what Song Joong Ki said.

Written by Krew Member: Max Chua

Eorininal (어린이날): Children’s Day in Korea

“Children are the future of our nation. Let’s show respect for children. Children who grow up with ridicule and contempt from others will become people who disrespect others, while children who grow up with respect from others will become people who respect others in turn.”

Bang Jeong-hwan (방정환)

https://teacherspage.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/xin_1006040210127832485028.jpg?w=640

Children’s Day, or Eorininal (어린이날), is celebrated in  Korea on the 5th of May every year. It is a public holiday observed since 1922. Korea sets this date to celebrate children’s happiness and to remind each citizen that the day should be commemorated to promote children’s general welfare and protection.  It is also a way to instill in them a sense of patriotism and national pride.

It is viewed by Korean children in a similar manner as Christmas is viewed by many children in the rest of the world — as a time for gifts and fun. During this day, parents shower their kids with gifts ranging from toys to money. Together with the presents, they also spend time with them by visiting amusements parks, zoos, museums and other places which are children-oriented. In some areas, various cultural programs are also held for both the parents’ and children’s enjoyment.

Children’s Day actually started through the hard work of Bang Jeong-hwan (방정환), a pioneer of Korean juvenile literature and a children’s rights activist. His purpose for the holiday was to promote love, care and respect for the youth because they are the future of the country.

In 1922, Bang Jeong-hwan with a group of Korean students and social leaders came up with the idea of celebrating a holiday that would focus on promoting and improving the social status of Korean children. The first Children’s Day was celebrated on May 1, 1923. Until 1939, Japanese authorities based in Seoul tried to ban the celebrations. After independence in 1945, the holiday was revived. In 1961, it was pushed to May 5 and was officially registered as a holiday in 1970.

Children’s Day not only focuses on celebrating the dignity of children and highlighting their need for care, love, and respect, but also honors adults who contribute to improving the children’s lives.

My Korean brother, Jae-woong, enjoying Children’s day 20 years ago.

It would be great if we also have this kind of holiday in the Philippines, don’t you think so?

Credits: anydayguide.com, wikipedia.com, dodoland.com, 90daykorean.com, aglobalworld.com, teacherspage.com

Written by Krew Member: Miao Canlas

석가탄신일, 연등회: Buddha’s Birthday and the Lotus Lantern Festival in Korea

In Korea, Children’s Day, Parent’s Day, Teacher’s Day, and Buddha’s birthday all fall in May – making it known as the month of holidays. However, out of these, only Children’s Day and Buddha’s birthday are national holidays, or ‘red days’ as they are known. On May 3, millions of people across Korea will come together to celebrate the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.

Buddhas Birthday Korea Lanterns

Buddhism , or 불교 bulgyo, along with Christianity, is one of the two main religions of South Korea. Buddha’s Birthday is not only an important and auspicious day for the nation’s practicing Buddhists, but also a public holiday when Korean culture and tradition is widely celebrated across the country.

석가탄신일 Seokga tansinil, meaning ‘Buddha’s Birthday’ or 부처님 오신 날 Bucheonim osin nal (‘the day when the Buddha came’) has been widely observed in many Asian nations for centuries. In Korea, it falls on the eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar. The actual date of the holiday changes every year.

Most of the festivities surrounding the holiday start about a week prior to the day itself, Vibrantly colored, lotus-shaped paper lanterns are hung throughout the country as early as a month ahead of time.

Buddhist temples are transformed into kaleidoscopes of color. Take a visit to one of the temples in the country and one will see lotus lanterns around the temple and surrounding yards and streets. On the day of Buddha’s birth, many temples provide complimentary vegetarian meal such as 산채 비빔밥 sanchae bibimbap and tea to all visitors who make the trek. The temples also host traditional Korean games and performances, such as mask dances and acrobatic shows with tightrope walkers.

A temple-goer hangs his wish on a lantern at Jogyesa Temple in Seoul | © GohRo / Flickr

Many participants make a small donation to hang their own paper lantern in the temple complex. These colored paper lanterns are mostly red, pink, or gold and have candles inside. A small paper tag is hung from the bottom of the lantern where they write their name and a wish that they carry in their heart.

The highlight of the celebrations is the 연등회Yeon Deung Hoe, also known as the Lotus Lantern Festival. Originating in the Silla period more than 1,200 years ago, the tradition has been passed down through the Goryeo era, the Joseon era, and is still an annual tradition today. This traditional festival is designated as Korea’s National Intangible Cultural Property No. 122.

Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival) (연등회)

In major cities like Seoul and Busan, the festival features an annual lantern parade which usually takes place on the weekend before the holiday. The largest lantern festival happens in downtown Seoul where the participants in the parade first head to Dongguk University, one of Korea’s main Buddhist universities. They watch dance performances and ceremonies in the afternoon and the parade usually starts at seven in the evening. The parade’s participants range from solemn looking Buddhist monks to excitable university students with magnificent lantern displays including animated dragons and replicas of the Buddha himself. By lighting lanterns at the festival, participants light up their own hearts as well as the world. In this way, the celebration also offers an opportunity in which participants can reflect on Buddhist virtues, teachings, principles and life in general.

After the lantern parade, there are a few other activities such as street festivals, lantern making, temple food tasting and lively cultural performances that express the aspiration for peace and happiness all over the world while bring all participants together as one, transcending nationality, gender, ethnicity and religion.

Korea’s Buddha’s Birthday celebration is truly both a spectacle for the eyes and a wonderful way to remember the man who established one of the world’s most influential religions.

Credits: theculturetrip.com, 90daykorean.com, asiasociety.org, visitkorea.or.kr

Written by Krew Member: Miao Canlas

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