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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ALL SET FOR PYEONGCHANG WINTER OLYMPICS 2018

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The long wait is over as the much awaited PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018 has finally started. This multi-sport event will run for 17 days from February 09 to 25 of this year. With over 2,900 athletes coming from 95 countries who will then compete in 15 sports disciplines, this huge event is surely something you would not want to miss. As this is Korea’s first time to host the Winter Olympics, we can expect nothing but great preparations done for it.

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To celebrate the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, The Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines held a special screening event last February 09, 2018 at the KCC Wave Hall. People from all walks of life heartily enjoyed the back-to-back screening of the movies, Take Off and Run Off which portray how the first national ski jump and female ice hockey teams of South Korea were made.

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Apart from the film viewing, attendees were also able to have a good time through the games prepared during the event. One of the games involved having the contestants identify the participating countries based on the flags shown. Still in relation to the ongoing Winter Olympics, the goal of the second game was for the players to name the particular sport discipline being flashed on screen. The lucky winners received adorable plushies of the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics mascots – Sooharang and Bandabi. The rest of the contenders did not go home empty-handed as they took home cute keychains of the said Winter Olympic mascots.

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Because of this special event set by the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, more Filipinos gained a better grasp of what the Winter Olympics is all about. The attendees in particular expressed their excitement and appreciation for the said multi-sport event.

“I gained more interest in this year’s Winter Olympics. I never thought the Philippines even have representatives for it.” – Anjie, 26

“I really enjoyed the movies. They game me an idea on what to expect on the Winter Olympics.” – Troy, 19

“I learned about the sports events which I was unfamiliar with. Some sports are quite new to me.” – Megan, 16

“As an athlete myself, I appreciate the characters’ hard work to bring glory to their country.” – Carl,23

“The movies sparked my interest to follow the games in PyeongChang Winter Olympics. I really cried on the second movie.” – Marian, 32

“This makes me want to go to Korea and watch the actual games.” – Destiny, 37

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Passion. Connected.
– That motto of the Winter Olympics was truly felt that night as people gathered together in enjoyment. In the spirit of this year’s Winter Olympics, let us not forget to cheer for our very own Philippine representatives, Michael Martinez for men’s figure skating and Asa Miller for men’s alpine skiing.

To all the other delegates, fighting!

Once again, congratulations to South Korea for hosting this year’s Winter Olympics.

To know more about the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, you may visit http://www.pyeongchang2018.com

Photos and Article by Cham Hidalgo

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

SF9 Be My Fantasy in Manila

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The beginning of 2018 was truly a fantasy came true for all the Filipino fans of the sensationally talented idol group, SF9. This nine-member group under the management of FNC Entertainment is the first kpop group to hold an event in Manila this year. It was the boys’ first time in the Philippines and it was made memorable by their beloved fans or known as fantasies who gathered at the Solaire Theatre last January 06, 2018 for their first-ever fan meeting here in the country.

As the boys showed up on stage, the entire venue was filled with excited shrieks of fans who had been waiting for that opportunity to witness SF9’s captivating beauty. Their visuals along with their synchronized performances on stage were truly a breathtaking sight to see.

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They performed their hit songs “Fanfare”, “Roar”, “K.O.”, “Jungle Game”, “Easy Love”, “Let’s Hang Out”, and of course their latest single, ‘O Sole Mio”. Apart from performing as a group, each member also took turns showcasing their individual appeal. Youngbin went first with his powerful rap skills; Inseong danced cutely with his version of heart dance; Jaeyoon surprised everyone when he sang and danced to the famous Filipino novelty song, “Ocho-ocho”; Dawon successfully made everyone swoon over his aegyo; Rowoon and Hwiyoung graced the stage with their melodious voices through a song; Zuho was packed with swag when he was doing his rap; Taeyang serenaded the crowd with the song, Boyfriend by Justin Bieber; Chani kept his performance short but sweet, by saying “Mahal Kita” whilst doing finger hearts to the audience.

If you think those were the only things the boys have prepared, they further made the night even more exciting by revealing a pre recorded video of themselves pretending to be on a date with fans. The hype continued on with their spontaneous short dance covers of AOA’s “Like a Cat” and “Excuse Me.” Fun facts regarding the boys were also unveiled in one of the interactive games where in the fans had to determine whether the statements given by SF9 were true or false. In the end, one lucky fan was able to win, but a true fantasy would feel like a total winner upon learning the following through the game:

– Youngbin can actually whistle.
– Inseong has a mole on his ear.
– Inseong’s shoulders are broader than Jaeyoon’s.
– Dawon has never bungee jumped before.
– Rowoon cannot knit.
– Zuho does not eat corn.
– If Taeyang is a woman, the member he would want to date is Youngbin.
– Taeyang’s hands are bigger than Hwiyoung’s.
– Youngbin’s arms are longer than Chani’s.

Before the event ended, Filipino fantasies surprised SF9 with a touching video expressing all the love they have for the group. The boys could not be anymore thankful for what they saw and expressed their desire to once again come back to the Philippines.

With that, Filipino fantasies better be prepared because we can expect SF9 to return with more explosive performances.

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Written by Krew member Cham Hidalgo

BTW: Why study in KCC?

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I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to study Korean at KCC (Korean Cultural Center). I think we all know their hard-to-go-to (or park) location and their hectic-class-reservation “style”.

Last January 2017, I tried to enroll for their Elementary Korean class but unfortunately wasn’t able to. I waited for an hour refreshing the wrong link! Anyway, enough of that horror. Good news is, I finally was able to enroll the following term! (Yes, saw the right link!)

So, why did I insist on studying in KCC despite my “hesitations”? Well, here are my reasons:

1. Pay less, get more.

I’m not saying 2,500 is “cheap” (it’s hard-earned money!) but, that price for a good quality Korean language education is way lesser than paying  30,000+ for the same quality, not to mention maybe lower quality, of language lessons.

Other institutes offer jaw-dropping prices for 6 sessions-only! No, thank you! I would rather go to KCC-get a good Korean class- pay just enough- and enjoy my life! Plus, maybe a bingsu side trip!

2. Korean teachers, from Korea.

Before studying anything, whether it’s language or whatever, I always want to be “sure” first. I want the assurance of my teacher’s credibility, my book’s accuracy and even what my heart’s true intention of learning is. Why? Because I hate the idea of putting an effort in learning something only to realize that they were wrong in the first place. I am not a “sponge” that soaks up all the information, whether right or wrong, just because. And you shouldn’t be too.

So, what better way is it to learn Korean than from Koreans who can teach you the right pronunciation, right strokes in writing and even the right conversational lingo-like-a-local!

3. Good times, good people.

The KCC staff are lovely people and they do try to accommodate all your needs. Regarding classmates, I still don’t know about that but, one thing I noticed is that all of us are on the same page. Regardless if our reasons for learning Korean varies: to work abroad, to understand my husband or to not wait for subtitles any longer, we all want to master the language.

So with that, we help each other. We grow together and lift each other up! That’s why Korean classes in KCC are never boring. (Well, excluding the first two sessions).

There goes my reasons on why you should study in KCC and I hope to see you in one of our Korean language classes this year!

God bless!

 

Written by Max Chua

PH K-Pop Community Comes Together to Remember SHINee’s Jonghyun

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On average, 40 people commit suicide every day in South Korea. Last week, 18 December, Monday, SHINee’s lead vocalist Kim Jonghyun became part of that statistic, sending a wave of shock and grief not just to his family, friends, and colleagues, but also to fans, also known as Shawols, who have come to love the multi-talented artist.

In an effort to commemorate the life and work of Jonghyun, memorial services across the globe were organized by fans who couldn’t make it to the funeral in Korea, where a separate hall was opened to fans who wished to pay their final respects to the beloved idol.

A makeshift memorial was created in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Chile on the day the news about Jonghyun’s passing broke out, while fans in Bolivia sent white balloons to the sky. Shawols in Miami, Florida also came together for a candle light vigil on the beach.

In the Philippines, various memorial services in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Zamboanga – among others – were held following Jonghyun’s death. And on the day before Christmas Eve, SHINee World Philippines, the first and largest fanclub of the five-member Korean pop group in the Philippines, held the country’s final memorial service for Jonghyun at the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines (KCC).

Nearly 800 Shawols and K-Pop fans filled KCC’s Wave Hall and Exhibit Area to find comfort in each other’s company. Guests were encouraged to bring flowers, write letters to Jonghyun, and share their fondest memories as fans of SHINee.

Some took the opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of mental health, telling fellow fans to never hesitate to seek help and support if they feel alone or bothered by crippling thoughts of loneliness.

Towards the end of the service, the somber mood was lifted when a compilation of SHINee’s funniest videos was played, reminding the attendees of the vivacious Jonghyun they all know and love.

Check out some clicks from the event here:

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Words and photos by Krew Member Andy Flores

How to “SELF STUDY” Korean

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Living too far? No time for an extra-curricular? KCC language class slots close?

With knowing how to “self-study” Korean, these things would never be a hindrance, again, to your learning.

I never enrolled in any formal Korean language class because I live far away from KCC and was always “busy” (school, music classes and the like). When free time comes, I am always tired. So, what is the best way for me to study Korean? It’s by self studying. “Self-studying” means you are your own teacher, you are at your own pace and you can schedule your own “classes”. You can even choose to study anywhere- from coffee shops, parks and even when you are in your boring math class! Don’t do it though, it’s your loss. But, you get my point!

I know I’m still lacking but, here are ways on how to start “self-studying” in Korean when you thought you couldn’t.

  1. Get a book

I have a book entitled “Elementary Korean” by Dr. Ross King, Ph.D. and Jaehoon Yeon, Ph.D. King is the professor of Korean and head of the Department of Asian studies at the University of British Columbia while Yeon is the Chair of the Centre of Korean Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London.

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Before I knew about this book, I would often buy Korean travel packs and Korean dictionaries- which also helped, but a waste of money. I realized that these kinds of books taught me to only memorize without understanding. If I were you, get books like “Elementary Korean” or even the ones found in KCC. These books introduce grammar, spelling and Hangeul- the very essential lessons you’ll need. By the way, you can borrow at KCC’s library for language books, you can even check workbooks for your exercises.

Always choose professional studying materials. Even though they are a bit pricy, there’s a reason for that value. Don’t settle with easy, cheap and “nonsensical” books because they will affect your learning- big time. You have to see and check the accuracy of the things they write, and also the credibility of the author. Be careful what you read or else it’s like eating the wrong medicine.

  1. Get a site

Of course, for you to check the accuracy of the texts, get websites that cater language learning. The best site for me is KOREANCLASS101. Not only do they give you a list of vocabulary words but they give you sample dialogues that you can use in Korea. They provide podcasts which you can subscribe to, for free, and also they have Youtube videos that is essential to your learning. In self-studying you have to listen, watch and write Korean more often that those who have a teacher. Why? Because if we don’t, we would easily forget about what we learned- that’s what happened to me. Remember, you’re your own teacher, no one’s going to remind you to study. So getting credible sites can really help us- without even spending a penny! (Except for electricity and internet bills, thanks dad!)

  1. Get discipline

Self-studying if done in the wrong way can lead to efforts wasted. If you don’t spend almost an hour to three (3) a week in studying Korean or if you don’t watch Korean shows regularly, you can lose the language. So, it’s important to have discipline. Bring your study notebook where ever you go, as much as possible, and when free time comes just read on it. Listen to Korean music, watch Korean shows and just keep practicing your Korean. I am guilty of this because I am always busy with school but, what I do, is that I turn on a Korean show and try to listen to it while doing a project or etc. Also, I write down all the Korean words I know on paper to practice my Hangeul. See my first Hangeul writing and the “improvement” I got from numerous practices (pictures).

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So, it’s true, practice makes perfect.

  1. Get real

Lastly, wake up- get real.  Studying Korean, like any subject would be hard.

So, be open to reality- to the challenges you would face. When you talk to a Korean you can make a mistake, when you read Hangeul you might say a wrong word, and the like. Let me remind you though, that without those mistakes you can never master Korean, without those wrong words you can never be able to take TOPIK. Errors, correction, these are the real ones. Face them, beat them and learn from them.

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Self- studying is hard. It’s like reading all the books you need, writing all the notes, testing yourself but in the end, you’re the one who checks it- you don’t know what to do! But with technology today, discipline and willingness to learn- it’s easier to self-study. So, I hope you’ll find these things helpful and start learning Korean now.

 

Written by Krew Member Max Chua