Hanbok Wearing Experience

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Have you ever tried wearing Korea’s traditional clothes known as ‘hanbok’? It’s been a year since I first came to Korea, and I’ve never worn a ‘hanbok’ before. However, I found out through online search that there’s a free hanbok wearing at Bexco.

My friends and I decided to take advantage of the free hanbok wearing at Bexco few weeks ago. It was a fun experience. We went there on a Saturday morning, and a Korean lady assisted us. She even took some photos for us. She’s really nice.

Look at us in our pretty hanboks. 🙂

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Free hanbok wearing at Bexco opens at 10 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. To get there, you can ride a subway (line 2), get off at Centum City station, and go out of exit 1.

 

 

F6 Visa Extension

Hello everyone! This morning, my husband and I went to the immigration office in Busan to process my F6 (spouse) visa extension. When I processed my spouse visa a year ago, I was only given a 1-year sojourn. However, I heard that if you attend the Happy Start Program sponsored by the immigration office, you would be given a 2-year sojourn. Since my F6 visa expires in June, I had to extend it ahead of time to avoid paying the penalty for not renewing it before the expiration date.

Here are the requirements we submitted at the immigration office:

1.) Passport

2.) ARC (alien registration card)

3.) Medical Certificate

4.) Family Registration Certificate (I don’t know what they call it in Korean.)

5.) A proof of my husband’s Korean citizenship.

6.) Spouse Visa Extension Fee: 30,000 won

For F6 visa holders who have kids with their Korean spouses, the immigration office usually gives a 2-year extension. Applying for visa extension is quick. You can get it done in less than 30 minutes.

You can see on the back of my ARC that I was granted a 2-year sojourn. That means I can stay in South Korea for the next 2 years. Thank God! I don’t have to go back to the immigration office next year! 🙂

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3 Things I Like About Busan

I’ve been staying in  South Korea for 9 months now. My family and I moved here last April 2015, and we stayed at my in-laws’ place in Uiryeong (a province near Busan) for 3 months. We moved to Munhyeon-dong, Busan last July 2015, and I am so happy to be here. Today let me share with you the things that I like about living in Busan.

The first thing that I like about Busan is my job. Believe it or not, I am an English teacher. I know my English is not that good enough for some people because I am a Filipino, but hey I got a job! And I’m loving it! I have had my share of ups and downs when it comes to job hunting, but I’m glad that I survived. Teaching English in Busan is an awesome experience. I have kind and generous employers (yes, I’ve got a couple of employers since I work as a part-time teacher), nice students (well, some can be a bit unruly at times), and a great pay! Woohoo!!!

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Second, I like Busan because of the nice and cozy coffee shops. My day isn’t complete without a cup of coffee. There are many coffee shops around Busan, and I fell in love with them. Most of them have beautiful interior that adds to the relaxing atmosphere of the place. The staff are also nice and accommodating. But prices can be a little expensive especially those well-known coffee shops such as Starbucks, Angel-in-Us, etc.

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Third, Busan is a great place to live in because it has a more laid back atmosphere than Seoul. We all know that Seoul is the capital city of South Korea, and we also know that it’s too crowded over there. Moreover, the cost of living in Busan is much cheaper than Seoul. I personally don’t like a crowded place where everyone just bump into each other on the streets. There are also many beautiful scenic views in Busan. We have the Gwangan Bridge, Haeundae beach, etc.

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So, those are the top 3 things that I like about living in Busan. If I would be given another chance to choose where to stay, I would still choose Busan over other cities in South Korea. So, what are you waiting for? Come and explore the beautiful city of Busan, South Korea. I’m sure you won’t regret it. 🙂

What’s Missing in Your Life?

Some people work hard to earn a living for their family. Some people work hard to save money in order to buy the things that they want: new house, nice car, expensive gadgets, etc. But after buying all these things, why do people still feel empty deep inside? This feeling of emptiness fills their heart, and it’s suffocating them. They wanted to escape, but they just couldn’t.

I am guilty of satisfying my own desires by buying the things that I want. Sometimes, my obsession with material things is just too much to handle. I wanted to go shopping and buy new clothes, shoes, bags, and latest gadgets. I wanted to buy a new house. I wanted to buy a nice car for our family. I wanted to travel abroad with my family. I wanted to enjoy life because life as we know it is too short. We should be enjoying life, shouldn’t we? I used to compare the things that I have with the things that other people have. Why is their life better than mine? Life is unfair. Is God being unfair?

There’s more to life than wealth, success, and fame. I am grateful for the existence of the Bible. Thank God that I have one. The Bible contains God’s very own message for us. By reading the Bible, I was reminded that everything in life is useless and meaningless. These things don’t matter to God. When we constantly set our minds on earthly things, we are slowly drifting away from God ~ our Mighty Creator. I realized that true happiness cannot be found in wealth, success, or fame. True happiness can only be found in our intimate relationship with the Lord.

We think that we have everything we need to be happy. But the truth is if we don’t have God in our lives, we will never ever be contented and satisfied with what we have. Only God can fill the emptiness that we feel deep inside of us. He can satisfy the desires of our hearts. He can do amazing things far beyond our expectations if we only allow Him to take control of our lives. This simply means that we have to surrender everything to Him. Let go and let God.

Here are some verses from the Bible that remind us not to focus on material things:

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” – Mark 8:36

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:19-20

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” – 1 Timothy 6:9

My Passion for Teaching!

Hello, everyone! I’m back! It’s been two months since the last time I posted an article in this blog. I apologize for not being able to update my blog as often as I should. It’s just that I’ve been busy with work lately. I just want to say that I am super blessed to be able to find a job that I like most~~~teaching English! My love for teaching started when I was a kid. During my elementary days, I used to pretend that I was the teacher and my playmates were my students. One more thing, English has always been my favorite subject. I love English so much!

When I was about to graduate from high school, my mother asked me about the major which I wanted to pursue in college. So, I told her that I wanted to become a teacher. Unfortunately, my mother didn’t like the idea of me becoming a teacher in the future. She wanted me to take up Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, and so I did. I was an obedient daughter after all. I love you, mom! Hahaha! I successfully finished this 4-year major, and graduated in 2007.

Fast forward to 2015! My family and I have been living in Korea for 6 months now. It wasn’t easy to find a teaching job at first because I’m not a native English speaker. The hardest part was the rejection. Most employers only want to hire people from English-speaking countries. I’ve been rejected many times. But you know what? I didn’t lose hope. I kept praying and asking God to help me find a teaching job, and He didn’t let me down. God lifted me up when I was down. He once again reminded me that He is an amazing and a loving Father.

Now, I’m enjoying my life as a Filipino expat living in a foreign country. I consider Busan as my second home. I just love it here! You know what the best part is? The opportunity to teach English to kids who keep inspiring me to work harder and improve myself as a teacher. I love teaching because it gives me a different level of happiness. It’s something that money can’t buy.

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Here are some of the photos I took with my adorable students.

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Thank you for reading my blog! May God bless you! 🙂

Making Korean Friends and Getting a Job in Busan

Before we left the Philippines, I thought that I could easily find a job in South Korea. I heard that there’s a lot of job opportunities in Korea and the pay is really great. When I was doing my research online and reading some blogs about life in Korea, I stumbled across this website: http://mykoreanfriends.com/xe/. I signed up and made my own account. I started making friends (most of them are Koreans) and now they are members of my English study group in Busan. I was also able to find a client who wanted me to tutor her kids starting September through My Korean Friends website. Isn’t it great? If you’re an expat living in Busan and wanted to meet some Korean friends, I recommend you check out My Korean Friends.

Here’s some of the photos during our study group meetups/study sessions. Our first ever meetup took place at the Aqua Place Hotel in front of Gwanganli beach. It’s kind of a meet and greet event. I prepared some fun activities for the group. We enjoyed each other’s company plus the awesome scenery outside the hotel. It was really breathtaking! Our second meetup/study session was at Cafe DropTop in Jeonpo-dong. My study group members are nice and pleasant to talk with. I love hanging out with them.

first meetup (meet and greet event)

first meetup (meet and greet event)

2nd meetup/study session

2nd meetup/study session

A Nigerian friend of mine who I met via My Korean Friends, sent me this link via Kakao Talk: http://koreabridge.net/.  He knew that I was looking for a job so maybe that’s the reason why he sent it to me. Anyways, I checked out the website and found out a lot of information about life in Korea. The website has different sections: job ads, classified ads, forums, blogs, Q&A, etc. You can find almost  everything that you need to know about living in Korea and getting a job. So I decided to make an account and I often check the job ads section when I was looking for a teaching job. For a non-native English speaker like me, getting a teaching job in Korea is a little bit challenging because most private English academies also known as hagwons only hire teachers who are citizens of the following countries: North America, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

(source: google)

(source: google)

I’ve sent more or less 15 resumes to different schools via email but if my memory serves me right, only 3 of them responded to my email and invited me over for an in-person interview. I was lucky enough or should I say “blessed” to get a part-time job as a substitute English teacher at a hagwon for 3 consecutive weeks. I’ve never taught English in Korea before. It’s actually my first ever teaching job in Korea, and I am so grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity. In September, I ‘m going to start teaching private English lessons and I just hope that everything’s going to be fine.

source: google

source: google

With God, all things are possible! I am living by faith and not by sight!

15 Korean Expressions That I’ve Learned

Having been married to a Korean for 4 years gives me the opportunity to develop my understanding about the Korean culture. Learning how to speak Korean fluently can be challenging and frustrating at the same time. I don’t know why I find it difficult to master the Korean language. When I decided to move to Korea with my husband and our 2-year-old son, I have accepted the fact that whether I like it or not, I have to learn the language in order for me to communicate well with other Koreans especially with my in-laws who couldn’t speak and understand English. When we arrived in South Korea on April 2, 2015, we stayed at my parents-in-law’s residence in Uiryeong County, Gyeongsangnamdo for 3 months. I’ve learned some Korean phrases/expressions just by listening to their daily conversation.

Here are the Top 15 Korean Daily Expressions that I’ve learned so far…

1.) Annyeonghaseyo!

This is their way of saying “Hello!” or “Hi!”. I know some of you are very much familiar with this expression. Koreans are known to be very polite and respectful especially to elderly people. If you don’t greet people who are older than you, they would often label you as “rude”.

You can also say “Annyeong!” when you want to say “Goodbye!” or “Bye!” to someone you speak casually with. Don’t ever use this word when talking to older people if you don’t want to be scolded. LOL

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2.) Kamsahamnida or Gomapsumnida

This expression means “Thank you” in Korean.

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3.) Gwenchana

You can use this expression when you want to say “That’s okay” or “That’s fine.”

Please take note that in Korea, it’s very important to use formal words when talking to someone older than you as a sign of respect. In this case, you have to add “-yo” at the end of the word. So it becomes “Gwenchanayo” instead of “Gwenchana”.

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4.) Geurae

This expression means “Alright”. I personally like this expression and I use it too often. LOL

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5.) Jinjja?!

This expression means “Really?!” or “Seriously?!”

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6.) Daebak!

This expression means “Awesome!” or “Amazing!”

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7.) Ottoke?!

This expression means “What should I do now?!” This is usually used when you’re in a difficult situation.

For example:

I forgot where I put my Alien Registration Card. Ottoke?! (What should I do now?!)

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8.) Aigoo!

This expression means “Oh my gosh!” or “Oh my goodness!”. I often hear this expression from my mother-in-law. LOL

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9.) Wae?

A very simple word which is commonly used by Koreans. It means “Why?”

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10.) Jamkkanmanyo

This expression means “Just a moment” or “Excuse me for a second”.

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11.) Eobseo

This word has different meanings and I find it hard to explain everything in detail. One thing I know is that it means “I don’t have it.”

Example:
Do you have some extra money?
Eobseo. (No, I don’t have.)

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12.) Gaja!

This expression means “Let’s go!”.

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13.) Mworago?

This expression means “What did you say?”

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14.) Pali! Pali!

This expression means “Hurry up!” or “Faster!”. Koreans are known for their “pali-pali system”. It seems that they are always in a rush.

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15.) Hajima!

This expression means “Stop doing that!”.

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Alright, there you have it folks! Those are the expressions that I’ve learned since the day I arrived in South Korea. I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. Catch ya next time! Bye!

What Do You Know About Korea?

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For those who don’t know, Korea is located in Asia and during the World War II (a.k.a Korean War), it was divided into two parts: North Korea and South Korea. North Korea is a communist country while South Korea is a democratic country. I decided to write an article about South Korea because I wanted to share with you guys some interesting facts about this fast-growing Asian country which is also known as the “Land of the Morning Calm”. South Korea is one of the most developed and highly modernized countries in Asia. Its capital Seoul is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Asia. South Korea itself is a beautiful country and it has a lot of wonderful things to offer. I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty of their culture. They have a very interesting history and most Koreans strictly follow their traditions. Korea’s traditional clothes is called “hanbok” and their alphabet is called “hangul” which was created by King Sejong during the Joseon Dynasty. As some of you may know, Korea was ruled by Kings and Queens a long time ago. Have you watched the famous Korean historical drama “Queen Seondeok”? Basically, the drama was inspired by the life of Queen Seondeok. She was the first reigning queen of Silla, one of the 3 kingdoms of Korea. A long time ago, Korea  was dominated by 3 kingdoms: Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla. Interesting history, isn’t it? fullsizephoto93147queen-seon-deok-011

In South Korea, KPOP (a.k.a Korean Pop) is very popular among teenagers. Some middle-aged Koreans also like listening to KPOP. Boy bands and girl bands are also called “Korean Idols”. Even in the Philippines, KPOP is becoming a trend and a lot of KPOP pinoy fans go gaga over Big Bang, 2NE1, EXO, Super Junior and Girls’ Generation! Many young girls adore these KPOP idol groups because the members are not only good at singing but they are also great dancers. There are too many Korean idol groups in South Korea and most of them undergo years of strict and vigorous training before they can finally debut as a member of an idol group or as a solo artist. No wonder why they always show their best during their stage performance. I am also a fan of KPOP. I personally like Big Bang and EXO. Haha! One thing I like about KPOP music is that it’s upbeat and catchy. It has a good vibe to it. By the way, do you still remember Sandara Park, “Ang Pambansang Krung-Krung ng Pilipinas”? This girl has made a name for herself in South Korea as the prettiest member of the famous girl group, 2NE1! Who would have thought that this pretty Korean girl who became popular in the Philippines after joining Star Circle Quest in 2004, would eventually become one of the most famous artists in South Korea today? Even though Sandara Park is already famous in South Korea, she still speaks Tagalog and visits the Philippines whenever she gets a chance.

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Beauty is everything in South Korea. Most Koreans love to look beautiful and youthful, and that’s the reason why they invest too much on beauty products. In the Philippines, most Filipino women also love using Korean brand cosmetic products. Some of the most famous cosmetic brands in South Korea are Etude House and The Faceshop. I personally like using The Faceshop’s BB cream because it does not feel sticky and heavy on my face. I’ve been using it as a make-up base since last year. The quality of the product is superb because it blends perfectly well with my complexion after allowing it to set on my face for a few minutes and I like how it moisturizes my skin without making my face look too oily. Plastic surgery in South Korea is very common. It’s not really a big deal for them. Some Koreans opt to undergo plastic surgery for beauty enhancement and to make them feel confident about their physical appearance.

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My Easy-to-Make No-Bake Cheesecake

Do you love eating desserts? Most people have a sweet tooth and I’m one of them. We just couldn’t get enough of eating sweets. As a matter of fact, I’ve been craving for a slice of cheesecake since the day Harry bought a 2-kilogram pack of Philadelphia cream cheese. Whenever I see a pack of cream cheese, the only thing that pops into my head is a YUMMY CHEESECAKE! Haha! Since I couldn’t find any bakeshops that sell cheesecakes here in Uiryeong, I decided to make my own version of a homemade non-bake cheesecake. My goal was to keep it easy and simple as much as possible because I didn’t want to stress myself too much. Hahaha!

This recipe which I’m going to share with you today may not look appealing to you or may not even suit your taste but I can guarantee you that it is the easiest no-bake cheesecake recipe you could ever find. Yesterday, I had fun making this yummy recipe with the help of my lovey dovey, Harry. He was my photographer yesterday. Even though it was my first time making this delicious dessert, I felt confident enough that I could pull it off. Actually, anyone can make this dessert. You don’t have to be an expert because the procedures are very simple and easy to follow.

Here are the steps:

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1.) Crush the biscuits thoroughly. You can use crushed grahams for your convenience. They don’t sell graham crackers in Uiryeong so I decided to buy a box of plain biscuits instead.

2.) Melt the unsalted butter on the stove. Please be careful not to burn it.

3.) Pour the melted butter into the crushed biscuits. Add some sugar according to your taste and mix well.

4.) Get a rectangular pan and cover it with aluminum foil. Pour the mixture into the pan and press using your clean hand. Make sure to evenly distribute the mixture because we want to create a nice crust.

5.) Put the crust inside the refrigerator and allow it to set for about 15 minutes.

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6.) In a separate bowl, put your cream cheese and whipping cream and mix them altogether. Add some sugar to add sweetness to the batter. Add some milk. In my case, I used fresh milk. If you want to skip adding milk, that’s absolutely fine. Mix the batter continuously until all the ingredients are well incorporated. We want to make a lump-free batter. If you see that the batter is already free from lumps, then you know that it’s good to go.

7.) Put the batter into the crust which you prepared earlier. Make sure that the batter is evenly distributed on top of the crust.

8.) Refrigerate the finished product overnight to let it set. I’m sure you don’t want to eat a mushy cheesecake, do you? 😄;)

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Some people say that waiting is the most difficult part in making this kind of dessert. Well, I couldn’t agree more! After making my cheesecake, I was drooling over it and all I wanted was to grab a spoon and dig in. But you know it’s always worth the wait.

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This morning, after eating breakfast, we ate some of the cheesecake which I made yesterday. I’m glad that it turned out well. Harry told me that his family likes it as much as he does. Thank goodness! Hahaha! So there you have it folks! My very own non-bake cheesecake. Hope you try my recipe and let me know your feedback about it.

Thank you for reading my blog!

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The Gift of Motherhood

Ji Hoon's Mommy Blog

Hey y’all! Thanks for dropping by! Today, I’m going to talk about my journey through motherhood. I didn’t expect that my role as a mother would forever change my perspective in life. To teach myself how to raise a child of my own is a very challenging responsibility given to me by God ~ the author of life. I consider motherhood as a special gift from God. In fact, it’s the greatest gift that I treasure most in my heart. Being a mother is very challenging, yet very rewarding. I like it when my son calls me “Omma”. It’s like a sweet music to my ears. Well, “omma” is a Korean word which means “mommy” in English.

When my husband and I found out that we were expecting a baby, we just couldn’t hide our excitement. We told our family and friends about the good news. We were ecstatic to…

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