They are closing in, slowly, but surely. Their numbers just keep on increasing that it cannot be ignored anymore. To the left, or to the right, Koreans are practically everywhere!
The reasons as to why they keep on coming are definitely not news to us anymore, but let me remind you anyway.
First, they are here for education. We are a country where the majority, if not all, of the natives can speak English, and our schools and universities provide quality education with cheap fees. Who in their right mind would let this golden opportunity pass? Apparently, not them. As of 2014, The Bureau of Immigration recorded that they top the list of foreign nationals who enrolled in our colleges and universities.
Secondly, they are here as tourists. According to the Department of Tourism, as of 2015, more than 25% (roughly a million) of foreign visitors came from Korea alone, and it keeps on increasing! Some of them have been even attracted too much that they decided to stay and live here. Statistics show that there are already more than 100,000 Korean immigrants in the country.
Another reason they are here is to start a business. Everything in the Philippines is cheaper compared to their home country and manpower can be easily obtained here. As a matter of fact, around 250 factories in special economic zones alone are owned by Koreans. Japantown? Chinatown? Go to P. Burgos Street in Makati and you’ll have your Koreantown!
Lastly, the Philippines, like many other Asian countries, are being swept by what is often termed as “Korean Wave” or Hallyu. There is sure to be one Korean drama or “Koreanovela” in every TV network’s Prime Time. Their k-pop groups are also dominating our music industry. You will see them being featured in our MTVs and you will hear their songs being played in our radio stations. Even their concerts are greatly attended by the increasing number of Filipino “K-poppers.”
Overall, these sound good, right? Besides, we shouldn’t be discriminating and prejudicing over any nationalities. We should show them how hospitable and welcoming Filipinos are.
However, even though all of these seem normal (as other countries are also doing the same), the rate of how most of us, especially our youth, are “going along with this wave”, is quite alarming. From our food, to our fashion, and even as to how we look and speak, almost everything seems to be “Koreanized.”
Hey, I don’t hate Koreans. In fact, I think they are helping our country in many ways I can imagine. And though we have great cultural and moral differences, generally, I see them as good people.
I just can’t help but think that “we love them” more than “we love us.” Yes, it’s not an explicit form of colonization with all the blood and the gore stuff; but having your identity being overshadowed by some force is, I think, as good as being colonized.
So, my point here is this: while you’re loving all these Korean-related stuff, I hope that you never forget that it’s still more fun in the Philippines!