Koreans in the Philippines
Koreans in the Philippines, largely consisting of expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

s from South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, form the largest Korean diaspora community in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 and the eighth-largest in the world, after Korean Australian
Korean Australian
Korean Australians are people of South Korean descent living in Australia, and identifies him or herself as such.At the 2006 census 150,873 persons resident in Australia identified themselves as being of Korean ancestry, either alone or with another ancestry. 52,760 persons resident in Australia...

s and before Koreans in Kazakhstan
Koryo-saram is the name which ethnic Koreans in the post-Soviet states use to refer to themselves. Approximately 500,000 ethnic Koreans reside in the former Soviet Union, primarily in the now-independent states of Central Asia. There are also large Korean communities in southern Russia , the...

; as of 2009, statistics of South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (South Korea)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is in charge of diplomacy for South Korea, as well as handling external trade and matters related to overseas Korean nationals. It was established on 17 July 1948. Until 1998, the ministry was known as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; its jurisdiction over...

 recorded their population at 115,400 individuals, up by 151% since 2005.

Many South Koreans living in the Philippines are attracted to the low cost of English-language education and housing, both significantly cheaper than those offered in their native South Korea. The warmer climate is yet another motivating factor for the recent surge in migration. The Philippines is also a popular destination for retired South Koreans on fixed pensions; the Filipino government actively promotes the settlement of South Korean retirees in the country because of the potential lucrative opportunities for the local economy. There are also known cases of North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

ns having been admitted to the Philippines as migrant worker
Migrant worker
The term migrant worker has different official meanings and connotations in different parts of the world. The United Nations' definition is broad, including any people working outside of their home country...


Migration history

The history of Korean settlement in the Philippines can be divided into five phases. The first, lasting until the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, consisted of just a few disconnected individuals. Jang Bogo
Jang Bogo
Jang Bogo , also known as Gungbok, rose to prominence in Korea in the late Unified Silla period as a powerful maritime figure who for several decades effectively controlled the West Sea and Korean coast between southwestern Korea and China's Shandong peninsula...

 of Unified Silla
Unified Silla
Unified Silla or Later Silla is the name often applied to the Korean kingdom of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, when it conquered Baekje in 660 and Goguryeo in 668, unifying the southern portion of the Korean peninsula...

 was said to have visited the country as early as the 8th century. However, there was little further contact until over a millennium later, in 1837, when Andrew Kim Taegon
Andrew Kim Taegon
St. Andrew Kim Taegon aka Butterfly King was the first Korean-born Catholic priest. In the late 18th century, Roman Catholicism began to take root slowly in Korea, and was introduced by laypeople...

 and two other Korean Catholics took refuge in the Philippines after fleeing a riot in Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

, where they had been studying. They lived in a monastery near Lolomboy. Around 1935, a few itinerant ginseng
Ginseng is any one of eleven species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the genus Panax of the family Araliaceae....

 peddlers from Uiju
Ŭiju is a kun, or county, in North Pyongan Province, North Korea. The county has an area of 420 km², and a population of 110,018 .-Location:...

, North Pyongan (in present-day North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

) arrived in the country via Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

. Finally, some Korean soldiers came with the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 when it occupied the Philippines
Japanese occupation of the Philippines
The Japanese occupation of the Philippines was the period in the history of the Philippines between 1942 and 1945, when the Empire of Japan occupied the previously American-controlled Philippines during World War II....

 during World War II; three, also from Uiju, are known to have married local women and chose to remain in the country permanently. One of them, Pak Yun-hwa, went on to establish the Korean Association Philippines Inc. in 1969, which would grow to become the country's largest Korean organization.

The second phase of Korean settlement in the Philippines consisted of the war brides of Filipino soldiers who fought on the side of the UN Forces in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. About 30 moved to the Philippines with their husbands in the 1960s; in 1975, they formed the Mothers' Association.

Beginning with the third phase, migration began to take on a more economic character. With the growth of the South Korean economy, companies in labour-intensive manufacturing industries responded to increasing wages by relocating their operations to other countries, including the Philippines, beginning in the 1980s. As a result, managers of enterprises both big and small, along with their families, began to increase. The fourth phase, in the 1990s. saw an expansion in the variety of Korean businesses in the Philippines; South Korean businesspeople not from just manufacturing companies, but import-export businesses, restaurants, and construction companies, all founded ethnic-specific business associations in this era.

The fifth phase of migration history, beginning in the late 1990s and 2000s, saw the number of students increase. The influx of students coincided with a more relaxed visa policy of the Bureau of Immigration
Visa policy of the Philippines
The visa policy of the Philippines is governed by Commonwealth Act No. 613, also known as the Philippine Immigration Act, and by subsequent legislation amending it...

 (BI) aimed at attracting foreign students. It was also marked by growing influence and engagement by the various Korean associations with mainstream Philippine society. For example, the Merchant Association, formed in July 2001 and renamed as the Financial Expert Union Association in 2002, helped to regularise the status of South Korean entrepreneurs who had been working without a proper visa
Illegal immigration
Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...

, while the South Korean Used Automobile Import Association fought against a newly-introduced prohibition on the importation of used cars, and the Travel Company Association worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism
Department of Tourism (Philippines)
The Department of Tourism is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for the regulation of the Philippine tourism industry and the promotion of the Philippines as a tourist destination....

 to resolve visa and licencing issues for South Korean tour guides who hoped to work in the Philippines.

In the early 2000s, the Philippines also began to become a transit point for North Korean refugees
North Korean defectors
A number of individuals have defected from North Korea. Since the division of Korea after World War II and the end of the Korean War , many people have defected from North Korea, mainly for political, ideological, religious and economic reasons...

 leaving China en route to South Korea, similar to the manner in which the country turned into way-station for Vietnamese "boat people" in earlier decades. The Philippines is one of just three Southeast Asian signatories to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is an international convention that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. The Convention also sets out which people do not...

 (the other two being Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 and East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

). Hwang Jang-yop
Hwang Jang-yop
Hwang Jang-yop was a major politician in North Korea who defected to South Korea in 1997, making him to date the highest-ranking defector from the isolated state. He was largely responsible for crafting the Juche Idea, North Korea's official state ideology.-Early life and career:Hwang was born in...

 passed through the Philippines after he defected in 1997. In 2001, seven members of a North Korean family transited through Manila. A group of 25 North Korean refugees used the Philippines as a transit point in 2002. According to a U.S. diplomatic cable leaked by WikiLeaks
United States diplomatic cables leak
The United States diplomatic cables leak, widely known as Cablegate, began in February 2010 when WikiLeaks—a non-profit organization that publishes submissions from anonymous whistleblowers—began releasing classified cables that had been sent to the U.S. State Department by 274 of its consulates,...

, the number would grow to more than 500 annually by 2005; the Philippine government continued to cooperate quietly with the South Korean government to permit transit of refugees, but reacted coolly to suggestions of admitting North Korean refugees for settlement. Bureau of Immigration records do not show any North Koreans residing legally in the country; however, unnamed BI sources quoted by the media claimed that some North Korean defectors had blended into the much larger South Korean community in the country and settled down there.

Metro Manila

In the Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

 area, the largest concentrations of Koreans can be found in Makati, Quezon City
Quezon City
Quezon City is the former capital and the most populous city in the Philippines. Located on the island of Luzon, Quezon City is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region. The city was named after Manuel L...

, and Parañaque. As early as 2002, BF Homes in Parañaque City had been noted for its high concentration of Koreans, with local residents saying that every fifth or sixth door had a Korean business behind it such as a restaurant, travel agency, taekwondo gym, or used appliance seller. The most well-known Koreatown
Koreatown is a term to describe a Korean ethnic enclave within a city or metropolitan area. Similar terms may include Little Seoul or Little Korea.-Beijing:There are more than 150,000 Koreans living in Beijing...

 in the Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

 area is located in Makati's Barangay Poblacion. Most of the Korean businesses can be found in the area bounded north-south by JP Rizal Avenue and Jupiter, and east-west by Makati Avenue and Rockwell Drive, with P. Burgos running roughly through the middle of the area. In Quezon City, the Kalayaan Plaza Building has various Korean businesses, apartments, and a church (one of seven or eight Korean churches in QC that existed in 2005). Increasingly, students are billeted in rented houses in expensive gated communities such as Barangay Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City.


Koreans come to Baguio City due to its reputation as the northern Philippines' education capital with good local standard of spoken English, and also its cool climate due to high elevation. The weather and low cost of living is a particular attraction to Korean retirees; the latter factor is disappearing recently but the former remains. In the late 1990s there was only one Korean restaurant in the city, along with a Korean-owned beauty parlor. The population expansion was led by Korean students who came for English courses during their school breaks. Some enrolled as regular students in local universities. Others brought their families. However in 2008 it was reported that thousands of Koreans had left Baguio City as their businesses went bankrupt in the face of the global economic crisis' effects on the Philippines
Economic Crisis and Response in the Philippines
The Global Economic Crisis pulled countries down from around the globe to a recession. Wide-ranging declines in many aspects of growth characterize the overall impact it had had on the global scale. Following the Asian economic crisis in 1997, the present global economic crisis imposes new...

, dropping the local Korean population from 10,000 to 4,000. A plan for Korean investors to redevelop the Baguio Athletic Bowl in Burnham Park
Burnham Park (Philippines)
Burnham Park is an urban park located at the heart of the City of Baguio, in the Philippines. It was named after the American architect and urban planner, Daniel Hudson Burnham who laid the plans for the city. Several stretch of roads around the park lead to Camp John Hay, a former recreational...

 fell apart in early 2010 due to the city government's opposition to the facility's privatization.

The number of language schools aimed at Koreans has expanded rapidly. By 2006 the city officially already had twelve tutorial schools aimed at Koreans. In addition to the tutorial schools, roughly two to four thousand Korean schoolchildren enrolled in local grade schools by 2007. Baguio is also a popular destination not just for youths, but also for Korean nurses who aim to improve their English skills before working in the United States or United Kingdom. However in 2007 it was estimated that out of 55 Korean-run language schools in Baguio, 18 lacked the proper permits from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Philippines)
The Philippines' Technical Education and Skills Development Authority , abbreviated as TESDA, is an agency of the Philippine government under the Department of Labor and Employment responsible for managing and supervising technical education and skills development in the Philippines.-History:The...

 (TESDA). Problems with school accreditation continued, and by 2011, Koreans in the city agreed to a moratorium on the opening of further English schools, to allow the by-then 115 schools to be audited.

Aside from students, Korean Christians from Busan
Busan , formerly spelled Pusan is South Korea's second largest metropolis after Seoul, with a population of around 3.6 million. The Metropolitan area population is 4,399,515 as of 2010. It is the largest port city in South Korea and the fifth largest port in the world...

 and Incheon
The Incheon Metropolitan City is located in northwestern South Korea. The city was home to just 4,700 people when Jemulpo port was built in 1883. Today 2.76 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan Metropolitan City...

 have come to plant churches. South Korean fashion and entertainment have also become trendy in Baguio, affording entrepreneurial Koreans the chance to do good business as importers of cultural products. Koreans participate in local events such as the Panagbenga Festival
Panagbenga Festival
Penagbenga Festival is a month-long annual flower festival occurring in Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines. The term is of Malayo-Polynesian origin, meaning "season of blooming". The festival, held during the month of February, was created as a tribute to the city's flowers and as a way...

 (Baguio Flower Festival). However their integration is not entirely without problems; in particular despite estimates that the city had the country's second-largest Korean population following Manila, the municipal records showed only ten Koreans who had permits to operate businesses in the city. It was suspected that many were actually working illegally. Residents complained of illegal businesses which violated foreign ownership limits and underpaid wages, and of loud parties held by Koreans in their apartments. Furthermore the Korean businesses contributed little tax revenue to city coffers.

Elsewhere in Luzon

Koreans also have a presence near the economic freezones like Clark
Clark Freeport Zone
Clark Freeport Zone is a redevelopment of the former Clark Air Base, a former United States Air Force base in the Philippines. It is located on the northwest side of Angeles City and borders the municipality of Mabalacat in the province of Pampanga. It is located about 40 miles northwest of...

 and Subic
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Subic Bay Freeport Zone , which is known simply as Subic Bay, is the Philippines' first success case of a into a tax- and duty-free zone similar to Hong Kong and Singapore, operated and managed by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority or SBMA. It covers the fenced area of the former U.S...

. Between Porac
Porac, Pampanga
Porac is a 1st class municipality in the province of Pampanga, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 102,962 people in 15,686 households.Porac is the largest town in Pampanga...

 and Angeles City (where Clark is located) numerous residential subdivisions have come to be dominated by Korean nationals. In 2011, Koreans in Angeles City held a Kor-Phil Cultural Exchange Hanmadang Festival at Bayanihan Park. The Hanjin
The Hanjin Group is a South Korean conglomerate, or Jaebeol. The group is a holding company that includes a shipping company, Hanjin Shipping , and Korean Air , which was acquired in 1969...

 Group has a US$1 billion shipbuilding project at Subic which was estimated to comprise almost a third of total South Korean FDI in the Philippines in 2007 and was at the time the world's fourth largest shipyard. Hanjin have been praised by the government for their generation of employment. In 2012 and 2013 they are expected to add another 5,000 jobs to their workforce. However, their investments have provoked environmental controversy, especially with their building of a US$20 million condominium complex for their managers in the Subic Watershed Forest Reserve, the home of the Aeta peoples. Korean investors are also building a $20 million industrial and tourism complex in Pangasinan
Pangasinan is a province of the Republic of the Philippines. The provincial capital is Lingayen. Pangasinan is located on the west central and peripheral area of the island of Luzon along the Lingayen Gulf, with the total land area being 5,368.82 square kilometers . According to the latest census,...

 comprising a fish farm
Fish farming
Fish farming is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture. Fish farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food. A facility that releases young fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species'...

, solar and wind power
Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

 generation facilities, seaplane
A seaplane is a fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing on water. Seaplanes that can also take off and land on airfields are a subclass called amphibian aircraft...

 berths, and a monorail
A monorail is a rail-based transportation system based on a single rail, which acts as its sole support and its guideway. The term is also used variously to describe the beam of the system, or the vehicles traveling on such a beam or track...


There is also minor Korean activity on the northern Luzon coast. As early as 2005, a group of South Korean investors began setting up a golf academy at Suba, Paoay
Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Paoay is a 4th class municipality in the province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 23,117 people in 4,567 households.-Barangays:Paoay is politically subdivided into 32 barangays.* Bacsil* Cabagoan...

, Ilocos Norte
Ilocos Norte
Ilocos Norte is a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region in Luzon. Its capital is Laoag City and is located at the northwest corner of Luzon Island, bordering Cagayan and Apayao to the east, and Abra and Ilocos Sur to the south...

. In 2007, the Real Enterprise Group, a South Korean hotel and casino operator, were reportedly interested in investing in tourism facilities in the province, especially beach resorts at Pagudpud
Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Pagudpud a 1st class municipality and a coastal resort town on the northernmost tip of Luzon Island in the Philippines. According to the latest census, Pagudpud has a population of 20,385 people in 3,804 households....

 and Paoay
Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Paoay is a 4th class municipality in the province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 23,117 people in 4,567 households.-Barangays:Paoay is politically subdivided into 32 barangays.* Bacsil* Cabagoan...

. The Korean investors are interested in support facilities such as spas, night clubs, and golf courses. The Laoag government also aimed to get direct flights between Korea and Laoag, so that tourists would not have to waste time flying south to Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 and then catch a connecting flight back north. There had been plans for the Korea Overseas Grain Investment and Development Company (Kogid) to invest $12 million in a 10,000-hectare maize plantation in Mallig, Isabela
Mallig, Isabela
Mallig is a 4th class municipality in the province of Isabela, Philippines. Mallig borders in the west with the town of Paracelis, Mountain.According to the latest census, it has a population of 27,245 people in 5,064 households.-History:...

, but the plans were put on hold over a dispute on value added tax
Value added tax
A value added tax or value-added tax is a form of consumption tax. From the perspective of the buyer, it is a tax on the purchase price. From that of the seller, it is a tax only on the "value added" to a product, material or service, from an accounting point of view, by this stage of its...


There are also known to be some North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

n migrant workers who have been admitted to the Philippines as laborers in the area. A public controversy around this erupted in January 2010, when a North Korean ship carrying 2,800 metric tons of magnetite
Magnetite is a ferrimagnetic mineral with chemical formula Fe3O4, one of several iron oxides and a member of the spinel group. The chemical IUPAC name is iron oxide and the common chemical name is ferrous-ferric oxide. The formula for magnetite may also be written as FeO·Fe2O3, which is one part...

 ran aground near Claveria
Claveria, Cagayan
Claveria is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Cagayan, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 30,275 people in 5,767 households....

, Cagayan
Cagayan , the "Land of Smiling Beauty", is a province of the Philippines in the Cagayan Valley region in Luzon. Its capital is Tuguegarao City and is located at the northeastern corner of the island of Luzon. Cagayan also includes the Babuyan Islands to the north. The province borders Ilocos Norte...

 on New Year's Day. There were claims that the magnetite had been illegally mined in violation of a provincial ban, but others claimed that the quantity in question was just a "sample" and came from a pre-existing stockpile. Some reports claimed that the ship also carried marijuana and shabu, but an immigration officer was quoted as stating the materials in question were just butter and tea.


Cebu is a province in the Philippines, consisting of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. It is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands...

 is a popular tourist draw for Koreans, and some settled down to make the province their home. In Cebu City
Cebu City
The City of Cebu is the capital city of Cebu and is the second largest city in the Philippines, the second most significant metropolitan centre in the Philippines and known as the oldest settlement established by the Spaniards in the country.The city is located on the eastern shore of Cebu and was...

, as early as 2005 Korean investors were renting old buildings in the city center, helping to revive the area in the same way that they revived Avenida or Escolta districts in Manila. Even high bureaucratic fees (such as a P50,000 levy on foreigners running short-term language schools) did little to slow the influx. By 2007 there were estimated to be 13,000 Korean residents and 200 Korean-owned businesses in various cities in Cebu. Koreans make up the vast majority of foreign students in Cebu; they are far and away the largest group of special study permit holders there, holding 4,473 of the outstanding 5,065 permits in mid 2010, nearly twenty times the second largest group, Japanese.

The 200,000 tourist arrivals from South Korea to Cebu as of 2009 prompted a Korean development company to plan a P4.5 billion resort investment to get in on the action. In 2011 Koreans were also reported to be interested in building a 400 MW coal power plant at Naga City
Naga, Cebu
Naga is a city in the province of Cebu, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 95,163 people.The town is home to a large power station, situated on a 30-hectare site, Cemex cement factory at Tinaan , recently a Small Medium Enterprise industrial park was opened in...

. Local residents have also seen business benefit from the Korean influx, for example in the organic farming
Organic farming
Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm...

 sector due to the demand for organic produce by local Korean groceries as well as in the hospitality sector. In 2011 it was announced that the Cebu City government planned to declare a Korean Day in October each year to celebrate contributions of Korean settlers and tourists to the cities, and promote cultural exchange between Filipinos and Koreans.


The Korean population in Iloilo City
Iloilo City
The City of Iloilo is a highly urbanized city in the Philippines and the capital city of Iloilo province. It is the regional center of the Western Visayas, as well as the center of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area...

 has also been growing. Koreans are attracted to the relative peace and order in the city, according to mayor Jerry Treñas. There were estimated to be about 2,000 Koreans settled in the city, and 10,000 visitors from South Korea. In 2008, TESDA forced the closure of twelve ESL schools aimed at Korean students. Korean investors were reportedly interested in a waste-to-energy
Waste-to-energy or energy-from-waste is the process of creating energy in the form of electricity or heat from the incineration of waste source. WtE is a form of energy recovery...

 project, which could almost four megawatts from the 170 tons of garbage the city generated each day. The Seoul-based Full Gospel Nowon Church sent a medical mission to Iloilo City in September 2010. In 2011 Koreans settled in Iloilo City began to press for direct flights between there and Incheon in 2011.


Bacolod City
Bacolod City
The City of Bacolod , is a highly urbanized midsize Philippine city. It is the capital of the Negros Occidental province. Having a total of 499,497 inhabitants as of August 1, 2007, it is the most populous city in the Western Visayas Region. It is currently ranked as the 17th most populous city in...

, Negros Occidental
Negros Occidental
Negros Occidental is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is Bacolod City and it occupies the northwestern half of Negros Island; Negros Oriental is at the southeastern half...

 in the north of Negros Island is another draw for Koreans in the Western Visayas region. Koreans formed the largest group among the 21,741 tourist arrivals in the city in 2008-2009. The city is a sister city of Andong
Andong is a city in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, South Korea. It is the largest city in the northern part of the province with a population of 167,821 in October 2010. The Nakdong River flows through the city...

, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Gyeongsangbuk-do or shortly Gyeongbuk is a province in eastern South Korea. The province was formed in 1896 from the northern half of the former Gyeongsang province, remained a province of Korea until the country's division in 1945, then became part of South Korea.The Gyeongsangbuk-do Office is...

, and holds a Phil-Korea Day festival each year with a beauty pageant among the city's residents. It is a joint program of the city tourism office and the Bacolod Korean Association.
The city mayor Evelio R. Leonardia hopes that the Korean community settled in the city can contribute to the further development of South Korean tourism in the city, and plans to provide them with marketing incentives to that end. Local Koreans have suggested providing Korean-language signs at Bacolod-Silay Airport, and hoped that the city government could look into direct flights between the airport and South Korea. However Korean students in the city are concerned over the public safety situation there due to what newspapers described as "rampant crimes" against them, and the Bacolod Language Center Association has requested increased police presence around the schools, especially at La Salle Avenue and Gallardo Street. A Korean company is also reported to be investing in a 40 megawatt solar power
Solar power
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available...

 plant on a 71 hectare site at Barangay Santo Niño, E. B. Magalona City
Enrique B. Magalona, Negros Occidental
Enrique B. Magalona is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 54,490 people in 10,498 households....

, which will operate for 12 hours a day and charge a P12/kilowatt hour tariff after accounting for the feed-in tariff
Feed-in Tariff
A feed-in tariff is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies. It achieves this by offering long-term contracts to renewable energy producers, typically based on the cost of generation of each technology...


Smaller numbers of Koreans can be found in Negros Oriental
Negros Oriental
Negros Oriental is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. It occupies the south-eastern half of the island of Negros, with Negros Occidental comprising the north-western half. It also includes Apo Island — a popular dive site for both local and foreign tourists...

. Dumaguete has a small Korean community, according to 2004 statistics having about 50 students at Silliman University
Silliman University
Silliman University is a private research university located in Dumaguete, Philippines. Established in 1901 as Silliman Institute by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, it was the first American private school to be founded in the country. The University is named after Dr...

 and other schools in the city, five Korean-run churches, and two Korean-run religious schools. Korean-owned Bio Green Manufacture and Processing have also invested in a cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

 and jatropha oil
Jatropha oil
Jatropha oil is vegetable oil produced from the seeds of the Jatropha curcas, a plant that can grow in marginal lands.-Use as biodiesel:...

 plantations in the Tamlang Valley, aimed at the production of biofuel
Biofuel is a type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Biofuels include fuels derived from biomass conversion, as well as solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases...

s; however, they have faced opposition from local residents due to the potential impact on food security
Food security
Food security refers to the availability of food and one's access to it. A household is considered food-secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. According to the World Resources Institute, global per capita food production has been increasing substantially for the past...

, and have even had their tractors burned by the New People's Army
New People's Army
The New People's Army is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. It was formed on March 29, 1969. The Maoist NPA conducts its armed guerrilla struggle based on the strategical line of 'protracted people's war'.The NPA exacts so called "revolutionary taxes" from business owners...

 at Santa Catalina
Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental
Santa Catalina is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Negros Oriental, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 67,197 people in 13,125 households.-Barangays:Santa Catalina is politically subdivided into 22 barangays....

 and Siaton
Siaton, Negros Oriental
Siaton is a 1st class municipality in the province of Negros Oriental, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 64,258 people in 12,767 households.-Barangays:Siaton is politically subdivided into 26 barangays.* Albiga* Apoloy...


Elsewhere in Visayas

The Korean firm KI Bio 2007 has invested $5 million in the jatropha
Jatropha is a genus of approximately 175 succulent plants, shrubs and trees , from the family Euphorbiaceae. The name is derived from the Greek words ἰατρός , meaning "physician," and τροφή , meaning "nutrition," hence the common name physic nut. Mature plants produce separate male and female...

 business in Northern Samar
Northern Samar
Northern Samar is a province of the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. Its capital is Catarman and is located at the northern portion of the island of Samar. Bordering the province to the south are the provinces of Samar and Eastern Samar...

 province. The Philippine National Police have urged the Koreans there to set up community organization in order to liaise with them on security issues.


The Korean presence in the Davao Region
Davao Region
Davao Region / Southern Mindanao, designated as Region XI, is one of the regions of the Philippines, located on the southeastern portion of Mindanao. Davao Region consists of four provinces, namely: Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Davao del Sur. The region encloses the Davao...

 expanded in the mid-2000s. In 2001, Koreans were only the 10th-most common foreigners in Southern Mindanao, but by 2006 they had grown to third place. In 2007 South Korean investments in Davao were reported to be expanding. Some of the then-800 Korean residents of Davao City formed a chamber of commerce that year. Korean restaurants were sprouting up to serve the Korean students studying abroad there, and Korean property developers aimed to construct hundreds of millions of pesos of projects including golf courses, English language schools for foreigners, and export-oriented industrial parks to entice Japanese and South Korean firms to set up shop. Businesspeople feel the city's potential is relatively "untapped" compared to other markets in the Philippines such as Cebu or Baguio. About 2,647 Korean tourists visited Davao in 2006, up slightly from 2,622 in 2005.

There are a number of Korean investment projects in the region. As early as 2002, two consortiums of Korean and Japanese investors were in the process of setting up used-car refurbishment plants in Davao City. SK Chemicals, part of the SK Group
SK Group
SK Group is the third largest conglomerate in South Korea. The SK Group is composed of 92 subsidiary and affiliate companies that share the SK brand and culture....

, looked into the possibility of setting up a coconut-processing plant there in 2004, which would process one billion coconuts per year. Korean and Japanese investors have set up retirement communities
Retirement community
A retirement community, or active adult community, is a very broad, generic term that covers many varieties of housing for retirees and seniors - especially designed or geared for people who no longer work, or restricted to those over a certain age . It differs from a retirement home which is a...

 in Davao City for their respective nationals, and in 2008 looked into expanding their sites.
The Korea International Cooperation Agency
Korea International Cooperation Agency
The Korea International Cooperation Agency was established on April 1, 1991, by the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.-KOICA:...

 is also working with the local government of Davao del Sur
Davao del Sur
Davao del Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Davao Region in Mindanao. Its capital is Digos City. The province is bordered by Davao City to the north, and Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and Sarangani to the west. To the east lies the Davao Gulf...

 on a P193.36 rice-processing plant designed to cut postharvest losses
Postharvest losses
The postharvest sector includes all points in the value chain from production in the field to the food being placed on a plate for consumption. Postharvest activities include: Harvesting, handling, storage, processing, packaging, transportation and marketing...

 from 25% to 5%. A Korean investment group which has already opened one vegetable farm in Luzon is also reportedly interested in building another farm near Davao City.

However there were also some cultural conflicts in the integration of Koreans there, with the Davao City
Davao City
The City of Davao is the largest city in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Its international airport and seaports are among the busiest cargo hubs in the Philippines....

 mayor especially complaining about their habit of smoking in public places. Furthermore, some Davao City councilors have received reports of Koreans illegally doing business, behaving arrogantly, and underpaying employees.

Northern Mindanao

In northern Mindanao
Northern Mindanao
Designated as Region X of the Philippines, Northern Mindanao is composed of five provinces and two cities classified as highly-urbanized, all occupying the north-central part of Mindanao island, and the island-province of Camiguin...

, Koreans have come to Cagayan de Oro City as ESL students, businesspeople, and missionaries. Korean investment group I. F. Koresco opened a 74-room hotel there in 2006, the Hotel Koresco
Hotel Koresco
The Hotel Koresco is an international Korean tribute member of COHARA –Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association- service tending premium cultured of Korean and variation. Within partake of PAGCOR Philippines Asia affiliation e-games venue facility accustomed...

, and the city government asked for their assistance in negotiating with South Korea's POSCO
POSCO is a multinational steel-making company headquartered in Pohang, South Korea. It is the world's third-largest steelmaker by market value and the most profitable Asia-based steelmaker....

 about the possibility of opening a steel plant there as well. In 2008 announced plans to build a casino and hotel complex there, though there was local opposition from community leaders in religious and civic groups over the casino aspect, and in fact the city council had an ordinance prohibiting casino operation. Korean and Turkish investors are also reported to be interested in a power plant project in nearby Iligan City
Iligan City
The City of Iligan is a highly urbanized industrial city north of the province of Lanao del Norte, Philippines, and the province's former capital. It is approximately 795 kilometers southeast of Manila...

. Misamis Oriental
Misamis Oriental
Misamis Oriental is a province of the Philippines located in the Northern Mindanao region. Its capital and provincial center is Cagayan de Oro City...

 is also making efforts to lure Korean investors to invest in agricultural processing enterprises in the Phidivec Industrial Estate, a special zone under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.


2011 statistics showed that more than 6,000 Koreans held 9(f) visas enabling them to enroll in tertiary education, roughly twice as many as the next two most frequent nationalities (Chinese and Iranians
Iranians in the Philippines
There is a community of thousands of Iranians in the Philippines, including many international students drawn by the country's low-cost English education...

). The cost of university tuition in the Philippines is roughly one-fourth that in South Korea. According to 2007 statistics, the Philippines had 6.6% of all Korean students enrolled in universities abroad. The trend of South Korean students going to the Philippines to pursue university education began in the 1960s, when South Korea was still a poor country and the Philippines ranked as the region's second-most developed behind Japan. Philippine universities still have a reputation among older South Koreans for offering quality education, which is believed to have contributed to the boom in the numbers of South Korean international student
International student
According to Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development , international students are those who travel to a country different from their own for the purpose of tertiary study. Despite that, the definition of international students varies in each country in accordance to their own national...

s coming to the country to learn English or even to enroll in degree courses. Since the 2001-02 academic year, South Korean international student
International student
According to Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development , international students are those who travel to a country different from their own for the purpose of tertiary study. Despite that, the definition of international students varies in each country in accordance to their own national...

s have also been the largest group of foreigners studying at Philippine tertiary institutions, edging out Americans; in the 2002-03 academic year, they totalled 1,069 individuals, or 24.6% of the total 4,363 foreign students in the country, while in the following year, they numbered 726, or 34.6% of the total 2,161 foreign students. They are attracted to such universities by the opportunity to use English in a real-live setting rather than as a classroom exercise; however, they face several difficulties in this regard, including the use of Taglish
Taglish is a portmanteau of the words "Tagalog" and "English" which refers to the Philippine language Tagalog infused with American English terms. It is an example of code-switching....

, and more generally the prevalence of code switching between English and Tagalog by both lecturers and peers. They also find it difficult to adapt to the student-centered teaching
Student-centred learning
Student-centred learning is an approach to education focusing on the needs of the students, rather than those of others involved in the educational process, such as teachers and administrators...

 style of Philippine universities, which demands active class participation.

English and Spanish as second languages

The majority of Korean students in the Philippines study in short-term courses in English language schools
Hagwon is the Korean-language word for a for-profit private institute, academy or cram-school prevalent in South Korea. The term is also sometimes used to describe similar institutions operated by Korean Americans in the United States...

 to cope with South Korea's growing demand for English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 proficiency. As of March 2011, 26,823 Korean students held special study permits to enroll in short term courses. Their numbers include a large proportion of young people; according to Son Jung-Son of the Philippine-Korean Cultural Center in Seoul, over 1,500 Koreans under 20 years old arrive in the Philippines every month to study English. From November 2008 to April 2010, 128 Koreans took advantage of the Special Visa for Employment Generation, which grants indefinite stay to foreigners and their dependents who create 10 full-time jobs for Filipino workers. Most of them have qualified by starting ESL schools in Metro Manila, Baguio City, Cebu City, and Davao City. However Koreans have a neutral-to-negative view of the Philippine English accent, as compared to their more positive attitudes towards American English. This point was brought to wide public attention when a video of actress Lee Da-hae allegedly mocking the Filipino accent on a KBS television show "went viral
Viral video
A viral video is one that becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email...

" among internet users in the Philippines. Lee, who herself had previously taken classes with a Filipino English teacher, quickly apologized and denied that any insult was intended. Some Koreans are also attracted to the chance to learn Spanish language in the Philippines, taking advantage of the country's historic ties to Spain; seven thousand South Korean students are reported to study at the Instituto Cervantes
Instituto Cervantes
The Cervantes Institute is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. It is named after Miguel de Cervantes , the author of Don Quixote and perhaps the most important figure in the history of Spanish literature...

 in Manila.

Illegal ESL tutorial schools have been a persistent problem, and eventually provoked a government crackdown. In early January 2011, Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers raided the Korean-owned Fantasy World resort in Lemery, Batangas
Lemery, Batangas
Lemery is a 1st class municipality in the province of Batangas, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 76,090 people in 12,709 households.-Barangays:Lemery is politically subdivided into 46 barangays...

 on reports from anti-gambling advocate and competing school operator Sandra Cam that an ESL school was operating illegally there, and arrested six operators. Newspaper reports claimed that the BI was quite reluctant to carry out the raid and were only forced into it by Cam's threat to publicly denounce the BI, since protection money had been paid to some immigration officers. The seventy students of the school were found to have no special study permits (SSPs) allowing them to enroll in schools in the Philippines, and the owners of the school were found to have no business permits. The BI ordered that everyone involved be deported. The case attracted a number of reports in the South Korean media as well. In the coming weeks a total of 154 Korean minors would be detained in relation to raids on schools. However, the Department of Foreign Affairs emphasized that it saw the students as victims of deception by the managers, not criminals. They would not be charged with a crime. As the scandal progressed, applications for special study permits to the BI jumped. In just the first three weeks of January the BI received 1,480 applications and fees amounting to P7.02 million. Both in number and in money these figures exceeded the totals for the entire previous three months. A BI spokesman stated that this showed the crackdown was a success.

Korean schools

South Koreans living in the Philippines have a Korean-medium day school for their community's children, the Korean International School Philippines at McKinley Hill in the Fort Bonifacio
Fort Bonifacio
Fort Bonifacio is a highly urbanized district in Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The district is named after the main Philippine Army camp in Metro Manila, Fort Andres Bonifacio, which in turn was named after the famous Philippine revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio...

 district of Taguig City
Taguig City
Taguig is a city in Metro Manila in the Philippines. From a thriving fishing community along the shores of Laguna de Bay, it is now an important residential, commercial and industrial center...

, Metro Manila; it was opened in January 2009 in a cooperative venture between South Korea's Ministry of Education and several South Korean nationals living in the Philippines, who jointly invested more than US$1 million. Korean children are also served by seven weekend Korean-language schools recognised by the South Korean government, the earliest being the ones in Cebu
Cebu is a province in the Philippines, consisting of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. It is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands...

 and Antipolo
Antipolo is a city in the Philippines located in the province of Rizal; about 25 kilometers east of Manila. It is the largest city in the Calabarzon Region in terms of population...

, both founded in 1994. Between 1997 and 2000, five more schools were founded in Davao City
Davao City
The City of Davao is the largest city in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Its international airport and seaports are among the busiest cargo hubs in the Philippines....

, Angeles City
Angeles City
The City of Angeles , located within the province of Pampanga in the Philippines, is locally classified as a first-class, highly-urbanized city. Its name is derived from El Pueblo de los Ángeles in honor of its patron saints, Los Santos Ángeles de los Custodios , and the name of its founder, Don...

, Pasay City
Pasay City
The City of Pasay is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is bordered on the north by the country's capital, Manila, to the northeast by Makati City, to the east by Taguig City, and Parañaque City to the south.Pasay City was one of the original four...

, Baguio City
Baguio City
The City of Baguio is a highly urbanized city in northern Luzon in the Philippines. Baguio City was established by Americans in 1900 at the site of an Ibaloi village known as Kafagway...

, and Cainta
Cainta, Rizal
The Municipality of Cainta is a first-class urban municipality in the province of Rizal, Philippines. It is one of the oldest , and is the town with the second smallest land area of 26.81 km² next to Angono with 26.22 km².Cainta serves as the secondary gateway to the rest of Rizal...

. In total, the seven schools enroll 383 students.


Korean Christian
Christianity in Korea
The practice of Christianity in Korea revolves around two of its largest branches, Protestantism and Catholicism, accounting for 8.6 million and 5.1 million members respectively. Roman Catholicism was first introduced during the late Joseon Dynasty period...

 churches in Metro Manila and other large cities in the Philippines serve as centers of religious and social activity within the Korean community. The earliest Korean church, Manila's Korean Union Church, opened its doors in 1974. The churches are largely Protestant, especially Presbyterian
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

; their style of worship is marked by forceful preaching and the use of amplified guitar and organ accompaniment to song and prayer, often perceived by Filipinos as too noisy. However, some Korean Catholic churches also exist, such as the St. Andrew Kim Dae Gun Parish Church, which grew out of a 1986 commemorative ceremony for the 150th anniversary of the martyrdom of the eponymous saint; as of 2003, the church had roughly 500 members. Young South Korean pastors are attracted to the Philippines because of the difficulty they find in starting their own church in their home country; they thus start mission-focused churches in the Philippines.

Filipinos are often baffled by and even suspicious of the presence of Korean ethnic-specific churches in their country, assuming that they have come in an attempt to evangelise Catholics; however, though the churches sometimes conduct charity outreach work in the local communities, their activities are mainly targeted towards Koreans. The few native members the churches attract tend to be those from lower socioeconomic brackets. Mass weddings conducted by the Unification Church
Unification Church
The Unification Church is a new religious movement founded by Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon. In 1954, the Unification Church was formally and legally established in Seoul, South Korea, as The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity . In 1994, Moon gave the church...

 in the 1980s caused particular controversy and had a negative effect on Philippine-South Korean diplomatic relations. The churches are often quite separated from those of the local culture, but highly dependent on the sending churches in South Korea. Relatively-wealthy evangelists who continue to maintain a South Korean standard of consumption while living in the Philippines may also inadvertently evoke negative feelings from Filipinos, who expect a Christian pastor to be poor and sacrificing.

Influence on Philippine society

Korean expatriates provide a significant stimulus to the local economy; they are estimated to spend between US$800 and $1000 per month, making an aggregate contribution of over $1 billion per year in consumer spending. The Korean community in the Philippines had little influence on Philippine society until the late 1980s, when the Korean wave
Korean wave
The Korean Wave, also known as the Hallyu , refers to spread of South Korean culture around the world. The term was coined in China in mid-1999 by Beijing journalists surprised by the fast growing popularity of Korean entertainment and culture in China...

 (the increasing popularity of South Korean television and pop music) started. Koreans' sense of fashion has also begun to influence Filipinos. However they continue to be seen as a closed group by Filipinos. Stereotypes abound on both sides: Koreans are the target of snide remarks by Filipinos for their poor English, and Filipino workers' complain of Korean managers' pushiness and short tempers, while Koreans complain of Filipinos' lack of punctuality, as well as corruption and abuse in government agencies. Furthermore, Filipinos in general perceive South Korean migration to their country as something of an oddity, as it goes against the pattern more familiar to their own experience, that of people from poorer countries migrating to more developed ones. However, the popularity of Korean television shows has served to create something of a bridge between the two communities.

The increasing prevalence of South Korean men in sex tourism
Sex tourism
Sex tourism is travel to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes.The World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, defines sex tourism as "trips organized from within the tourism sector, or from outside this sector but using its structures and networks, with the primary...

 to the Philippines has resulted in the birth of an estimated 10,000 children of mixed Korean and Filipino descent to unwed Filipina mothers. According to the Cebu-based Kopino Foundation, a charitable organisation started by a local Korean businessman, the largest concentration can be found in Quezon City
Quezon City
Quezon City is the former capital and the most populous city in the Philippines. Located on the island of Luzon, Quezon City is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region. The city was named after Manuel L...

 in Metro Manila. 85 to 90% of the mothers work as bar girls or in brothels with foreign clients. As their fathers are not married to their mothers, they are unable to obtain South Korean citizenship
South Korean nationality law
South Korean nationality law defines who is a South Korean citizen, as well as the procedures by which one may be naturalized into South Korean citizenship or renounce it.-Basic definition:South Korean nationality can be acquired in a number of ways:...

, similar to the situation of the 50,000 Amerasian
In its original meaning, an Amerasian is a person born in Asia, to a U.S. military father and an Asian mother. The term has sometimes been used to describe a person in the United States of mixed Asian and non-Asian ancestry, regardless of the circumstances....

s (children of Filipina women and American soldiers) as well the numerous children of Japanese sex tourists. Colloquially referred to as Kopinos (Korean language
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

: 코피노), or Korinoy in Filipino slang, as recently as 2003 they were believed to number fewer than 1,000; another 9,000 were born from 2003 to 2008. As a result, Filipinos' perception of Korean men has taken a turn for the worse. In response, South Korean NGOs such as the Daejeon Migrant Workers Support Center, as well as locally-established NGOs like the Kopino Children Center, have begun to establish branch offices in the Philippines to provide social services to the children and their mothers.

In the first half of 2010, South Koreans accounted for 25% of all foreign visitors to the Philippines, ahead of the second-place Americans at 19%. As recently as 1992, the annual number of South Korean visitors arriving in the Philippines was a mere 26,000; however, that expanded over seven times to roughly 180,000 by 1997, and then to 303,867 by 2003. Tourism arrivals continued to grow rapidly, to 570,000 in 2006, meaning that South Korean tourists formed a larger group than American tourists for the first time, and then to 650,000 by 2008. As of 2007, Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

, Asiana Airlines
Asiana Airlines
Asiana Airlines Inc. is one of South Korea's two major airlines, along with Korean Air. Asiana has its headquarters in Asiana Town in Osoe-dong, Gangseo-gu, Seoul...

, and Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines, Inc. operating as Philippine Airlines, is a flag carrier of the Philippines. Headquartered in the Philippine National Bank Financial Center in Pasay City, the airline was founded in 1941 and is the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name...

 each offered one daily flight between Manila and Seoul.

Notable people

  • Ryan Bang
    Ryan Bang
    Bang Hyun Sung , better known as simply Ryan Bang, is a Korean comedian, television host, television personality, recording artist and former reality show contestant who rose to fame in the Philippines when he joined the reality show Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash of 2010...

    , comedian, television host, and contestant on Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010
    Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010
    Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010 is the third teen edition of the Philippine reality TV show Pinoy Big Brother. It began airing on the night of April 10, 2010 and ended over two months later on June 26 of the same year. This is the first Teen Edition to be held after a regular season instead of...

  • Hong Sung-chon, vice-president of the Philippine Taekwondo Association; see Taekwondo in the Philippines
    Taekwondo in the Philippines
    Taekwondo was introduce to the Philippines through the efforts of Kim Bok Man and Young Man Park.Young Man Park founded the Philippine Taekwondo Association PTA). Since 1971, the PTA has been run by Sun Chong Hong and PTA President Roberto Aventajado. The current head office and Dojang of the PTA...

  • Jang Jae-jung, former president of the Korean Association of the Philippines
  • Sam Oh
    Sam Oh
    Oh Sang-mi, better known as Sam Oh , is a television host and a Korean expatriate who has been living in the Philippines for 20 years. She can speak Tagalog and English in addition to her native Korean...

    , television host, radio jock, and lifestyle columnist
  • Sandara Park
    Sandara Park
    Park Sandara , better known as Dara , is a South Korean idol singer, actress, television host and model. She is best known as being a member and the Director of Communications of the Korean girl group 2NE1. However, she first gained major popularity on ABS-CBN's Star Circle Quest during her stay in...

    , former movie and television actress, now residing in South Korea and part of the girl group 2NE1
    Both the song and the group became popular online: Fire topped Mnet's online chart and 2NE1 became a popular search term. The group was awarded three Cyworld Digital Music Awards; "Lollipop" and "Fire" both won "Song of the Month" and the group won "Rookie of the Month" for May 2009...

    . Her younger brother, Sang-hyun Park, is part of Korean boy band MBLAQ
    MBLAQ is a South Korean quintet boy band created by Korean entertainer Rain under J.Tune Camp. The group consists of Seung Ho , G.O , Joon , Cheondoong/Thunder , and Mir...

     and is known by his stage name of "Thunder".
  • Grace Lee
    Grace Lee
    Grace Lee is a Korean television host and radio disc jockey working in the Philippines. She is the third Korean expatriate to appear prominently in Philippine television, after Sandara Park, Sam Oh and Ryan Bang...

    , television host and radio jock

External links

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