Just last year, there were quite a number of Korean groups and artists who came to the Philippines – 2PM, SHinee, EXO, Park Shin Hye and Lee Min Ho to name a few. So it is not surprising that there are more Filipinos who want to learn the Korean language or Hangeul, to be able to understand the song’s lyrics or even communicate with their favorite idols, if given the chance.
Last weekend, eight Korean language learners who were not contented to say “annyeong haseyo” (hello) and “kamsahamnida” (thank you) inside the classroom, took the challenge to a higher level and joined the 4th Korean Speech Contest organized by the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines. They were tasked to make a five-minute speech discussing one of the four topics which include travel, food and Philippine-Korea relations. The 5-member judging panel headed by KCC Philippines’ Director Oh Choong-suk, chose the winners through the following criteria: content (40%), delivery (40%), stage presence (15%) and the interview (5%).
For his funny and engaging speech entitled “What Philippines”, Marco Angulo from University of the Philippines, Diliman and Chonnam National University won the top prize, a round trip ticket to Korea. In his speech, he discussed how some Koreans see the Philippines – with an irritating weather and inhumanely slow Internet – and introduced some interesting facts about the country and the Filipinos – having the best mangoes, good scenery in its 7,107 islands, friendly-English speaking people who are fascinated with snow.
Fermo Suson from Pyeonggang Methodist Church, won first prize for his speech “Filipinos in Focus” while Ma. Charmaine Crisostomo, also from UP Diliman and King Sejong Institute, attained second prize for her speech “The Transformation of Food.”
The other five contestants were:
1. Maria Christina Sismundo
2. Jed Gregorio
3. Jean Veronica Dimson
4. Jezreel Gibaga
5. Florence Vi Santos
To those who are interested to learn Hangeul, the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines offers beginners and intermediate level classes twice a year. They also have Kpop dance classes, samulnori (traditional percussion), fan dance and Taekwondo for a more holistic, Korean cultural experience. Visit the KCC Philippines website and their official Facebook page for more information.
Photos courtesy of Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines.