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News: PKCH,FEWA Strengthen Ties 2

News: Philippine Fiesta in Seoul 2

News: SSS-NPS Update 2
Editorial: Too Early for Optimism 3
OFW-KOREA-2006-001 Labor Updates: EPS Guide Part 2 4
Nominees for the upcoming FEWA Elections 6
Volume 2 Issue 7 2009 NOT FOR SALE

by Alden Balgos

J ongno-gu, Seoul – Approximately 8,000 Filipino aspirants may be hired in

South Korea every year for the next three years following the signing of a
new memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Employment Permit System
(EPS) in Seoul last May 30.

The labor deal between the two countries - the Philippines and South Korea,
was signed with Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Lee Myung Bak as
witnesses at Cheong Wa Dae or the Blue House – the executive office and
presidential residence. The MOU signing was part of a myriad of activities of
President Arroyo during her official state visit here.

The new MOU on EPS was signed by Philippine Labor Secretary Mariantio D.
Roque and his Korean counterpart, Labor Minister Lee Young Hee. The MOU
which was last renewed in October 2006 and expired last year, aims to continu-
ally provide protection and security to Filipino workers by recognizing their
rights and privileges as contributors to the Korean economy.

Secretary Roque said the renewal of the MOU “reflects the high regard of the
Korean government for Filipino workers”. It also ensures “greater transparency
and efficiency” in the deployment of Filipino workers, Roque added. He likewise Photo courtesy of RP Embassy
enthused that there is a special provision in the MOU for the reintegration of
Filipino workers who will be forced to return to the Philippines due to the global Signatories of the MOU on EPS: Labor Executives pose for a photograph as they meet
economic crisis. during the signing of the labor deal on EPS last May 30. On the left is DOLE Secretary Marianito D.
Roque and MOL Labor Minister Lee Young Hee.
Under the new MOU, Filipino workers will be granted rights such as coverage
under the Korean Labor Standards Act: minimum wage, medical and accident
insurance, severance pay and freedom of association. Originally, the labor deal
was supposedly only for two years however, due to strong and positive feed-
back from Filipino workers, it was extended to three years.

The three-year provision of the labor deal cites the Philippine Overseas
by Edward Castro
Employment Administration (POEA) as the primary Philippine government
agency responsible for the deployment of workers, and its Korean counterpart,
the Ministry of Labor (MOL) as the primary government agency responsible for
the screening and prequalifying of OFWs intending to work in South Korea.
(turn to page 2)
S eoul, May 31- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo urged overseas Filipino
workers (OFWs) in South Korea to unite and volunteer their time, skill and
resources to support the government in its campaign to secure a brighter future
for Filipinos and the country.
The President made the appeal during a gathering with the Filipino community
held at Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul. She stressed the need for volunteerism as
a tool against poverty amidst the recurrent world economic crisis and promised to
help OFWs who might lose their jobs and be forced to go home.

In her speech, she said that workers in such situation could borrow from the P1-
billion fund set up by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
They can also receive additional entrepreneurial and skills training under the P3-
billion fund allocated to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
(TESDA). The President said that her administration is carrying out this program
of full reciprocity to help expatriate workers who are returning home from their
host countries that are now being affected by the global economic crisis.

Photo by Felix Ferrer “My advocacy is on doing everything in our power to protect our people and our
The Presidential Delegation: Photo taken during the Meeting with the Filipino country during these challenging times and to work on economic growth. We are
Community held in Lotte Hotel in Seoul. From the left is Senator Ed Angara, President Arroyo, focused on putting food on the table, investing in education and basic social
FG Mike Arroyo, and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo. They are also joined by other services, improving infrastructure and, most of all, securing peace in the country.
high ranking government officials (not on the photo) like DOLE Sec. Marianito Roque, Energy Poverty is the root of terrorism, thus the need to further improve the economy is
Sec. Angelo Reyes, DENR Sec. Lito Atienza, and several LGU officials from different cities and imperative,” President Arroyo said.
provinces of the Philippines. (turn to page 2)
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by Reeve

J ong-gak, Seoul - The Philippine-Korean Cultural

House (PKCH) and the Filipino EPS Workers
Association (FEWA) are continually working together to
Beside counseling, Recana solicited help from Atty.
Lee to extend assistance in negotiating and filing
criminal cases against unscrupulous and abusive
provide services to the Filipino community through free employers.
legal assistance every third Sunday of the month in its
Seoul office. Whereas, PKCH Public Relations Coordinator Park
Eun Ha vowed to strengthen the tie-up between
FEWA officers led by President Sofonias Paragsa PKCH and FEWA by providing free legal service and
recently visited PKCH office to seek legal advice for the support to Filipino migrant workers as well as to
complaint of Felix Ferrer, an EPS worker, regarding those Filipina women married to Korean nationals.
unpaid salaries against his Korean employer. Atty. Lee “We are doing our best to serve Filipinos through
Seung Woo of the Seoul Bar Association assured Ferrer cultural exchange,” Park said.
of legal assistance.
FEWA established ties with PKCH for more than one
Also, PKCH told the group of its support to the Filipino year now to curb-down labor and migration related
community to continually offer free legal services and problems of OFW’s and help promote Philippine Photo courtesy of Alfonso Delgado
pursue means to help improve its current social culture to Koreans and vice versa .
programs. All Set for Fiestas Filipinas! Sinulog performers fitting
Individuals who wish to seek legal guidance from their costumes for the upcoming 14th Filipino Migrants Day in
Moreover, PKCH coordinator for Filipino community, PKCH, you can contact Mr. Recana at his mobile Banpo Park, Seoul on July 5. Also joining the street dance
parade are performers representing various Fiestas of the
Rebenson Recana urged Atty. Lee to be more aggressive number 010-30406204 or email him at
Philippines: Ati-Atihan, Maskarra, Panagbenga, Kadayawan,
in dealing with labor related problems. Dinagyang, and Flores de Mayo. Other activities that day will
include Catholic Mass to be officiated by HE Papal Nuncio
Osvaldo Padilla, musical and cultural performances from
MOU on EPS different Filipino organizations, and Free Medical and Labor
The MOU also reiterates that POEA has the right to review contract offers from Korean employers. Minimum labor Counseling services.
standards such as workers' free food and accommodation should be ensured, otherwise, a contract will be
rejected. It will also likewise lessen pre-departure cancellations of employment contracts and early terminations of
the existing ones by disqualifying employers as well as workers with prior derogatory records. PGMA Meets FilCom
Additional support to be given specifically to OFW’s in
The EPS is a government-to-government recruitment system implemented by both countries since 2004. It was Korea, is a program to ensure their proper documenta-
launched to remedy the exorbitant mobilization costs charged by recruitment companies and their brokers in South tion and protection which she said is the goal of the
Korea. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Employ-
ment Permit System (EPS). Labor Secretary Marianito
Roque and Korea’s Labor Minister Lee Young Hee
signed the new labor deal at the antechamber of the
by Amie Sison Blue House with the presence of Presidents Arroyo
and Lee Myung Bak.
The Philippine Embassy in Seoul will organize Free Medical Services for OFW’s during the upcoming 14th Filipino
Migrant Workers Day celebration on July 5 at Banpo Park in Seoul. There are presently around 60,000 Filipinos working as
factory workers, teachers, and high-skilled profession-
The Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) in cooperation with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) als in various companies throughout Korea. `We recog-
will bring state-of-the-art medical equipment and machines that will produce detailed analysis on X—ray, ultrasono- nize the value of the contributions of the overseas
graph and electrocardiogram, rendering results in the fields of internal medicine, orthopedics, ophthalmology and Filipino workers, but we also want to have an economic
otorhinolaryngology. The services will be administered by specialist doctors and medical practitioners of SNUH. revolution in our country so that one day, going abroad
will only be a career option and not because there' s no
Embassy officials are encouraging OFW’s to take advantage of this rare opportunity especially when getting even choice. That is our goal,'' Arroyo added.
the most basic medical services these days are too expensive.
She also pointed out that among the things Filipinos
The Embassy also plans to provide Korean Labor Law counseling, and Occupational Accident Prevention should be thankful about is the positive economic
demonstrations from Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) during the occasion. growth rate the country has been experiencing despite
the global crisis. But that does not mean the country
The event is in conjunction with the joint-celebration of the Philippines' 111th Philippine Independence Day and has not been affected. The Philippines has been
60th Year of RP-ROK Bilateral Relations. affected, but her administration remain cautiously
optimistic that its resources and plans will allow them to
Hanging by a thread - Social Security manage their way through this difficult time.
System’s (SSS) Chief Actuary and Executive
Vice President for Operations Horacio T. “D uring these trying times, the Filipino spirit and
Templo told SULYAPINOY in an interview that commitment to caring should prompt each of us, to
the social security agreement between SSS and count our blessings and give back to those who are
South Korea’s National Pension System (NPS) less fortunate. Our nation needs us all pulling in the
is still indefinite. Templo said that the bilateral
agreement “needs still to be reviewed and same direction. Volunteering time, skill and resources
ratified by the Philippine Senate” and is uncer- is a noble undertaking we should all take seriously,”
tain as to when. Recalling, the Filipino EPS the President said.
Workers Association and SULYAPINOY spear-
headed a community-wide signature campaign Likewise, President Arroyo along with members of the
in September of last year to oppose the imple- Philippine delegation came to join other heads of
mentation of the said agreement and have governments of the Association of Southeast Asian
gathered around 6,000 signatures. Mr. Templo
Nations (ASEAN) in commemorating the 20th anniver-
met with SULYAPINOY staff at the Meeting with
Filipino Community at Lotte Hotel in Seoul sary of the establishment of dialogue relations between
during the recent state visit of President Gloria ASEAN and the Republic of Korea held in Seogwipo
Macapagal-Arroyo here in South Korea. City, Jeju Province last June 1 & 2.
Photo by Felix Ferrer


P resident Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, after visiting

the Filipino Community here last month, and after
meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak
and work in Korea every year for the next three (3)
years. What's truly worrisome is - if the irregularities
of the labor program are left unsolved, it will likely
for bilateral talks in improving both our countries' make these “hopefuls” susceptible to similar misery
partneship, also followed by signing of several govern- and frustrations that many of the OFWs here are
ment-to-government MOU's, her return in the already battling.
Philippines was what her aides say was another
“overwhelming success” state visit. However seem- After the most feared abolition of worker's food and
ingly sounds like encouraging, we beg to differ. accommodation benefits, another reason for our
pessimism is the Ministry of Labor's “Directions for
One of the several MOU's signed was that of a new Improving the Minimum Wage Program.” We are
labor deal on Employment Permit System (EPS). forced to wonder whether it really is the ministry
Despite the renewal of the pact, salient issues regard- responsible for policy pertaining to working people.
ing the “hiring permit program” are still left uncertain Rather, we get the feeling that it has lowered itself to
and questionable. Pre-mature cancellation of contracts, being some company’s labor management depart- It seems difficult to expect that the context of labor
denial of medical and financial benefits, discrimination ment. Many workers are facing a crisis of survival in migration will reform itself on its own. Judging from
and basic rights violations, as well as removal of this unprecedented economic cold front. To say that what has been revealed so far, it is hard to guarantee
workers' free food and accommodation allowances are you are going to cut the minimum wage by half at that despite the renewal of the labor agreement,
just few of the many predicaments of OFWs plight. such a time instead of thinking about ways to OFWs’ ordeal will get better. At this point, it may be too
support working people is like this administration soon for anyone to be talking of success. Too much
It was certainly reassuring to discern that Presidents cutting out the liver of a flea and using it to fatten the optimism could send wrong signals to both aspiring
Arroyo and Lee, as well as both RP and ROK's labor rich. overseas workers in the Philippines and the Filipino
bureaus headed by DOLE Secretary Roque and Labor labor community here, thus hampering the labor
Minister Lee respectively, vowed once again- to In October, during the Korea National Assembly’s bureau's efforts in resolving the issues and to further
continually hold working level consultations in improv- yearly review of government affairs, Labor Minister improve the permit program.
ing the EPS side-by-side with other sending countries Lee hinted that he would be meddling with the
of the said permit program. Equally relieving, the two minimum wage when he declared that it “has risen In the end, the choice is both our government’s. We
labor chiefs also signed an MOU on Labor and too steeply compared to South Korea's economic hope that both DOLE and MOL decide wisely to ration-
Manpower Development which provides, among level.” The minimum wage was created to guarantee ally resolve the issues through constant dialogue with
others, for the training of workers onsite to better pre- a minimum of a livelihood for low-paid working the labor sector and actively involving the migrant
pare them for their eventual return to the Philippines. people. Currently, Korea’s minimum wage is 4,000 workers themselves in consultations and decision
won an hour. With that you earn 904,000 won a making, as it will help secure its goals of effective labor
Still, this is no time to be a roaring bull, although some month, if you work all 44 hours a week and even get management and the advancement of the hiring
degree of optimism may be just the ticket. Frustratingly “weekly holiday” pay for working on Saturdays. If this system, otherwise, choosing a hard line stance will only
absent in their rhetoric however, is a clear solution as plan pushes through and the minimum wage is be an invitation to disaster. Both must do its best to
to how they would deal and downsize these labor and reduced to a certain extent, is it best still to work and ensure that the deal goes through and that we have
migration problems. With the renewal of the EPS MOU, earn 452,000 won monthly in a country dubbed as rightful reasons to celebrate.
around 8,000 Filipino hopefuls are expected to enter the world's seventh largest economy?


Editor-in-Chief: Edward A. Castro Managing Editor: Alden C. Balgos Chairman: Rebenson B. Recaña
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FEWA unless so stated. Thank you for your time and interest! 3
The Employment Permit System for foreign
workers enables workers from countries
with which the Korean government has concluded an
Observance of the Act on
Foreign Workers’ Employment Inbox
MOU on sending workers to be legally employed by a. In the event a foreign worker has not used the
companies in Korea which have obtained a permit to standard labor contract when concluding a labor Dear SULYAPINOY,
employ foreign workers.
contract; or [Article 9]
How to receive Insurance Benefits b. In the event a foreign worker has not subscribed to Magandang araw po. Ako po ay isang EPS worker
an Casualty Insurance, [Article 23] at nais ko pong idulog sa inyo ang aking problema.
In the event of a foreign worker’s departure, change of Simula pa noong March ng taon na ito ay wala na
workplace, death or disease other than occupational He/She shall be subject to a fine not exceeding to five (5) kaming maayos na trabaho dito sa aming kum-
accidents, as well as delayed payment of wages, a million won. panya. Kalimitan po ay 2 hanggang 3 beses lang sa
foreign worker may receive insurance benefits as stated
in related laws. c. In the event a foreign worker is not insured by a Return
isang linggo kung kami ay pumasok sa trabaho.
Cost Insurance; or [Article 15] Dahil dito ay wala na ako halos sinasahod dahil
Departure Guarantee Insurance (Toe-ji-kom) d. in the event a foreign worker has refused to respond or ang kumpanya ko po ay mayroong “no-work-no-
 this is purchased by the employers. falsely responded to a public official’s request to make a pay” policy. Ngunit kamakailan lang ay nabali-
 Often referred to as “retirement allowance”. report or submit necessary documents, [Article 26] taan ko sa isang kaibigan na sa mga ganitong
sitwasyon ay dapat sumasahod parin daw ako ng
 When a foreign worker who has continuously He/She shall be subject to a negligence fine to exceeding atleast 7 0% mula sa aking buwanang sahod.
worked for one year or more at a workplace with to one (1) million won.
five or more full-time employees, moves to another
Totoo po ba ito? Sana ay mabigyan n’yo ako nang
workplace or leaves Korea and applies for insur- maliwanag na kasagutan sa tanong na ito.
ance benefits to the HRD-Korea or Samsung Fire & Maraming salamat po.
Observance of the Immigration Controls Act
Marine Insurance, the insurer will directly send the
monetary benefits to the worker’s bank account. Jhune
e. In the event a foreign worker has committed an act
Return Cost Insurance (Kukmin Yeung-geum) that he/she is not allowed to in accordance with the rules
 this is purchased by foreign workers within 80 days that govern his/her status of sojourn or in case a foreign
worker remains in Korea after the period of lawful stay is Kabayang Jhune,
upon arrival to Korea.
over. [Article 23, Article 25]
 When a foreign worker is planning to leave Korea
(excluding a temporary departure e.g. vacation) He/She shall be subject to penal servitude or imprison- Salamat din sa tiwalang ipinagkaloob mo sa amin
he/she shall submit a Departure Schedule Notifica- ment not exceeding three (3) years, or a fine not exceed- sa pamamagitan ng iyong katanungan. Totoo po
tion Form to any Job Center to file and claim to ing twenty (20) million won.
HRD Korea or to Samsung Fire & Marine Insur-
kabayan, sa kabila na ikaw’y walang trabaho sa
ance for the benefits. The insurer will send the iyong kumpanya ay nakasaad po sa Labor
f. In the event a foreign worker has left his/her desig- Standards Act (LSA Article 46) na: An Employer
monetary benefits to the worker’s bank account.
nated workplace without permission or has not obtained
a permit to chance workplace or add workplace; or
shall pay workers wage (Business Suspension
Casualty Insurance/Accident Compensation Insurance Allowance) amounting to seventy percent or
[Article 18, Article 21]
 this purchased by foreign workers. more of average wages during the period of
 When a foreign worker suffers from death or per- g. In the event a foreign worker has not applied for and business suspension. If business is suspended
manent impairment other than an occupational received a foreigner registration within a certain number for reasons attributed to the employer such as
accident and file claim to the HRD Korea or Sam- of days as required by law, [Article 31] power or water outages, machinery malfunction,
sung Fire & Marine Insurance for benefits, the
insurer will investigate the accident report and reduced production, etc. including closedown or
He/She shall be subject to penal servitude or imprison-
send the insurance benefits to the worker’s ac- bankruptcy.
ment not exceeding one (1) year, or a fine not exceeding
count. In the event a foreign worker dies and a ten (10) million won.
bereaved family member applies to HRD Korea for Ibig sabihin po lamang nito ay dapat ka paring
insurance benefits, the HRD Korea will check makatanggap ng buwanang sahod nang hindi
whether the person is a bona fide member of the h. In the event a foreign worker has not made a notifica-
bereaved family (in cooperation with the sending tion of moving-in when changing the area of residence, bababa sa 70% . Kung sakaling ayaw kang bigyan
country). After the verification of such information, [Article 36] sa kadahilanang mayroon kayong “no-work-no-
the insurer will send the insurance benefits to the pay” policy na ipinapatupad sa kumpanya, pina-
account of the bereaved family member. Also, He/She shall be subject to a fine not exceeding one (1) payuhan po namin kayo na dumulog sa Human
other insurance benefits such as Departure Guar- million won.
antee Insurance and Return Cost Insurance will be Resources Development Service of Korea
sent all at the same time. i. In the event a foreign worker has not duly reported a (HRDS) Address: 370-4 Gongduk-dong, Mapo -
change in any matters related to the foreigner registra- Gu, Seoul Tel. # 02-3271-9434-9436, o sa
Wage Claim Guarantee Insurance tion, [Article 35] kanilang website
 this is purchased by employers.
 In the event an employer of a workplace with less He/She shall be subject to negligence fine not exceeding Maari din po kayong dumulog sa HRDS tunggkol
than 300 full time workers or a workplace not one (1) million won. sa iba pang usapin sa EPS gaya ng release,
covered by the Wage Claim Guarantee Insurance toejikom, unpaid salaries, violation of contract, at
Act, delays payment of wages, the worker may file J. In the event a foreign worker knowingly makes false
entries in various application forms or reports, [Article
marami pang iba. Meron po silang English opera-
claim with the HRD Korea or Seoul Guarantee
Insurance for benefits. The insurer will then exam- 100] tor kaya hindi po magiging problema ang pagpa-
ine the case to determine whether the payment of paliwanag sa anomang bagay na inyong ilalapit
wages has been actually delayed and if so, send He/She shall be subject to negligence fine not exceeding sa kanilang tanggapan.
the insurance benefits to the worker’s account. to five (5) hundred thousand won.
Sa mga nais mo pong magtanong o humingi ng
Strict Observance of Korean Laws
In the event a foreign worker has been found opinion hinggil sa mga usapin tungkol sa EPS,
While a foreign worker stays in Korea, he/she must to have taken narcotics or committed crimes ipadala lamang ang mga ito sa SULYAPINOY.
abide with all Korean laws. Any violation shall be subject such as assault, murder, or theft, he/she Send your inquiries at:
to punishment. The Korean Labor Law has a purpose to
ensure minimum labor standards and enhance workers’ shall be subject to punishment according to
social and economic status in accordance with the Ko- related laws. Or visit our website
rean Constitution. Minimum Labor Standards includes (to be continued).
provisions on working hours, overtime work pay, paid Source: Guide to Employment to Korea for Foreign Workers (Ministry
leave, holidays, retirement allowance, dismissal, etc. of Labor, Korea); Easy Korean Labor Law (KLEI) MARAMING SALAMAT PO!

Hanggang Kailan Kaya?
Kaya? PALAD Tayo ang Bagong Bayani
Rodney Queman
Rodel Arias Amie Sison
malis tayo sa bansa para lamang kumita
U Lahat ay gagawin ni Juan para sa pamilya
Tanging paraan para makaahon sa hirap Buhay ay sadyang masalimuot Naalala mo ang ating mga bayani
Ngunit hanggang kailan kaya itong paghahagilap? Maraming tao ay sadyang madamot Sa hirap ng bansa sila ay naging saksi
Nag-aagawan sa biyayang kakarampot Pakikipaglaban at hindi paghiganti
Kaya kaginhawahan palaging nauudlot.
nauudlot. Na sa puso nila ay namamayani.
ilala tayong mga OFW sa sipag at tiyaga
Halos lahat may Pilipino sa bansa ng banyaga
mapagkumbaba sila'y talagang hanga Sino ba ang may karapatan
Hanggang kailan kaya itong ating pagdurusa?
Para kanino ang ating karangalan?
karangalan? Naisip mo ba na ikaw ay katulad nila
Laban kung laban ang ating batayan Hindi ka man nakipagdigmaan sa iba
a Pilipinas kung saan naroroon ang pamilya Palaging sinasabi ng mga matatapang.
Naghihintay ng buwanang sahod na ating padala
mga pulitiko’y walang tigil sa bangayan
Naiangat mo naman ang
ating ekonomiya
At bayani ng ating bawat pamilya.
Hanggang kailan kaya matatapos ang kanilang alitan? Basta'
Basta't may katwiran o kahit wala man
Ang mahalaga'
mahalaga'y makamit ang mithing
ilipinas mag-isip, kumilos at gumising
P Unahin ang pamilya at trabaho,
Pangungurakot ay supilin!
Masayang dumalo sa malalaking piging
Makadaupang palad mga nilalang
Paglaya ng ating hinangad noon
Ngayon ba'y nakalaya na ngayon
na maningning.
maningning. Sa mga balakid tayo'y nakabaon
Mga bulok na sistema iwasto at iyong baguhin
Hanggang kailan kaya matutupad ang nasirang mithiin? Bisyo, recession, Amo ang ilan doon.

Sa maikling oras sa panahong matulin

igyan ng magandang halimbawa at aral Magpakasaya tumawa ang oras gugulin
B ang bawat Pilipino
Dito masusukat kung hanggang saan ang kaya nito
Upang kahit papaano kahit sa isang saglit
Madama ang saya tulad sa isang paslit.
Napakaraming problemang
paslit. haharapin
Huwag puro salita, drawing at walang agarang aksyon Mga liko-likong daan na dapat tahakin
Hanggang kailan kaya tayo sa ganitong sitwasyon? Tapang natin ang kailangan sukatin
Linangin ang kaalaman Upang bansa at pagkatao
At itakda ang kapalaran,
kapalaran, ay maiangat natin.
abayan, panahon na para tayo maging buo
K Labanan ang katiwalian,unahin ang kapwa tao
Dahil kung hindi tayo kikilos wala pa ring pagbabago
Baguhin ang ikot ng mundong inaapakan
Upang sukatin,
sukatin, linangin,
linangin, at ating hatulan
Magtatanong at magtatanong pa rin tayo, Pilipino…… At ang ating Diyos ibigay ang kaharian.
Tulungan natin ang bawat isa
Tsismis, inngit, ating kalimutan muna
Hanggang kailan kaya tayo magiging ganito?
ganito? Isipin na tayo ang tanging bida
Bagong bayani ng Pilipinas at sa Korea.

Lingering Thoughts on Fatherhood

An Essay by Bro. Joel Tavarro

As I sat down on a chair I saw a picture of Father and Son. As a father myself, it's not easy to be away from my family,
Then it dawned on me, how is it to be a father? Is it enough that you especially here in Korea. Loneliness and temptations are my
have kids and work hard for them? There's a story of a poor young enemies. I heard several stories, some became successful and
boy who dreamed of having even one small toy car. One day he saw some went home with nothing. I’m thankful to Him because even if
it on the store and to his amazement, he immediately called his I'm not earning enormous amount of money, I have God in my heart.
ather. He beg his Father to buy him the toy car but the father I know I couldn't entrust my life to anyone, but thanks to my wife for
refuses, for he doesn't have enough money. And so they both went she implanted the seed of faith to God within me. Thanks to my kids
far away from that store while the son was so sad and crying. With- as well, even if they are several hours travel on the plane away from
out the son's knowledge, his father was more hurt for he couldn't me, they always make sure that I am their father.
give the simple thing he was asking.
Sometimes, I can't help but question my self...Am I a good
I didn't experience that story from above for I am working father? Or I am the otherwise? Or so I thought. Did it also occurred in
abroad but sometimes it made me think twice or more, if money is you? How will you know if you are a good one? Is it by accepting a
enough for them in exchange of my absence. Thank God for the “plaque” which recognizes you as a role model father? Or is it our
involvement of technology that I could able to see them on computer. big impact to our family especially to our children? I could not com-
But it seems that I'm not satisfied to see them on the monitor alone. prehend furthermore, for I am once a son too to my father and for
Although I know that my wife will take the best of care and love them, me, my dad is the best father in the whole world.
to be with them on their achievements...still, there's a part of a
fatherhood that is missing on me. To all Tatay, Papa or Dad out there, Happy Father's day! 5

3rd Annual Basketball League Opening Ceremonies of the Human Rights Welfare Organiza-
tion– Filipino Community in Cheung-Ju last June 14, 2009 at the Jeungpyeong Jonghap
Sports Center. On the photo are (L-R) Fr. Edward M. Whelan-Spiritual Adviser, Ana Maria
Adante-Adm.Adviser, New OWWA Welfare Officer Ma. Evangelina V. Filamor, Ms. Karen
Roxas Muse of Daehwa Aces Daejon receives Trophy Best in Uniform, Best in Muse, Ms.
Daisy Salazar of Chungju Barako Team receives trophy, Ahn Geon Soo-Legal
Adviser ,Reeve and Frank Caturla,HRWO-FC president.

FEWA Office Hopefuls: The nominees pose for a photo during the recent
FEWA General Assembly held last June 21 at Hyewhadong Catholic Church cafete-
ria. Voting will be on July 12 at Woori Bank Hyewha. Voting starts at 10 AM - 4:00
PM. The nominees are the following:

For President: Marcelino Serdena III

Julius Caesar Ocampo
For Board Member:
Teofilo Camo, Marvin Babasa, Ronnie de Guia, Alwyin Casino, Ismael Calandria,
Rodrigo dela Cruz, Darwin Galicia, Norman Matudan, Rodel Arias, Ehd Villarta Jr.,
Rodney Queman
Kasan International Community (KIC) conducts Santa Cruzan in Kasan and Concert for a
Cause last June 14 to raise fund to help underprivileged families and communities in the
Philippines. KIC Filipino Community under the leadership of Anthony Carl Dacones have
been continuously sending financial support to the Philippines such as for typhoon victims in
Lingayen Pangasinan, Iloilo City, construction of a church in Guimaras, and many more.

By: Mary Ann Octavio

I remember the famous episode in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the one in which Tom turned the white washing of his Aunt Polly’s fence into
an exercise in manipulating his friends. As I recall, Tom applied the paint with gusto, pretending to enjoy the job. “Do you call this work?” Tom told
his friends. “Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence everyday?” Armed with this new information, his friends discovered the joys of white
washing a fence. Before long, Tom’s friend were not only paying him for the privilege, but deriving real pleasure from the task – a win-win out-
come if there ever was one. From my perspective, Tom transformed his negative experience to a positive one. So, I thought I could give it a try.

My honeymoon with teaching has finally come to an end. I have been teaching English to Korean students for five years now. Each lesson I
teach, I make it a point that I would put my heart into it. Every lecture that I would deliver is carefully thought of and that every possible question
that my students might ask me is carefully plot down. After a deep sleep, I rouse up one morning and realized that my heart is no longer in teach-
ing. Each day I walk to work like a zombie. The feeling of “uncertainty” spoils every single circumstance that I deal with each day. Few years
back, I told my students that I would grow old teaching and might even die while teaching. Suddenly like a thief, my passion and my directions
were snatched away from me.

Korea and teaching itself deprived me of several things. One of which is my country - my comfort zone, my home. From being discriminated or
stereotyped by some racist people around me to not being able to wear my comfortable sneakers and sleepers I used to wear back in the Philip-
pines. I wander around with the absence of belongingness. I feel that I am the odd one out. Coming from a third world country, having a brown
skin and being a non-native speaker - teaching for me in Korea is demoralizing. Loaded with this heavy burden, I felt tired and exhausted.

Much Like Tom Sawyer, then, I tried to take an ambiguous experience and arbitrarily make my demoralizing teaching experience to a pleasurable
one. Descartes said, Cogito ergo sum – “I think, therefore I am.” Now, from a light sleep, I rouse up and said – “I love teaching.” I think I love
teaching, therefore, I love teaching. I realized that not everyone gets a chance to teach English in Korea, not everyone earns five times higher or
even more than they used to earn back in the Philippines. I take pride of the fact that Filipino teachers are far better than most of native speakers
in educating Korean learners. I remember one co-teacher who happen to be a native speaker, interrupted my class and asked me to explain to
him the meaning and function of the word “gerund.” I keenly explained it to him. I realized that it’s not the skin color, mother tongue nor race that
counts, but the execution, passion and the quality of education that a teacher can impart to students. Armed with these facts, I flipped my teach-
ing style upside down, from a traditional and boring execution of lessons to an exciting and interesting ones. With the touch of media practitioner
skills, and with the help of my reliable laptop, my lessons are now more interactive, fun-filled, and well-thought of. I made short films related to my
lessons, something that my boss and students truly enjoyed. I coached speech and drama which enable my students to master the English lan-
guage in a practical way. I earn, I got to practice my expertise in Mass Communication and regained my self-confidence. It was a win-win out-
come, so to speak.

Just like Tom, I did not dwell on the negative perspective of teaching in a foreign country, but rather, transformed it to a pleasurable experience.


by Alden Balgos

2-Chona Gutierez 1– Mark Anthony Torrado

Sonia Ancheta 2– Prof. Emely Dicolen-Abagat
4– Rodney Queman Alex Guevarra
Marizel Damgo Ric Villanueva
7– Buenaventura Ang Jr. 3– Jose Abello
Roberto Paez 5– Cathy Arreola
10–Edwin Dionesio 6– Casario Ferrer
12–Marilyn Cabayao 10– Robert de Vela
Jhon Martillana Roger Estares
Roscoe Ignas 13– Cecilio Medios Jr.
13– Anthony Bansil 14– Francis Alojado
14– June Eser 15– Ariel del Rosario
Cecil Matera 20– Ronnie Cascayan
16– Arnel Batiu 21– Michael Castro
17– Ismael Borja 22– Noel Espiritu
19– Rizaldy Salazar Julio Habana
22– Jounwynn Joven 24– Amie Sison
23– Marvin Babasa Jasser Lozares
24– Rodel Arias 28– Gemma Rato
Alvin Bautista 29– Celso Ampatin
Rejeanne Millen Recana Ronald Balan
25– Melanie Lopez 30– Victor del Rosario
29– Avelino Ente

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