Professional Pinoys in Korea

It irks me sometimes whenever I read something about stereotyping the Filipinos in Korea. As if all of us here are either factory worker (nothing wrong with this), prostitute or mail-order bride! While majority of the Filipino workers here are unskilled (?) and work in 3D jobs (dangerous, dirty, difficult), there are those who’ve managed to be employed in highly-technical and professional jobs.

The first Pinoy in Korea that I knew is an engineer. He came here a few years before I did. Still here Roger? Then there’s Kuya Reggie, who worked for a multinational company here and is currently working in Qatar. Last I heard, his former boss is courting him to come back here. I hope so… Most of the Pinoys I know here are working as engineers.

I also met a Pinay who worked for a major newspaper and later Korea Tourism Organization. She migrated to Australia with her family two years ago. Ate Weng?

I think the Pinay with the most enviable job is not Jasmine, but Cathy. She writes for The Korea Times. She goes to concerts for free. She gets to interview Hollywood and Korean stars. She even get calls from Andre Kim πŸ˜‰ – the designer to the stars!

About two weeks ago, I met a Filipina whose (Pinoy) husband works for one of the top three companies in Korea. And then there’s Technomad.

Not to forget Mang Marlon πŸ™‚ a college professor. I also knew another college professor here (in Seoul), but I haven’t kept in touch with her for a very long time. There are also exchange students, scholars and graduate students, Mang Peter, who now works for an NGO.

There are more than 50,000 Pinoys here, both documented and TNTs. I know one TNT here who went home to the Philippines for a month because of his ailing father. His employer pulled all strings to bring him back to Korea.

Like I said above, there’s nothing wrong with being a factory worker. In fact, one of the most heart-tugging essays I’ve read is about the 3D workers. I read it about four years ago and it was written by a Westerner. He said something like some of the products admired worldwide are Made in Korea – by Filipino hands.


  1. I am proud of Filipinos working abroad with more or less selfless intentions. Mabuhay kayong lahat!

    I myself am considering working in Korea after completing my masters (hopefully in Korea as well).

  2. It’s great that filipinos are willing to leave their family to better their lives and those of their family. It’s nothing to look down on it’s something to praise. It upsets me too when filipinos are sterotyped…

  3. hey, nice, I got mentioned again here in your blog… yeah that’s true Pinoys are stereotypical, typecasted – well siguro branding na talaga natin iyan. Well I am proud to be OFW, a son of OFW, a brother of OFW, a friend of OFW, a countrymen of a nation that depends so much to OFW.

    I first came to Korea as an intern for 10 months in 2005-2006 at The May 18 Memorial Foundation. So I got to know about your famous blog searching on Filipinos here in Korea. Well professional I am indeed they asked me to stay on but I have to go back to the Philippines to work at the NGO (CO Multiversity) that sent me here. Again, I came back again last April 2007, a year this month as a staff this time of the same foundation. Gusto nila ako lalo na a ng boss ko, kaya ayon masaya ako at naka-graduate na ang aming bunso sa kaniyang course na nursing. Ayon syempre may review at board exam pa.

    Anyway, I feel good naman when our compatriots asked me which factory I work to and they get puzzled when I tell them I work in a foundation or an NGO. The thing is those who I’ve met at the Catholic church here in Gwangju are not as lucky as me (easier job). I have met licensed teacher who is working in factory because he wants to earn better, a professional singer who had a misunderstanding with her manager whom she left and now works in a factory, a personnel manager who just want to try to experience another culture and life, etc. Well, OFWs or OFs (Overseas Filipinos) would always want to live a dignified life and they would risk limbs and life; they will always be proud on the dignity of their labor, but so sad that they are always taken advantage of by an uncaring and corrupt government.

  4. Hi betchay, thanks for writing about (professional) pinoys here in Korea. this is an affirmation that pinoys can do well anywhere (even in this hermit kingdom). i was inspired by your article that i wrote my own sentiments on this subject in my own blog:->.

    1. its everywhere not just us filipinos. i don’t care those who stereotyped us long as doing the right thing legally, peacefully and harmoniously to other countries. just simply ignore!


  5. One day I had a conversation with an old korean guy. He told me that pinoy in korea really works hard and he was wondering why they don’t spend money at all.

    I told him “they save their money for their family and for their future”

    He also told me most korean guys goes to pinas for vacation because its cheaper.

    Many korean guys also sold their properties in korean and started a new business in pinas.

  6. hi icy! yup, vacationing in pinas is so much cheaper and the beaches are so much better than here… not as crowded too in the summer season…

  7. well my husband is working in korea assigned in a factory,but lucky enough not to be assigned on diffiuclt and dangerous task.he has good set of filipino companions mom and dad is an ofw too in italy,all i can say is without these ofws,philippines will have a negative gnp.Gloria boasts on a higher gnp all the time,duh,not all filipinos are stupid,higher gnp right,its because yearly ther is an increase in the number of ofws,that why dollar,euro n other currencies are entering…..believe me my relatives are also ofws,i am proud my brothers and i graduated because of the hard earned euros.and i believe my daughter,chichi,who is the reason of my husbands perseverance will have the sam fate,graduating because of hard-earned korean won.she is now 3 years old,imagine how long he would spend there,away from us,i know for i grew up without a mom,i dont want to sound sentimental but that is the trend for the families left here,please value the HARD EARNED MONEY.

  8. ive got friends who are engineers here and landed in korea as factory workers,there salary is triple,so what wrong with dirty hands…..go guys

  9. @ Alice >> there’s nothing wrong with working in the factory… i’m proud of the OFW’s however i wish time will come when filipinos won’t need to travel far and be away from their families so they could work… life in korea is not a paradise, having dark skin and coming from SEA we’re subjected to prejudice… so it’s really nice to know that there are professionals working here…

  10. hi,got so much information from pinoys working in korea. I myself is looking for a greener pasture in that country. I am expecting to go to korea this month of june 2008. I hope everything will be alright. Hope to add more blogs the time i’ll be there. I am very happy to read this site. thanks to all.

  11. By the way, I will be working in Seoul. Main offce of the company I am presently emplyed. I am an Engineer here in our country, and also and Engineer there in Korea. Hope to see you soon guys.

  12. I’m still going to enter college but I really would like to work in Korea someday.

    My dream is to be just like those professional workers you mentioned especially Jasmine. I would really want to work for Korea Times. I’ve been studying the language for more than 2 years just to make that dream easier to achieve.

    I’m a loyal reader by the way. I like blogs of Filipinos in Korea. ^^

    Beenas last blog post..What Have Social Networking Sites Become?

  13. @Robert >> don’t forget to tell us when you’re here na… pinoys here are planning to have an EB… you should join us!

    @Beena >> Wow! You probably know more Korean than I do. Just hold on to your dream!

  14. “I read it about four years ago and it was written by a Westerner. He said something like some of the products admired worldwide are Made in Korea – by Filipino hands.”

    –i wanna know where you read this from. it sounds like a great essay.

  15. thanks for replying my email.I have some question for you again!!!!Why the embassy needs the bank of statement of my sister in law to visit my family? I’m the one to provides of all her expenses here including the plane ticket.Now, my sister in law in the Philippines got trouble coz she dont have enough money in her bank account.How much is required money in her bank account or is it ok if she dont have enough money in her account?Is she can process her visa going to Korea as a tourist family visa?
    more power to your job!!!!


  16. hi betchay! just want to ask if Filipino commerce grads could also land a good job in multinational companies there in korea?

    How about the english teachers there? are they really well compensated? hope to get your feedback. thank’s. πŸ™‚

  17. Hi,
    I,m Roberto Espinosa. I Filipino Engineer working here in Seoul, Korea. I work in an engineering consultancy firm. I’m the first and only foreigner working in my company . My colleagues traited me so well that I feel vendicated being aa filipino.
    Thank you very much for this site. I hope I’ll have the chance to meet filipino friends here in seoul. I met many of our kababayans only durign sundays.At Hyewa church. But they often go ingroups heading to the same direction while] I go by myself.

    My house is near the Seoul National University Station. My office is only 6 stations away. Please inform me of any activities reagarding pinoys here in Korea. Thanks

  18. Hi again

    I had a message inthis portal last May 20, and i am here in seoul finally. I’m Roberto. My friends call me robert, my korean colleagues call me espinosa. I’ve been here for almost 2 months and i had a great time working in SEoul. All my colleagues in my company are very nice to me. Please keep in touch with me ( I will be very happy to meet new filipino friends here in korea. I am living alone in my apartelle near seoul university station. The internet is my only link to my family back home, and to some of my friends here in korea.
    Please send me nes anything concerning filipinos here in korea. i willbe very happy to be a aprt of it.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi! I remember you. Welcome to Korea. I know what it’s like to be by yourself not knowing anyone. You should join us later in one of our meetings… with the other boys in Korea of course.

  19. It’s me again, robert. Korean Embassy in philippines issued men E-7 visa. It has 1 year validity period, with my company’s option to renew it after a year. It was my company who processed everthing. I just waited and see. REgards to you guys. Hope to see you soon. I am really looking forward t a aprt of a filipino community here in seoul. thnaks

  20. Robert,

    Marami na tayong engineers dito sa Korea,

    20+ sa GS
    5 sa SK
    10 sa Daewoo
    12 sa Hyundai

    Im sure nadagdagan pa ang mga ito

    Anong company mo?

    1. YOOSHIN ENGINEERING CORP. CONSULTANCY ON CIVIL ENGINEERING DESIGNS AND SUPERVISION. Lahat ng scope ng civil Engineers. Ikaw saan ka? Please send me. thanks.

      1. Its a good idea. I hope one of us engineers will take the first step to lead. I think KT1314 is a good choice.I am willing to participate.
        I didn’t know there are many engineers here in korea. It is overwhelming to learn that engineers from philippines are working well in korea amidst the many korean engineers.

  21. Welcome to Korea Robert.

    Dito ako sa Hyundai at kaibigan rin namin yung mga nasa ibang company.

    Enjoy your stay here…

  22. Miss betchay, just arrived recently. I am a Filipina who was lucky eneough to win a scholarship from the Korean government. I hope to be part of the Filipino community here in Korea, if you have meetings of EB(s) please notify me, I’d be more than happy to attend and be a part of it. I know that you know what I am undergoing at the moment… extreme sadness…being away from my family. I’ll appreciate mails from you as well as from fellow Filipinos here in Korea. God bless.

  23. Hello..I’m Myer and I’m still here in the Philippines. i’m applying for a scholarship in University of Ulsan. How’s life in Korea? I hope that I’ll pass the application and be there by December..hope to hear from u soon..thanks and have a blessed day!^^

  24. HI Myer! I hope you get in. Don’t worry, life in Korea is not as bad as some people think but it’s all a matter of perception. Just remember that when you’re here, you’re not in the Philippines. Simple but people tend to forget that.

  25. hello! filipinos are really hardworking.. am happy to hear about my countrymen having a good job here in korea. i’m also a filipna married to korean, i graduated (BEED) Bachelor of elementary education in baguio city. Now teaching English in kinder, hagwon and some private tutorials. I like this job a lot. i live in gangwondo near the boundary of north and south korea.

  26. hi everyone! i live in suwon near samsung.Where is the catholic church located? I work as a web developer here. Hope I can meet may kababayans here.

  27. hello moi! yung address naka lagay sin-dong yeongtong-gu, hindi ko pa masyado alam kasi mga lugar. alam ko yung name ng building acropark yung tinitirhan ko then yung office namin sa digital empire II.

  28. Hello again everyone, I am joan, 25 and i am from davao city. i am the only filipina in our company. I live with my korean officemates and they are very nice to me. This is my first week here and it wasn’t bad, though I am still adjusting on their food. Hope I can meet many Filipinos here.

    this is my chat ids:
    yahoo id: spurlark_18
    skype: router12388

  29. hi joan. i am from davao too. ako lang pud one and only foreigner sa amung office. Highway engineer ko diri. naa ko seoul run. hehehe. last june lang pud ko. naka adjust na ko sa ilang pag kaun diri. puro sagbot. hehehe

  30. hi joan. tagadavao pud ko. ako lang pud one and only foreigner sa amung office. Highway engineer ko diri. naa ko seoul run. hehehe. last june lang pud ko. naka adjust na ko sa ilang pag kaun diri. puro sagbot. hehehe

  31. asa ka graduate sa college? asa dapit inyo sa davao? taga malalag ko. naa ra ko sa office. designer pud me. mga building lang. dili web. hehehe. 31 lang ko.

  32. @bert sa davao city mismo amoa, sa USP ko nag graduate, hapit nako mag 1 month dri, medjo naka adjust napud sa food na puros sagbot heehehhe. gusto ko moad2 sa hyehwa pero dli ko kamao mag commute hahahah.. gimingaw nako sa davao…

    @moi, malapit lng pala talaga ako sa maetan-dong, naglakad2x ako minsan near the places where i live at yun nakita ko maetan-dong a few blocks away.

  33. hi everyone! uuwi ba kayo lahat this christmas? ako hindi huhuhuhu πŸ™ kakarating ko lang kc d2.. hope to celebrate christmas with u kung sino man ang hindi uuwi.

  34. mau ba.hehehe. joan,pag dili ka busy, chat ta. open akung yahoo ID whole day pag weekdays, ug sa gabii pag weekends. envite teka ha. bantay lagi. heheeh. Muoli ko puhon as Christmas. Sige, goodluck. M

  35. to Mabel,

    hello, you wrote above that you are working as an english teacher in korea..hindi po ba illegal un? i also want to stay longer in korea but unfortunately wala ako pansupport sa daily needs ko dyan. so im planning to find part time jobs. I still don’t have visa but im really looking forward na maapprove ung visa ko…^^
    Anyway, talking about professional Pinoys in Korea..may nabalitaan na po ba kau n ngwwork as accountant dyan? I am an Accountancy graduate and I already have a license. I just want to ask if there’s a chance that i can apply my course in korea? I have searched in the internet and most postings for pinoys are for engineers and entertainers.

  36. Hello po sa inyong lahat!

    I’m writing a research paper on Filipinos in South Korea, specifically on their continued exercise of their Christian faith. Kahit ano’ng google ko po ay wala akong mahanap na published article saying where our kababayans are in South Korea.

    Buti nalang nakita ko itong blog na ito. Very inspiring na, eh insightful pa.

    Puwede ho bang mahingi ang tulong ninyo? I just want to know in general terms kung saan po sa South Korea nag-concentrate ang mga Filipino communities. At kung saang mga simbahan po sila nag-ga-gather.

    Maraming salamat po! And more power to you all.

    Cristina De Guzman

    1. Hi Cristina! You can find them every Sunday afternoon at Hyewha-dong. Take subway line number 4 to Hyewha station. The Catholic church isn’t far from there. You’ll see pinoys there anyway from noon until 5 in the afternoon. The mass is from 1:30 to 3PM (ata).

  37. I will be working in Seoul Korea this year in an IT company. And I’m planning to bring my family and I would like to know if it’s ok to bring them my wife and 3 children ages 2, 3 and 7 yrs. old. And I would like to know if there’s a filipino school there and how much…

    1. Hi Josh! Ask the DepEd in the Philippines about homeschooling your kids. There is no Filipino school here, but there are a few international schools (tuition fee is from US$20,000 a year).

  38. hi sir KT1314, ask ko lng po kng jan ka na sa hyundai korea nag apply mismo? or dito sa hyundai pinas? yung husband ko kc engr din and car company tlga gusto nya, pde kaya sya jan? hehe.. demanding po ba mga questions ko? hehe pasensya na po..

  39. hello there.. im so glad nakita ko tong site nato.. nakakatuwa namang basahin ang mga comments… it was really my dream to work in korea, i don’t know why. after ko nag grad ng college as computer science last 2006 nag school agad ako ng korean but after how many months namatay yung teacher ko at nkalimutan ko na lahat. super sayang talaga kasi ang dami pa naman niyang plano saken kasi my connection siya sa isang company jan sa korea then ako daw ang ipapadala niya (fave niya kasi ako aheeee) heehhe… then after that i stop pursuing to work in korea :(. im a graphic artist for 2 and half years but then i love the hotel/tourism jobs pero wala akong experience πŸ™ .. then yung friend ko may friend jan sa isang pinoy restaurant ( i forgot the name) supervisor siya then sabi niya pag may hiring daw sila sasabihan niya daw kami.. pero parang matagal pa mag hiring sa kanila… meron ba kayong alam na job jan na pwede kong applayan pero wag yung graphic artist kasi im not happy with that job kasi eh, iba naman talaga diba pag mahal mo ginagawa mo, di ko kasi nakuha yung tourism/hotel na course before kasi gusto ni mama mag comscie ako, kaya e2 … wala din akong experience in some hotel/tourism job, posible kaya makahanap ako? hope to hear from you guys soon πŸ™‚

    thank you so much po πŸ™‚

    1. Lady girl same tau graduate din aq as CS this year..and I have plans na pumunta xa korea as soon as possible..pki inform mu nman aq regarding xa work na gusto mu..gusto q din mag work xa hotel..Accounting staff kse aq ngaun,,..Gusto q talaga pumunta ng korea..

      God Bless and more power xa lahat !

  40. pahabol po hehe: try ako nag search sa net pero more on engineers and techinnician jobs kasi…

    thank you po πŸ™‚

  41. Hi sa lahat! I’m here in Seoul this June to Nov.30, 2009 as visiting writer (professor of Literarure & Creative Writing sa De La Salle University in Manila; UP Batch 2000, can speak Kinaray-a, Ilonggo, Cebuano other than Tagalog)invited by the Korea Literary Translation Institute. Will study Korean at the Korea University, etc. Would love to meet Filipinos here. Anyone?:) Salamat.

    Genevieve Asenjo

  42. Hey GuyS! As others opening remarks, I’m pleased to see this blog site. I am teaching Englisg to korean students here in Manila and fortunately one of my former student invited me to come over to his place to continue our classes during his class vacation this july. His plans was to invite me as a tourist but the thing is I’ll be teaching him. Will I get into trouble if I take his offer?

    I hope someone will give comment on this.


    1. mike…

      My situation is just like yours….but I don’t know exactly what to do. They said that It’s really hard to acquire a visa going to Korea. What are the things that you’ve than so far??? Would you mine sharing…please please

    2. mike, you can only be invited as a tourist there, maximum of 3 months. your sponsor will be your student’s parents to show that they will be responsible for your accomodation and all. you will need those sponsor papers when you file for a visa at the korean embassy along with other documents like a bank certificate. you can apply for a free tourist visa good for 59 days and you can just extend when you are in korea.

      just make sure your student will be willing to send you supporting papers… email me at for more info

  43. hi there! im ryan 23 yrs old.. im looking for a job at korea,, i would like to ask if there would be a good link online where i can apply at south Korea for any job.. it really doesnt matter what kind of job would that be

  44. magandang hapon po,

    am still here in korea. my final entry will end next month. im here in yongsan, korea.anyone from yongsan? πŸ™‚

  45. hello Ms. Bet,

    i attended the holy mass yesterday at hyewa church with my fiance.kababayans were attending. i am glad to know and all seats were taken. we were at the back standing but thats fine. it was our first time going there and also we’ve seen the Philippine Market and according to the priest announcement it will be transfered.

    its a good thing it will be transfered where there is a particular place for philippine market for orderly reason. hope not too far from the church.

  46. Hi Betchay,

    I loved what you wrote…it made me proud to be Pinoy!
    Would you read my blog as well at
    in case our fellow kababayans there in South Korea would like to benefit from this new service? This is a new product provided by PLDT and our company is the only telco that sells/promotes it abroad.
    You may also visit our website for more details. Please feel free to email me in case you have special questions. Thanks and best regards.

  47. kamusta po sa inyo andito po ako sa korea nakapag asawa po ng korean at nagkaroon na po ng ank 22 yrs old po ako gusto ko pong ishare sa inyo ang problema ko po dito ……nakatra po ako sa biyenan ko ngayon
    ang turing po nila sa akin d2 ay hind myeonori kundi ka2long
    ngayon po may takot po ako na baka po ilayo nila sa akn ang ank ko .palagi kc nila cnsb n pag di daw me sumunod sa gusto nila pauuwiin dw ho akong mag isa at sa knla dw ang ank ko sa totoo ako’y natatakot na mangyari yun meron po ba na mahihingian ng tulong d2 po sa mlpit sa gochang korea po pls help po ako po c rhoda macario .

    1. hi rhoda! ayaw kitang takutin pero kung idi0-divorce ka ng asawa mo ay mas malaki ang chance na mapupunta nga ang custody ng anak ninyo sa kanya… sinasaktan ka ba ng asawa mo?

      gochang ay sa jeollabukdo, tama ba?

  48. doon po sa message ko pag pasensiyahan nyo npo medyo ndala lng ng nrrmdaman ko,kaya ko pa nmn po cgurong mag tiis ,ngunit kung sakaling totohanin nila ang sinabi nla meron po ba akong mahihingian ng tulong..?

  49. hello rhoda, malaki ang maitutulong sa yo ng gochang damunhwa center, marami din dun pinoy who experienced like you, bsta punta ka lang dun ientertain ka nila don’t worry.
    Ms. Betchay tama po kayo, sa Jeollabukdo nga po ang Gochang.:-)

  50. Hi all,
    Ready all your chit chat seems it makes me wanna work in SK. Do you have any hiring for PDMS Administrators?

    Thank you.

    Hi to all KA-Filipino^&^
    HAPPY to read ur life and experiences here in korea,yes!its been a difficulttime to a person who doesnt know anything working in abroad but as time goes by “you can worked for it”,may salita nga taung mga filipino,”yakang-yaka yan,filipino pa!…i admit that filipinos are hard working people..we dont want to be aggreviated or put down..we have our own motivations and reflexes..especially dealing with other people…as far as i know and experienced by my self KOREA is lucky to have filipino workers..RIGHT!!!!

  52. hello everyone I’m from ACB WORLD POWER CALL travel agency. I would like to promote here our ticketing market, for those who wants to reserve they could avail 5% discount. We have lots of airlines such as PHILIPPINES KOREAN AIRLINES ASIANA AIRLINES and so on. We offer you non-stop transit via,,don’t miss the chance

  53. Hello Mam,
    I am a Filipinoworking in one middle construction company here in Seoul. My contract will expire in July of 2013. But I had plan to transfer to one big construction company…my question really is, if I had to transfer to another company, do I need to take a medical examination again? My previous medical exam results in the Philippines showed scar in my lungs, but fortunately, they ( the agency , medical clinic and my korean employer) waived my medical condition. Any comments or advice will be appreciated.

    Thanks and God bless all !

  54. @KT1314. I understand sa Hyundai ka nagwowork. Is it HHI? (I wish) sa HHI ako sa Plant Division. I am working as a Paralegal (I’m a lawyer). Mga 2 months pa lang ako at since my arrival, wala pa ako nameet na Filipino and that makes me sick kasi wala akong makausap na kababayan and hindi pa ako aware sa mga Fil. organizations nearby. HIndi pa ako familiar sa places outside of Dong gu. In fact, Dong gu itself seems still strange for me, except for some ntable places here like the Hyundai Hotel, Hyundai Depatment store, Homeplus, etc. Sana may makilala ako na kababayan to to acquaint myself. Thanks

  55. Hi KT,

    Nabanggit mo na nasa Hyundai ka, HHI ba? Bago lang ako sa HHI Ulsan (nalipat ako sa Ulsan Head Office mula sa Project sa Bahrain). Mag 2 months pa lang ako dito at nahihirapan pa na mag-adjust sa klima at kultura, lalu na sa pagkain. Sa napansin ko, ako lang ang Pinoy sa trabaho namin, pero naririnig ko may ilang pinoy nga din sa HHI, pero sa shipyard yata sila, kaya di din nagkakaroon ng pagkakataon makita ko sila.

    Sana may makilala ako na mga pinoy dito sa Ulsan particular sa Dong gu para malapit lang din sa tinutuluyan ko. Malapit ang office at tinututluyan ko sa Hyundai Department Store.

    Saan ko ba makikita ang mga pinoy dito sa Dong gu? May pinoy store ba dito?

    Salamat ng madami.


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