Korean Town as part of Angeles City. The Philippines is known with its strong resiliency and adaptability. They have gone through a lot during the colonial days and its culture has somehow adapted the other countries’ culture. In addition to this, Filipinos are known to be easily influenced by the latest trends and issues around the globe. We are easily swayed by a variety of mores we see and more often than not, Filipinos are fond of patronizing imported goods and even become accustomed with the extensively accepted foreign norms. One of the widely recognized concepts that are presently prevailing is the famous K-pop craze. Asianovelas, K-pop groups and Korean delicacies have been dominating the market. It all started when the Philippine Media allowed international drama series to be aired on a prime time slot where the whole family is complete at home and capable of watching the television altogether. Surprisingly, the Philippines positively responded to South Korean dramas and are very receptive to their way of life. Eventually, there were already some Korean celebrities who are on their way to stardom because of the high regard of Filipino fans. Only a few years have passed when Korean dramas have successfully dominated most of the television network and even their songs became a hit to the nation’s top Music Chart. K-pop groups and well known South Korean artists started visiting the country and they were amazed with how warm Filipino fans welcomed them, they have soon realized that the Philippines is a potential market for their business objectives. At this present time, South Koreans have truly fallen in love with the Philippines and that is the time “Korean Town” was born. Business men from all over the world considered the Philippines as a good prospect for their proposed establishments and recently, Friendship Highway flourished that caused Angeles City to be one of the renowned cities in Pampanga. Korean Town blooms gradually as different kinds of Korean establishments sprout one by one. From restaurants, KTV bars, spas to hotels and shopping marts, it was as if Koreans have made their own haven within the district of Angeles. Asians, particularly, South Koreans, are deeply fond with their cuisines that are undeniably mouthwatering. It is not just about how delicious their food is, it is about the natural nutrients you get from their delectable dishes. The famous “Samgyeopsal”, (which is made up of pork belly, lettuce, bean sprouts and garnish) is a well-liked recipe that Filipinos have been craving for and it became the current trend in Korean town. Almost all of the Koreanovelas keep endorsing their dishes and that is how it was widely known by Filipinos through word of mouth. Aside from Samgyeopsal, noodle houses and KTV bars emerged as Korean madness goes on. Ramyun, Kimchi, Soju, Bibimbap and Kimbap, these are only few of their appetizing dishes that have captured our taste. This is the time where Spicy foods became trendy and where vegetables taste better than ever. Teenagers, tweeners, early twenties and almost all of the consumers with the whole range of age brackets were successfully penetrated by Korean businesses. These are all perfect for an everyday “merienda”, special occasions or family get together. The following are the restaurants you can visit around Korean Town, these are Woori Garden, Go! Gigib, Nam Kang, Blue Daisy, Gu-Yi-Ga, Single Bungle, Ammyundo, Dae Han Min Kun, Daemun, Jun Jun’s, Shinsun Su, Chicken Feet, 1970 Grill, Hyunjung, Ilmi, Fat Boy Burger, Boom Chicken, Tony J’s Italian, Yu Ganne 2, Yu Ganne, Mythic Moogle, Sempai Japanese, Vietnamese, Mimade, Hanna Rice Cake, Dae Na Mu Jip, Bada, Manchoo, Kiwon, Mr. Wang, Iguana’s, Charlie’s on the Bend, Kang San Ae and Halong Bar in Korean Town. Filipinos, like Koreans, are really into singing and one thing that made them closer is their pride in showing off their hidden talents. That is why KTV bars became the common place for afternoon parties, birthday celebrations and reunions. It became a norm to us that we sing their songs even if sometimes we may not have even a single clue what does their songs mean. There were already a lot of Korean celebrities that became a hot icon mostly for teenagers and people who are young at heart. The ever popular Korean stars known by their characters from different Kdramas are Kim Tan (Lee Min Ho) of “The Heirs” and Do Min Joon (Kim Soo-hyun) of “My Love from the Star”. They are just few of the numerous actors that made noise to the Filipino fans here in Korean Town. Also, with the growing crowd of Kpop music, their songs were the most sought after tracks of Filipinos. Kpop groups like 2NE1, Big Bang, Super Junior, Exo have already skyrocketed their way to the top of Philippine music charts. We must not also forget the internationally acclaimed dance craze of “Gangnam Style” of PSY, that even western countries were highly influenced with the groovy cavort of the song along with its hyped tempo. It became the worldwide dance sensation last 2012 wherein Asian and Western countries were amused with its ongoing trend that reached two billion views online. KTV Diba is one of the famous bars inKorean Town, Balibago and it has been built for a long time located at the Korean Town. The following are the KTV bars that you shouldn’t miss: Goubugi Inc., 10 Pro Korean and ASSA Family. All these trends were brought about by South Koreans and as a result, it became easier for them to promote their lifestyle to us. Their cosmetics and apparels have saturated the whole markets. Shopping marts and grocers are now the usual place for Filipinos who choose to buy their goods and products. Furthermore, Korean health practices and spas are generally claimed to be one of the effective ways to relieve stress. Organic products and herbal medicines are one of the beneficial things we learned from them. In addition to that, glamorous inns and hotels became a hit to a lot of Filipinos too. With their unique designs and fine architectural structure that will truly show the ideal Asian resting place. Here are the different hotels that you might want to try: King’s Hotel & Poker, Halla Hotel, Valentine Hotel and Koa Hotel in Korean Town. A wide variety of shopping marts such as Halla Mart, IM Mart, One Stop RE, Korean Mart, Hyunjeong Mart, Mansang Minimart, Sing Sing Himart are also located here. You can also see some establishments like pharmacy, bakeshop, gym, salon, spas and other trading industry surrounding the area. These are Jongno East Medical, AC1 Fitness, Mr. Park’s Bread & Cake, A-One Pharmacy, Anunas Fire Station, H & W Deli, Dental Clinic, Homs Printers, Wuri Tiger Lux Avenue, Cha High Plant, EK trading, LSK Hardware, Hullyu Fashions, St. Therese Eng’g Works, Moduwa.com, Moon’s Salon, La Belleza, Citronella, Kent, Orange & Diamond Skin Care and Sharon Massage. Without a doubt, Korean Town was the perfect place for Filipinos who seek to experience the Korean culture. Prominent establishments like Puregold, Robinson’s Easymart, Jollibee, Banco De Oro. GR Bank, 7Eleven, South Star Drug, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Metrobank have their respective branch located in the area of Korean Town for they have seen the good market breakthrough for their business since Angeles City is one of the most flourished towns in Central Luzon. The former gloomy and cavernous place of Friendship Highway is now the lively streets of Korean Town filled with a lot of people. Korean Town may be a drastic change for the residents but astonishing results came after a few months. Who would ever think that Koreans will see the possibility of growth in the area of Fil-Am Friendship Highway. Indeed, the Philippines have never lost its charm to foreign people. Before, tourists will just have a quick visit and stay for a couple of months. Now, they are staying here in Korean Town seeking for their own dwelling place and learning our culture for them to blend well in our country. As of now, there are approximately 89,000 (Wikipedia, 2013) Koreans living here in the Philippines and with their great influence to us, it became part of our society to try and find ways to adapt their culture. They have chosen our country not only because of our hospitality but also because of our wits. We have made it to the top since we belong to one of the best English speaking countries worldwide. All in all, we have not only proved that we are one of the worlds emerging country today, we have also established a good rapport with the South Koreans and we are looking forward to be in partnership with them for the years to come.
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