Blog Count: (2) Meet Pinay Jubu in Korea |Pinay.com
Have you wondered what it’s like to live in Korea? Twenty-nine years old Jeremy Gascon, or Jem as she prefers to be called, is a Jubu(주부). That means housewife or homemaker. She moved to Korea in 2011 from her Philippine home province of Laguna.
We were drawn by her blog, Pinay Jubu in Korea, as we were curious to know how she has managed to adjust living in a foreign country. Our conversation touched on why she blogs, tips for Pinays who are going to reside in this Asian country and food. We like Bulgogi and Kimchi. Well, apparently, there are several kinds of Kimchi.
Get to know our Pinay. Here’s life in the Korean lane.
Why blog? When did you first blog?
The first reason why I blog is to update my family back in the Philippines about my life and experiences here in Korea. The next reason is I want to help other Filipinas who are searching for some information regarding Korean visa applications and requirements, legal information, services and programs for multicultural families. And the last reason is that I want to let other people know what is it like living in Korea as an ordinary housewife, mother and expat. I want to show them the life beyond K-Pop and Korean dramas.
What things do you discuss in your blog?
Basically, my blog is about my life here in Korea, my experiences and useful information for foreign spouses of Koreans. I also sometimes do book and product reviews and write about simple food recipes, the Korean language, interesting websites, legal information and programs and services provided to multicultural families.
What is your first impression of Korea?
Korea is about being advanced, systematic, and organized. The place where I lived in the Philippines and Seoul are almost opposite. Here, in Seoul, the whole neighborhood is too quiet. Koreans are always in a hurry and don’t like waiting; rules and laws are strictly observed. One thing I admire so much about Koreans is the their love for their country, culture and heritage.
What’s it like to live in Korea? When did you move to Korea?
I moved in Seoul, Korea in November of 2011. I have only been living here for less than three years and I’m still in the adjustment stage. My first year here in Korea was not that easy but not that difficult. I have adjusted quite well with Korean food, life, and way of living.
What kind of challenges do you encounter living in a foreign country?
My main problem is their language because up to now my communications skill is still low. During my first year here, I was scared to go out, buy something in the store, go the hospital during emergencies, answer very simple questions or follow instructions. I’ve gradually gained confidence to go out and explore and talk to Koreans. I have also started to participate in some of the programs in the Multicultural Family Support Center in our district.
Do you cook Korean dishes like Bulgogi? Do you like Kimchi?
Yes, I can cook Bulgogi and other Korean dishes. I can also make several kinds of Kimchi.
What would be your advise to a Pinay who just moved to Korea?
My first advice is learn Korean. Don’t expect that because you are good or can speak well in English that Koreans will be willing to talk to you or help you. Remember that you are in Korea, don’t expect them to talk to you in English or explain something to you in your language. Second thing is, know, understand and adjust to the Korean culture, tradition, food, way of life, legal rights and laws. There is a big difference between Korean and Philippine culture that is why many Filipinas here are encountering many difficulties while living in Korea. My third advice is join and participate in various programs and classes offered by the local government, Multicultural Family Support Centers, non-governmental organizations and religious organizations. There are many free classes provided specifically for foreign spouses of Koreans like Korean language, cooking, baking, barista training, handicrafts, nail art, English language teaching, Chinese language, driving lessons, mentoring programs, among others. My last advice is to make friends—not only with your fellow Pinays but also with foreigners and Koreans. Start or join a good network of friends because they are the ones who will help you in times of need. But just be careful in making or choosing friends.
You can read more about life in Korea by following Pinay Jubu’s blog. All photos are courtesy of our featured blogger.
Blog Count is a series of conversations with Pinays all over the world. Get to know our other Pinays. If you are a member of Pinay.com, we can feature you too. Can you inspire us? Do you have something to share? Email Tish Leizens, the chief editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s start a conversation.
Tish Leizens is a great believer in asking lots of questions. That was how she was trained as a business journalist for newspapers and magazines. That was how she survived trying moments in her personal life and how she navigated a successful career and business in media. In 1997, she asked, “Why not?” And so, she moved from Manila to New York City. It was and continues to be a great adventure. After stints as a reporter for Manila Chronicle and Manila Times; correspondent for The Straits Times and Gulf News; Tish worked as editor for Conde Nast, and later edited and published her own regional magazines, OurHouse and Excursions. OurHouse, sold in bookstores chains in the East Coast, was nationally recognized for its innovative approach to magazine publishing. Tish has lectured at the New York Public Library on how to launch a magazine and other topics related to publishing. She was featured in CNN Money in 2010.