Non-credit Korean Classes

If you follow my blog and/or watch my videos on YouTube, you may already be wondering if I am interested in Korean culture. The answer is no secret, I am very much into it! I have been watching k-dramas for as long as I can remember, I listen to k-pop, I cook k-food, I’ve been to Seoul and Jeju not too long ago, and yes, I am also taking Korean classes!

I used to wok at Renison University College in Waterloo and I found out about their non-credit Korean classes. They offer language classes and they also have a culture club you can join. While participating in the club is free, the language class comes with a minimal fee. Pretty much everyone can sign up and join.

This winter term, they are offering Integrated Korean, Levels 1 and 2. I have taken level 1 last year and I might be joining the second level this year.

It is a classroom set-up which I really like because I focus better that way. The book you use in class will be given to on your first day. They also give handouts as you go through the course.

My experience in this class has been great. The lessons were easy to follow and the class is always active. This class is offered once a week for three months which I find a bit sad because the interval between classes is so long I just end up forgetting half of the lesson. That’s just me though.

The culture club meetings happen once week too. Here, we actually learn about Korean culture. It has been really fun for me. I mean, for starters, you learn loads of stuff for free! It’s also open this winter term but I might not join this time around.

We celebrate festivities like Korean Thanksgiving or Lunar New Year, we talked about masks, stamps and calligraphy. We made a bunch of different food and did a tea ceremony. We also watched movies, took part in events and played games. Every meeting offers something new! I can’t really move to Korea to learn all these stuff so it’s like Korea comes to me instead.

I really hope nothing comes up so I could join the language classes this term. After all, I have met a lot of amazing people throughout my time here and I couldn’t be more thankful. If learning Korean language or culture is part of your 2018 goals, planning to go to Korea or just want to try something new, come and join! I might even see you around. Let’s share our common love for Korean language and culture!

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Travel Throwback: A weekend in Jeju Island (Part 1)

So.. A weekend in Jeju Island? Yes! It’s possible! This is the throwback story of how I spontaneously added Jeju in my supposed to be 2-week Seoul travel itinerary.

I went to South Korea last Spring. I initially wanted to spend my entire vacation knowing every corner of Seoul. To my luck, I became good friends with Koreans from Jeju Island before my planned trip. I gave my word that I’ll stop by Jeju to see them and that’s what I did.

I only had a weekend to spare though. It’ll be my first time going to Jeju so I looked up “must-see” places that I think I could squeeze in.

I kid you not when I say, it was my first time backpacking by myself! On top of that, I was able to let go of my control-freak self and go without a detailed itinerary. Still, I think I managed to make the most out of my 3days!

I booked my plane ticket via Jeju Air and it was departing from Gimpo. I took the earliest flight I could manage so I can maximize my day. The moment I landed, I immediately looked up the way to Jusangjeolli Cliff. Turns out it was only a bus ride away.

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I know my photos won’t do this place any justice but believe me when I say it was truly a sight to see!

The black pillars of hexagonal-shaped rocks was carved by mother nature herself. You can look at it from a view deck above. I was there for a while, it was a worthy welcome and I went hungry for more sights to see.

There is a park around the area as well. I didn’t wander around those parts for too long though. I took time looking around somewhere else.

While trying to figure out how to get to my next destination, I followed the road where I initially got off.

Oh, the beauty of spring.. More importantly, the beauty of getting lost with nature!

I could stay and take photos forever but the reality is I needed to go see more places. I took another bus ride. Next on my list is Jeongbang Waterfall; But my map led me to Sojeongbang Waterfall.

The way to the falls is a bit sketchy. But when you get there, you’ll find that it’s a pleasant little side trip. Almost nobody there but me.

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I breathe in the scenery for a while. I have a relationship with water that I can never put into words.

After resting there for a bit, I continued walking to the falls I’m originally after. It was a good thing that I wore a comfortable outfit.

Jeongbang Falls is said to be the only one in Asia that leads directly to the ocean. Isn’t that amazing? Life tends to me lead me to the ocean whenever I “fall” too.

I love it! I just love water falls, ok?! I stayed here until I was able to regain all of my energy. Before I know it, it was time for me to find my way home.

I could trust my map again this time, right? Wrong! Lol. This is where my most embarrassing experience as a tourist unfold..

I would love to continue on, but all my babbling about Day 1 has cost me an entire blog!
I’m sure you want to hear more. How about you head on the next parts and I’ll talk to you there?~

Travel Throwback: A weekend in Jeju Island (Part 2)

I may have left you hanging on the first part of this blog. As promised tho, this is where I tell the most embarrassing thing that happened to me as a tourist!

So I was ready to end a perfectly satisfying first day in Jeju. All I have to do is get to my guesthouse and rest up for the next day. Because I pretty much survived the day through spontaneously searching my way around, I trusted that I will successfully find my way home too. Sadly, my map failed me..

For some odd reason, I just can’t find the bus stop where I’m supposed to take the bus home. I slightly panicked so I ask the first person I could find for directions.
Just who did the universe sent me? Well, a cute grandma who was eating tangerines at her friend’s road side fruit store! I approached, said hello and she handed me tangerines saying they’re good. What did I say? She cute or what!? It was the first time a local received me so warmly!

Anyway, I knew some Korean. I knew how to ask my question, so without second thoughts I asked where I could find the bus stop. She didn’t speak any English and she probably sensed my entry-level Korean speaking skills. So instead of telling me the way, she got up and walked me to the bus stop! Mind you, it was quite a walk!

I was already embarrassed enough to have a grandma walk me to get to my bus stop. You know what else happened on top of that? We found out that it was the wrong stop! All I could do is apologize for wasting her time like that.

This is where you know how good people are. That grandma didn’t give up on me. She said she knew where to go. I just followed her and next thing I know, she was taking me to the nearest police station!! It was so embarrassing!

Also, it was really nice of her to think of my needs and/or safety to that extent. But yeah, I was that tourist who you’ll find at a police station, with a grandma, asking for directions. I. Can’t. Even!

It made sense to ask authorities for help but I felt like I made a total mess of myself more than I should.. In a foreign land.. On my first day.  You know what I mean? It was my most embarrassing experience to date!

The officers were kind enough to help me out though. I thanked them dearly. I got the bus I needed and I went my way.

I was unsure about the stop they told me to take. I got off two stops before that and my luck just snapped back! I got the right stop, just a short walk to my guest house. Everything magically showed through the map again.

I booked Santorini Guesthouse via Airbnb, it was my first ‘home.’ I booked a dorm type room because that’s the cheaper option if you’re travelling alone and because I have my luck back, they told me I have the room to myself for the entire night. I loved the place.

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I highly recommend this place if you’re planning to catch the sunrise at Seongsan Ilchulbong because it’s just across the street to the way up there.

I struggle getting up in the morning so naturally, I missed the actual sunrise. That didn’t stop me from going up tho.
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It was so refreshing! The peak was beautiful. I love how there’s also a viewing deck so people could all see the sunrise in harmony.

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Above or below was interesting enough. There’s a ‘mermaid’ show here too but the timing is off. I needed to go back, get my stuff and move to my next destination.

I wanted to go to Udo Island next. I was told that another one of the guests was going there too. I practically tagged along because I didn’t want to lose my way again.

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I forgot his name tho. Anyway, we just walked to the pier. We bought roundtrip boat tickets and after docking on the island, we separated our ways. He decided to hop on one of those bus tours while I decided to rent a bicycle and go around myself.

The island was something else! It took me 3-4hours to go around and I learned a lot of humble things that it had to offer. I love it!

I was also very proud of myself for having conquered all of that by myself. What an achievement!

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I was completely tired after all of that I was ready go something light and fun. It was time to relax, it was time for me to go to the city and meet my friends!

Aren’t you curious about how I spent my night this time? Well you just have to read on the last part of this blog to find out!~

Travel Throwback: A weekend in Jeju Island (Part 3)

I’ve seen some of the beauty of Jeju’s outskirts on part 1 and part 2 of this blog. It’s now time I head to the city and meet my friends. Just how did we spend the night anyway?

After Udo, I had to take the bus back to the city proper. All my friends live near the city hall so I booked Backpackers In Jeju via Airbnb as it was the closest I could find.

Again, I booked a dorm type room and luckily had it all to myself. I highly recommend the place because of the location and the very chill vibe.

I checked in first, washed up, and met my CanFam (Canada Family).

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Korean food is life! That dakgalbi was so good. We even had makgeolli on the side. Perfect!! Also, it was seriously the best bingsu I had my entire life! Oh how I miss it now!

After food and dessert, we also went to take some pictures and play bowling. I had so much fun! They are seriously the best hosts. I love them so much it hurts!

They say even good days come to an end. I had one of the longest days in my life and it was time for me to rest up.

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Rest of the Fam walked me to my guesthouse and we bid goodbye with a promise that I will be a host to them too if they want to visit PH.

The hospitality of the people I met in Jeju were beyond my expectations. I have never felt more at home in a foreign place.

I called it a night and took my rest in preparation of my last day in Jeju. I didn’t have much time during my last day so I looked up things I could do around the city.

I have read about this place online and being a Filipino myself, I just had to come check it out!

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Perfect breakfast or what?! I talked to the owner. He told me he lived in Boracay for a while. He love the island so much that it became his inspiration for the place. Fact: Koreans looove our mangoes!

Ok. I think I won’t forgive myself if I don’t come and taste one of Jeju’s delicacies—black pork!

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Food blogger feels! I didn’t mind one bit that I had a feast by myself for lunch. Mind you, I even had soju by myself.

The pork was amazing! It had this light and clean taste. I prefer grilled beef in general but this one is honestly a good match. I mean, Jeju is also known for its seafood but if you feel like having pork, you can try this one.

I felt really full after those eats. I went back to my guesthouse, picked my things up and went to my last stop before my flight.

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It is always nice to squeeze in museums during your travels. I went to the Jeju Folklore and Natural Museum.

They say that there are 3 things that Jeju has a lot of: Wind, Women and Rock.

I wanted to go to a local market before I go. I have a thing for markets too! When I checked the time, I only had enough to head to the airport so I guess I had to leave that for next time.

I made it in time for my flight. It was even delayed big time; But even so, it was ok because part of me didn’t want to go. *sad*

I just couldn’t believe all the things I went through, you know?—The places I saw, the people I met, the food I ate and the adventure I took. It is safe to say that Jeju left a mark in me that I will cherish forever. My traveller self has never been more proud!
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Before I end, I would like to mention that this write-up is all thanks to my CanFam in Jeju: TaeGyun, GwanRyeong, YangBeom, Brian, SungTaek and SoYeon~ This wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for you.

You have always gave me unimaginable courage even in my lowest days. I’ll forever be thankful from the bottom of my heart! 감사합니다~ 사랑해요!💕

I really hope I’ll be able to go back to Jeju again. I know there are more sights to see and food to eat! So if you are debating if this place is worth your time, I am telling you that it is! I highly recommend it!

Of course, if you don’t speak any Korean, I suggest you come more prepared than I am. This is not much of a travel guide because after all the fiasco I went through, I don’t think I’m the best person to ask. LOL.

I shared my experience to the best of my ability. If you read all 3 parts of this blog, I am grateful. I hope you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by~