Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

February 14th: Valentine’s Day!


This isn’t exactly unique to Korea, but guys, just know that Korea should be the object of your envy when it comes to Valentine’s Day. See, here, you don’t have to do anything! That’s right—just sit back and receive your chocolate from that lovely lady of yours.

Yes, Valentine’s Day in Korea is all on the woman’s shoulders. Several days before the 14th, streets are lined with vendors selling baskets of chocolate, which is a standard gift for boyfriends or even male objects of admiration. Those girls who want to go all-out even raise the bar beyond that, as Valentine’s Day is a huge profit-winner for department stores, hotels, bakeries, jewelers, and pretty much any other types of consumer goods vendors you can think of.

In Korea, this is definitely a great day to be a man!


Valentine’s Special: Some Tagalog Phrases to Help You Conquer the Philippines’ Romantic Culture


If you’ve ever watched foreign films, you know that certain countries are known for certain genres. The French have their charming comedies; the Americans their special effects and explosions. The Indians have everything (believe it or not, India is currently the largest producer of feature films in the world), and while most East Asian countries have plenty of romantic movies, you still have lots of variety with the popularity of Hong Kong’s action-comedy, Korea’s horror films and Japan’s dramatic tearjerkers. In the Philippines, though, it seems that it’s all about the romance, which isn’t surprising given the Filipinos love for…love!

To help you blend in on this Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d leave you with a list of romantic phrases you can say in Tagalog, so you won’t miss a beat next time you happen to be in this part of the world.

Happy practicing!

V Day Bear

Key Romantic Phrases in Tagalog

“I love you”                                “Mahal kita”

“I like you” (as in crush)            “May gusto ako sa iyo”

“May I date you?”                        “Puwede ba kitang ligawan?”

“I want to marry you”                 “Gusto na kitang pakasalan”

“Will you marry me?”                 “Tatanggapin mo ba ang alay kong pakasalan kita?”

Valentine’s Day Special: The Concept of Chivalry in Korea


In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up next week, I thought we would address the concept of chivalry and dating in Korea. Korean men, especially younger ones, deservedly or not, have a reputation around the world as romantics. Early on in relationships, they tend to shower their girlfriend with affection, in hopes of securing a long-term relationship.

A significant concept in Korean relationships is that of 100 days. After a child is born, families have a celebration on their 100th day, giving thanks to Samshin (the birth goddess), for helping the mother and child through their most delicate time.

The 100-day mark has a similar importance for couples, who often celebrate this occasion with gifts. Popularized by Korean dramas which seem to significantly impact outsiders’ views of Korean men and romance, it is an opportunity to exchange gifts, and the first time at which it would be considered appropriate for the guy to express his love for the girl. Also, it has become a popular trend for couples to celebrate this day by dressing exactly alike—that’s right, shoes, pants, shirt, etc.

However, while during this 100 day period it is likely to see the guy showering every possible bit of affection onto his new girlfriend, it isn’t likely that this treatment continues far beyond that. Korea is still a male-dominated society, and traditional gender roles are still alive and well. So once a couple is established, it is generally expected that the woman serves the man by cooking, cleaning, etc. You won’t often see an elderly Korean man open the car door for his significant other.

So ladies, next time you are walking in Korea and see a guy carrying his girlfriend’s purse (yes, it is quite a normal sight to see a grown man prancing around with a Louis Vuitton bag on his arm), you should probably consider that they are likely still in their 100-day period before your heart melts into the pavement.

Definitely signs of a first-100 day couple: dressed alike, guy carrying designer purse.

Definitely signs of a first-100 day couple: dressed alike, guy carrying designer purse.