Filipino netizens are swooning over a 23-year-old Korean woman who graduated last month from a Busan university with a bachelor’s degree in Filipino.
Kim Jeeyoon’s story attracted public attention when her Filipino teacher at Busan University of Foreign Studies, Jovy Peregrino, posted about her graduation on Facebook last week. Peregrino’s post has been shared by several Facebook groups since then, making Kim a bit of an internet celebrity in recent days.
Kim told Coconuts Manila in an interview that she was encouraged to become a Filipino language major after visiting the Philippines in 2015.
“I had my internship in the Philippines,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English. “I was in Bulacan. That’s where I met my friends. I wanted to learn more about their culture and language, so I chose to study Filipino.”
“I thought Filipino sounded cool compared to other languages. Of course, [it helped that] my professor [Peregrino] was so nice,” she added.
She said that she became fluent in the language with the help of her Filipino friends.
“I have a lot of friends in the Philippines. We always chat using Filipino. And if I have any questions, I always ask them. All Filipinos are really nice,” Kim said.
A true lover of Pinoy culture, Kim said that she’s a big fan of the food served at the beloved chicken chain Mang Inasal, and thinks tricycles — the local motorized public transport vehicles — are interesting because they have nothing like them in South Korea.
Her career plans are nebulous at present, but she’s open to relocating to the Philippines.
“If there’s a chance for me to work in the Philippines, I would like to work there,” she said.
Have you met a foreigner similar to Kim? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.
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