I’m currently watching a Korean TV series, Descendants of the Sun. It is a romantic comedy that features the story of a doctor and a military guy. The plot is light but the script is perfection. The lines are witty and the characters amusing. The half-naked scenes that showcase the soldiers’ sculpted bodies are quite watchable on their own. Haha! However, I’m concerned that these types of TV series are detrimental to women as these perpetuate an undue expectation.
Korean TV series unduly glamorize Korean men
Not all Korean men are meek and innocent-like
I dated a Korean guy at one point, during the time I lived in Makati. Makati is a melting pot of people from different countries and different professions. Dating a Korean guy firsthand, I can say that he was nowhere like what Korean TV series show.
First, Korean guy was not timid nor virgin-like. He was aggressive and quite confident. He approached me at a club and introduced himself. After talking for a while, he asked me to go to lunch the next day! I was happily surprised that he had the balls to ask me out, even after learning that I’m a lawyer. Being a lawyer tends to scare a lot of Filipino guys.
Dating a Korean isn’t like what they show on TV
Second, Korean guy is not one for martyr-like displays of devotion. He was just like any normal guy, with normal desires. There were no dramatic displays of love and devotion.
The moment he got rejected, he gave up. This was quite fortunate, considering he knew where I worked and I did not have the energy of dealing with a possible stalker.
I didn’t pursue dating the Korean guy because I didn’t see any possible future in it. I had no interest in moving to Korea, where the guy was based. He was just based in Manila temporarily.
It was too early in the relationship to be thinking about these things, yes. I had no interest in investing my time and emotions in a relationship with no possible future. Because, what would be the point, right?
I honestly felt embarrassed being seen walking around with a foreigner, much more dating one. Filipinas that date foreigners here are often stereotyped* as transactional girls and I have a reputation to protect. Korean guy was hot, but wasn’t worth it.
Not all Korean men are handsome, rich and well-educated.
The Korean guy I dated is the exception. He appeared to make good money as the vice president of an online gaming company (remains to be seen though because I never saw his bank statements, lol). He was 30 years old (I actually checked his ID), handsome and had a lean body. He was every bit your typical Korean TV series lead actor.
He obtained his college degree from a university in Indiana, USA. His English was perfection. He even understood my pop culture references, which is rare for any Korean.
But he remains the exception. Majority of the Koreans I see that are walking around here in Cebu City appear uncouth and loud. Korean guy himself confided in me that he doesn’t associate himself with the Koreans in Manila. He says that most Koreans that come to the Philippines are native-born and raised in Korea and are mostly poor because they can’t afford to study in the US or in Europe.
Most Koreans who come to Cebu have never gone to college. They are often unemployed. They do not know any English and have no visible means of income.
It is therefore no surprise that they show no manners whenever they are in public places here. I went spelunking in a cave in Danao once, and the cave guide lamented on how several loud Koreans ignorantly kept touching the stalagmites and stalactites, to the damage of the cave.
Indeed, recent news revealed that there are unscrupulous Koreans who come here to commit serious crimes. Now, these are certainly evidence that Korean TV series unduly glamorize Korean men.
Ladies, manage your expectations
Korean men, it seems, are just like any man. Filipino, Caucasian or what-not. Please try to avoid setting impossible expectations when dating a Korean man, because you might get disappointed. Or worse, fall prey to human trafficking, being perpetrated by Korean men in Mindanao.
The man who is depicted in Descendants of the Sun does not appear realistic. He gets rejected three times yet he still persists in confessing his love? He seems bullet proof and evades death a miraculous number of times.
The show is undoubtedly entertaining, while managing to evade the realistic elements of dating between a soldier and a busy doctor. But let’s not delude ourselves into thinking all Korean guys are like Captain Yoo.
Did you ever date a Korean guy?
20 something lawyer
*Unfortunately many undesirable foreign men (who are unable to date women from their own country due to being too poor or being too ugly, who knows) come on so-called sex tours here in the Philippines. These undesirables often date prostitutes, as these are the only women who will talk to them here. These men are often the carriers of HIV and other sexually transmitted disease.
Contrary to (Un)popular belief, educated and respectable Filipina women do not date undesirable foreigners. We avoid them like the plague.