Extra! Korea

March 18, 2010

“Little Manila” won’t be closed … for now

Filed under: expatriates, xenophobia — extrakorea @ 11:13 am

“Little Manila,” the outdoor market that is erected every Sunday by Filipino* residents, had been threatened with closure, but has earned a respite, at least for the time being.

Jongno District Office in Seoul has informed the Philippine Embassy it will not push through with its original plan to relocate the market from its location outside the Hyehwa-dong Catholic Church to the new multicultural market in Nakwon-dong this month.

“They will seek a relocation plan this month, pending on the improvements in the market, such as the new size and designs of the stalls that were being discussed together with the vendors,” Father Alvin Parantar, chaplain of the Hyehwa-dong Filipino Catholic Community and representative for the ethnic community, told The Korea Times.

Parantar said the community greatly appreciates Jongno District Office’s consideration, even though there is no final decision on the matter.

Jongno officials have warned that they will be closely monitoring developments at the Philippine market, before deciding on the fate of the market.

“ When these visible developments of the market have been done, the Jongno office will discuss the issue with Seoul City office.

“However, they warned that if the vendors fail to follow the proposed changes, Jongno District office will raise the issue of relocation once again,” Parantar said.

[ snip ]

“The ball is in our court now. This is not easy because there is internal conflict among the vendors, which is understandable because of competition. We still need to fully convince them to stick to the changes in the market’s set up. We don’t know where the budget will come from either,” he said.

(emphasis mine)

My understanding is that those regulation carts, etc., are very expensive. Unfortunately, it looks to me like Little Manila might be forced into making a choice: close down, or become a non-profit, cultural endeavor.

* Filipinos are the fifth-largest minority in Korea, after Chinese, Americans, Vietnamese and Japanese.


  1. […] Korea, the most quality blog to not be nominated in magazine polls, delivers the news that Little Manila has a stay of reprieve. Jongno is letting them stay on probation, considering that they change to these standardized (and […]

    Pingback by Banchan: Park Ji-sung Whiskey. Seriously. | ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal — March 19, 2010 @ 3:19 am

  2. I didn’t know American was an ethnicity.

    Comment by Eddie — March 19, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

    • You know what I meant. A-minority-that-shares-the-same-nationality.

      Comment by extrakorea — March 19, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  3. I’m glad to see more bloggers are interested in the Filipino community in Seoul. If you want to know more about the community, and not just the market, you should check out a new journalism site I’ve launched with some other people in Korea. It is called International Underground and our first feature was about the Filipino community. You can read it at http://www.internationalunderground.org/category/korea/filipino.

    Comment by Andre F — March 30, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

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