A College Freshie’s Guide to K-Pop (and Anything Korean) Orgs

Korean Culture Orgs You’ll Want to Sign up with in College

Real talk: college is difficult. It may be fun because it’s a big pool of venues to explore your growing curiosity, but it’s also a demanding environment. Chapters to read pile up in days, and exam schedules come one after another.

For freshies, this culture can be a shocker. But then, college life shouldn’t purely be academic. There should be breaks—spending fun time on things beyond the four corners of the classroom yet still learning.

Extra-curricular activities, right? It’s an essential part of college life. And one of the best ways to do this is by joining school orgs!

For us who enjoy Korean pop culture, spending time with people who share the same interests as us is definitely fun. Imagine meeting someone who jams to the same K-Pop songs you like, or somebody who cried as much as you did after watching Miracle in Cell No. 7. It’s gonna be a hell of a spazz, right?

So to help our freshies find a way to more K-fun, we’ve compiled a list of university-based Korean culture-oriented organizations.

Blue Hanguk Society – Ateneo de Manila University

Ateneo’s first exclusively Korean culture-focused organization is Blue Hanguk Society, or BlueHan, and they have quite an interesting history. In 2011, a group of Atenean K-Pop fans opened a Facebook page called The Ateneo K-Pop Union or TAKU. As Hallyu peaked in the Philippines, the number of TAKU’s members grew as well.

With an already large following, the Facebook page transformed into an organization. The page—and the org—soon changed its name to Blue Hanguk Society in 2012. Since its formation, the org has been catering not only to K-Pop fans but also to all interested in learning Korean culture in the university.

Where to find them? Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | E-mail: bluehanguksociety@gmail.com

UNISTO – De La Salle University

The Green Archers of Taft don’t have an exclusively Korean culture-oriented org, but fret not because they have United International Students Organization, or UNISTO. This org aims to connect Filipino students with the international student community—Koreans included. Most activities are multicultural, covering almost all cultures present in the university. They hold film fests, food fests, cultural nights, cultural trips, embassy tours, and language lessons. For Korean culture-related activities, they have Korean language and K-Pop dance lessons.

Where to find them? Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | E-mail: unisto.dlsu@gmail.com

PUP KPop Community – Polytechnic University of the Philippines

PUP K-Pop org, the PUP KPop Community, may have nothing fancy in their name, but they may be the only officially accredited K-Pop org in the university. Their activities range from community gatherings to flash mobs and big K-Pop events with an actual K-Pop act! Yes, you heard it right. Last February 2015, they brought FameUS, a boy group in South Korea, in their Valentine’s event called Romantic Fantasy 2015. You can check out their pictures here.

Where to find them? Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | E-mail: ppup.kpopcom@gmail.com

Annyeong Tomasino – University of Santo Tomas

Annyeong Tomasino, or AT, is UST’s organization for Korean culture and arts. It was founded in 2011 and has since done a lot of activities within the university in promoting Korean culture. They also do a lot of K-Pop activities, such as music festivals, film showings, and singing and dancing workshops.

Where to find them? Facebook | Twitter | E-mail: ust.annyeong.tomasino@gmail.com

HallyUP and UP Arirang – University of the Philippines

The national university right at the heart of Quezon City has two Korean culture orgs: HallyUP and UP Arirang. Now, you ask: why are there two Korean orgs in UP?

Although both are special-interest organizations aiming to promote Korean culture within (and outside) the university, there is a difference between the two.

Officially known as The University of the Philippines Society of Students for Korean Popular Culture, HallyUP is the organization which, as its name suggests, focuses mainly on Korean pop culture. This includes music, movies, dramas, and anything Hallyu has brought to the Philippines. K-Pop enthusiasts founded it to serve as a venue for meeting and bonding with other students who share the same interests as them. In simpler words, HallyUP is UP’s K-Pop org.

Meanwhile, UP Arirang has a wider scope. Since it was founded because of the increasing Korean student population in UP and the growing interest of Filipino students to Korean culture, UP Arirang focuses more on connecting the two cultures and strengthening both communities. They cover everything that falls under Korean culture. If you’re up for learning the Korean language, or how to cook your favorite kimchi meal, then UP Arirang is the best place for you.

Other UP campuses have their own Korean culture orgs, too. UP Manila has Daebak UPM while UP Los Baños has Euyeomuyeo Jojik.

Where to find them?

HallyUP: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail: hallyup1415@gmail.com
UP Arirang: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail: updarirang@gmail.com
Daebak UPM: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail: daebakupm@gmail.com
UP Euyomuyeo: Facebook

Now that what’s and where’s were answered, we go to a very important how: how do you join?

Like any usual university org, the abovementioned orgs all have their respective application processes. We won’t go in details because the application process differs from one org to another, and we might get it all wrong. It may even be different per year or sem! Some may have extensive application process activities while may only require registration and membership fee payment (yes, you gotta pay).

Most universities have an org recruitment week. Orgs set up booths so students can sign up (e.g. RecWeek for Ateneo, Recruitment Week for La Salle, Recruitment 101 for UST). They also post details on Facebook and put up posters on bulletin boards when the application period is up (or if they have an activity). If you’re interested in joining, check out both the boards and online platforms for announcements!

Except for UP Arirang which started in 2006, these orgs are relatively new as most of them were founded between 2010 and 2014. This is because Korean culture influence is relatively new, too, in the country. If your university doesn’t have a similar org yet, we’re sure somebody will create one soon!

The list may be incomplete, so if we’ve missed an org or your university already has one, feel free to post the details in our comments section below. We’ll be glad to add them to our list!

Written by