Philippine Store in Seoul
I brought my son to Samsung Jeil Hospital in Chungmuro yesterday for his Hepatitis A and Japanese Encephalitis vaccines. I paid 86,000 won for them and the consultation. We could have gotten the vaccines for less at a government hospital but my husband doesn’t trust them. My son didn’t cry of course. The only time he cried with an injection was when he was 10 days old.
After the short doctor’s visit and an hour of playing at the hospital’s playground, we went to KC Philippine Store in Itaewon. It is located near the Philippine Embassy and they’re open daily except on Saturdays (according to them). When I entered the store, the saleswomen were busy watching “My Girl” on their TV screen and just glanced at me. They didn’t bother to greet a Filipina customer but when an American entered the store, they said “Hi!”
I could get Filipino goods at Hyewha-dong on a Sunday, but I often don’t have time because it’s always family weekend for us. Aside from Hyewha, Philippine products are also sold at the Foreign Food Mart in Itaewon, near Whatthebook (where you could buy English books at a cheaper price than Kyobo, Bandi & Luni’s, Libro or Youngpoong). I’d been patronizing the bookstore since 2004 when they were still located near the Muslim Mosque. It is owned by a friendly foreigner named Chris, who always bother to say “Hi!” even to a brown Filipina, and his Korean wife, who is equally friendly.
KC Philippine Store has a variety of Philippine products. They have lumpia wrappers (3,5000 won and 5,000 won), Purefoods hotdog (24,000 won for a kilo), Cheez Whiz (10,000 won for a big bottle) and even Extraderm (5,000 won). They have a photocopying machine (100 won a page) and ID picture taking too (8,000 won) for your Embassy-related needs. They also have Filipino food. (Didn’t bother to ask as when the last time I ate there in 2006, I paid 6,000 won for a viand and a cup of rice)
The store’s products are a little bit more expensive than at Hyewha, but then you’ll have to consider that they’re paying for their space and the convenience of finding more goods at one place. They are located near exit 3 of Noksapyeong Station (Line 6, Brown) or you can take Bus 0013 and 0015 and stop at Itaewon Market.
The Foreign Food Mart is located near Itaewon Station exit 3. They have American, Indian, Thai and Filipino goods. You could even get lamb, basmati rice, and veggies that aren’t cultivated in Korea. I’m really not sure but the one time I went there at lunctime they were closed and I waited several minutes for them to open. It’s safer to go there late in the afternoon. I prefer their grocery set-up (I don’t like someone asking me what I want and following me around) and the Philippine products they sell are slightly cheaper (e.g. Purefoods Sisig is 500 won less).
If you’re interested to get the TFC on Demand, you can call 010-2010-8881. I tried to call the number but the phone just kept on ringing. I waited five minutes before I called again and the phone was turned off. Maybe I’m not just lucky.
I tried to take pictures of the Philippine Store but the lady owner forbade me after two shots. So I just have here a map and the TFC Ko leaflet.