In line with the recent reports of the closure of the Filipino market in Hyehwa, a few representatives of the Flipino community met earlier in the week to discuss the matter. They will be launching an appeal for the retention of the market. Those who will be in Hyehwa on Sunday may sign the petition that will be presented to the Mayor of Seoul.
Here are some excerpts from the petition letter (re: appeal for the retention of the Filipino Market in Hyehwadong Rotary) sent by Prof. Abagat:
The Filipino Market, also called as “Little Manila,” in Hyehwadong Rotary existed since 1997. It is a place where Filipinos in Korea can buy food and meet their friends on Sundays, immediately after celebrating the Holy Mass. It has become symbolic of a home, a community, a family, and of Filipino culture. It is a “home away from home” for a lot of Filipinos in Korea. However, due to the Jongno District Office Development Plan, this popular place which has become a center of the Filipinos’ religious, social, economic and cultural activities on Sundays is in danger of disintegration.
The district officers are pushing through this plan effective in March 2010 on the following grounds:
1. They received complaints regarding the Filipino market;
2. They wanted to maintain order and cleanliness in the sidewalk where the Filipino market is located;
3. They wanted to ease out the traffic flow in Hyehwadong Rotary;
4. They wanted to enhance the artificial small stream they built along the sidewalk and make additional physical development; and
5. They want to transfer the Filipino market to Nagwon-dong in Jongno, where they are now constructing a multicultural street market.
The members of the Hyehwadong Filipino Catholic community are willing to cooperate and are hoping to solve the problem in a win-win solution. They would also propose alternative ways of solving the issue. All the Filipinos in Korea are urged to unite for this cause.
Update: Another report on Korea Times.
More UPDATE: The removal of Filipino market at Hyehwa-dong is on hold pending talks by authorities, Phil. Embassy & vendors' group: ~ Phil. Embassy
Here's a related article written by Dr. Emely Dicolen-Abagat for the Joongang Daily.
*Hyehwa Station exit 1