Looking for Korean books in the Philippines is still a big challenge despite the popularity of Hallyu and the growing number of Filipinos wanting to learn Koreans. Aside from the almost-useless phrase books and romanized dictionaries, legit Korean books can only be found in university libraries.
I usually get my books from school (our university library / from our professors), from Korea or as gifts received from friends. Well, if one have a credit card, it’ll be easy to simply order online. And I think there are some online K-pop stores that can also accommodate book orders. But I have yet to find a decent Korean book in a bookstore.
But if you are in the metropolitan area, The Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, located in Taguig, actually have an awesome library. It was in existence since KCC opened its doors to the public 2 years ago. But all the collections were for room use only since they haven’t cataloged it then. Last February 2012 though, the library opened its borrowing services.
I didn’t register for membership right away because the library is very far. But since I’m doing volunteer work now in KCC, I get to go there more often. So late last year I became a member!
Their collection is awesome. I’ve never seen as that many Korean language textbooks all at the same time. They have all the series you can think of (Korean Grammar in Use series, Ganada series, Yonsei series, Ehwa series, TOPIK review series, 재미있는 한국어 series, Sogang series, Sejong series, 한국어 series by NIKL etc etc! I even found the second part of my 살아있는 한국어 관용어). They have novels after novels after novels! They have Korean linguistics books and Grammar dictionaries. They also have Korean Travel books (and Philippine travel books in Korean!), they even have manhwas. They have books about Korean food, Korean culture, Korean Wave, Korean traditions, Korean traditional music, Kpop, Kdramas, Hallyu. They have Korean historical books, books about politics and childrens’ books. They have magazines, newspapers, Kpop Albums, Korean movies AND KOREAN DRAMAS!!! You name it, they have it! And most of them are available for borrowing! AND their collection keeps growing and growing (I saw it with my own eyes)!
I can’t wait to get my hands on their books and DVDs! That’s why I want to finish my second batch of borrowed books so I don’t have to renew them and borrow new ones instead. The only downside is that you would have to return them. I guess it’s quite alright for Korean textbooks… but I want to keep 두근두근 서울 산책 for myself. ㅠㅠ
Oh! And did I say they have awesome library staff too?