Jasmine B. Lee
Jasmine Villanueva Bacurnay Lee
자스민 바쿠어나이 이
|Member of the National Assembly|
1 June 2012
|Constituency||Proportional Representation №15|
|Born||Jasmine Villanueva Bacurnay
6 January 1977
|Political party||Saenuri Party|
|Spouse(s)||Lee Dong-ho (Deceased)|
|Alma mater||Ateneo de Davao University|
|Profession||Actress, TV Host, Civil Servant|
|Revised Romanization||I Jaseumin|
Jasmine Lee (born Jasmine Bacurnay y Villanueva) is a Filipino-born Korean, television personality, actress and civil servant. Elected as a proportional representative in South Korea’s National Assembly in 2012, she is the first non-ethnic Korean and naturalized Korean to become a lawmaker.
Journey to Korea
Jasmine met Korean seaman Lee Dong-ho in Davao del Norte when she was still a college student majoring in Biology at Ateneo de Davao University in 1994. They got married and first visited South Korea in 1995 and finally settled in 1996. They have two children. She became a naturalized Korean in 1998. Her husband died of a heart attack in 2010 while saving their daughter from drowning in a whirlpool in a mountain stream in Okcheon-dong, Gangwon province while on a family vacation. Lee has been living with her parents-in-law and seven other family members of her late husband ever since.
In January 2012, Lee became the first Filipino to receive the Korea Image Millstone Award from the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI). She was cited for her volunteer and charity works for foreign immigrants in Korea. An advocate of multiculturalism in Korea, she regularly gives lectures about the subject to teachers and student leaders.
She is the secretary general of Waterdrop, a charity formed by foreign spouses of Koreans, and worked at the Seoul government’s Foreign Residents Assistance Division.
On April 11, 2012, she was elected as a proportional representative in South Korea’s National Assembly election following her party’s majority victory in the polls held. With her win, she has made history in South Korea as the first Filipina and naturalized Korean to become a lawmaker. Lee’s win is a result of the victory of the ruling Saenuri Party, to which she belongs.
Since the election, Jasmine Lee has been hit by charges of misrepresenting her education, after claiming on national television to have attended medical school in the Philippines when in fact she had simply taken biology classes during college. She has also been the subject of racially charged remarks by xenophobic netizens.
- Hicap, Jonathan (2012-04-12). "Filipino Jasmine Lee makes history, wins in South Korea election". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- "Tragedy fails to shake Filipina's belief in Korea". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- "Jasmine Lee Speaks Out for Foreign Wives". Buhaykorea.com. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- "A Shining Example for Foreign Wives in Korea". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- "Filipina wins Korea Image award in Seoul". ABS-CBN News. 2011-12-21.
- Philippine envoy says community feels pride in Jasmine Lee. The Korea Times 2012-04-23.
- Kang In-sik, Heo Jin (2012-01-31). "Jasmine Lee might be groomed for another run". Korea JoongAng Daily.
- "Naturalized candidate hit for lying on school record". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- "Jasmine Lee Faces Racial Abuse After Election Win". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- "Filipina Candidate in Korea Criticized". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- Hicap, Jonathan (2012-04-18). "Xenophobic netizens attack Jasmine Lee". Manila Bulletin.
- Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (2012-04-17). "Jasmine Lee faces 'racist' attacks from Korean netizens". ABS-CBN News.
- Lee, Ha-won (2012-04-17). "Korean Xenophobia Betrays Double Standards". The Chosun Ilbo.