PHILIPPINES in the eyes of a Korean

Friday, July 15, 2011 § 6

Since I don't feel like writing a book review just yet, and I have nothing sensible to post, and since I see a lot of Koreans currently studying in the Philippines (especially in Baguio City) to take advantage of our cheaper tuition fees and learn English at the same time, I'd like to share this essay I've stumbled upon on the web written by a Korean named Jaeyoun Kim.

I am not sure if you have already read it but if you haven't yet, I really want you to, guys. It's been published on the 14th of September, 2003 on Jaeyoun Kim's Internet Blog, but reading it, and seeing the present situation in the country, nothing much has changed. The Philippines last 2003 is still the same, or possibly, worse, Philippines eight years after.

You can pass it to all Filipinos you know. Never mind the grammar; it's the CONTENT that counts. Maybe it is timely to think about this in the midst of all the confusion at present.

Jaeyoun Kim

Filipinos always complain about the corruption in
the Philippines . Do you really think the corruption
is the problem of the Philippines ? I do not
think so. I strongly believe that the problem is
the lack of love for the Philippines.

Let me first talk about my country, Korea.
It might help you understand my point.
After the Korean War, South Korea was one
of the poorest countries in the world. Koreans
had to start from scratch because entire country was
destroyed after the Korean War, and we had no
natural resources.

Koreans used to talk about the Philippines , for
Filipinos were very rich in Asia. We envy Filipinos.
Koreans really wanted to be well off like
Filipinos. Many Koreans died of famine.
My father & brother also died because of famine.
Korean government was very corrupt and is still very
corrupt beyond your imagination, but Korea was
able to develop dramatically because Koreans really
did their best for the common good with their heart
burning with patriotism.

Koreans did not work just for themselves but also
for their neighborhood and country. Education inspired
young men with the spirit of patriotism.

40 years ago, President Park took over the
government to reform Korea. He tried to borrow money
from other countries, but it was not possible to get a
loan and attract a foreign investment because the
economic situation of South Korea was so bad. Korea had
only three factories. So, President Park sent many mine
workers and nurses to Germany so that
they could send money to Korea to build a factory.
They had to go through horrible experience.

In 1964, President Park visited Germany to borrow
money. Hundred of Koreans in Germany came to the
airport to welcome him and cried there as they saw
the President Park. They asked to him, "President,
when can we be well off?" That was the only question
everyone asked to him. President Park cried with
them and promised them that Korea would be well
off if everyone works hard for Korea, and the President
of Germany got the strong impression on them
and lent money to Korea. So, President Park was
able to build many factories in Korea. He always
asked Koreans to love their country from their heart.

Many Korean scientists and engineers in the USA
came back to Korea to help developing country
because they wanted their country to be well off.
Though they received very small salary, they did their
best for Korea. They always hoped that their children
would live in well off country.

My parents always brought me to the places where
poor and physically handicapped people live. They
wanted me to understand their life and help them.
I also worked for Catholic Church when I was in the army.
The only thing I learned from Catholic Church was that we
have to love our neighborhood. And, I have loved my
neighborhood. Have you cried for the
Philippines? I have cried for my country several
times. I also cried for the Philippines because of so many
poor people. I have been to the New Bilibid
prison. What made me sad in the prison were the
prisoners who do not have any love for their country.
They go to mass and work for Church. They pray

However, they do not love the Philippines. I
talked to two prisoners at the maximum-security compound,
and both of them said that they would leave the
Philippines right after they are released from the
prison. They said that they would start a new life in other
countries and never come back to the Philippines.

Many Koreans have a great love for Korea so that
we were able to share our wealth with our neighborhood.
The owners of factory and company were distributed their
profit to their employees fairly so that employees could
buy what they needed and saved money for the
future and their children.

When I was in Korea, I had a very strong faith and
wanted to be a priest. However, when I came to the Philippines,
I completely lost my faith.
I was very confused when I saw many unbelievable
situations in the Philippines . Street kids always make me sad,
and I see them everyday. The Philippines is the only Catholic
country in Asia, but there are too many poor people here.
People go to church every Sunday to pray, but nothing has
been changed.

My parents came to the Philippines last week and
saw this situation. They told me that Korea was much poorer
than the present Philippines when they
were young. They are so sorry that there are so
many beggars and street kids. When we went to Pagsanjan,
I forced my parents to take a boat because
it would fun. However, they were not happy after
taking a boat. They said that they would not take the boat
again because they were sympathized the
boatmen, for the boatmen were very poor and had a
small frame. Most of people just took a boat and enjoyed it.
But, my parents did not enjoy it because of love
for them.

My mother who has been working for Catholic Church
since I was very young told me that if we just go to
mass without changing ourselves, we are not
Catholic indeed. Faith should come with action.
She added that I have to love Filipinos and do good things
for them because all of us are same and have received a great
love from God. I want Filipinos to love their
neighborhood and country as much as they love God
so that the Philippines will be well off.

I am sure that love is the keyword, which Filipinos
should remember. We cannot change the sinful structure at once.
It should start from person. Love must start in everybody,
in a small scale and have to grow. A lot of
things happen if we open up to love. Let's put away
our prejudices and look at our worries with our new eyes.

I discover that every person is worthy to be
loved. Trust in love, because it makes changes possible.
Love changes you and me. It changes people, contexts and
relationships. It changes the world. Please love your
neighborhood and country.

Jesus Christ said that whatever we do to others we
do to Him. In the Philippines, there is God for people who
are abused and abandoned. There is God who is crying for love.
If you have a child, teach them how to love the Philippines.
Teach them why they have to love their neighborhood and country.
You already know that God also will be very happy if you love others.

That's all I really want to ask you Filipinos.


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§ 6 Response to “PHILIPPINES in the eyes of a Korean”

  • MG says:

    uhmmmm binasa ko lahat,nakakalungkot isipin na isang koreano pa yung mas nagshoshow ng pagmamahal sa bayan natin. hehehe. tama talga siya. pero hnd pa namn huli lahat karen eh. marami pang darating na chance para sa pilipinas kung magsisimula tayo lahat ngayon ^_^

  • mayen says:

    may punto naman sya.. nakakalungkot ka na matapos ang ilang taon ganun pa din tayo. hayz..

  • I love this! So beautifully said. Thanks Kayren, for sharing!

  • Anonymous says:

    It's a beautiful essay and I believe in the power of love and faith.
    In regard to Korea, I think it helped that they were a homogenous society to rise above and succeed. Philippines has so many half breeds........Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Americans,European etc............Sadly, it is a country numerously invaded and raped of loyalty.

  • Anonymous says:

    There is always success when one is UNITED. Very difficult to unite when one says "I am Pampangan, I am Cebuano, Ilicono, Cavitenan, etc...." We all should say I am a proud Filipino but we distinguish ourselves from the area we come from.