Philippines in the Eyes of a Korean

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I have just been browsing my previous emails (even the ones way way back) when I ran across this one... a post in multiply and I thought it's quite related to my previous post. It was a Korean student's essay about the Philippines and it was posted 2008. Worth reading...


My Short Essay about the Philippines

Jae Youn 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 completely 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's brother also died because of
famine. Korean government was awfully 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 economy 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 a 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 everyday. 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 so many beggars and street kids. When we went to Pasangjan, 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 boat men, for the boat men 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.

Is the Philippines worth crying for?
Who will shed tears for the Motherland?
Who will lend a hand to lift her spirit, to hold the
lonely Flag that symbolize her name?


Postscript:
I only regret that I have
but one life to give for my country.
A man’s country is not a certain area of
land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is
loyalty to that principle.
Love of country is like love of woman – he loves
her best who seeks to bestow on her the highest good.
A man’s feet must be
planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.

1 comments:

LENY

Hi Phoebe,

First time here, and I love your postings and specially this one.

I want to ask a permission from you , if I can repost this essay in my own post so that the others that can't come here can read this.

Please send me a reply in my email
leny_garcia_11@yahoo.com

Hope you enjoy your life there in Korea. I love South Korea too, though I haven't been there yet, I hope I can visit someday.

Thanks a lot and
warm regards
Ate Leny *^__^*

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