Jaeyoun Kim’s essay about the Philippines: Reactions

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 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 are 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 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.

I sincerely hope that this essay inspire us all and show LOVE for our homeland.

Ang masasabi ko lang kasi, kung sino pa ang hind mukhang Pilipino, sila pa ay may mas mahigit pang magmamahal para sa bayan. ‘Yun lang.

I feel very sad when Filipinos do not love their country — granted, we have OFWs, but the question is, why can’t they even dare settle when they get rich in other countries?

Here’s a simple thing: Hingi ng hingi ng pera sa’yo ang mga kamag-anak mo, parang kang bangko.

Tayo kasing mga Pilipino, kadalasan kasi sa atin, pamilya lang talaga ang pinahahalagahan natin and beyond that point, wala na. We always think small, so we do not prosper so well unlike Vietnam. Vietnam used to be poorer than the Philippines, however, because they value their culture, their heritage, their traditions and the people, they managed to make their country boom.

I’m not saying that we should compare our “dirt poor-ness” to other countries. As what Jose Mujica (Uruguay’s President) said, “I define someone poor when they desire for more, more and more.”

We could be progressive without being rich. We could prosper without being damn wealthy, to the point na even our basic necessities in life would cost at least fifty pesos. What I really ask in most OFWs is that, you should tell your relatives in the Philippines NOT to be too dependent on you (as in palagi na lang), kasi in the end kayo rin ang kawawa.

Full-blooded Filipinos do not value their country so well, unlike those who are halfies, they really manage to love the Philippines as their home, especially the half-Japanese, half-Filipino people, because in Japan, cost of living is too damn costly, and if you are rich enough, you may own a property there or live the rest of your life there forever.

Akala ko pa naman sa una, kaya half-Filipino-Japanese kids study and live in the Philippines to be taught “Filipino values,” if truth is, Japan also embeds values on their society, however, there are more problems in Japan that are much, much worse than that of the Philippines. Dito nga sa ‘Pinas, may sex scandal ka, you could still move on and live your life due to strong Christian influence that you should not end your life in a blink of an eye. Saving face is not the norm: Sa ‘Pinas, pakapalan ng mukha. Walang aatras. While in Japan, the recent news about Minegishi Minami of AKB48 was a really big deal since J-Pop idols should appear virginal and pure, no boyfriends, all that crap. Ganun kataas ang morality standards ng mga Hapones. I really cannot blame them, though (in fact, saving face is still one of the cultural things they preserve).

I just don’t wanna drag Nihon right here but…

However, not all of his/her statements are accurately and precisely correct. Every person has his/her own biases. Kung ako, mas biased pa nga ako sa mga Japanese eh when it comes to their patriotism, what more kung sa Koreans? I understand how Korean people went through, however, if it was a Japanese who would write an essay about the Philippines, he/she should say:

“I think their nationalism should improve more and prosper; if they develop the ‘In Rome, do as what the Romans do’ philosophy, their social awareness would prosper as well.”

As much as I love some Korean people out there, I feel sorry for them whenever they’re dragged into the scenario that they’re too chauvinistic (North Koreans are taught to be chauvinistic) in a sense that they would shove things like this and that. I suggest that Korean society should embrace multiculturalism and balancing things as well.

As much as I love Japan, it is still not a perfect country to live in. However, all the mannerisms I manifest are more of Japanese than Filipino, because when you say Japanese, I mean, their no-no to eye-to-eye contact, being barefeet at homes, slurping as GOOD thing, et cetera. After all, I am more on the East than on the West.

So far, I have said enough.

Side Note: How could we be not that patriotic if we truly support Ms. Universe Filipino representative, eh?

About Molybdenum Studios

I am a very opinionated person. Get used to it. If you can't stand it, then so be it.

Posted on February 8, 2013, in Asia, Continental Talks, Opinion, Philippines, States and Nations of the World and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Touching talaga ito. Can I add some tips in loving our country? Hope you don’t mind?🙂
    1.) Pay our taxes
    2.) Avoid the crab mentality.
    3.) Smile and think positive
    4.) Follow the traffic light

    Thank you again for sharing Mr. Kim’s story.

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