Category Archives: Korea

Mandatory ROTC? Not so fast…

Photo Courtesy: Win Gatchalian via Official Website

I do agree with ROTC, yet with reservations

Prof. Antonio Contreras’s thoughts on bringing back Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) as a mandatory course:

Indeed. Mandatory ROTC is a waste of time and resources.

Make it optional and with benefits. Meanwhile, strengthen civics and citizenship awareness among students. Require all students to take a course similar to what we have in DLSU on Citizenship and Governance. Also require a course on understanding the culture and language of other Filipinos. In fact, even as we encourage students to study foreign languages, it should be made a requirement that students know another Filipino language aside from Tagalog and their mother tongue.

Also, require all students to take martial arts courses, sex education, anti- addiction of all kinds and driving courses (so that they know traffic rules).

Ergo, his thoughts are pretty much practical.

The prudes (the Loyalists, as usual) would completely AGREE with mandatory ROTC, since for them, it instills discipline and patriotism blah blah… but I don’t actually agree. In fact, ROTC, like Martial Law, could be kind or unkind to you. Well, in order for you to be oriented in ROTC, you should undergo CAT (Citizen Advancement Training), to have a grasp on how ROTC works.

ROTC is not bad–however, consider the following factors: Be considerate to people who have experienced its dark side–hazing, powertripping, being treated by crap by power-tripping officers, etc., those things have to be placed in debate before implementation. And please, don’t get me started with countries such as Israel, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, or even Switzerland–the reason why they have mandatory conscription is because, they can AFFORD to invest for funds and resources to implement this form of learning to express love your country unconditionally, aside from the fact that it has political and foreign policy-related situations such as political conflicts regarding ideology (South vs. North Korea), or even religious involvement (Israel vs. most Gulf countries supporting Palestine), sovereignty issues (Taiwan being still the Republic of China), national policy (Singapore), and lastly, neutrality in both local and foreign policy (Switzerland).

Well, could the Philippines afford it? Let’s see.

Before approving ROTC, let us be considerate to some grey areas

The reason why it was abolished in 2001 is simply because of the hazing controversies and sort of “dark sides” it had (#NeverForget Mark Chua, a Thomasian who was killed because he exposed the alleged corruptions inside his unit). However, because we’re in a strategic location, I think this is the time it could be conducive for its comeback. Remember, the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal are both Philippine territory (I repeat, they both are Philippine territories, lest we not forget).

If the prudes want ROTC back (well, because they really despise the leftists–read your history regarding the Cold War, and how communism played a BIG yet controversial role in that period of history), then they must condemn the corruptions inside ROTC. Also, never forget Jeff Cudia who only sacrificed himself, exposing the corruption inside the Philippine Military Academy (PMA)–that “offense for being late” causing his demerits were PURE damage control. This resulted to fewer and fewer graduates of the most prestigious military academy in the Philippines.

#NeverForget the fallen Mark Welson Chua

He was pretty much like the slain Marcos critic from Mapua, Archimedes Trajano, and of course, the late journalist Louie Beltran. Truth is–

One aspect of the story however seems to have been forgotten – that Mark would not have wanted mandatory ROTC abolished.

In 2006, the older Chua told the Varsitarian that if Mark were alive, he would not have supported the policy shift.

“Mark did not want to abolish the ROTC,” said Welson, two years before his death following a heart attack. “It’s not the institution, it’s the way it’s being run.”

Instead of eradicating the anomalies, Welson said, the move might have encouraged more corruption in the two new programs launched by the government under NSTP.

“Instead of one ROTC, now the government and the universities would have two other departments to look after,” Welson said. “These departments can be corrupt too.”

Source: The Varsitarian (retrieved 09 February 2017)

Well, to be honest, Mark Chua only wanted to improve and strengthen ROTC–and how its managed. No wonder, I would like to reveal the irregularities and of course, the loopholes when you are in a CAT/ROTC program–but first, lemme tell you that I did not take up ROTC for personal reasons–as much as I wanted to (well, masaya kasi–and no kidding, it really teaches you self-confidence), I only considered my experience in CAT.

Here were the irregularities and loopholes I encountered in my high school’s version of CAT:

1.) Frankly speaking, the CAT Officers were only used as mere “tools” to protect the school’s vested interests (no offense meant to the officers, but you get my point. I ain’t sourgraping).

2.) Usual scenario: Power-tripping.

3.) Speaking of recruiting and hiring officers, there’s cronyism and nepotism all the way.

4.) Even best cadets are chosen based on cronyism and nepotism–don’t EVER get me wrong here.

5.) The officers were only used as mere tools to continue elitism, corruption, and huge amounts of hypocrisy inside the school.

Maybe these were the things that Mark Chua exposed. Alright, I know this is a sensitive and a critical topic to discuss, however, these were my true observations. I have to admit and open this up, I voluntarily trained to become a CAT Officer, but I stopped–because lately, I realized that I was right in quitting, because simply put, it would be against my principles that I’m upholding today. Only a handful of officers upheld their principles as student leaders up to this very day.

To be honest, this is the harsh reality of the ROTC in the Philippines–starting from CAT:

“In the ph, unfortunately, it is a hotbed for bullying and hazing. It goes with the crab culture. a lot of students choose to become officers not because they want to serve the country, but think of it as a method of attaining some sort of power over others.” — on ROTC, via GRP

Thank goodness, the popular kids and the elitists MUST be grateful that I quit my CAT Officer training, and the mere fact that I chose CWTS instead of ROTC–if I become a CAT or ROTC officer, then they must prepare for me as their boss. I might be power-tripping them.

But nah, I believe that power-tripping is a sign of being unprofessional.

Well, these are my only thoughts about the comeback of mandatory ROTC. One simple hotseat controversy only caused the Philippines to abolish mandatory ROTC–which might be against the victim who exposed the loopholes of ROTC. Lest we not forget, improvements and strengthening of ROTC must push through–if we’re only to follow Mark Chua’s legacy.

Best and Worst Passports to Have

Best Passports   Worst Passports

It is not surprising that Germany, Japan and of course the United States would be on the top list.

Sadly, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Brunei and Malaysia didn’t make it to the top 20 best passports list, but that’s alright, for as long as they could access at least Canada, NZ, UK and the Schengen Area without visa restrictions.

No passport is perfect, since countries like Japan and the United States have burdens to get a visa to Brazil or even Russia, which is actually something that South Korean passports are blessed with: Visa-free travel to Russia and Brazil.

But then again, why is South Korea not even on the Top 20 list?

Hmmm… I don’t think pre-arrival visa to China should be a hindrance, but I think Koreans from the ROK are very lucky to have a passport that could send them to a lot of countries without a visa. Also, they’re part of the visa waiver to Australia and the United States, therefore it shouldn’t be a problem at all.

Also, South Korea finally allowed multiple citizenship… but quota-based. However, they should adopt the “Ritenshon Shonin” in order for everyone to still have Korean citizenship in all aspects (so to speak, native South Koreans could still have Korean citizenship and American citizenship if they’re born in the US, and Koreans who were born in South Korea but naturalized in another country could still retain their Korean citizenship, and half-Koreans who are dual citizens since birth could still retain their citizenship no matter the cost will be–for as long as they’ll apply for permission to retain their Korean citizenship).

Also, if you’re a South Korean citizen, you could go to South America visa-free/visa-on-arrival, which American and Japanese passport holders don’t have (they both need visa to enter Brazil in advance).

Well, the only downside is that, South Korean passport holders cannot enter North Korea at all, since both countries are still enemies. South Koreans don’t really like going to North Korea at all, and they’re fine with it–as a matter of fact, many North Koreans who escape their own country fly to South Korea for good. Obviously, South Korea offers greener pastures and better quality of life, as opposed to North Korea.

By essence, South Korea officially recognizes North Koreans as South Korean citizens. If North Koreans escape from their home country successfully via the indirect route, this means that they become South Koreans for good. It’s a good thing that the ROK government resurrected its peace talk plans towards North Korea.

South Korea not making it to the top list… why?

South Korea is actually a latecomer when it comes to being one of the richest and the most developed countries in the world. It is one of the Asian Tigers, alongside Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Well, these Asian Tigers of course, has this freedom to travel without a visa. I really dunno why Brunei isn’t included in the Asian Tigers to make it five… hmmm…

Well, I just hope that South Korea will still develop its bilateral relations with other states so that South Koreans would travel up to 170+ countries without a visa. Speaking of which, it is possible that South Korea might as well continue its peace talks with North Korea so that South Korean citizens won’t feel tension with its rival state.

Other countries with travel freedom (but did not make it on the top list)

Australia, Greece and Iceland are the Western countries (though Australia is geographically a South-east country with a Westernized culture) that didn’t make it to the top list. It is surprising for Australia since its neighbor New Zealand surpassed it by making it to the Top 20. Other countries like what I have mentioned before (Malaysia, South Korea, Brunei, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore) also have this travel freedom reward.

To make the list… (check this list out if you want)

[Just remember, they’re not actually in order… hehehe]

1.) Liechtenstein – It didn’t make to the top list, but it still had the 100+ visa-free access.
2.) Israel – Though the Arab League is technically an avid “hater” of this country, this country rather is more rewarded than the Arab League states, in terms of travel freedom–it can access Japan, South Korea and the Schengen Area
3.) Mauritius – Surprisingly, this little island country in the southern part of Africa within the Indian Ocean allows its citizens to travel to the Schengen Area and Japan without a visa.
4.) Barbados – Same with Mauritius.
5.) Mexico – Same with Mauritius and Barbados, but what these three have in common is that their passports aren’t biometric (AWWWWWW…).
6.) Brazil – Though Brazilians need to enter Japan with a visa in advance, it could enter the Schengen area without a visa.
7.) Argentina – Same with Brazil, but its citizens could enter Japan without a visa.
8.) Chile – Same with Argentina, I think.
9.) Czech Republic – Of course, it’s part of the Schengen Area.
10.) Cyprus – Cyprus is fairly European, so to speak. And YES, it’s part of the EU.

So far, I base these things on how they could access the following territories (not necessarily ALL of them):

1.) European Union and the Schengen Area – Of course, to be fair this will include the United Kingdom and Ireland, and also non-EU member states such as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland (EFTA members, if not EU, lol). Eastern Europe is included if you’re talking about EU member states haha.
2.) South America – Visa-free access to South America is actually not-so bad after all, but once a country is rewarded visa-free access to ALL South American countries without a visa, this would mean that they have the same level as the Pope (well, almost).
3.) OECD member states (namely Japan and Israel) – If you’re one of the countries that could enter Japan and Israel without a visa (all of them), then you must be lucky.
4.) Countries with the most lenient visa policies (Philippines, Ecuador, Malaysia, Haiti, South Korea) – Well, Haiti seems to have the most lenient visa policy in the world, which will put Ecuador second to the list, and I’ll make a separate article about this one). Meanwhile, South Korea has eased their visa policies towards other countries (the Philippines is NOT lucky to be one of the countries that could access South Korea without a tourist visa, prolly due to the “Tago ng Tago/TNT” controversy–but when it comes to Israel, Filipino citizens could enter Israel without a visa at all), but there are some countries that need a visa to enter the Land of the Morning Calm.
5.) South Africa (and the rest of its neighbors) and the United Arab Emirates – Same thing with #3. No need to explain further.

Well, access to Vietnam, China, North America and Russia aren’t counted at all since it would be unfair to some countries included in the list. Remember, it’s actually very difficult to get a visa going to Vietnam (sources say), China (it’s easier getting a Chinese visa if you’re a Filipino citizen and China only allows 6 countries to enter its territory without a visa), North America (some countries need to access Canada with a visa, except if you’re coming from the EU/Schengen Area or a developed country in general; and the United States’s visa policies are much stricter compared to China) and Russia (ahhh… sources say it’s very difficult to obtain a Russian visa, but it still depends upon the country you’re coming from).

Worst Passports: Why Worst!?

It’s actually FAIR and JUST that China did not make it to the Top 20 WORST Passports list, even though it’s quite infuriating to possess a Chinese passport (just ask those Filipino-Chinese friends of yours who are not yet officially Filipino citizens, or their parents who are not yet Filipino citizens)–well, the reason why I’m saying this is because China, even though its citizens need to apply for visa to Ecuador and the Philippines, did not make it to the top 20 worst passports list is because at least it still has the “worth” in it. However, what makes it something not to be proud of is the controversial inclusion of its “disputed” territories which is of course possessions of Vietnam, Philippines and India. Also, China isn’t having a formal war with the United States compared to most Arab and Muslim states such as Afghanistan, Iraq… and you know the rest.

These countries actually restrict foreigners from entering their territories without a visa mainly because of the war that’s happening in their territory. I bet, countries that are actually having internal conflict cannot actually concentrate on bilateral agreements due to the fact that unending wars are still on-going. No wonder, South Korea actually didn’t allow its own citizens to enter these countries. The Philippines actually did this as well, to Filipinos who actually want to enter Iraq despite its status.

Well, these countries are actually having wars and conflicts, therefore the result: They can only access no more than 41 countries without a visa, which is actually more infuriating compared to possessing a Chinese passport.

Why is China not included in the list!?

I hate to say this, but even though China did not make it to the top list, other countries impose visa towards China is because there are a lot of illegal immigrants from China, despite its growing economy. Ecuador and the Philippines are imposing visas towards Chinese citizens due to the fact that everywhere, you see a Chinese person. Prolly at the end of the day, Filipinos might be the second largest ethnic diaspora next to China, or even surpassing them (unless the 1987 Constitution is burned to the pits of hell, haha).

Also, China imposes visa to other countries, which is actually more frustrating. Only six countries could enter China without a visa (Brunei, Japan, Singapore and Mauritius), but Wikipedia stated seven countries (Gawd, when will I stop relying too much on Wikipedia!?). Only diplomatic and official passport holders have the privilege to enter China without a visa, which is again, frustrating for ordinary passport holders.

Indicators of having a “good ordinary passport”:

1.) If a certain country has good diplomatic relations with other countries.
2.) Lesser numbers of an ethnic diaspora.
3.) Less people who overstay.
4.) Less people who stay illegally in a foreign country.
5.) Countries that have no internal conflict.

I actually do not buy the fact that the smaller and the richer the country, the more you could travel without a visa. Well, Barbados and Mauritius might not be as rich as the OECD founding members, but speaking of internal events in a country, it should be something that adheres with international standards.

What makes a good passport?


Visa requirements for British citizens


Visa requirements for Japanese citizens


Visa requirements for U.S. American citizens


Visa requirements for South Korean citizens

I have noticed that if you come from a developed country, you usually get lots of benefits if you are a citizen of the countries I have mentioned above. However, being a rich/not-so-rich but not-too-poor country doesn’t really mean you could already travel without any visa. I’ll show you more examples:


Visa requirements for Filipino citizens

Side Note: Even though South Korea has a lenient visa policy, the Philippines, however, isn’t included in its list in the countries that do not need visa to enter its territory without the visa, probably due to Filipinos “overstaying.” After all, I still consider a trip to South Korea a privilege.

And here’s the worst part…


Visa requirements for Chinese (mainland) citizens

This map shows that owning a Vietnamese or Iranian passport is even more valuable than owning a Chinese passport (most countries offer visa-on-arrival travel for Chinese citizens, only a few are willing to offer totally visa-free travel for Chinese citizens). Ah, the horrors of having 1 billion people residing in one big country… and overseas. But don’t worry, the mainland Chinese government is doing efforts to sign mutual visa-free agreement with other countries. Well, Filipino government officials should warn China that it should stop bullying the Philippines so that Chinese citizens could travel to the Philippines without any visa… like let’s say, for 14 days only.

Here, even though China is wealthier than the Philippines, Filipino citizens (like me) could travel without any visa in 58 countries. In the Philippines, you need to get a visa before travelling to other countries such as Japan, the US, China, Australia and of course, South Korea. As a matter of fact, only the privileged ones could afford getting visas.

Diplomatic Relations Matter


Visa requirements for Israeli citizens

If you happen to be an Israeli citizen… I have to warn you guys that there are some countries that despise your country. Hmmm… well, not saying that it is oppressive to be an Israeli citizen, but other countries view it as “occupied Palestine” since these countries that have an obsessive form of hate towards Israel are mostly pro-Palestine. It’s not the fault of Israeli citizens that some countries despise them, but the Israeli government is actually being oppressive towards Palestinians. I hate to say this, but if the Jews should have their own country, they should have been friendlier towards Palestine and Palestinians rather than oppressing them. Until now, there are some non-Arab people that has a negative view on Israel.

Though holding an Israeli passport has an oppressive side, lemme tell you that you have the opportunity of visiting most of South America, Japan and the EU/EFTA/Schengen Area at the same time–which means that holding an Israeli passport is similar to holding a Hong Kong and Macanese passport. Some Israelis might accept this fact, but some think that there should something be done in order to allow Israeli citizens to travel these states.

It’s a good thing that there are countries that simply impose visa rules towards other countries, rather than rejecting their passports. It means that they maintain good relations with one another, even though they bully other countries. For instance, China and the Philippines. Even though the Chinese government despises PNoy, they still welcome ordinary Filipino citizens to enter their country (provided that visas are already in Philippine passports). There is no such thing as “obsessive hatred” against each other, despite the territorial dispute controversy between China vs. its neighbors.

No wonder, I still look up to China despite being a bully country. Well, the reasons why the Philippines has good ties with other states and nations is because the Marcoses and former President Gloria M. Arroyo made efforts to make friends with different world leaders. Look at PGMA, even though she broke her promise with former US President George W. Bush, the USA and the Philippines are still allies. The yellow oligarchs cannot actually do that–you have to say something GOOD about the country and not bully the Philippines just to get close to them.

Best Passports have good diplomatic ties with other countries as great powers

Most countries in Europe and North America have the best passports mainly because they have the most stable form of government and has the power to exercise their policies to influence everyone. No wonder, many Filipino citizens opt to be dual citizens to travel without any restrictions. They may use their Philippine passport to travel towards the rest of Southeast Asia, but they’ll need their other passport to travel to Europe.

Worst Passports actually do not offer security and safety for tourists

Well, not all countries aren’t too dangerous for the traveller, but you see, political turmoil actually is a distraction to allow their citizens to enjoy visa-free travel. However, there are countries that really impose visas to almost every country in the world, that’s why in return, countries who suffer on their visa policies have their revenge (lol).

Conclusion

I have a question for you, guys. If you happen to be a dual citizen and your other country requires you to choose just one citizenship at the legal age, will you accept this fact or not? Why or why not?

Criteria:

1.) One citizenship of yours allows you to travel in 170+ countries yet requires you to choose one citizenship while the other allows dual citizenship but only lets you travel to just 60+ and below countries. (Or the other way around)

2.) If you actually need to apply for permission to retain your other citizenship to remain dual?

South Korea: Land of the Morning Calm

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Gwanghamun Gate–the gateway to the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace

Country Profile

Official Name: Republic of Korea/Daehan Minguk
Capital: Seoul
Language: Korean (Hangungeo)
Currency: Korean Won
Type of Government: Republic
Head of State: Park Geun-hye

Traveller’s Basics

TV System: NTSC
AC Outlet: Europlug (Type-C), main outlet is Type F (Schuko Europlug, in other words, the German Europlug)
Traffic Type: Right-hand traffic (Left-hand drive)

Trivia

– There is a machine where you could place your brolly on a plastic wrapper! (Oops, sorry if I did not took a pic of it)
– Contrary to popular belief, despite its cost of living, South Korea (particularly Seoul) offers lower goods prices.
– Seoulites are very friendly people. Well, if you think some Koreans you’ve met are rude, that’s because they either drop their values once they live in another country OR they simply learn from their mistakes. But either way, I think that they’re the classiest people I’ve ever met. They’re apologetic as well!
– Koreans speak English, though most of them speak it in an almost-fluent level.
– FREE WIFI everywhere!
– Tourist Policemen exists. Yes, that’s right! There are a lot of them roaming around the most famous shopping districts… and almost everywhere in Seoul.
– The police in Seoul will always roam around by partner.
– Seoul isn’t the only independent city surrounded by a province (Gyeonggi-do). Other cities are Busan, Incheon, Ulsan, Gwangju, Daegu and Daejeon.
– Seoul has MANY signs written in different languages: English, Japanese and Chinese. This means that Seoul is opening up itself as a tourist-friendly city. Many Japanese and Chinese tourists visit Seoul for err… more affordable prices (imagine Japanese people have easier access to communicate in Seoul).
– Well, no offense but in DLSU, Koreans have more class and breeding than the Chinese mainlanders.
– Err… Seoul is basically more Wi-Fi friendly than cellular friendly unlike Japan. In other words, Internet in Seoul has no, no, NO censorship! Swear!
– Multiple citizenship has finally been legalized–in other words, any Korean person is now allowed to retain their Korean nationality even though they’re willing to acquire another citizenship (Great news to Korean expats in the Philippines who speak fluent Filipino).
– There is a special day called, Korean Alphabet Day. People owe King Sejong the Great for creating an alphabet suited for Hangugeo.

K-Pop

There are LOTS of shops where you could buy K-Pop items, even PSY socks! Oh, well! There’s lots more things in Seoul that you might like! K-Poppers, South Korea is a MUST-VISIT!

Best tourist attractions

The Gyeongbokgung Palace may be the most visitable place, but take note that more and more people prefer to visit the Demilitarized Zone.

Famous Koreans

Rain (Bi) – K-Pop superstar
Jay Park – Korean-American rapper and former member of 2PM
Song Il-gook – actor, son of actress-politician Kim Eul-dong
Lee Young-ae – actress, often labelled as the “Oxygen Lady”
Jang Na-ra – actress, best known for starring as the lead character in “Bright Girl,” the first Korean drama to air in the Philippines just before the hallyu boom.
Shim Min-a – hitmaker and dancer, best known for the popular pre-Hallyu song, “Answer the Phone.”
Lee Minho – actor, best known for being Jun-pyo in “Boys Over Flowers.”
Lee Hyori – hitmaker, pop singer
Song Hye Kyo – actress, best known as the “perfect face” of Korean entertainment.

Well, no need to mention the K-Pop bands since I ain’t a fan of K-Pop, either.

Seoul, South Korea (Second Batch Photos)

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This was a photoshoot from… well, I forgot what district that is, but anyways, to Korean people who have witnessed this photoshoot, please enlighten me (This is Myungdong, right?)!

Well, this girl is very lovely… thinking that she possesses sharp features.

To my Korean buddies, you don’t need plastic surgery to make yourself more attractive. She (the gal) sets an example for people who are aspiring to become models.

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The best season to visit Seoul is actually on AUTUMN/FALL. Notice the red leaves before winter comes? That means that Seoul is bringing provincial vibes despite its urbanization. At least, Seoul is urbanized without sacrificing nature. But expect the harsh… Siberian cold. The weather’s quite harsh, but not as intense like Beijing or the rest of California (or prolly Toronto).

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So we visited the Changdeokgung palace (sorry if I didn’t post much of the Gyeongbokgung Palace, but no worries)… which is actually a better-looking palace than the Gyeongbokgung. I ain’t kidding, either–the Gyeongbok palace has a more traditional-conservative vibe–while the Changdeokgung has a more relaxing and harmonious vibe.

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There are so many autumn leaves to see, and the Changdeokgung is really harmonious. Oh, anyways, I will just post the rest of the photos in the photography blog.

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Lastly, we met King Sejong (free day). Yes, he’s really one of my favorites in Korean history, that’s why I really had a great time taking close-up photos of his statue. Well, that’s all for now. I really liked our Korean trip.

Seoul, South Korea (November 23-26, 2013)

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Seoul is practically a vibrant city–it has provincial vibes and at the same time it is modern with the fact that its road are very wide, and drivers there are really driving fast! But that’s not all, Korean people are very polite and friendly, as opposed to people’s impressions. Maybe it’s because once they stepped into the Philippines, they might abandon their values!

But forget about it. Let’s just start the story.

My trip to Seoul has changed my impressions towards Korean people. Actually, I really find them very nice people, until I found out the blog of Roxysiferox… where she said that Korea has a backwards society. But surprisingly, Koreans have this culture of being laid-back and at the same time progressive at the same time. While they are being progressive, they cannot help but to preserve their values and traditions, and that is one thing that I like best about South Korea.

Seoul is basically a city which is actually FAR BETTER than Beijing and Hong Kong combined. Take note that Seoul’s traffic system has more rigid discipline, kaya if you’re a pedestrian, expect that Korean will give way for you to pass. It is actually a HUGE, MASSIVE city that does not look like a concrete jungle. In other words, it is better than Hong Kong, speaking of its size–and better than Beijing, speaking of cleanliness and orderliness.

People in Seoul speak English, though not very fluent. No wonder, it’s easier to communicate in Seoul, and guess what? Seoulites could speak English better than Beijingers–only the privileged in Beijing speak English (Zhang Jingchu, Zhang Ziyi and Han Wenwen) in a very efficient manner. Also, people in Seoul are very accommodating and they’re not as assertive compared to the Chinese.

So we visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace. Anyways, the architecture’s too conservative to get started with, but never under-estimate this heritage site. It is one of the greatest palaces (the Great 5) of the Chosun dynasty. If you’re going to wonder why it is the most popular, it is because there is this Changing of the Guards ceremony wherein the guards will change. I thought, it was “Changing of the Gods.”

Anyways, there’s a part two of this blog entry since I really could no longer remember properly those things… but anyways, Seoul is really great! Just watch out for this part two of the blog entry since my lappie has a serious problem with regards to loading images. I guess, I have to minimize the number of files. My other blog molybdenumstudiosphotography will handle ALL the files!

There is more to PSY than Gangnam Style

Who would be mistaken that PSY could actually make better MVs than Gangnan Style!?

PSY is really, LOVE. He deserves to be in Time’s 100 Most Influential People.

What I love best about PSY is that, he is able to achieve his fame through the Gangnam Style, although these other two videos are much better. Also, his English is really perfect since he came to the US because of his family’s business.

PSY is rock! He’s love! He’s a great influence to everyone!

Western propaganda in the eyes of err… Korean!?

I really could not agree more with reality shows that have no real substance at all.

Shopping for children in third-world countries!? Yes, I understand that there are orphans, whether black or white, in the US. However, these celebrities couldn’t get enough of people “worshipping” them for their strong influence on the audience. If you guys think that Angelina Jolie adopts kids as a “trend for celebrities,” then that’s how media creates an exploitation propaganda for celebrities. Angelina would have been reputable as well, however, it shows that she would be nothing, if not for Tomb Raider, or if she weren’t John Voight’s child (Jon Voight is really a great actor, anyway).

Western promotion of “skinny rocks” and living in a luxurious life as “cool” does not make sense at all. I really have to agree with Paris Hilton. She would NEVER be that famous, if not for The Simple Life. She is not going to be simply famous because she belongs to the Hilton family. Despite that, she has a good side. She knows how to appreciate things, and usually does not go beyond the line if everything should never go beyond the limit.

Of course, what is even more head-turning is the part of sex exploitation. Surely, reputable people will always be left behind with those talentless people who became famous for nothing — this is what we call as standard-lowering at the present-day world. If you idolize Justin Bieber not because of his talents (in fact, he has a whiny voice, which for a guy, sucks) — but because of his popularity, people HATE him for a lot of reasons. Rebecca Black became a victim of negative attention because of her auto-tuned voice, despite being a YouTube sensation. Well, I really cannot hate Rebecca Black at all, I think she’s fine, it’s only that her voice is obviously auto-tuned. But… Justin Bieber!? There’s nothing really special at him. He’s only a short dude with a whiny voice. Bar none. I would say that his ex (maybe yes, maybe not) Selena Gomez would have been more substantial than him if they weren’t officially on. I feel sorry for Selena as well, because it seems that she’s one of those people who are also exploited for her cutesy image (ah, I hate her body shape, though).

People who would have been as reputable as the following:

– Zac Efron (I really like this guy for his humility)
– Ashlee Simpson
– Emily Browning
– Michelle Trachtenberg
– Scarlett Johansson (seriously, the media is only milking on her good looks and hot body!)
– P!nk
– Nicole Richie (I used to despise her before, but it seems that she does not manifest conceitedness)
– Natalie Portman
– Keira Knightley
– Kate Winslet

…would have been role models for the youth. If you’d rather idolize the following:

– Eva Longoria (Seriously, she looks like a classy whore without any talent… now we know why she parted with Tony Parker)
– Kim Kardashian (She’s sexy, and that’s about it)
– Rihanna
– Tori Spelling (She’s only rich… I doubt she has a talent in acting)
– Actors/actresses who manifest a sex-object-ish/diva attitude

…then you must be demure-minded. Oh well.

I hate to include AA Klenk right here, but if she were to fly her ass to the United States of America, she would be one of the diva-ish sex objects who’d rather be on a reality show… and become famous without any REAL achievements. She fits in there, seriously. Not in the Philippines, or East Asia. Not even in Europe (unless she starts a scandal naked right on the beach, though!). Also, it would be the time that Perez Hilton should write his anti-AArticles in a flowery language!

Lastly, I have to agree with the video regarding Tyra Banks. She’s influential in some ways alright, but she’s waaaaaay more overrated, almost surpassing Julia Roberts and Jessica Simpson (circa 2006~2009). She’s even less reputable than Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen is more substantial despite being a lesbo) for her being narcissistic and at the same time, showing that she qualifies to be a talk show host because she used to be THAT poor. Tyra’s show was better before the start of 2009~2010. She was the type of person who would tell people that they should love their body sizes. However, as time passed by, the recent Tyra version screwed up. She’s overrated. She cannot be Oprah in any way.

I really like how America expresses their liberalism when it comes to show business, however, they’re now lowering their standards. Konting scandal lang, ah! Big time ka! Daig pa nga sila ng Bollywood, eh! Now I know why I am more Asian than Western, although I appreciate something Western, and that is all about being liberal in some ways. The Western world also has a good side, and those are:

– SpongeBob SquarePants (This dude never gets overrated; it’s like the Tom and Jerry of Nickelodeon)
– Childhood cartoons- Powerpuff Girls
– Blues Clues
– Dora the Explorer

However, emulating everything Western and forgetting Eastern values starts the terminating of our cultural heritage. We’re welcoming their bad sides of their influences. You see, it’s not good.

Totoo, kapag sinabing kapag hindi tayo na-invade ng Estados Unidos, we would have been at-par with Japan in terms of economy. True, Americans exploit those countries they capture, and you cannot deny that at all. If the Americans did not even try to invade us, we would have been more Tagalog, Bisaya and we would have been a parliamentary rather than a presidential government. If you don’t even try to love the Philippines albeit its flaws, why not try to find the good side of the country (yes, I’m talking to you, know-it-all who cannot even appreciate the Philippines)?

The Philippines, so far is waaaay much better than the US in terms of family-orientedness, so it’s normal for the US government to promote family-first policies rather than individualism. It is really a living HELL for grannies in the States to live there forever, so it’s much better to promote family values in the US (Australia beats them after all LMAO). This should be a role model to all the countries, and I also hope that Japan would also do the same as well (Japan right now is individualistic, although most Japanese live with their parents. Also, their problem so far is the sexlessness due to their jobs — after all, what reduces population growth is job offerings — the more, the merrier).

Rawr! So you get it so far!

Oppa Gangnam Style


MV for the “Oppa Gangnam Style”

Okay, so I was curious about this “hype.” No wonder the Dougie was dead! LOL!

It’s much better than any of JB’s songs! HAHA.

Anti-Japanese sentiment of the Korean people


dek-d.com|Manga Kenkanryu is one example of hindering South Korea-Japan relationship.

When I asked some of my (South) Korean friends, I asked them any Japanese-related things, and they said, “no,” with a slightly cold response. I just learned that it’s a very sensitive topic to the Koreans. Why?

The truth about Japanese-Korean relations history

The Koreans hated the Japanese for quite so long, and no wonder, some of them would lash out at Japan as a country. Filipinos may have the same sentiment with Koreans, but that doesn’t really have to mean that hating the Japanese should be the result. Filipinos, compared to Koreans, are more forgiving and of course, like what I said before, both the Filipinos and Japanese share the same trait: Hospitality.

The Koreans were actually forced by the Japanese not to speak Korean, and of course, change Korean names into Japanese ones. The result is, Korean heroes are willing to fight for the country, even by just sacrificing their own lives only to liberate their fellowmen from the hands of the Japanese.

I’m not threatening the Japanese or the Koreans, but the diplomatic relationship of South Korea and Japan today isn’t that bad; it’s only hindered by the Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo/Takeshima) dispute and claim. This is the only thing I could relate with; it’s just like the Spratlys, but that doesn’t hinder the Philippines from its relationship with the PRC. To be honest, Philippines should claim the islands, not because of geographical benefits, but also, this is also a strategy to let the Philippine economy grow.

Truth hurts, so does history

History is not necessarily synonymous with “truth” alone. History is also accompanied by theories in which, some of the facts are not really facts; some of them might be simply legends, or maybe personal accounts.

The Japanese government whitewashed the WWII event is because, they don’t want the younger generation to feel bad about themselves; it is quite a sensitive topic in Japan, so never ever utter WWII, unless you happen to be a Filipino-Japanese.

History repeated itself, again

Manga Kenkanryu: A Controversial Comic

While some of the best Japanese manga-ka entertain their readers, their comics are turned to anime. However, in the case of Manga Kenkanryu, that will never become an anime. Lambastments sparked all over South Korea, that this is really going to make a debate, whether this would hinder their relationship with one another, just because of one manga.

Fuji TV boycotted because of K-Drama

This is another issue regarding the Japanese complaining and then boycotting about Fuji TV broadcasting more K-Drama than Japanese dorama. Of course, this is really an insult; airing more Korean films will just anger the Japanese, especially those who are fanatic patriots.

South Korean Children’s Drawings against Japan


Source|This is seriously, the drawing I’ve been lookin’ foaw!

This was probably a school project regarding the Liancourt Rocks. Somehow, this was really controversial, and of course, this sparked hate comments and of course, hindered the relationship between South Korea and Japan.

My comment: Why can’t you guys love one another, eh?

My take: Japan’s not doing anything when South Korea…

Hmm, it’s not really the whole of Japan’s fault when it comes to its relationship with South Korea. It’s only that, people cannot really forget the past, but somehow, they are doing efforts to stabilize the diplomatic relationships towards the end of the story.