Seoul, South Korea the “Seoul (soul)” of Asia has developed and progressed like a lightning when its economy boomed high with the currency leveled as that of US dollar.
In the past three years, the Tourism department recorded a growing number of Koreans coming to the Philippines for English education and vacation. In fact the Koreans top the highest foreign visitors in the country.
Not only does this nationality dominated the islands of the Pacific but also influenced the Filipinos with its unique pop music. Yet these influences brings neo-colonialism anew.
Rather than appreciating our own culture and tradition, style, and music, a lot of Filipinos prefer to follow the fashion of the Koreans, even to the extent of wearing layered outfits and leggings. Ironic for us Filipinos because our country is a tropical one–meaning it is warm, too warm to wear multi layered outfits. When it comes to music, we Pinoys often sing the Korean songs not knowing what it means since it is in Han language.
It was irritating for me to see Koreans everywhere here in the country, especially in Cebu because of how they act. They treat Filipinos as slaves because of their purchasing power not minding that they are in the Philippine archipelago territory. I was angry because we are a poor nation. I was angry because rich countries abuse our resources.
BUT ALL OF THESE CHANGED WHEN AN UNEXPECTED BLESSING CAME AND I WAS ABLE TO EXPERIENCE SEOUL FIRSTHAND.
A -7 degrees welcomed us as we left the airport in Incheon, South Korea. Freezing down to the bones I should say. I joined the Korea-ASEAN Youth Oriented Cooperation Exchange Program.
I got the opportunity to meet Korean friends–and roommates who are absolutely accommodating and loving! WAY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I THOUGHT THEY WERE.
But not only did I make friends with Koreans, there were also Southeast Asians who share the same sentiments as I did and the same advocacy on equality. The entire program was a venue for developed countries to relay and share experiences and government programs from our areas to the first world.
The program taught each participant to be leaders advocating for good judgement and equality among people. Also with its theme: “Asian values for global leadership” we were able to identify major values of Asians that could help striving countries in transforming to be a catalyst of change in our own places.
I GET TO APPRECIATE THE Korean culture and its sacrifices to become a giant in world economy and culture.
Rather than looking at the negative sides of each country, it would be better if we see the bright side and learn the stories behind every successes. Instead of competition, each of us should share and help up to surpass all the struggles ahead.
To date: today of last year, 2009 is when I applied for the Korean Government-sponsored program. I was still able to submit my application minutes before the deadline. My exposure to international program HAS WIDEN MY VIEW AND EXPANDED MY FRIENDSHIP TO UNDERSTAND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS AND ECONOMY.
I am so missing SEOUL! ^_^
And for the record I don’t have to worry about the accommodation and food if ever I would visit any country in Southeast Asia and Korea! AJA FIGHTING~ KAMSAHAMNIDA KOREA!
Jesus said: Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you.–Luke 6:37