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Ladies and gents our story begins with our author who one day packed up his bags to spend the next 5 years of his life on some tropical island far far away. This land is not like any place he has ever been to before. There is no telling of what he may encounter during his stay there but one thing is sure he is going to be in for one crazy adventure. And this is where you get to read about it.

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The stories told here maybe appear larger than in real life and at times may even appear outlandish. However, all actual events are in fact real (well, most of them). What may appear as a distortion of reality to some may only be due to the author's perspective of the actual events. Some say he is just not right in the head.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Love for the Philippines

I found this on the web.

My Short Essay about the Philippines
by 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 the 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 economic situation of South Korea was so bad. Korea had only three factories. So, President Park sent many mineworkers 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 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 develop the 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 a 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 a Catholic church when I was in the army. The only thing I learned from the Catholic Church was that we have to love our neighbor. And I have loved my neighbor. 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 the 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 neighbor. The owners of factories and companies distributed their profits to their employees fairly so that employees could buy what they needed and save 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 Pagsanjan, I forced my parents to take a boat because it would be fun. However, they were not happy after taking the boat. They said that they would not take the boat again because they sympathized with 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 a 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 the same and have received a great love from God. I want Filipinos to love their neighbor 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 the 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 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 neighbor 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 neighbor 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.


In my short stay this seems so apparently true. Filipino's have love for their music, for their beer, for their families but when it comes to the love for their country... that comes last. Many people I have talked to have almost no hope for this country. To them it is as if the future will not be getting any brighter here. I can understand why some may feel that way. I can see the poverty this country is faced with and the corruption both great and small. The people here seem to have become so used to it and have just accepted it as a way of life. So instead of changing the way things are they try to take advantage of the situation so that they may some how profit from it. Elected officials sitting in government offices take advantage of their position by accepting bribes from businessmen to look the other way. Even the cops on the street do the same by accepting bribes from the drivers. But these officials are not the only ones benefiting from the situation. The jeepney driver benefits from not paying the full price of a ticket. The business man now no longer has to concern himself with his business meeting the conditions of governmental regulations. All these people benefit from their small to grand scale underhanded deeds individually, but they continue to hurt the country as a hole. Such actions are only perpetuating the country's current situation and the overall feelings of "hopelessness" in this country. It's a big vicious circle driven by those who only think of "me first" and the country last. If things are to change in this country people are going to have to start thinking the other way around.

Shanties built by the market in Cavite City.


Trash is almost everywhere you go.


It's just another example of no love for their environment and their country.



The Philippines is the largest Christian nation per capita in Asia. However, I have hardly met anyone here who even comes close to being "Christ like".

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:51 AM  

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