• Korean urges Pinoys to soldier on


    Often, whenever I feel the growing, gnawing dread that Filipinos are beginning to accept corruption as a way of life in the country, I read an essay about the Philippines written by a Korean student, Jaeyoun Kim. He noted that Korea and the Philippines had similar problems. Like many Filipinos who cried about the state of the Philippines, Jaeyoun Kim also cried about the state of his but this never stopped him from loving Korea.

    I had written about Kim’s essay some years back but I believe it’s worthwhile reprinting it because I consider it timeless and it would make a good start for 2015. Here’s Jaeyoun Kim’s essay, edited to fit the space allotted to this column.

    “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 and 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. Forty 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. Hundreds of Koreans in Germany went 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.

    “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. 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 distributed their profit to their employees fairly so that employees could buy what they needed and saved money for the future and their children.

    “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. My mother who has been working for Catholic Church since I was very young told me 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.”



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    1. that was the same word Jesus used when He told us what the 2 greatest commandments are: “LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall LOVE your neighbor as yourself.”

      if only we can apply LOVE to our Lord and neighbors, i am sure, the Lord our God will bless our country abundantly. because there will be no corruption as a result of our fear/reverence to God and fellow filipinos will be benefited because our thoughts will always be “serving others” for the glory and honor of our Lord.

      and as a christian country, when we stop worshiping stones and woods, God will also forgive us and He will no longer allow us to suffer and be cursed once we stop our idolatrous practice.

    2. there is only one solution so that that philippines will become a Korea. EXTERMINATE ALL OUR CURRENT POLITCOS AND THEIR FAMILIES!!!!

    3. Joel Rodriguez on

      First, thank you to Mr. Jaeyoun Kim and to Mr. Efren Danao for publishing the very nice and encouraging article.

      When Cory Aguino became President, the country was on the right track after taking over from the most corrupt politician the country ever had. Despite some politicians who tried to destroy her such as Doy Laurel and Enrile ( 2 ungratefuls!!), she managed to carry the country forward. With Ramos succeeding, the country started to gain momentum. Then came 2 tragedies when 2 successive corrupt presidents took over. Those 3 plunderers were like tsunamis that brought the country to its knees. Some day they are going to hell if they don’t return what they stole.

      Fortunately, another Aquino (Pnoy) saved the country. The country is again moving forward. Mr. J kim says that corruption is not the problem? He is wrong! It is definitely one of them. Let’s pray to God that we don’t get another corrupt president.

      Another problem is apathy. I guess it’s because the Filipino is made up of so many races (Malays, Hispanic, Chino, some blacks and whites). I don’t know which of the ethnicity brought the Filipino bad attitude. Instead of helping one another, many of us who have experienced a little comfort in life try to look down on other Filipinos instead of helping them. That is what’s going on…payabangan!

    4. That was a very good read. But the big difference is they had a president who wanted the country to move forward. Here in the philipiines i dont think any government wants the philippines to move forward. They are at the top so have a great life, their family & friends are also at the top & have great lives, why change anything. Thats how i think they look at it. What you need is exactly what that korean said & i think a way to start getting that is for like a revolution where the people rise up & kill these corrupt politicians. Let them live & they get back in power along with their famillies, look at the estradas, the marcos’s, the binays, the list is endless. Go down to local politics & look at the ampatuans, & from this you see absolute power corrupts. Get rid of the scum then get people who do love this country & others will start loving this country. Then it will improve. Look where korea is now to where it was after the korean war. & compare it to the philippines from then to now.

    5. P. Akialamiro@yahoo.com on

      I must have read the same article in this column. How true, how true; many Filipinos do not have that sense of nationalism.

      While many Filipinos take pride in being in the only Catholic country in Asia, there is too much religion, but much less Christianity.”Maraming porma, walang substansia”!

      But, first and foremost, we have to have a president ala President Park to lead the country; not a President “Bark”!

      • and we need someone like Lee Kuan Yew (former Singapor Prime Minister) who led his small country to what it is today.