Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My response to Jaeyoun Kim's Essay

I am posting my email response regarding Jaeyoun Kim's essay on Filipinos and the Philippines. You may received it on your mail. I find it alarming that Filipinos actually find it inspiring and amusing and forward it to fellow Filipinos and the recipients forward it to more Filipinos. I personally want to stop the cycle. I don't find Jaeyoun Kim's essay amusing and much less, inspiring. Although, If you happen to be Filipino and find his essay otherwise, do enlighten me. I may be missing something. But for now, since you are reading already, I lay my thoughts. Comments are welcome. I just would like to know how Filipinos take Jaeyoun's "Philippines My Philippines" essay. If you haven't read it, well you are lucky (or not) because that's what the previous entry was all about.

My email response goes...

Good day everyone!

I have read the Korean's Essay and I find it inconsistent and maybe I don't share the same opinion with you.

I don't agree that Filipinos do not love their homeland and that being "the problem" of our country. I don't agree also that judging one's national patriotism on one's desire to live and work in another country other than your homeland as a sign of lack of love of the country. In this case, Filipino OFWs are questioned on their lack of love for the Philippines. It just doesn't ring true to my ears.

In the essay it was also mentioned that during a very hard time (40 years ago) in Korea, Koreans left their country to Germany to work and that they came back to Korea years after. We also have sent teachers, nurses, care givers, domestic helpers, foremen, security guards, miners, cooks, cruise workers, name it, we've sent them all over the world and after some time, OFW come back to the Philippines -balikbayans. Even if they left the country, I do believe that in every Filipino OFW's heart is a yearning to go home and a burning love of the country. I don't doubt that. (Of course a visiting Korean student wouldn’t know about that in his short visit to our country)

Who is this Korean dare judge Filipinos that way? Make conclusions based on an afflicted Filipino prisoner. Of course these prisoners would want to be off their burden thus wanting to leave and never come back. It isn't a secret to the world that our prison's state is so bad. I think the writer should have sought another Filipino like the ones who are OFW or just not in prison.

I am a teacher, I wished the writer asked me and maybe he would think differently. I wished the writer met my student to prove that Filipinos are patriotic. Although at the moment I am not affiliated in any school but I consider myself still a teacher. The same logic applies to any OFW even if they are not in the Philippine Islands, they are still Filipinos and proud at that. But anyway, going back to being a teacher, I taught in Island Home International Primary School (A British International School) in Boracay Island. My students are foreign in nationality and some are of Filipino descent having one Filipino parent. Although they have difficulty in speaking Filipino, they are proud of their Pinoy heritage. They know their flags and some were taught by their parents to sing Pinoy nursery rhymes. You will be surprised, they have bright plans only a loving Pinoy child citizen would dream for their neighborhood, city, and the Philippines. So what is this Korean talking about?

Ask athletes maybe. Ask them how it feels to carry and wave the Philippine flag on a foreign country and represent Philippines. Their victory is not a selfish one, they shout "Pilipinas" with all their heart; “Ginto Para sa Pilipinas” with pride. They cry too, and their tears roots from this well of Filipino pride. We all have this well in our hearts and I hope we take good care of it, let’s not think so badly of our own countrymen. (Let the Koreans do that –I’m kidding).

My point is, his claim isn’t valid. Why of all people would you ask a prisoner deprived of freedom and then generalize his desire to fly out of the country never come back be true to all Filipinos. I think any prisoner would say that even a Korean.


Maria Jasmin Maramag

To all Filipino bloggers out there, I wish you would write your insights too on your blog about this.

Jaeyoun Kim's Essay About the Philippines

Before I say my opinion about this Korean's essay about Filipinos and the Philippines. I think I should keep a copy of it so everyone who reads my response on Jaeyoun Kim's essay would know the story.  

My response BTW
--Lifted from a forwarded email


...and the email goes ...

"Please pass it to all Filipinos you know.
As you know, we have plenty of Koreans currently studying in the Philippines to take advantage of our cheap tuition fees and learn English at the same time. This is an essay written by a Korean student, (Never mind the grammar; it's the CONTENT that counts). Maybe it is timely to think about this in the midst of all the confusion at present.
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
entire country was destroyed after the Korean War, and we had nonatural 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 every day. 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 their 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 every day. 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. "

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Asian Spirit 6k Seat Sale

Well yeah. It is the the season again of limited period seat sales, this time I was suprised because Asian Spirit joined the bandwagon on giving REAL seat sales. To be honest, I doubted the validity of it but it is real but only for very very very short while. Imagine as low as Php991 from Manila to Caticlan, when Manila-Kalibo only went as low as Php999.

So what's the catch on this miraculous event?

Well, the cheapest rate is the Php0 fare round trip which cost about Php2888. ROUND TRIP MANILA-CATICLAN and BACK. So when I tried to book a group of 10. on this promo sadly I don't have the list of the names of the passengers. It's a missed cheap fare opportunity but it's ok. And the seat sale go so quickly! Without exaggeration, they change in less than 1 minute.

I haven't slept yet for the last 36 hours and so did my laptop and did nothing but scheme up the lowest airfare for clients. But the sad end to that is, after I've fished a low, if not the lowest fare for some clients, I get bypassed. Not just once, i must add. That's really a loophole in what I do. Of course it is easy to retrieve info from the net but to get it on the perfect time to fish cheap deals to ditch the one who saw an opening, seems unfair. But then again, we learn from our mistakes. Adding accommodation with airfare is a loopy business.

Maybe all these trouble aren't worth it at all. It's not that easy to book the cheapest fare, it takes time and patience. So there goes my tip for all of you who wants to get the cheapest fare... as Professor Mad-eye Moody always say..."constant vigilance".

So there.

I'm just so tired.

One last yosi.


Maybe all these is just a bad dream.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Boracay Travel Expenses: A Budget Guide

Boracay is in every Filipino's must visit list and budget is always keeping us so away from the destination.
So plan your trip early to save money or save money to start planning your trip. hmmm? Either way, just save up and go when it is cheapest. And you are so lucky because its off season!

So you're still calculating your travel expenses but still clueless of the various fees and taxes you might come by to get here? Lem'me help.

There are various ways to get to Boracay by plane (Kalibo and Caticlan). Kalibo is my favorite because it is relatively much cheaper than Caticlan. But some would prefer Caticlan over Kalibo because it is the fastest way to the island. SO it's really up to you.

Now, get your calculator and compute with me.

Php5500 Airfare (Average of lowest-Php2000 and highest-Php9000)
Php 200 Airport Terminal Fee
Php 150 Kalibo - Caticlan van ride; inclusive of boat fare and jetty port terminal fee)
Php 75 Environmental Fee
Php 100 Special Tricycle fare from jetty port to resort/hotel/hostel
Php2200 Cheapest 3 Days 2 Nights beachfront Lodging
Php 20 Tricycle fare to Boracay Jettyport
Php 40 Boat fare and Terminal fee to Caticlan Jettyport

TOTAL: More or less Php8285 per person/3Days 2 Nights Accommodation

Php8000 Airfare (Average of lowest-Ph4000 and highest-Php12000)
Php 200 Airport Terminal Fee
Php 40 Boat fare and Jetty Port Terminal Fee
Php 75 Environmental Fee
Php 100 Special Tricycle fare from jetty port to resort/hotel/hostel
Php2200 Cheapest 3 Days 2 Nights beachfront Lodging
Php 20 Tricycle fare to Boracay Jettyport
Php 40 Boat fare and Terminal fee to Caticlan Jettyport

TOTAL: More or less Php10675 per person/3Days 2 Nights Accommodation

So raise that travel money and hit Boracay soon!