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05 May 2013

Four Things We Can Learn From Koreans (Introduction)

ADVISORY: Please read the entire essay (from part 1 to 5 before making violent reactions)

Part 1: Four Things We Learn from Koreans

We Filipinos have gotten used to Koreans in our country.  We see many Koreans in our malls. We see them on our beaches, in many cities and even in rural areas.  We got hooked on Korean television dramas. Some Filipino teenagers gush over gorgeous Korean pop stars. Some of us have even developed a liking to Korean food, which, in my opinion, the best food to eat when you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet.  Korean expats have become celebrities such as Sandara Park, Sam Oh and Ryan Bang just to name a few.  Some Filipinos find Koreans annoying but most Filipinos find them fascinating.  They have become our customers, friends, co-workers, some of us have fallen in love with them.

Some Koreans have put up businesses in our country and some even decide to settle here permanently and raise their children.  It is not unusual anymore to see a Korean speaking Tagalog or even Taglish.  One Korean student always endearingly tells one of my co-workers, “Teacher, you’re so weird talaga.”

Koreans learn so much about Filipinos. Some have already become more like a Filipino than a Korean.  As our two cultures increasingly come into contact as the years pass, we inevitably learn from one another.  Koreans and Filipinos have equal number of negative and positive traits. Neither of us is superior nor inferior. We are just two different groups of people.  From my many years of dealing with Koreans, I have observed that if you merge the positive traits of Koreans and Filipinos, you produce magic.  I have seen it at work, Koreans and Filipinos working together in harmony.  It is an unbeatable tandem.  The Korean sense of discipline paired with Filipino warmth and sincerity, just to site one example.  It is the perfect customer service combo. 

Koreans can learn so much from Filipinos and vice versa.  I could write about what Koreans can learn from Filipinos but I think it is best that a Korean write that essay.  This article is what we Filipinos can learn from Koreans.  There are four.  A little warning though, I am not entirely claiming that all these are accurate.  I am open to suggestion and corrections. A healthy discussion is always a good thing.  I just based my article on the many years that I have come into contact with these very fascinating Koreans.  I hope this helps strengthen friendship between Filipinos and Koreans.

In conclusion, Filipinos have many reasons to be proud but we must admit that we also need to change as a people.  There is no need to be oversensitive about criticism about us. If we make it to another list of the “worst so-and-so in the world,” instead of getting upset, let’s stand back and analyze. Is there some truth in it? Then let’s start working to rectify it. 

4. Absence of Slave Mentality [and Disclaimer]

(First published in “The Chair” Blog) By Rob San Miguel

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