Saturday, May 14, 2005


Mga Koreyano Naman ang Nagdadatingan

Nakakagulat ang balita tungkol sa mga bagong dayuhan na nananatili sa ating inang bayan, gaya nang mga Koreano: 60,000 -legal at illegal. Sinusino pa kaya ang hindi natin natutuklasan?

Ang ating bayan ay ginawang hardin, bakasyunan, palengke, hacienda at bahay putahan ng mga dayuhan alay ng ating mga pinunong bayan. Nuong ako'y bata pa mga Amerikano, Intsik at kaunting Indyan (Bumbay) lamang ang marami nating nakikita; ngayon marami pang Amerikano, Intsik, Hapon at Koreano. Sa mga ito, yung mga Bumbay lamang ang mukhang okey.

Sino pa kayang mga dayuhan ang magisgisnan ng mga bagong sinilang, ng ating kabataan, sino pa kayang mga dayuhan ang magtatamasa ng ating naturang kayamanan?

Ang nakakamuhi at nakagagalit na gawain mulat mula pa ng ating mga tinatawag na mamumuno ay ang pagkawalang pagmamahal (nasyonalismo) sa sariling bayan at kababayan. Mulat mula pa nang dumating ang mga Amerikano, nagtaksil na ang ibang pinuno. Ngayon wala ng naghaharing mga sundalong dayuhan Amerikano, tuloy pa rin ang mga pinuno sa pagtataksil sa inang bayan, sa mga kapwa kababayan.

Nagsimulang pahirapin ng mga pinuno ang buhay ng ordinaryong kababayan ng umupo si Dadong Makapagal, ama ni Gloria Arroyo. Inalis ni Dadong ang "Filipino First Policy" na sinimulan ng Pangulong Carlos Garcia. Tinulungan ng Amerika na matalo si Garcia ni Macapagal. Nang nawala ang "Filipino First Policy", inilabas ng Amerikano ang kanilang mga dolyar patungoong Amerika, umutang si Dadong sa IMF at gawa nito, ibinaba ang halaga ng ating pera, mula P2=$1 tungo sa P4=$1. Kung iisipin, magaan pa ang buhay noon para sa mga tao sa Maynila at mga edukado.

Nang dumating si Ferdinand Marcos, na ang akala ng karamihan ay magaling at makabayan dahil hindi daw siya magpapadala ng sundalo sa Vietnam sa pakiusap ng mga Kano. Ngunit ng natalo si Dadong, bumaligtad si Marcos at nagpadala ng sundalo. Alam natin ang mga sumunod na nagyari, matalino nga si Marcos ngunit hindi makabayan, at dumagsa ang ikinukulong o namamatay na kabataang aktibista. Nakipagkaibigan sa Hapon, ibinukas ang bayan sa dating malupit na kaaway, at nagpayaman ng husto, kasama ang mga kamag-anak, mga heneral, mga kaibigan, mga kumare at kumpare.

Sa pagpapayaman, ginamit ni Marcos at mga alagad ang mga inutang (para daw sa bayan) na bilyones na dolyar, na nagpasimula ng mabigat, at pabigat ng pabigat na paghihirap at kalbaryo ng mga Pilipino sa inang bayan. Nagbago na rin ang Pilipino, nagsimulang mabawasan ang mabuting ugali at pagkatao dahil sa nakitang kasamaan sa gobyerno.

Nawala si Marcos, dumating si Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, at ngayon si Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Mula sa matalino, naging relihiyosa, isang heneral (tuta ni Marcos), artista, at ngayon (matalino ba?) professor-economist daw, kolehiyala. Ano pa kayang klaseng pamumuno ang matitikman ng mga kababayan? Habang nagyayari ang pagiiba ng mga mukha ng mga pinuno, walang mabuting pagbabago ang nagyari o nangyayari sa buhay ng ordinaryong Pilipino. Hindi ko na tatalakayin ang mga ibang posisyon sa gobyerno, baka hindi ako matapos.

Isa sa mga unang pumirma si Fidel Ramos sa WTO nuong 1995, kaya sa agrikultura, ibinukas natin ang bansa para makapasok ang mga importadong bunga mula sa iba-ibang bansa, na pumatay at pumapatay sa mga taniman at bunga ng ating mga magsasaka. Sa industriya, dahil sa mga importado rin, nawala na ang mga kaunting pabrika. Nawala o nawawala na ang ating agrikultutra at industriya, nawawala at nawala na rin ang mga trabaho sa bansa. Ang kapalit: mga "golf course" at "resorts" para sa mga dayuhan, mga tahanan para sa dayuhan, murang pagkain para sa dayuhan, mga ariarian para sa dayuhan (binibili ang bayan dahil mababa ang halaga ng piso), at iba pa. Dahil dito, paghihirap lamang ang napunta sa ating mga kababayan sa bansa.

Sa madaling salita, nadama na ng buong bayan ang maraming klaseng pamumuno, at parepareho din ang kinahinatnan: bumaba nang bumaba ang halaga ng piso -ngayon mga P56=$1, pawala nang pawalan ang disenteng trabaho o kabuhayan, patuloy na paghihihirap, pahirap nang pahirap, ng ordinaryong Pilipino. Nagiging utusan o puta (ibat ibang tawag ang iniimbento para hindi diretso kuno) ang maraming kababaihan, kalalakihan at kabataan.

Ang mga namumuno mula pa sa panahon ni Marcos sa ngayon ay gusto itong ating mga OFWs: dahil kumikita ng dolyar pambayad sa utang (habang tuloy ang pagnanakaw nila), kumikita kahit naghihirap ang mga OFWs (at mga pamilya nito) at nababawasan ang mga taong maaring maging aktibista sa kalye dahil walang makitang trabaho.

Habang ang mga naghaharing uri: mga dating pamilya ng mga napakayayaman, lalong yumayaman at naghahari; mga dayuhang Intsik, na walang pakiramdam sa mga kababayan at lalo na sa mga kababayang dukha, ay dumadagsa at lalong yumayaman at naghahari din; ngayon iba pang mga dayuhan ang nagdadatingan at nagpapakasasa sa ating inang bayan. Mga iba at bagong dating na mga dayuhan na walang pakikiramay gaya nang mga Intsik.

Habang walang tigil na nagdadatingan, nagpapayaman at nagpapakasasa ang mga dayuhan; walang magawa ang taong-bayan. Tanga ba tayong mga Pilipino? Maligaya ba tayo at kontento sa sarili natin kaya pasensiya na lang kayong mga naiwan sa inang bayan? Nag-iintay ba tayo nang isang kabalyerong nakakabayong puti na sasaklolo? O makiusap sa Diyos na mahabagin. Wala kaya talagang magagawa?

O takot lang. Tayong mga Pilipino ay matatakutin. Walang bayag ika nga kung tungkol sa sariling bayan na kinagisnan. Takot tayo kahit nakatira sa ibang bansa. Takot maski wala namang sinasabi o ginagawa para sa pinanggalingan bayan. Gusto natin ang pagbabago tungo sa kabutihan nang wala tayong gagawin. Magic. Kaya sabi ni Renato Constantino nuong buhay pa (hindi eksaktong salita) : " Mabuti at wala na dito ang mga ayaw o walang pakialam sa paghihirap ng bayan." Siyempre, kasama tayo dito.

Ang hindi lamang matatakutin ay ang mga mga magsasaka, trabahador at iba pang nagsasalita at nagproprotesta sa kalye, sa Hacienda Luisita ng pamilyang Aquino-Cojuangco; ang hindi matatakutin ay ang mga miyembro ng Bayan Muna party-lists, at iba pang may parehong layuning mabuti para sa kinabukasan ng karamihang Pilipino at ng kabataan; lalo na ang nasa bundok, ika nga. NPA o MILF. Iyan ang mga tunay na matatapang at bayani ngayon para sa bayan. Saka na lang pagusapan kung lumalaban sila dahil gusto nilang maging kumunista ang bayan (NPA) o nais nilang matulungan ang mga kababayang naghihirap,mapanatili ang sariling bayan at kulturang kinagisnan (NPA/MILF). Ang pakikibaka at pagiisip ng mga kababayan ang maglilinaw nito.

Kaya't kailangan gunitain, matutunan, matandaan -lalo na ng mga kabataan ngayon na naiwan- ang ating mga tunay na bayani at nagmahal sa bayan. Mula kay Lapu-Lapu, Rizal, Bonifacio, Mabini, Claro M. Recto, Lorenzo Tanada, Jose Diokno, Voltaire Garcia, Renato Constantino at marami pang iba upang tangkilikin at ipaglaban ang ating bayang sinilangan at ang mga susunod na kabataan/kababayan.

(My apologies if you find this posting not well-written. As in lovemaking, there is always a first time. Will try to do better next time.)

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THE KOREAN WAVE
By Mylah Reyes Roque, Newsbreak Contributing Writer, May 09, 2005

AFTER a year in the Philippines, “Mrs. Pung” doesn’t need to go to a Korean store to make traditional kimchi. She uses ingredients from the local market: Baguio cabbage, garlic, siling labuyo, ginger, and her special discovery, patis (fish sauce). A mother who takes care of two children and six other young relatives, she lives in a spacious three-bedroom condominium unit in an upscale Metro Manila neighborhood, just a breath away from life’s necessities: school, supermarket, and shopping mall.

It’s a bonus that a golf course is a few minutes’ drive from home.Mrs. Pung’s husband is a pilot in South Korea, but they brought their kids here to study. “I visit him regularly because he is only three and a half hours away,” she says. The children are having a grand time here. They keep to their own group, enjoy the local cuisine like sisig, tocino, bulalo, adobo, patronize local fashion, and look forward to trips to Boracay. On weekends, they organize trips to Pagsanjan or Tagaytay.

Mrs. Pung is only one of the 46,000 Koreans who are in the country at any given time, according to Myung-Hwan Yu, South Korea’s ambassador to Manila. “Thirty-nine thousand Koreans came to the Philippines in 2004,” he told NEWSBREAK. If one counts those who are illegally staying here, the number could reach 60,000, says Dong Won Choi, secretary-general of the United Korean Community Association.

The Philippines hosts the biggest community of Koreans in Southeast Asia. They could be students enrolled in a regular course, student-tourists combining a holiday with a short-term English-language course, honeymooners, Christian missionaries, or businessmen. A few are representatives of international organizations or investors based in the export-processing zones.

University of the Philippines (UP) Asian Center Professor Lily Anne Polo has been studying the Koreans in the Philippines. “They are the third largest foreign presence here now after the Americans and Japanese,” she notes. “They are smaller in number, but they make sure that their presence is felt.”Countries like Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia are going through a “Korean Wave” inspired by Korean artists, pop music, and the Korean telenovela, according to Polo. Just where lies the attraction to the Philippines? “

For them, the Philippines is the most inexpensive place to learn English before going elsewhere for studies in preparation for working in Korea’s chaebols (industrial giants),” she explains. “They are nationalistic. They will return to Korea.” Learning English Koreans find the Philippines “cosmopolitan,”


Polo adds. “We are more open to foreigners [unlike other countries] and we offer amenities of global standards” such as golf courses, comfortable condominiums, good schools.Koreans are here not just for language studies but also for high school or college education. Aside from the attraction of cheaper tuition, Koreans think that they have better chances of finishing college here than in Korea, where education is becoming “hard and difficult” for most students, according to Chul Kyou Kim, head of the Koreans’ community association in Makati.Many Koreans like Kim prefer to take up medicine courses here. A student of medicine in the Philippines would spend roughly US$5,500 or P300,000 a year while a year’s medical study in Korea would cost $10,000 or P550,000 annually.

And, of course, the Korean won can buy a lot here, thus the growth of many Korean businesses. Byung Koog Jo, a farmer in Korea who is now the community director of the Korean community association in Quezon City, came here eight years ago with his wife and two kids. Now, his Filipino is even better than his English. After he bungled a business with a relative here, he put up his own restaurant near the main station of GMA-7 TV in Quezon City. Two years ago, he sold the restaurant, thinking it wouldn’t earn. He has since regretted the move because Korean restaurants have turned out to be profitable.Now, Jo runs a grocery that sells produce from his farms in Batangas, Laguna, and Baguio. If he were in Korea, he would need at least P8 million to put up that kind of grocery; here, he needed only P3 million. “Foreigners like me are prohibited to own land, so my properties are owned by a corporation owned by five Filipinos. I just supply the Korean seeds to the land owners and farmers,” he says.

Like Mushrooms

The Korean community is growing so fast that its Makati-based association has formed seven branches in the country, each one representing a community with a designated leader. The biggest outside Metro Manila is Cebu, followed by Baguio. In the past few years, communities have also sprung up in Boracay, Angeles, Subic, Bataan, and Davao.In Metro Manila, the biggest numbers of Koreans live in Makati, Quezon City, Manila, and Parañaque. Most of their communities are self-contained.

What’s common to them is the presence of English-language schools that are usually owned by the Koreans themselves. In Quezon City, for example, Jo’s Korean grocery is on the ground floor of the Kalayaan Plaza Bldg., which houses apartments leased by Koreans, a small wet market, laundry, Korean video shop, English language center, barbershop, restaurant, and the Philippine Korean Church. Koreans have seven to eight churches in Quezon City, four groceries, four video shops, and five travel agencies, according to Jo. In Makati, most Korean establishments are located near Makati Avenue and Burgos Street. Many shops catering to Korean tourists are also in Parañaque, which is close to the airport.

The phenomenon of Korean communities in the Philippines has also given birth to the rise of Korean-speaking agents who run a profitable business arranging deals between Koreans and Filipinos. They are not just in travel and tourism but even in education. They assemble groups of students in Korea and offer them to schools here usually for a fee equivalent to 10 to 15 percent of the tuition. The same agent would make a similar profit from boarding homes, restaurants, even transport and laundry services.The community associations regulate themselves and provide a support system to newcomers. This has apparently been effective in ensuring peace in the communities.

Immigration officials say that, in general, Koreans respect local laws and are not involved in criminal syndicates to the same extent that some other nationalities are. Cases filed against them usually involve petty violations.Outside their communities, however, Koreans find themselves in a culture clash with their Filipino hosts. This has caused what Polo calls “irritants, cultural-related issues that need to be ironed out” between Koreans and Filipinos. “Because of their geographic location and bitter history of occupation by Japan, Koreans distrust foreigners and keep to their groups.” Polo believes that Koreans, in general, are condescending to Filipinos because “they feel superior, and it doesn’t help that they are richer and have fairer skin.” Nadia, a Filipino coffee-shop barista, finds many Koreans abrasive and ill-tempered.Kim says that the cultural gap has brought him countless times to police stations, where Koreans have been detained because Filipinos thought they were shouting at them and picking a fight.

“I explain to Korean newcomers that the culture here is different. We should not raise our voice. We also can’t drink or carry beer bottles in public.” Kim, 47, who has finished dentistry, now runs a clinic with his Filipino classmates in Bel-Air.

Overstaying, Too

Filipino girls who work for Korean businesswomen in tiangges find them generally distrustful as employers. Choi acknowledges this, saying, “It is generally hard for us to trust Filipinos.” Among members of the association, there are stories of Korean businessmen being betrayed by Filipino managers or secretaries where it would hurt most: by reporting them to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) if they are staying illegally.

Because of their number, Koreans have been classified by the BI as “restricted aliens” along with Chinese and Indians. This gives them a harder time extending a visa and renewing it. As tourists, Koreans can stay here for 59 days. Beyond that, they can apply for an extension every month for a maximum of six months. Choi said this system exposes Koreans to extortion. Choi himself admits that probably 20 percent of Koreans living here don’t have permits.Despite all this, Korean communities seem to be here for the long run. And even if Mrs. Pung doesn’t have the time to make kimchi at home, she can always run to a nearby restaurant or hotel that certainly will have a Korean dish on its menu.

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1 comment :

Kamil said...

"Saka na lang pagusapan kung lumalaban sila dahil gusto nilang maging kumunista ang bayan (NPA) o nais nilang matulungan ang mga kababayang naghihirap,mapanatili ang sariling bayan at kulturang kinagisnan (NPA/MILF)."

I beg to disagree sir. I have some stories from classmates who are from areas where NPAs are existent. A lot of innocent people are being harrased by the NPA. What are they actually doing?? Burning infrastructures(threfore delaying services) of those who refuse to pay Revolutionary Tax. My classmate once mentioned to me that the NPAs, when hungry, just get inside other people's house and get food. OF course, the people would not refuse because these people are armed.