by: Jaeyoun Kim
*forwarded by chester via email

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 & 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

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 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 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 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 s mall 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.



  1. Your story about Korea really inspired me but I’m telling you that not all Filipinos are what you think of… I love my country and I think other Filipinos do too… I just think that some people had lost their faith after all the bad things that they had gone through… Someday somehow I do hope that I would finally see that day wherein people here in my country were uniting in making this country a better place for all us…

  2. @bluedaffodils

    I am at the same situation as you, I am still here at PH and I love my country, I just want my fellow countrymen to be inspired, If I had given up, I will also belong to the statistic that send remittance money from abroad.

    Let’s hope and pray that someday all will be alright.

  3. your essay is so true….Korea was way poorer than the Philippines 40 years ago, even Singapore was poorer than korea but through hard work and REAL patriotism both countries were able to rise up from poverty….it’s such a shame that our president is not like park cheung hee or lee kwan yew who really wept for their countries….but its not right to just blame our government we filipinos should develop that deep sense of patriotism that is really from the heart and not from the lips

  4. […] A Korean’s Message for the Filipinos 18 07 2008 Written by Jaeyoun Kim Original title, My Short Essay About the Philippines Taken from watzkulit. […]

  5. […] Written by Jaeyoun Kim Original title, My Short Essay About the Philippines Taken from watzkulit. […]

  6. As recession is just around, loving his own country will make a big difference. but I always hope and pray that the money that they allocate is ours not theirs, as they are paid to do his or her government job.

  7. […] A Korean’s Message for the Filipinos 17 07 2008 Written by Jaeyoun Kim Original title, My Short Essay About the Philippines Taken from watzkulit. […]

  8. The more we travel the more we understand what is life really is, the problem with us Filipinos, we are idolizing some nations or individuals which is not suitable for us, but I will my whole life, Filipinos outside their country are more Filipinos rather than those who are inside our country. Real Filipinos help each other in many ways, the problem with us, the rich individuals in our country are not originally from our country and the rich company does not belong to us.

    So what do you expect?

  9. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  10. not all Filipinos are like that. I’m a software engineer and could have worked abroad if I chose to, but I did not. I love the Philippines and will continue to use my talents here. But true to what you said, we have to work together to get our country out of its current predicament.


    Dear Kim Jae youn,

    Your short essay on the Philippines has been circulating around e-mail groups, blogs, and websites for years now. Thank you for your concern and thank you for calling on us Filipinos to love our country. It is precisely because we love our country dearly that is why we have raised our voices to condemn the corruption that has been going on for decades now.
    Filipinos have always complained of corruption because it is a reality that one cannot deny. Several surveys can attest to this cancerous scourge devouring the nation. The Philippines’ dismal rating in the 2008 Global Corruption Report released by the Transparency International dropped 10 places from the previous year, tying for 141st place with Cameroon, Iran and Yemen.
    Last year, the country tied for 131st place with Burundi, Honduras, Iran, Libya, Nepal and Yemen. In Asia, the Philippines rated higher than Indonesia at 143rd place. In 2007, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) came out with a survey that the Philippines was the most corrupt country in Asia.
    Given these data, I beg to disagree with you when you say corruption is not the problem. To say that corruption is not the problem only exacerbates the problem. It only serves to promote the “culture of corruption” now plaguing the country. By denying corruption and keeping silent about it we are making this “culture of corruption” the norm. Corruption continues to worsen the incidence of poverty and deny much-needed social services to millions of Filipinos.
    The $329.48-million ZTE broadband network scam, the P728-million fertilizer scam, the Jose Pidal bank accounts, the Northrail project, the $14-million IMPSA power plant project, the P1.3-billion poll automation project, and the Macapagal Boulevard project, and lately the World Bank-funded road project – all these could have been spent to provide badly-needed education and health services to millions of impoverished Filipinos. It could have been used to help the Department of Education (DepEd) bridge its resource gaps of classrooms, textbooks and teachers or could also have been used to increase subsidies for indigent patients in government hospitals such as the Philippine General Hospital.
    Now let us talk about your country. I really don’t know much about your country except that I highly admire the way you South Koreans have developed as a nation. From a poor nation after the war, you are now developed enough to be considered a first world nation. I admire your country and your people because you had the political will to build your nation. Like us, you battled dictatorships and military juntas. I was a student when I heard about the brave men and women of Kwangju who were mercilessly massacred by the troops of the military dictatorship. It was love of country that led to this 1980 pro-democracy uprising, they tried to quell it but the tanks and guns could not stop the freedom-loving South Koreans quest for democracy. .
    And yes, you South Koreans had a strong sense of love for your country that is why you sent 2 of your former Presidents, Chun Doo-Hwan and Roh Tae-Woo in 1995 to jail after being convicted of receiving bribes and inciting mutiny. You too had the courage to send the 2 sons of President Kim Dae-Jung to three-and.a-half years in prison for taking bribes from big business.
    We Filipinos will have that kind of love of country too. And it will be soon.

    Juanito Makabayan


    We Filipinos don’t get progressive because we lack nationalism?

    Before anyone makes such an insult against a particular race, he should first undertake the necessary research and some observations, like the following:

    1. He should first read Philippine history books to know that we Filipinos have always fought for our freedom and our native land – from the times of Lapu-lapu, Raha Soliman, Sultan Kudarat, Dagohoy, Sumuroy, Palaris, and dozens of other local heroes, to Rizal, Bonifacio, Aguinaldo, Mabini, and Jacinto; to the World War II generation, when a million Filipinos perished; and recently to the 1986 People Power Revolution.

    2. He should observe that Filipino farmers, fishermen, professionals, employees,industrial workers, service personnel, and others work hard here and abroad to earn a decent living for themselves, for their loved ones, and for their country.

    3. He should also observe that we Filipinos help one another in our works and festivities, and during personal agonies, man-made disasters, or natural calamities.

    4. He should also look at those Filipinos who volunteer in social service and humanitarian endeavors like the Red Cross and rescue efforts; those who extend financial assistance to poor patients in the hospitals, to students from poor families, and to other needy people; those who plant trees and care for nature, the environment, and animals; and those many other unsung heroes among our countrymen.

    Patriotism and nationalism may not always be tangible in our everyday lives, but when the imperative call for it comes, Filipinos respond enthusiastically.

    A humbling example of that is the national and local elections of May 10, 2010, in which 38 out of the 50.7 million registered Filipino voters (that was a 75% voters’ turnout) trooped to the polling precincts, and most endured the 2- to 6-hour long wait, the extreme heat and humidity, the hunger, and the exhaustion, just to be able to cast our votes. We did all those sacrifices because we want change – a good government and good leaders. Why do we want all those? Because we care for our country – that’s how simple it is.

    The Philippines is also a defender of the democracy of the free world. It is one of those countries that dispatched soldiers to the Korean Peninsula in 1950-53 to defend the South Koreans against the suicidal invasion by the fanatical communist North Koreans. One of those sent soldiers was Fidel V. Ramos, who became our nation’s president in 1992-98.

    I am saddened by the fact that after we helped Korea defend its freedom and democracy in the past, here now comes an irresponsible Korean sporadically spitting on our faces by calling us less patriotic, which is a severe insult to all of our painstaking and hard-earned efforts towards a better country.

    The problem with some people is that because they are already prosperous, they feel that they already have the right to lecture other citizens about nationalism.

    And why did that Korean single out the Philippines? Of the more than 230 countries in the world, more than half are poorer than ours. Why doesn’t that Korean go to the more than 100 countries poorer than the Philippines and also lecture the peoples there about this thing called patriotism?

    For those who want to know the real reasons why the Philippines is a poor country, the following link may help:



    For some people, the patriotic deeds of the Filipinos in the past and in the present are all nothing!

    The past is past; it doesn’t count anymore. And so the gallantry, sacrifices, blood, and tears of our ancestors, of our heroes and heroines, of the Filipinos who staged in 1896-98 the revolution against Spanish, of the Filipinos who fought in 1899-1906 the American forces, of the more than one million Filipinos who perished in the fight for freedom against the Japanese invaders in 1941-45, and of the Filipinos who braved armored tanks and warplanes during the peaceful 1986 People Power Revolution — all of these are nothing because they are already the past! They don’t prove anything at all that we Filipinos had done patriotic deeds in the past and that we could still do them again.

    The majority of Filipino voters who demonstrated the spirit of burning patriotism in the May 10, 2010, national and local elections — they are all nothing!

    The majority of Filipinos today who work hard and strive hard, here or abroad, to earn for themselves and for their loved ones, and to become productive and honorable citizens of our country — they are all nothing!

    For some people, the patriotic deeds of the Filipinos in the past and in the present are all nothing! They don’t measure up to anything! They don’t count!

    For those people, the one that counts is that Korean student’s essay!

    Purihin ang langit! Yepeee!


    Those people who obstinately cling to that racist Korean student’s essay belong to the breed of individuals who love believing what foreigners say against Filipinos.

    Instead of defending their very own race, the race of their ancestors, parents, and children, they rather clap the insults of the foreigners…. See More

    They are no different from those canines who betrayed their own countrymen to the Japanese during World War II.

    If the Japanese invade again our country today, those canines will be the first to their point fingers at, and betray, their countrymen to the invaders.


    The belief that rich nations are rich because their citizens are patriotic and that poor nations are poor because their citizens lack patriotism is no different from such other stupid beliefs as the following:

    1. Handsome or good-looking guys cannot commit rape; only the ugly men can.

    2. Rich people don’t steal; only the poor do.

    3. White people don’t shoplift; only the blacks do.

    Most countries and most citizens of the world are poor. If we would follow that stupid belief on patriotism, it would appear that it is only the wealthy people who are and who know how to be patriotic, while the poor citizens don’t know how to love their respective nations.

  14. to all of you…i was really touch of this essay…im still 15 years old boy..but to tell you i can already feel the sufferings of those flipinos who are working already…we filipinos are just sometimes blind of what was realy happening in reality here n our country…not just about our corrupted government but about our lack of love for our fellow countrymen and ofcourse,,our beloved country Philippines. i just hope and i pray that we Filipinos will not give up,,,nor lose our faith, we can make Philipines rise again,,if we just hepl eachother.or unite… we can do this, i love you all….

  15. government jobs are still the best when it comes to job security *:,

  16. hahahahahahahaha your essay is so true loving our country is the best way to prevent poverness. 😀 thanks for the lesson good luck 😀

  17. Filipino’s are also popular because of their loyalty to their friends and their families. But sometimes I consider it a bad trait due to the fact that their loyalty to their friends and families are stronger than their loyalty to the Philippines. I’m not saying that this is a bad trait but if you want to know why I said this, try to read the essay written by Jae youn Kim. He is, or was, a Korean student who studied here in the Philippines and the essay he wrote about that Philippines and his country received different reactions from different Filipinos. Some appreciated his concern and some were infuriated by that essay.
    He said that the reason why Philippines can’t improve our nation is due to the lack of love for our country. That is half-true and half-rubbish for me.
    Half-true because we lack love for our country cause we share it with others like our friends and families. If an average Filipino is the president and is threatened by someone to give money to other countries or he’ll kill his families, what will he choose? His families of course!
    Half-rubbish because he’s crazy!! He dares to write that he’s disappointed that we don’t love our country when he doesn’t even know why. The fact is, when he came to visit the Philippines, he observed us as a ‘tourist’. He didn’t know that the reason Filipinos leave the Philippines is because they love their families so much to let them starve. What use is a nation full of people dying because of famine? He said it himself that his father and brother died because of famine.
    A Filipino’s loyalty to his/her family is just so strong that it beats all others.

  18. I am very inspired of your essay for the Philippines Mr. Jaeyoun Kim.

    I am a Filipino. I love Philippines but you know what I also love your country Korea because like what you say you all work as a family you are all united and the most I like is you have a very strong faith in God! Because of so much admiring your country I almost pretend like I am a Korean. I know your language and culture.

    A month ago I was questioning myself if what if I am a Korean would I also love Philippines like I love Korea?
    When I was reading your essay I am so inspired that I cried. Because… number one my question is answered. Koreans do admired Philippines. Number two your essay make me realize to love my own country. I promise to do what you want us Filipinos to do “make our children love our country” even though I am still in High School I promise to do it so.
    When our teacher in English gave us a copy of your Essay. I see in their eyes that their not interested about it. Some leave it to the ground. I am so sad about it 😦 .
    By the way thank you very much for this wonderful essay that I have red.

  19. I have visited both countries, Korea and the Philippines. I may say that Korean people are more advance in some cases that Filipinos are not. We should be neutral and don’t judge each other. Filipinos have a great love for their country that is why they kept fighting for their independence. We cannot blame them with the bad attitudes they have because this are influences from different countries that colonized them, we should also be a well observant of what the Filipino people are experiencing by their corrupt government because compared to Koreans they used corruption in a good way and not like the Filipinos.

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