Something smells kimchi…

In ten years of working in the field of education, I devoted three to four of them in Korean companies. If there is one thing I learned about them aside from how they make kimchi, it’s their intense pride in their nation, their culture, their language, their skin.

A high sense of superiority for one’s culture can only dictate this statement:

“I was teased because I looked like a Filipino because of my skin color.”

Koreans are aware of the influence of their media to their people and so do we. This statement therefore is alarming. How far has discrimination against Filipinos gone in that country for ‘looking like a Filipino’ to be considered ‘troublesome’ in a show?

I am quite grateful that @royaltykai from Twitter has raised this issue and voiced her opinion to what many Filipinos prefer to shrug off. I understand her frustration: how come a culture can be loved and another culture, or even skin-color be discriminated against?

Before anybody tears his or her head off out of contempt and anger, let me start this discussion by saying Koreans’ general impressions are affected by how often they interact with Filipinos:

  1. Koreans stay in the Philippines to study English.
  2. Koreans pay for online English courses with Filipino teachers.
  3. Koreans put up businesses in the Philippines and interact with Filipino clients or even Filipino helpers.
  4. South Korea’s economic status is far better than the Philippines (2017, CountryEconomy)

Why do these matter? If perhaps, Koreans interact with Indonesians/ Thai more often, would they use the same comparison? Most likely. The use of the word ‘Filipino’ in the statement, or even in the TV show, was the game changer. Let’s be honest, Filipinos, we don’t own the skin-color ‘kayumanggi.’ We have a word for it, that’s true, but it’s just like having multiple words for rice—it’s a part of our distinction but we don’t have sole ownership to rice as to a skin-color. If you travel to other places in Asia, you will find that not only Filipinos have the enviable golden brown complexion. However, the Koreans, influenced by any of the aforementioned reasons or not, in the show still associated ‘Filipino’ to the color and even successfully managed to claim it was a ‘problem.’ Should we be grateful that at least ‘Filipinos’ were given limelight no matter how in poor taste it was? Don’t make me laugh.

In 2015, the number of Koreans in the Philippines has reached about a hundred thousand, undeniably attracted by the lower cost of living in our country as opposed to the first world standards of South Korea. I have already said more than once in my life, Filipinos are too welcoming. It’s the downside of our hospitality that our visitors, after exhausting our goods and safely coming back to their own land, would even ridicule our skin-color. It has been deeply ingrained in our system that what we do to others will also be done to us that is why as much as possible we try our best to show the best of ourselves, hoping that we in turn might receive the same respect elsewhere. Have we in any case insulted Koreans in our mainstream TV or perhaps associate ‘Korean’ negatively? Please let me know because I am ignorant.

I do understand that we must not blame the victims– in this case, yes Filipinos seem to be the victims—but I say, we must stop playing the victims. Something must be done about it but it doesn’t mean we have to douse ourselves with papaya or extracts and other whitening ingredients. We have our own prejudices—that’s a fact. Aren’t the Chinese often misrepresented in our TV shows and sitcoms? @royaltykai was right when she said we are also prejudiced against our own people (Negra and Ita were the common terms used when I was in elementary).

Should we fight fire with fire and catapult insults in our airwaves like, “Your face is as flat as a Korean!” or “You have Korean legs” or “You smell like Kimchi”–I do looooooooooove kimchi by the way but it doesn’t make me go gaga over a person whose armpits smell like fermented cabbage. Should we ban famous Korean artists we have learned to love from coming to the Philippines? Do we have the power to ban some Koreans who have insulted Filipinos from coming to our country? These ‘answers’ may look atrocious, even childish and do not even solve the core of the problem in any way.

The solution then, aside from calling the producers of the show out and demanding an apology, is to fiercely love our nation, culture, and language, our skin-color, the way Koreans love theirs or even more. A member of a different nationality no matter how good his or her intentions are won’t be able to educate one entire nation, no matter how small, into believing that something is beautiful. In South Korea where the standard of beauty is so rigid that it even often discriminates its own people, how can a Filipino proclaim, “This skin-color is beautiful, we are beautiful.” Take Pia Wurtzbach for example. She was a confirmed SUJU fan but did she ever see the need to comply with the standards of beauty Koreans have? No. She is very proud of her skin-color. Before you start telling me, “yeah, she’s a queen,” darling, you have reached the end of my long work and completely missed]nbvcdcdc1 my point. Before she was Queen Pia, she was Miss Philippines and before that, she’s Pia, a Filipina proud of her skin-color and giving it the respect it deserves.

I can almost hear others say, That’s only skin-color! There are more pressing issues around the world! There is nothing more important than world peace.

But of course! Some people would choose to believe that we better take the high road and think, “at least we’re not the first one to cast the stone.” After all, not all Koreans think poorly of Filipinos. Yes, that’s true as well but it doesn’t change the fact that some still do. The issue of colors has long pervaded history of wars around the world—it’s hardly new anymore but it’s still prevalent. Welcome to the group of people who are not appreciated because of their skin-color. Stand tall and be proud! It’s much easier than putting up a business that could rival Samsung, employing thousands of Koreans, and finally solving our country’s economic problems.

 

Postscript:

Permission to post tweets has been granted by the owner of the thread. Also, I would like to emphasize that I am not against Koreans. I am against any idea, philosophy, people, or group that irrationally degrades the nation I represent.

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The silver-lining: the Gods of VIBAL’s CPD Program

For many, the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016 was not a good news. Let’s be honest: who has the time to go to seminars amidst the noble yet chaotic responsibilities of teaching? It, being a law, however makes it a requirement; violation of such is considered against the law. A notable person once said that for development, struggles and effort are essential. Though it may seem a struggle waking up early particularly on a Saturday or attending a seminar on a holiday amidst a horrible weather (a shout out to those who attended the CPD program at Amazing Grace School despite the typhoon), the benefits of the program definitely outweigh the disadvantages.

Take for example, the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Didn’t he stop going to school for a time because he already knew what his teachers were trying to teach him? If he lived in this generation, he wouldn’t even trade the comforts of his own house with great internet connection for a six-hour class at school with a teacher droning on and on. For all we know, there are a number of Rizal-like creatures in our classroom and we may fail to address their needs. Educators who have to sit in a seminar with a speaker rambling the same nonsense could probably understand the frustration of their students so why in the world do they want their learners to suffer the same way?

How then can we look at CPD Program without cursing the awesome and professional people behind this idea?

  • For Development – Nobody can say no to that. Disappointing is a strong word but it is perfect to describe a teacher who does not seek development. The program is time consuming, I am not going to lie. Teachers have to spend about 4-5 hours handling classes, 2 hours for other school stuff and goodness knows how much time they devote in preparing lesson plans and checking tests.
  • Requirement – This doesn’t sound like an advantage at all but what do teachers usually say when they give a ton of homework to their students? It’s for your own good! And believe me, it is. Am I the only person who was embittered when old teachers were the only ones sent to other places for seminars? The fact that it is a requirement means teachers can be aggressive in getting more units, learning more and getting farther in their respective careers.
  • Inspiring speakers – So far, I have met speakers who have superb ideas on education. Working with trainings and programs enables me to rub elbows with keynote speakers who exude wisdom, credibility and confidence in their respective fields.

I have witnessed the awesome Mr. Roderick Aguirre in action- a man perfect in every way—this he often reminds me as I am inclined to have dementia.

I have been encouraged many times by Miss Icay, Ma. Carmela Boncodin and Miss Glendora Tiu – both amazing women don’t want to be addressed superficially by doctors.

 

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I have been inspired by Mr. Michael Angelo Malicsi with his passion not only for education but also for the corporate industry.

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You probably know the short story Visitation of the Gods and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that working with these people is like seeing the gods in action as they perform their miracles in schools they visit. I do believe that there are other amazing speakers out there who are as committed as the ones I have written about but I can only attest to the information I have collected myself through observation.

There are moments when as an educator, one cannot employ to the best of his abilities the techniques he has learned at school but he can get a fresher take, a better example after joining training programs. Motivated teachers do their jobs with renewed passion and vigor and their students benefit from it. Watching the aforementioned speakers as they share professional experience, innovative strategies, and strong perspective is truly empowering and enlightening.

I am fortunate that though not working in school anymore, I still feel like a part of the academe, hoping to influence education in general as my position permits me.

 

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JUNE 2018 Articles

June has come and gone in a whirlwind of activities for me; I feel like I became Dorothy momentarily with my doll shoes on.  It’s not enough an excuse to take my blog for granted though. I am glad to report, however, that I have finished a number of books from Jasper Fforde and Lemony Snicket this month. If you feel my humor is going nowhere, please bear with me and just understand the longing of someone who has lost a labrador and now looking for a quarkbeast.

A Stoic’s Key to Peace of Mind: Seneca on the Antidote to Anxiety

The existence of the unknown is an assurance itself.

Narcissists ‘irritating but successful’

Some of us could “be very charismatic” and I have just realized that the idea of making myself look pleasant does not only involve consideration of others but also my own benefit.

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Fixed vs Growth Mindset

I refuse to accept the belief we were not supposed to reach for more than what we were supposed to be… because nobody knows what else we can be and that’s the beauty of it. As an educator, the worst you can tell your students is to stop pursuing his or her passion because you are telling him to stop living his life.

Don’t say my name wrong at graduation

One of my pet peeves is when people mispronounce my name and yes, it happened on my graduation day.

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MAY 2018 Articles

Have you ever read your old articles and remembered how exactly you wrote them? Do they evoke happy or sad memories? Same time last year, I was in a different environment. As I am writing this in an office full of busy people, their work stations separated by low green dividers, I can’t help but be nostalgic.

Erich Fromm on Spontaneity as the Wellspring of Individuality, Creativity, and Love (BrainPickings.Org)

My argument is that with controlled and managed schedule, I can let my brain be free and roam beyond the boundaries of things I have to do and should do.

How to Disagree

Yes, correcting someone else’s grammar is one of them but not the highest form of disagreement though. Beware, Grammar Nazis.

The Secrets of the High Potential Personality (BBC)

Exactly what I need to hear: MBTI is outdated. I think I need to stalk David Robson as most of the articles I included in my previous collections were from this person and that’s amazing.

A Different Way to Look at Plot and Character (WordPress)

Character driven plot is the trend these days. My take on this article though is one only needs to look at the idea behind fanfiction. We create myriads of stories out of the same backbone but we come up with plots based on the characters.

Australia’s Ancient Language Shaped by Sharks

It’s a life changing moment when you suddenly learn something about sharks or anything related to them aside from the fact that they are cold-blooded.

 

I don’t know how busy my schedule in June will be but I will still try to keep at least my monthly articles alive.

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April 2018 Articles

Time flies so fast! Just a backstory, I started collating articles on April first and now here we are, on the last day! Is this intro something worth reading? No? I thought so!

A Guide to Twitter Hashtags for Book Bloggers (WordPress)

Image result for sipping tea gifI have just been using #amreading (or #amwriting) every time I tweet about books. I do even participate in some book tags from Book Fairies and the sort but I want to try #bookchat and #booktalk. Personal inhibitions prevent me from posting lots of things in Twitter though because people could be very savage there. VERY. Though I can be pretty savage myself, I personally think it is tiring to argue with someone you don’t know over something you can look at from different perspectives.

20 Lord Of The Rings Memes That Prove The Movies Make No Sense

I just want to clarify: I absolutely love The Lord of the Rings. Don’t burn me just because I found this list hopelessly hilarious.

How Much Should Your Boss Know About You?(BBC)

Just as long as I hit my KPIs, it doesn’t matter, does it?

Are People Misinterpreting Your Email Sign-off?(BBC)

It hardly matters these days particularly to those who don’t write emails anymore.

My Favorite and Least Favorite Harry Potter Novel (WordPress)

I saw Harry Potter and Dani in one post, I clicked. Enough said.

Bellatrix Lestrange: ESFP(WordPress)

A chief operating officer asked about my article on INTJs so down I went into the rabbit hole.

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…oh hey, I wrote a book (WordPress)

Novel Excuses has shared the process of how she finished the first draft of her book, champagne, cat and all. Don’t ask me about my second manuscript– yes, it’s been a draft for ages, I know.

 

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MARCH 2018 Articles

I totally messed up my February 2018 Articles I know you can’t even qualify that as a collection. A number of things happened in February — changing careers, attending and speaking in seminars, requirements etc. — but rest assured that I am as enthusiastic about my monthly dishing of articles as I was when I started it.

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To make up for last month’s collection, I have decided to read more (I’ve got a lot of time on my hands, dude!) and write more (what’s new?).

This is How to Handle Stress, According to Nutritionist and Author Dr. Doni Wilson

A WheninManila.com project that gave an opportunity to meet Dr. Doni, a best-selling author of “The Stress Remedy.” It was such a shame though that I wasn’t able to get a copy of her book.

A Guest Speaker’s 24 hours in Albay

…is the product of my short experience in Albay for the seminar sponsored by Vibal Publishing House.

Chasing Mr. Sunrise: A Ride to Pililla, Rizal

And just like that, I decided to document our trips together.


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I am certainly acting like an a$$ recapping all of my articles in March- GUILTY!

But hey, at least I’ve done something.

Moving on!

Here are the fantastic articles you guys ought to read:

Stephen Hawking on the Meaning of the Universe (BrainPickings.Org)

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A homage to one of the greatest minds on the planet. You simply can’t take him for granted particularly now. Kudos to the man who made a name for himself and made sure anybody wanting to know about the universe will remember his name.

 

 

 

Why Don’t Superhero Movies Win Awards? (BBC)

For this, I give you Cap himself.

PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER? (WordPress)

Having the power to choose things that can make you happy has always been an admirable trait.

 

By the way, just in case you’re wondering why I had to indicate where I got the articles from as opposed to what I had done in the past, I was thinking I needed to consider those who read from their trusted sources. Yep, it’s only for transparency.

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February 2018 Articles

Welcome back to another round of articles for the love month! Be warned, though: this list contains articles far from the lovey-dovey posts you normally expect in February.

Before sharing other people’s work, let me shamelessly promote my One Ok Rock article featured in WheninManila: ONE OK ROCK Rocked Manila During Their AMBITIONS Concert

Tokyo Ghoul: re Vol. 2-3 // A Review

I feel like an absolute fangirl after reading Dani’s review of Tokyo Ghoul! My blog isn’t anime/manga loaded but I’m pretty sure you guys know that Kaneki is listed in my Top Ten Favorite Characters.

15 Surprisingly Frugal Habits of the British Royal Family

How accurate the intel of Readers’ Digest is I don’t have any idea but the list makes me feel like I’m actually a part of the Royal Family.

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I know the list isn’t much but… nothing we can’t improve, right?

 

January 2018 Articles

Welcome back to another list of articles!

This time around, I scoured WordPress itself for praise-worthy articles. I used to just hit ‘reblog’ or ‘PRESS THIS’ whenever I saw those that follow my specific theme for the day. Writing my reaction to some of them won’t hurt and since I love to compile great articles in one list, I think this method will work.

 

Zodiac Signs as Bibliophiles // i try to be an “astrologist”

Bailey, as always, has posted another incredible article. I don’t know how she does it but her creative works always make me want to post better content in my blog (please refer to the anime tag in this blog).  I checked my zodiac in her article and I was impressed that most of them were spot on.

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Zodiac Signs as Bibliophiles

14 Weird Brain Exercises That Help You Get Smarter

Some of these exercises are really weird (e.g. using your non-dominant hand) but I am not sure I can attribute my intelligence to an open car window.

Eating This One Surprising Food Could Finally Cure Your Cough

After reading this article, I had a hunch that people only want to come up with excuses to eat chocolates.

‘He wasn’t happy until he had me all to himself’

I love it when I learn something new from an article. Believe it or not, after 29 years of existence in a developing country, having English as our second language, and an educator to boot, I have just learned the meaning of the word ‘gaslighted.’ Yep.

41 Little Grammar Rules to Follow to Sound Smarter

The title of the article needs no introduction.

The Surgeon Who Operates 400kms Away

I shared this article to my doctor (a big shout out to Dr. Joanne), who is a resident surgeon in one of the leading hospitals in Taiwan. Since she applies Robotics in her surgeries, I was thinking she would find this article note-worthy. A part of me was hoping, that given I could afford it, I would only entrust my life to her .


I would like to include my article in the list because I went bonkers learning that it got published on the second day of 2018! How lucky was I?! Here’s 5 Benefits of Bodycombat 

 

Now that’s a wrap. Thank you and see you next month!

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