"You are just a visitor in this country. You are not in South Korea.”

I just smiled after reading this news article from JoongAng Daily. People back home often say that we are not very disciplined, but we act our best when we’re abroad. It seems quite the contrary for people here. They act like themselves no matter where they are.
Read the whole article here.
“Do not shout. You have no right to shout at Filipinos,” the politician told Young, according to the newspaper. “You are just a visitor in this country. You are not in South Korea.”
As the saying goes… money can’t buy class.

  1. hello betchay! how are you? this was in the news weeks ago. well, like we all know here, ang mayor sa davao, walang kinatatakutan. kahit naman siguro mali yung korean tourist, they shouldn’t have hit him with a club. it was in bulletin sa tourism na koreans ang pinakamaraming dumating dito sa philippines. with this issue, baka wala ng pumunta dito. sayang naman ang tourism na pino-promote ng pilipinas.

  2. hi ms. betchay! i read this just a few weeks ago and i wasnt surprised at all. i’m from baguio city, where there are more koreans you see around than the locals… joke!!!
    anyway, i dont recall a good experience with them at all. even my classmate in analytic geometry when i was in college just started speaking to me and my close friend and classmate when he knew we were partly chinese.
    one more thing, Jessica Sojo did a documentary about the Korean community in baguio city. she was able to penetrate their thoughts and character and they really look down on us. for me, i attribute it to their culture of social class and aristocracy. you can also add up their booming economy…

  3. hi ms. betchay, cool blogsite you have. am from davao and yes, i see more and more koreans here each day. they normally keep to themselves which i believe is due, for the most part, to their english limitations. sa gym namin ang daming koreans. dami ring mga not-so nice-behaviour they have exhibited. minsan, while doing yoga, may pumasok na mga koreans sa exercise room, gusto din mag-yoga pero ang iingay. They were requested to keep quiet so they went out of the room. Another group of koreans went to the gym with surgical masks on. When asked why they have these on, they said “unlike in Korea, your air here is dirty.” So the Filipino said, “in that case, why are you here?”. The next day, the same group went back without the masks, and they were bearing candies for peace offering.
    Davao City strictly enforces the no-smoking campaign within business establishments and yet a local casino managed by a Korean group for Korean tourists insisted they are exempted from this ban because they are operating for Korean clients. The toed the line only when our mayor threatened to revoke the hotel’s business permit. Hay, kaloka! Yes, Marian, it was harsh to hit this Korean with a club, but at least they got the message. Davao hosts a very livable place for everyone, but we also expect courtesy from our visitors.
    I recently acquired a Korean friend. She was a tourist from Seoul. Really courteous, pleasant and refined young lady. Sometimes I wonder, are we getting the rotten kinds somehow? Kasi, yong pinoy friend ko na nagpunta sa Korea last year, she only had good things to say about the Koreans.

  4. i dont agree with what that politician did too. Besides, people should grow up. Stereotyping a whole nation just because of bad deeds of some few persons is wrong. We should realize that we are all individuals, irregardless of the color of the skin, nationality etc.
    If a Filipino OFW in Saudi Arabia will be jailed for drug possession, does that mean that all OFWs cannot be trusted? Of course not.
    No nation or nationality is perfect. Nothing is absolute either. I cannot say only good things about Koreans during my stint here, because i also have some (actually lots) bad experiences with some of them. But that didnt change the way how i view them as people. And this goes for other nationalities too.
    Some Filipino friends that i know are very sensitive, when it comes to a point that we (as filipinos) are being looked down as a whole nation (as they presumed) by other nations. The thing is, arent we doing it too with our fellow filipinos? Look up at terms like “promdi” “bisaya” “jologs” “squatter” etc. These are terms commonly used (with derogatory tone) and applied to certain groups or individuals.

  5. I just had to leave a comment. I studied with Koreans back in high school. My boyfriend is even a Korean. BUT I really don’t get them sometimes. They could be really rude. Plus they think they’re better than the rest of the Filipinos. Some are really ill-mannered, one girl even spat at my friend’s face for no reason. Most of them are here to study English , or to start a new business , they’re getting so much from this country, yet they’re so ungrateful. They’re probably thinking “we’re paying anyway” but still just some respect please. One more thing , i hope they stop tricking Filipinos in business deals. My aunt was in one transaction with them, and they guy didnt pay up . He disappeared after the shipment. My family lost a big amount of money because of another Korean who issued bad checks.
    My bad experiences with them don’t end there but the good ones make up for them. I’ve met quite a number of Koreans who are really nice. Very polite, very friendly. Its just that most of those who are here in the P.I . are not that pleasing. I just hope they show us some courtesy, or at least try to.

  6. Iloveit!!! Manny Piñol is now my hero. Dapat jan sa mga abusado, binabasag ang mukha!

  7. i wasn’t aware that there are a lot of koreans.. sa pinas i guess I’ll have to see it for myself…to believe..I think there will be rude people regardless of wherever you go… so don’t be biased.. And there will be loud people, good people…etc if one had a bad experience with a particular someone.. then move on…. don’t get worked out about it… hmm…. about the koreans immigrating…. that’s rather interesting that some koreans would stay there in the phil… when there are filipino citizens trying live elsewhere…

  8. ^^ that’s one of the things i learned living in a different country and meeting people from different nations… there are rude, obnoxious people everywhere and it isn’t because of their nationality…
    i like my korean friends here and i’ve been blessed with a wonderful korean family… i haven’t really had a “bad” experience here… except for that one with the two filipina and “discrimination” in hyewha-dong… quite ironic isn’t it?
    koreans purchasing power is greater in the philippines… here, everything is expensive…

  9. I am a Korean American. I came to US about 25 years ago when I was about 17 or 18 years old. So, I can say it had been a long journey understanding and adjusting to the US culture. Since I received early education in Korea, my tendencies are also very typical Korean. By “typical Korean” I mean, I can be blunt, straightforward, and not so considerate of other people’s feelings sometimes. We Koreans can be also seen as judgmental, rude, and conceded.
    Judging by the comments posted by many, most will agree including my fellow Koreans. There is no doubt that many were hurt by ill-mannered Koreans. As a Korean, other Koreans have hurt me as well. For many years, I resented and ashamed of the fact I was a Korean. However, now that I am older and more experienced in life, I believe I have better perspective of why Koreans behave the way Koreans typically do with others as well as to each other.
    When I was in Korea late 60s through early 80s, we were taught to obey elders and authority figures without questions. Media and the educational system constantly stressed this. This authoritarianism based on Confucianism is engrained deeply in Korean culture even now.
    This ethical and philosophical system had shown tremendous impact and influence in ancient and modern Korea. In Confucianism there are several important teachings emphasized—virtues must be shown towards others, an individual place in society and loyalty towards each other. Confucianism emphasizes human relationships above anything else. It stresses a social harmony comes from every individuals knowing his or her place in the social order, and has to play his or her part. Specific duties are prescribed to each person in society. Perhaps this is why Koreans seem to be oppressed with a person’s age. By knowing one’s age, Koreans judge each other’s place in the society and the duties to one another. Confucianism assigns everyone a place in society and a proper form of behavior. To a Korean, it is impossible to behave properly with a person until he or she knows the person’s placement in a society. This means, Koreans must know your age, job situation, or even weather you are married or not married, etc. in order to indicate to people their duty amongst others and what to expect from them.
    In addition, the Confucian Koreans believe in cultivation of morality: It is our duty to keep each other’s in check. In other words, for Koreans, if I am your elder, teacher, authority figure, or a friend, it is my duty to keep you in line with what is considered moral in a society. Therefore, Koreans will criticize, and even punish those that are considered to be at a lower hierarchy. The Confucian belief combined with long history of isolationism in Korea has made Koreans one of the most misunderstood and difficult people in the world.
    Koreans will tell you straight up if you look bad. There isn’t a “white- lie” in Korean’s vocabulary. It is because most Koreans think they are helping you by being brutality honest. When a Korean tells you that we cannot be friends because of age difference, don’t be alarmed or think the person is rude. The word, friend has a different meaning to many Koreans; every relationship comes with a different set of rules and duties to each other to Koreans.
    Even though, I tried to explain the culture of Korea, I do not wish for Koreans to continue with the Confucian Authoritarian ways in dealing with other cultures in this fluid, fast moving world. While Confucianism offers many positive qualities in dealing with one another, its teachings limit in ways to tolerate and accept of one another. If Koreans want to continue to grow and respected by other cultures, we must learn to open our eyes to see how others sees us.

  10. Hi Sassy, thank you for that ample explanation of Korean society. As I read it, a flood gate of memories came to me. I recall my dealings w/ the Koreans since 1990. I once had the pleasure of eating dinner in the home of a Korean family in Quezon city, Phil. In our conversation, I pointed out how pretty their country must be considering it’s called “the land of the morning calm”. Then, the wife described that yes, it’s pretty there, buildings are nice & new unlike here that it’s old & dirty. Fast forward to he new millenium. A Korean nurse scolded me for addressing fellow Filipino co-workers in the US for calling them “ate” (big sister). She said it was unprofessional & we were not at home or family here. She must be the type who stripped her “Confucian” values as soon as she stepped into that US hospital.

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