Saturday, August 13, 2005

Pinoy Kimchi 1

Anyong Haseyo !

Finally I am here in Gwangju, South Korea for the May 18 Memorial Foundation's International Internship Program on Human Rights.

Wow ! After a long absence here is my new blog entry.

It is my birthday today(when I wrote this entry - so it was yesterday now that I am posting this), I am 35 ( I am now at the stage of becoming shy for my age disclosure, hehehe… anyway I AM ETERNAL… no worry for that).

So many things happened today. In the morning I woke up late and as usual the bathroom rush for us roommates (Mus, Ram and me). Well am here in Gwangju, Republic of Korea for an internship program on human rights. I am now a month and few days old here.

I got a cake from Agnes and a sexy card – an ad card that advertises sex I believe. I got fascinated with all these ads so I thought of collecting them to put in my scrap book, hehehe. I got another sexy card from Pan in the office similar with one I picked up from the street on the way to the office.

I mailed my b-day card to nanay and a long overdue card for Eman. And ate at the post office 8th/F dining place with a nice view of the vicinity especially the May 18 Memorial Park’s Hill. Kimchi is a dish not to be missed out as always, ah hot food.

In the afternoon we went to Gwangju Migrant Workers Center and met by Mr. Ma Chong Kill on the road. After talking to him for awhile he introduced as to Rev. Lee Chul Woo. The discussion with him was engaging an informative. I appreciate their kind of service, although the center is being supported by their protestant church yet they never ask to convert to their religion migrant workers (most of them are so called “illegal”) who seek their assistance, unlike other centers who are church based. Their service he emphasized is a service to humanity. As of now most of those who seek refuge to their center are Sri Lankans, Chinese and Indonesians (some other nationalities Burmese, Filipinos, etc). At least 50 persons come to their center in a week. We were invited to join an outing with the migrante workers they are helping but with the call I just received from Annalyn I might not be able to join.

One thing remarkable about Rev. Lee was his involvement in the May 18, 1980 Gwangju Uprising. His enthusiasm relating the story was contagious. It is like being in the docu film and books I’ve read about the uprising. A second time (first time story was by Rev. Park) first hand account from a person involved and witness of the fateful event, a real primary source.

But I am very much touched by his sense of guilt and shame that haunts him now and then for being still alive unlike his comrades who had dedicated their lives to freedom and democracy. He offered his life to religious service instead. He started ministry with the labor sector and educated them of their rights. The church grew and gained support. Those who helped him educating laborers are now leaders of one of the most powerful labor group in Korea. He felt left behind for awhile having empowered the sector he first served. Until the events of 1995 when a Nepali worker sought help from the church and migrant workers asserted their rights, he found again himself in the ministry of workers. This year his fellows who have ministry with migrant workers have celebrated their decade long service with migrant workers.

Okey that was a bit serious, of course the work for democracy, freedom and justice is always serious. So let’s balance the day with a bit the inconsequential – but of course it is my big day right, so we went to Pizza Hut across Honam University. But the guys (Ram, Mus and Chris) who were on the other taxi proceeded to the office instead when they did not find the place. Pan, Agnes and me celebrated, with two slices of pizza each the rest we brought to office and had a picnic in the park.

Chris upon learning it was my b-day provided me and my co-interns an experience of DA-BANG. Described below :

Scooters. Arriving in the city, you immediately see entire streets full of them. I expected this though, Taiwan is famous for that. Everyone and their dog rides one, including pretty young girls and senior citizens, which you'd never see in Korea. In Korea, scooters are mostly used to deliver food. They are also associated with da bang "coffee" girls (which reminds me I wanted to do a post on them) who dress sexy and deliver you piping hot coffee and perhaps whatever else your heart and wallet would like.
written by KLB Guy -|link

So that was an experience, I wondered why cafĂ© has to be delivered that way so – we had an experience for ourselves. Of course we interviewed the girl – she came from another province, just 23 years of age, she does not like what she’s doing but she needs money to save for her marriage. To me she’s beautiful but Chris considers her a flat surface – terrible description. She seems not to be the ideal Korean girl since her complexion is as almost brown as my color. But for westerners I believe she is a stunning “exotic” beauty.

Now it is morning 1:35 AM and I have to end and post the rest next time, watch out for hot, hot… spicy, Pinoykimchi, anghannngggg ! whew !

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