Of Korean Culture, Friends and Second Family

1:07 AM

When I was 12 years old and during my 6th grade in elementary school, we have been privileged to be visited by Korean Volunteers to conduct Education mission. These Korean Volunteers stayed for quite awhile and taught us a lot of things. This was the first time I was introduced to Korean Culture. During that time, they were offering a lot of programs to all the students in our school. I chose to learn Korean Language and Taekwondo. The volunteers were very kind and that is the start of my admiration to Koreans and I really hope that I will have a Korean friend. I kinda forgot our Sung sang nim (teacher) name, but I remember that we really became friends to the point that we made some letter exchanges when she went back to Korea. However, we lost communication. 

During my 6th Grade, the Koreans were our Sung Sing Nims who eventually became our friends
I actually forgot about Korean Culture for awhile as I have been busy during my High school years and eventually went to college. However, my fascination to Korean Culture is still there. This was renewed when I was given and opportunity to teach Korean Students when my guests in Shakey's (I worked as Restaurant Marketing Coordinator in E.Rodriguez Branch) asked me to work for them. Well since, I was really looking for a lighter job then since my post as Shakey's RMC was affecting my studies, I accepted the offer and became a tutor. 

This is where I met my two (2) beloved students and my Korean chinggu (friends). I remember the first day we met since I was the one who gave them, well not actually gave them but suggested their English name. They are Minhee (Minnie) and Jimin (Jenny). 

We have had a lot of experiences together and they have been involved into different unfortunate situations here in the Philippines, but we surpass all the troubles that strengthened my relationship with them as well as to their families. So after they went back to Korea, they are actually asking me to spend a vacation there on December 2009, free of charge, but since I was quite busy with my starting professional career, I was not able to obliged. 

So it has been three (3) years since we have seen each other personally, and I really missed them so much, especially out bonding time. Luckily, I was given opportunity again to go to Korea to attend a work related seminar and I just extended my stay to meet them and explore the country. 

I was really overwhelmed by the loved that both my students and their parents showed me when I went to visit them in Incheon. They picked me up in Gwangmyeong Station, in full force even it was quite late, they even delayed their dinner so that we can eat together. They treated me to a very sumptuous dinner and made me feel at home and allowed me to stay to their house. I have had some chatter with the whole family, over Mekju (beer), dried squid and my pleasantries to them which includes dried Mangoes. Although Minnie's parents were not really fluent in English, I know they are trying hard to convey their message to me. I was particularly touched when both Minnie's parents told me that I should treat them as my second family and expressed that they were very grateful of my visit to Korea. They also thanked me for taking care of both Minnie and Jenny during their stay in the Philippines. By the way, Minnie and Jenny were cousins. I was really privileged to have a second home and family in Korea, a lot greater than what I have ask for during my elementary days. 

Minnie's whole family with Jenny: My second family :) 
Bonding time in Minnie's Room
Anyway, during my stay in their house, I was really treated so well and was able to grab a photo with the whole family. It was one of the highlight of my travel to Korea. I missed them already, especially Minhee and Jimin. It was quite sad that Minhee was sick now and I really hope that she will be able to recover soon. I wished to see them and spend a longer time with them when I go back to Korea, hopefully on March 2013. :) 

I'm feeling daughter of Minnie's parents. LOL :p 
My Second Family in Korea

Bogoshipda!!! I miss you all! :) 

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