I am into the brink of hating the rapid emergence of Koreanovelas on TV. It highlights the Koreans subtle domination of the Philippines, particularly in Los Baños, and it makes more people think that I am one of them. For not so obvious reasons, I am not. I always insist that I am a purebred Filipino and am proud of it. But an incident with my previous Korean student makes me think about the what ifs of becoming a Korean.
It was September of 2003 when I had my encounter with my student. Back then, I get a daily dose of hike from the humanities building to the Jamboree site to meet my students in their lair. Collectively, my students are all lovable, and most of the time funny. Everyday I need to remind them to do their tongue exercises to properly enunciate "r" instead of "l." I remember few students saying "labbit" instead of "rabbit" which I both find funny and challenging. My students often tell me that they're poor although their wardrobe consists of levis pairs, and they're all equipped with the latest MP3 players. Instantly, I wallowed on the thought of how poor I am compared to them.
One day, while having their break, a student approached me and asked me if I know Boracay. Of course I quickly said yes. Then came a follow up question asking me if I have been there before. I quickly answered "Yes, through TV." My student doesn't seem to get my point so I said "No. Never been there before."
Up to now, it pains me to think that many foreigners get to enjoy the country's sites and wonders just because they have the resources. It then leads me to think that maybe one reason why most of us Filipinos don't get to appreciate our own is that we don't experience it ourselves.
Then occurred to me a stupid idea that I want to be a Korean to feel Boracay's sand itching on my body and to actually taste the salt on its air. A brilliant idea, but maybe not. Although I haven't had any experience outside the borders of Luzon, I still believe that I can still visit the beautiful spots in the country, if not through myself, through other opportunities that may come.
I want to go to Boracay not for frivolity but to appreciate its barest beauty.