It’s so different now when I visit another country either for work or pleasure, I use to just envy what they have. Nowadays, I just try to learn as much as I can & pray. Traveling now in South Korea for my wife’s birthday and I can’t help but observe their resilient culture, their society that is very traditional and their very optimistic vision of their future as a nation.
But the facet of their very traditional society attracted me most. I strongly believe that you have to be grateful of the past & learn from them to be prosperous. How many times in the Bible that people were always reminded of promises or past events that led to where they were then.
Korean culture respects their great & long heritage. When I visited their National Museum, I was not only impressed at the very massive infrastructure but with the collection that they were able to preserve or acquired since the Paleolithic Period. I was expecting only foreign tourists there since we went on a weekday, but locals comprised more than half the visitors. I then found out that they really spend their time there and they even sell yearlong pass. Now, how many of us back home can say that we visit our museum at least once a year?
The last time I visited our National Museum was 7 years ago during the field trip of my now 10-year-old son. For us to be patriotic we need to embrace the past, learn from them and appreciate what our ancestors have achieved. We need to share the ideologies even lessons learned from mistakes of our ancestors to be able to share to our next generation how to be proud Filipinos.
It was so interesting for me to notice that instead of tearing down the old City Hall of Seoul, they restored & preserved it. But because they needed more office space, they built the new and very modern structure just behind the old one. They even used the old City Hall as a landmark to the new one. That says something about their culture & character. How often do we see old historical buildings & monument torn down in our country to give way to new infrastructures like malls & condominiums?
One of my favorite visits here was Inadong Antique Alley where streets were lined up with cultural & historic memorabilia from tea pots to a toy museum. Of course there were lots of store selling stuffs for souvenirs and the cosmetic shops. But you can see how they are proud of their past.
From old to the next generation you can see their nationalism, a character that they were molded because of the past. They are a nation that loves to read. I even chanced upon a building guard’s desk lined up with books.
Now I pray, that I can be in way used by God to help mold the character of the next generations of Filipinos not just spiritually. I will start with my kids, educate them, let them experience and appreciate the very proud heritage that we have. Lord, use me.