Dear Korea,

 

They say that when you found a new job the first days are always the hardest.
Maybe they are wrong…

 
 
One Thursday morning, I received a call from a friend. He told me that there’s an available position for a “camp nurse” in a hotel here in Cavite. I don’t have a single idea what a camp nurse do but since I prayed for a job, I decided to grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I got hired with a 1 month contract (stay-in). My patients were all Koreans in their pre-adolescent to adolescent stage who came here in the Philippines to study English.
 

382342_4490010371746_1908101455_n

Peter , David , Michael (front line)

 

Me with Quintin

Me with Quintin

 

Children who got sick come to the clinic for treatment and during this time I get the chance to know some of them. I vividly remember those sleepless nights I spent with sick children to monitor their fever and give them medicine. I was never trained to become a parent but at that very moment I feel that I became one.

   

nurse

 
 
 
“I was on the edge of forgetting my profession when this bunch of Korean kids came and constantly reminding me for the past 30 days that I am a nurse. Whenever they see me they will yell “nurse-soo” not because I wear my white uniform but because they remember that I took care of them when they are not feeling well. Their need for a nurse made me realized my purpose.”

 

 
 

The first two weeks was really hard. I came to a point of giving up. My colleagues felt the same. We worked 24 hours a day. Deprivation of sleep consumed every positivity I have but nevertheless I still managed to laugh once in a while. Laughing is good for the heart and soul even in the most stressful days and even in the darkest walk of your life.

483871_4483202041542_1575981037_n

My two friends : sean on my right and edward on my left. They occasionally visit me in the clinic for goodnight hug . I miss them :(

The following days flowed smoothly. I was able to join them in their tours ( Enchanted Kingdom , Mall of Asia and Orphanage), and created a bond with them. Little did I know that they already captured a special place in my heart. I was unprepared. I was caught off-guard with their mesmerizing sweetness and naughtiness.

 

71799_3908899021447_476830874_n

I was the middleman (translator) between korean and filipino kiddos. hahaha (orphanage ; Alabang)

 

563719_572312259448658_2081951131_n

Things I won’t forget :

1. Koreans love sweets (esp. choco mucho) , Sometimes salty (cheepee)

2. Most of them are naturally sweet.

3. Most of them are frugal but not selfish.

4. They like to wave their hands whenever they see you. (kaway)

5. Most of them speak in Korean accent using the English language. They prolonged
some words like nurse as nurse-soo , walk as walk-koo and etc.

6. Philippine age is different from Korean age. (Pagpingananganak ka na consider as 1 year old na agad ‘yun.)

7. They have English name which they created themselves.

 

537770_2768309864783_1576889909_n

A Wonderful Journey….


 

Time flew so fast that I just find myself sitting on a chair, watching their graduation night. I really wanted to hug the kids on the stage all at once but I couldn’t.

One of my dream is to travel the world but because of them things have changed. Now, I want not just to travel but to embrace the world. I don’t know how, but I’m sure I will. Being part of Phil’s camp feels like I’ve reached another part of the world without leaving my country (how convenient). I am truly blessed to share a piece of my life with them.

 

382349_568012726544296_1006277186_n

Graduation night..

 
They are here to study English because they might need it someday or maybe because they believed that it is the universal language. But that night, when I saw everyone exchanging hugs and saying their goodbyes I realized that it is not the words spoken that made everyone understand each other but the feelings felt. Love was in front of me. It was Raw. Real. Pure. Magical. Never-ending. Genuine. I know in my heart that I could stay in this moment forever.
 

537434_4484724079592_1280117224_n

The farewell moment T_T


 

At that very moment I felt like there is an empty space in my heart that I never knew existed and only this bunch of kids can fill. Their hugs made me cry. Their goodbyes broke my heart. Their appreciation of gratitude echoes in my heart. If my life was a book, I am pretty sure that this is the page I will read over and over again.

 

MY friend/Son gave this letter to me. I miss him :(

Nauna akong matouch sa message bago ko napansin yung grammar . I miss You Edward :)

Nauna akong matouch sa message bago ko napansin yung grammar . I miss You Edward :)


 

I write this whole thing in English because I don’t want to be reminded by them the “EOP” (English Only Policy) which I always do whenever they speak in their mother tongue. Likewise, I made this blog entry because I don’t want to forget them or maybe it’s the other way around.

 

I hope someday (even by chance) they will find this blog and read everything.
I hope they will never forget the whole experience.
I hope they will know that a part of them will stay in my heart for eternity and I hope they would feel the same way too.
I hope to meet them halfway someday.

 

They say that when you found a new job the first days are always the hardest.
Maybe they are wrong. Yes, it can be difficult but the hardest part is bidding farewell to the things you don’t want to end.

 

P.S. To my colleagues, teachers, parent teachers, superiors and everyone, Thank you for sharing this memorable and  wonderful experience with me.
 

‘till we meet again.

 
 
 

Sincerely,

Nurse Moises

 

* Credits to the respective owners of the picture :) *

About these ads

122 thoughts on “Dear Korea,

  1. This article is soooo nice! Made my heart melt. Suddenly that I-gotta-teach-in-Korea-someday feeling came up again. I’ll share it with my friends in a Korean app. :)

    By the way, I like your use of words here. They’re very expressive and sincere. :)

  2. Oh my, I cannot imagine how hard it was. A month taking care of this cute kids, too much.

    As they say in Wicked, “who can say if I can change for the better…”

    You touched them, and they have been change, for good.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Hello Nurse Moises!

    Andami namang emotions sa post na to. Nakakainis. Lately lagi akong napapadpad sa mga madamdadaming posts. Hehehe.

    Ngayon ko lang nalaman yung korean age, yay something new today! Ang saya lang nung pwede lang silang mag-create ng English name nila.

    Ang inspiring netong post mo. Thanks!

    • ang cool nga nung name name na yun. Dapat pag nagpunta tayo ng korea may korean name din tayo para fair. hehehe

      Salamat sa pagdaan at pagbabasa.

      masarap magbasa ng may pusong post :)

  4. Hi Nurse Moises, nakakatouch talaga at nakakaiyak post mo..kya lang nagka nosebleed ako :) I’m proud of you salamat sa pagbuhat mo sa profession natin as a nurse. Nakapure puso mo sa pagtulong, you are really a nurse :)

    • dinugo rin ako habang sinusulat ko to. ang hirap kayang mag ingles! hahahaha

      pero naiiyak din tlaga ako habang sinusulat ko to kasi nga english. lol :)

      nakakaiyak yun diba? nakakaiyak sa hirap.

  5. backreading your post. The more I read, the more I like your personality. Your are really such a fine young man. And your a good nurse:)

  6. heartwarming.
    nakaka-iyak.
    nakaka-nosebleed.

    They say that when you found a new job the first days are always the hardest.
    Maybe they are wrong. Yes, it can be difficult but the hardest part is bidding farewell to the things you don’t want to end.

    true.

  7. I have been a teacher of Koreans myself, kahit na nurse ako. And, what can I say? They’re really nice and kind people. One distinguishing feature is they are naturally honest people. Well, hindi sila nagnanakaw. Kahit isambulat mo ang pera mo sa harap nila, they won’t even care. hehe. :)

    Actually, I think I have met “Peter” in my camp before. Or kamukha lang. LOL.

  8. it’s so nakakabigla to read this post in english. i mean using this language makes this post special already. But i agree also with the other readers, this is a touching post and full inspiration.

    I hope someday you’ll achieve your dream because you have kind heart and good intention. keep it up Nurse Moises.

  9. ay cute! :) my brother told me 1yr ol na nga po agad sila kapag pinanganak, then they really love sweets like what i’ve seen on TV. ayun, kakatouch ang story na to :)

    from Myxilog with love <3

  10. Naranasan ko ring maging ESL teacher for Korean students and it was a lot of fun. i made a lot of friends and kahit sandali lang ako sa school I made a lot of memories dun. Sadly I did not keep their contact details. Kasi naman parang hindi sila mahilig sa FB.

  11. Aaaw! Talaga palang sweet ang mga Korean kids… ang hubby ko kasi is a soccer coach and he’s coaching mixed races. I always find letters and thank you notes from the kids every end of school year and most of them are from Korean kids….

    ang ganda ng post mo… taong-tao at nurse na nurse ang dating… kaka-proud sa profession nyo (haleer cvillar excuse me noh! LOL)

    teka lang may pahabaan ba ng comment dito? gusto ko kasing patulan haha ha :P

    SALAMAT ngapala sa ano… lam mo na yun hi hi hi may gagawin pa kasi akong post dun eh :P

    • hays salamat at may angsabi din saking taong-tao ang post ko. pakiramdam ko isa na talaga akong ganap na tao. hahaha

      ang sarap kaya magbasa ng mahabang comment parang blogpost na rin. LOl

      please liitan mo yung sa part ko ah. ang pangit ko lang dun :p

  12. iiyak na yan iiyak na yan :)

    sarap ng feeling pero pag dumating ung point na kelangan ng magpaalam ang bigat sa pakiramdam :)

    nosebleed kasi english hahahahha :) nurse moises pag naconfine ako pede ba kaw private nurse ko hahahaha

  13. wow..im really moved by your story.. this is something i want to experience, i want to feel.. that we have a deeper purpose from the profession we have chosen.. nakakataba ng puso yung letter ni edward.. ang galing hehe.. ikaw na talaga idol ;)

    • haha kung maka idol naman. Yun yung greatest reward sa professiong napili ko. Hindi matutumbasan ng kahit na ano. :)

      Ayoko n ngang malungkot , pero san ka araw-araw ko ata binabasa an letter ni edward sakin .hahahah

  14. Annyeong haseyo!

    naku, sobra naman akong na-touch dito sa inspiring story mo with the Korean kids parekoy.

    ramdam ko din ung lungkot eh. pero I know naman na tumatak sa kanila ang lahat ng mga itinuro mo at syempre ung pagmamahal at care na pinaramdam nyo sa kanila.

    dahil jan, meron kang jacket at cd! hahaha!

    • plus one thousand , two thousand , three thousand , four thousand , five thousand pesos! wahahhaa

      Sana nga tumatak sa pusot isipan nila. pag naiisip ko na nakalimutan na nila ako nalulungkot ako :(

  15. It’s really a touching post. Lalu na yung letter. Nakakatuwa mga bata no, kahit ang kulet, matigas ang ulo, at nakakatuyo minsan ng utak, nakakatuwa pa rin sila. Iba talaga ang bata no, minsan kaiinggitan mo lang sila kasi they are automatically loved, inuunawa at laging hinahawakan.

    Natutuwa din ako dun sa letter. i remember one time when my sister was still in the Philippines, she sent me a letter. Napaiyak ako dahil na touch ako. Pero hindi ako sumulat ng reply. Kumuha ako ng red ballpen and I corrected all the wrongly spelled words and the grammar. Pinadala ko din pabalik. Hahaha! Ang gago ko rin no?

    Sabi lagi sakin ng mga nagbabalik bayan ang dami daw Koreans sa atin. Yung iba mga nag-aaral ng English. I got interested sa post na ito kasi malapit na rin ang Florence Korea Film Fest. I really like korean movies. I think Koreans are very unique and quirky. It used to be the Japanese pero as Korea moves forward towards progress I think their art and contemporary culture are becoming enriched. I really have a very high opinion of Koreans, lalu na dun sa mga nakilala ko dito.

    They really have this peculiar way of acting and reacting to certain situations. I really can’t explain it. And as for frugality, I think they’re not really frugal. It’s more like being practical, or pragmatic. They won’t spend money on something that they don’t need or if it’s really beyond their budget.

    Hindi din pala nalalayo ang mga Koreans sa Italians kapag nagsasalita ng English. May extra sound plus incredible mother-tongue accent. Hahaha!

    Well I guess you were very patient with these kids. I can deal with kids, but in the long run I end up being a disciplinarian, and I always reprimand myself for being as such. I can’t be the funny big kuya whom they can play with or has enough energy to run around with them.

    I like it when they are interested enough to sit by me as I read them a book to teach them numbers, words, letters, colors, or things in nature or in the skies. Teacher na teacher talaga ang dating.

    Kahit nga mga pamangkin ko, when we go to the park, we would play and then later on, I’ll show them some plants and have them memorize the SCIENTIFIC NAMES of the plants, yung alam ko. hahahaha! Meron pa nga din ako isang pamangkin na bata pa ipinahiram ko sa kanya yung illustrated book ng Book of the Dead ng ancient religion ng Egypt! Hay nako! Ibang klase akong mag trip sa mga bata.

    Pero alam mo, I think early memories of encountering people like you are hard to forget, especially for kids. I don’t know anything about medicine pero there’s something in the human brain or I think hormones or emotions that allows certain memories to be deeply impressed in the brain, kaya in this stage of their life, I think they will always remember THE nurse-soo who took care of them, taught them English, and shared a moment in heaven with joy and happiness.

    Kudos Bagotilyo!

    • perstaym mo atang napadaan dito sir at nag-iwan ng bakas. Ayun nahihiya akong magbigay ng comment na maikli sa comment mo. hehehhe

      matatakot akong bigyan ka ng letter pag nagkataon. super hina ko lang sa grammar mapatagalog o english. Yeah , masarap talagang maging bata at hindi ako makapaniwalang ambilis ng panahon. Dumaan na pala ako sa pagiging bata na minsan o mas tamang sabihing madalas na inunawa , minahal , dinisiplina, inunawa ulit and the cycle goes on.

      Sa mga pamangkin ko discipinarian ako. Gusto ko kasi lumaki silang may takot sakin, MAs playful p nga ako sa mga batang di ko kamag anak.

      natats ako ng sobra sa last statement. Sana nga totoo. Sana nga hindi nila ako makalimutan :)

      salamat ulit ….

  16. aww touching naman nung letter. I guess I can’t do such job kasi I easily get attach and I find it really hard to let go kahit na alam mo na alam mong the memories and experience will always remain forever.

  17. kung may bestfriend ang Pilipinas malamang Korea :))

    at kung may bestfriend din ang Korea malamang Pilipinas ito kasi yong mga boy band nila napupuno ang mga concert kahit hindi english ang mga kanta nila tinatangkilik ng mga Pinoy :D

  18. Before reading this I was bored. WAS. Haha. Nakaka-touch, at nagising mo ang inaantok kong mga mata! Sarap sa feeling when people appreciate you not because of the deed alone, but also because of your feelings towards them and your presence. Hihi four thumbs up (including the two on my feet)!

  19. Thanks for sharing this Nurse-soo! They’re really a lovely bunch. :) Your story is touching. Thank you for being not only a good Ambassador of our country but also a good oppa/hyung to these kids! :)

  20. Nice post Bagotilyo so touching..

    Laughing is good for the heart and soul even in the most stressful days and even in the darkest walk of your life.- very true :)

  21. Di ko alam may ganito kang side panget.

    All thru out the post was love. Nakaka touch for someone who just know for a month appreciate you so much. The letter is really touching.. Wala ng paki sa english grammar. Love is a word itself.

  22. hahaha naalala ko dito ang kapatid ko, nurse din ang sister ko at nagturo minsan sa mga koreans at talagang halos pare pareho talaga magkalahi nga sila lol saka natuwa ako don sa letter kasi meron din ganon ang kapatid ko, di bale ng baluktot ang english ang importante eh nasabi nila ang gusto nilang sabihin heheehhe its a nice experience u have there moises kasi magagamit mo rin yan in the near future, u are just building it up now for that.

    • This experience? Ang dami talagang tinuro sakin. I am blessed to be part of the camp.

      Pare pareho tlga silang nag pepeace sign pag picture taking. wahhahahha

  23. Aww…parekoy nakakatouch naman to, especially un sa letter sobra kung ako nakareceive nun baka maiyak ako. Medyo nanibago lang ako sayo kase nga english un blog post mo dito but i know you have the reason. Well siguro kapag malaki na sila sana ni isa sa kanila mabasa nila ito. Will made them realize that during their childhood days, there is one pinoy nurse with a golden heart na willing magsacrifice just to provide their needs. More than a doctor, a friend, or a parent..but simply a nurse that trully care… Great job. Kudos!

    • binasa ko yung letter the night before they leave. Umiyak ako nung gabi. Tapos nung umaga bago siya umalis dumaan ulit siya ng clinic para ibigay yung mini flag ng korea na prinamis niya saking ibibigay niya. Sabi ko sa kanya wag na siya iiyak. Tapos I just found myself crying nung umalis siya. hahha

      salamat pareng Myr :)

      • its ok to cry..hindi masasayang ang lahat ng luha..you are a big help to them and i know marami ka ring natutunan sa kanila. Priceless maituring yung ginawa mong pag-aaruga sa maigsing panahon lang….at least sa maigising panahon ng ating buhay naranasan mo ang kakaibang experience sa buhay…walang anuman parekoy..happy weekend sa atin.

  24. I love this post so much because it’s a testament that friendship knows no race. Beyond color or ethnicity there is commonality. I love promoting values that foster universality and peace rather than differences and division. ;-)

  25. hay sobrang nakaka touch naman tong post na to, ikaw na superhero na, nurse pa o ha! :D btw, i agree (some) koreans are really sweet and generous coz i have a friend and she’s a nurse too hehe.

  26. Wow, the serious and touching part of Moises! Ikaw ba yan? hehe..

    Honestly, I felt every word that you’ve said here. You just proof to Sen. aspirant Cyn.Villar that you’re not just a room nurse but a “nurse” by profession and by heart.

    Ang simple ng pagkakakwento pero ang lalim ng “kurot sa puso” – sabi nga nila at mo rin na “nakakatats”.

    I had two Korean students by home-based tutorial before in BF Pque way back 2006 until early of 2007 and yes, they are so sweet. They are also very polite. One thing about Korean as well is that they let the older ones eat first before the younger ones as a sign of respect which is completely different from our culture since we prioritize children.

    Now, I got to know another piece of you – nurse ka pala huh..hehe..at least through this blog post nalaman namin.

    Gusto ko yung sinabi mong “I feel like I’ve reached another part of the world without leaving my country” . Indeed you not only reach Korea but you’ve embrace a portion of its true treasure which are its people.

    One day you’ll travel the world and I know you can make it happen. Just believe and hold on to that belief and work on it incessantly. You’ve already started its initial steps. Go on and discover the world. There is more to it than you know.

    Ang haba na noh..hehehe! By the way, I like your blog design. ganda talaga ng wordpress noh pero I’m not adept pa on how to use it well

    • nag gogoosebumps ako habang binabasa ko tong comment mo daddy jay. Hindi dahil sa mahaba ah. wahhaha…

      uy serious naman tlga akong tao. pramis! :p

      I will embrace the world and I will make it happen. Pangako ko yan sa sarili ko.

      may wordpress account ka rin? madali lang gamitin ang wordpress , muka lang hindi. hahaha… ako nga wla paring alam dito.

  27. nice post parekoy. mahilig ako sa mga bata (palibhasa isip bata rin ako) kaya nakakarelate me much sa post mo.

    in a completely unrelated manner, may mga putok na rin ba ang mga batang koreano? lols! di ba kasi, madami sa mga koreans ang may amoy. hehe..

    • isip bata ka din? parehas tayo! whahhaha .. pero ako anam nhindi mahilig sa bata. Pero paggawa ng bata? siyempre hindi din. whahaha

      mas marami ang poor ang hygiene sa kanila pero meron din namang over hygienic. As in. nahiya nga ako. whahahaha

  28. Dear Korea, This is an honest to goodness post Nurse Moises! Thank you for sharing the unforgettable experience you got there! (Ngayon ko lang nalaman na Nurse ka pala! Astig!)

  29. Oh my… this is a touching post… hhhhyyy…. sabi nga ni Janine Tugonon, “For me, being Miss Universe is not just about knowing how to speak a specific language. It’s being able to influence and inspire other people. So whatever language you have, as long your heart is to serve and you have a strong mind to show people then you can be Miss Universe.”

    Kaka-touch ang letter ni Edward at sa experience mong ‘yan, para kang naging teacher din, noh?

    Ikaw na best in english!!!

  30. namiss ko tuloy yung mga korean students ko noon… hehehehe…
    6 years ko din silang naka salamuha… yung iba nasigawan ko yung iba minahal ko. Hay kakaibang aliw at sakit ng ulo ang naranasan ko sa mga yan but at the end of the camp/school year yung reward na na appreciate ka nila at minahal ka nila ay hindi mapapantayan. :)

          • Of course. But not so much the deep ones…. I used not to understand even the common Tagalog lingo, but I’m getting better. I learned so much reading you guys. I thought I was fluent, but I discovered my Tagalog vocabulary consisted of tagalog spoken by a 6 year old. Good thing we speak the language at home.

        • if i may butt in.. there are A LOT of koreans in our country. in baguio for example, they have a little korea area. close to six figures na ang population nila sa atin.

          • OMG, that’s true ! When we were in Bagui 2 years ago, they were everywhere.

            And tell you what, our house is in a small subdivision somehwre in paranaque, about a little over 100 homes, but, 4 of the homeowners are Koreans. The one right across from our house there is a Korean family. And our subdivision is within a bigger subdivision that has a shopping areas, and guess how many Korean restaurants there are…… 7!

            Oh, there’s a Korean school near our house, he he he… o_o

  31. Seriously, this post made me cry! it prolly was a very great experience :) Working with kiddoes is always an experience to behold. You just gotta have that tons of patience. At that moment, you were not just a nurse–you became a representation of this country, their new friend, their middleman, and our storyteller :) Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Surely, your Korean friends are as grateful as you are for that experience :)

    • ako din pag nakakabasa ng ganitong comment naiiyak ako. Dalawa ang dahilan:

      una = natotouch ako ng sobra.

      pangalawa= ubos na ang english ko. naiiyak ako kasi wala akong maireply. hahha

      Pero seryoso , Its my pleasure to share this wonderful part of my life sa lahat :)

Leave a comment using FaceBook , WordPress,BLogger , twitter , Email or whatever :p

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s