Tuesday, August 4, 2009

another reijene obsession

weird weird day.

for the first time in four years i have spoken to another Filipino in the Philippines. I did not place a long distance call, i'm too stingy for that. They called me.

Here on DRAMA QUEEN, i'm a bitch. An inconsistent and evil bitch. Believe it or not, i have been helping (sometimes) some kids in the Philippines when it comes to their blues. I guess you could call me an online adviser, but usually on tough love basis.

One of those kids called today. I guess you can't call her a kid, being 19 and all, but what i call her is irrelevant. She called via their company internet phone. She said she just wanted to pass me to her boss, who wants to learn korean or something. To be a bit polite, i talked to her boss.

I'm guessing he was an older gentleman, and he said he had stayed in Korea for about 11 years before. he asked me how life in korea was like, being married to a korean, living with my in-laws, the Filipino community in gwangju (which on my embarassment) have no input. How could i? i was traumatized the last time i TRIED.

okay... i just have a stick up my ass the size of a pine tree (call it a log!).

He said, comparatively? I am very lucky. Loving (but not showy) husband, supportive and caring in-laws; and smart and sly little shrews (kids). Other Filipino women do not have the same. They only get one, or two, or sometimes none at all. He said he's connected to the Filipino stores nationwide (and i didn't even bother asking who he is), so i thanked him. Maybe if not some Filipino citizens here would have gone crazy. I know i don't need the Filipino store as i can cook and differentiate the flavors to Korean food and Filipino food. I can take advantage of the little things my mother had taught me (bless her). Not to mention... i'm allowed to make what i want. And i'm not too picky when i do. tao lang ang arte ko.

The man i was talking to asked me: why don't you help those filipino women?

I was dumbstruck. Why didn't i? Oh, yes. I was busy hiding because i was offended.

Offended with what? ... err, because they were tactless. Just because i look young doesn't mean i'm one of those "matchmaking" made in the Philippines...

oh, wait. i'm tactless too! More than anybody could have ever imagine. I'm way past tactless. I'm blunt.

When was that? ... (turning scarlet) three years ago.

I must say, stewing on my own bile isn't such a good idea. It's so refreshing to talk to someone who speaks the same language, older, wiser, been to the same possible places maybe more. I missed that. I miss being surrounded by people i could learn from, people who could teach me. There aren't many of them, but that's the beauty of it. I actually listen.

He gave a thought: why wouldn't i? i'm one of those who didn't come from a matchmaking agency. representing something that can change the stereotype of Filipinos in this country.

Oh, wait... (am i excusing myself?) no i'm not. WHERE DO I START?


Anonymous said...

"I'm one of those who didn't come from a matchmaking agency. representing something that can change the stereotype of Filipinos in this country"

-- good point..Although i was notorious in some other blogs for my objections against these matchmaking crap, but the truth is (contrary to what most people perceive) i sympathize with these women. :)

-- The stereotyping is already there (and everybody is suffering from the stigma), and there's nothing much we can do about it for now. That is because its still rampant. And i supposed its evolving. So unless a collective effort will be made, then this is quite a tough task. As i already mentioned, the numbers ( ratio of true love stories vs match making crap) needs some tweaking.

Jempres said...

When I was attending the CFO workshop, most of the women in my group were from those matchmaking agencies. There are some who will go to live in the SK cities but a lot, to a province known for farming. As much as it breaks my heart to learn the situation they would be facing, I couldn't do anything at the time but equip them with some information that would help them cope with the Korean culture. They were so keen on going to Korea for 'greener pastures'. sigh.. How do we really help? . . .

jehan said...

my husband and i always experience being approached by elder korean women or korean men asking for us to introduce female friends i know from the philippines to their son or to them respectively, but we would object outrightly and tell them "never" even if they'd offer us money. my husband would tell them to study english first and prepare themselves if they want to marry a foreigner...

i also experienced being told to "amass money from my husband and leave him after i've put up a house in the philippines" by a pinay at the women's center. i adviced her to be careful or she might turn out to be the victim of her own device...

Anonymous said...

"my husband would tell them to study english first and prepare themselves if they want to marry a foreigner..."

- prepare themselves (korean men) in terms of what?

- I think Pinays aspiring to marry Korean men (for whatever purpose) should be the ones to ready themselves with the widespread racism (generally) that is deeply rooted and imbued in Korean culture.

- Although i mentioned before that i despise the practice of match making poor young Filipinas to their Korean grand dads, i also dont agree to those inter racial marriages for purposes of living and pursuing the mythical, fabled and hallucinatory Korean dream (not necessarily via match making).

-- Marriage by way "other than" match making craps/moonies does not absolutely mean or constitute a true love story. (Thats an objective assessment), which means it doesnt really make much of a difference as far as the perception of the public is concerned. Generally, the outsiders will view all foreign spouses of Koreans as either black or white, and not some are black and some are white.

-- The stereotyping will stay on forever unless things like this will be sorted out

jehan said...

sorry maybe the right term would have been "educate themselves?" than prepare themselves... uhm, well husband told them to make personal effort to know or get educated with the culture, behavior and character of the woman or of the women of their future wife's country of origin... and not rely on government help to settle their marital woes because of, for example: language barrier or miscommunication or no communication at all.

i would get a call then from a pinay i've known during our cfo days. she complains that her husband is not "malambing"... i was surprised coz well, my husband is the opposite i said. i told her not to expect anymore(?) so she won't just be disappointed and just be the loving wife she wants or she's supposed to be. and maybe in the end when her husband gets comfortable with her, maybe he can be more than what she expects him to be.. i asked her if she had any more problems and she said just the communication. and when they like have a fight, they just keep quiet since they wouldn't be able to understand each other very well yet.. and that she doesn't want them to go or call an interpreter hotline.. i told her to talk to pinays who's been here for at least more than 3 years already, maybe they could give her more sound advice, since i'm also just a newbie here and lost contact with or interest in going to the women's center