The Only Foreigner

I am a Korean and my dad decided to move our whole family to the Philippines when I was 5, because there was an opportunity for my dad there.

I started the last year of pre-school and the school that I went to just opened at that year (1995) so it had only until Grade 1. The school expanded each year those Grade 1 students moved on to a higher grade. There weren't a lot of foreigners in the area that I lived, and if I was an American or an European then it would be a different story. But since I was a Korean and I did not know how to speak English, nor the native language, I was picked on. Not by my classmates but by a girl that was 1 year older than I was. We have this school "jeepney", it is something like a school bus. (just google Philippines jeepney and you will know how it looks like :) ) That girl just hated everything about me. Whenever I rode on the school jeepney, she would intentionally sit right in front of me to kick my foot, give me stares, make fun of me. She even one time turned my friend against me. My friend sat beside the bully girl and the girl taught and told my friend how to kick my foot and stuff. I really did not get it. It got bad to the point that I sat in the front seat to avoid her. But she just reached and pulled my hair, hit my head and all sorts of things. The driver who was beside me told her to stop and that is not right, but she just talked back and ignored him. As soon as I got off, I ran to my mom and grandmom waiting for me in front of our house and just cried my tears out.


At the end of the school year, it was that school's tradition to have an overnight camp for all the students and everyone would sleep at the school. That night when we were having a bonfire, the girl and her dad came late and she was crying. I never knew what happened to her, but the next school year, I never saw her again.


But the bad thing about bullying is, as you grow older (I am 23 now), you look back and remember how stupid children could be, how immature it was. But you have to look at it again, because that experience made it hard for me to make friends all throughout grade school. I did not have proper friends until I was in the 6th grade.


Bullying left a scar on my past, but I used it to become strong. I learned English, I learned 2 types of native languages in the Philippines, and I speak like a native too. I also learned that God loves me and takes care of me and how happy I am to be alive because He blesses you with what you need and trials are given to you to make you stronger.


I also love kids, all ages. Whenever I see kids bullying another kid, it drives me mad. I tell off the kid to stop bullying the other kid. And if a kid is not good at making friends, I try to be friends with them.


South Korea is suffering from bullying as well. Lunch money and allowances taken from them. Students smoking below the legal age. Beating up kids. Some kids talk back and hit the teachers. Fortunately, the government is doing something about it. But unfortunately, it is not that strong.


Kids, whatever nationality, however they look, which way they speak, whatever they do. They do not have the right to be bullied, the only right they deserve that is to be given to them, is to live a normal life and feel loved by others.

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