A Quickie in Korea

Did a quick business trip to Korea early this month. Me and my buddy, Lito Ruiz, travelled to Seoul, Gumi, Ulsan and Busan before flying back to Cebu.

Seoul has really developed into a first-class city. With their ultra-modern buildings, the bright lights, the glitz. The smell of success is truly in the air. (Yup, couldn’t help but notice the air purifying machines almost everywhere.) But what really struck me in Seoul was the outstanding effort to make what used to be a dirty canal into an aesthetic environmental attraction and tourist destination. Right in the middle of the city, there’s a beautiful canal that’s a favorite hangout for joggers, families on picnic, and tourists. You see small kids wading in the clean water, you don’t see any trash in the water or in the surroundings. Everyone cooperates to make it a great eco-attraction.

Didn’t forget to drop by the Korean War Memorial though. I will always cherish visiting this place. Because it exudes with so much passion for nationalism, and provides poignant inspirations in military heroism. (I’ll probably talk about this in another post.)

Gumi and Ulsan, on the other hand, were state-of-the-art industrial zones. I loved the fact that you could see people there working, and working hard. I could see the pride, the dignity they treasure in working hard. Which is why, in partying, they too partied hard.

Busan. I remember Busan from my War College days in Carlisle. Beleaguered. Given up for dead. How it got encircled. And almost obliterated. Today, its ports are perhaps one of the busiest in the world. Truly amazing how this country has been able to turn things around. Tells us how hardy the Korean people are. And I admire them for that.

It was indeed a great learning experience, this quickie in Korea.

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