Today, June 25, is the anniversary of the Korean War (known as 육이오 전쟁 or “yugioh jeonjeng” for 6 “yuk” 2 “i” and 5 “o”). Among the countries that sent help during that war is the Philippines. My home country sent some 7,500 troops and many of the troops stayed even after the armistice has been signed. The Filipino soldiers also helped in the rehabilitation. They are noted for building the Jangcheung Gymnasium, located near Namsan.
When typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck the Philippines, Korea is one of the countries in the world that extended help through monetary and personnel assistance. Ordinary Koreans, companies and NGOs sent donations. Philippine-born Korean Assembly member Jasmine Lee drafter a bill to extend more help to the Philippines and it was signed without hesitation by most of the members of the Korean Assembly.
Seven months later and Korea has not stopped helping the victims of typhoon Yolanda. The ARAW Contingent of the ROK Armed Forces has been in the Philippines for months now. Every member of this contingent volunteered to help. They have been helping with the reconstruction of schools and other public properties in Leyte. They are a part of Korea’s commitment in helping the victims get back on their feet.
The ARAW Contingent also honor the Filipino soldiers who live in Leyte. In a news report in Korea, the Korean soldiers helped repair the house of Domingo Ragasa, a Korean War veteran. When the soldiers met him, they gave a proper salute. They found eight veterans living in the area, but only four are still living. The ARAW Contingent also held a ceremony to honor the eight Filipino soldiers and their families. As a sign of gratitude, they were given some financial support and laptops.
In the end, the commanding officer of the ARAW Contingent said that “64 years ago the Filipino soldiers sacrificed their blood and we came here to pay with our sweat.”
If you want to know more how the ARAW Contingent is helping the Philippines, like their Facebook page.