Opinion
First Day

Written by Ilocos Sentinel posted on Monday, February 11th, 2013

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By Liza Gaspar, CPA

Sometime last year I made a bucket list, but no I didn’t watch the movie with the same name and it didn’t inspire me to do my own either. Rather I thought to myself isn’t about time that I make a list of things that I want to do to challenge myself. I said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of 35 things I can do and accomplish before I turn 35?” Oh yeah, I am 32 years old.

Well, three of those 35 things are being fluent in Español (Spanish), German, and 한글 (Korean).

You? What new skill do you plan to learn this year?

Foreign Language

Today is the beginning of my 36-session Elementary Korean 1 class here at the Korean Cultural Center at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Though Korean is one of the world’s most scientific languages, you can read and write in less that two hours if you put your heart into it, coming to class is not a walk in the park.

Have you ever tried commuting to BGC during rush hour? My classes are on Mondays and Wednesday from 9AM to 12NN. I tell you, it’s a madhouse. Lines up to here while sweating up to your eyeballs for being in the line too long. I guess I have to go out of the apartment earlier to avoid the mad dash. Well, I have to so I can sit in front and be able to see what our 선생님 (teacher) is writing on the board. I am near sighted even with my glasses. Sigh.

I admire those who brave that crazy dash every single work day. More power to all of you for enduring such commute challenge.

Hallyu

In the first day, we introduced ourselves mentioning the reason why we would like to learn Korean. I wasn’t surprised at all that about two-thirds of my class do so because they are KPop fans.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last 3 years or so, then you probably aren’t familiar with what KPop is. KPop is the name attributed to an entertainment and subculture coming from South Korea. In the past few months, hallyu or Korean wave, which refers to the increasing popularity of KPop to the rest of the world, came to its highest crest ever with the ubiquitous song, Gangnam Style.

But before Gangnam Style, there were Korean TV dramas which entertained Filipinos and the rest of the world alike. These dramas not only appealed to our emotions – we cried, laughed, and loved along with the characters – but also introduced Korean culture to us. A culture that is so different from ours, yet so similar in some ways. Maybe that is why we took to KPop like ducks to water.

Well, now that you’re thoroughly educated on what KPop is, let’s go back to my class. It is also not a surprise to learn that both students and young professionals group like the same thing when it comes to KPop.

As for me, here’s to finally checking off one of my bucket list, hopefully by the end of the year. I did say fluent, right? For me that means talking and sounding like a native. I’ll let you know how it goes.

***

Interesting Money Facts. Do you know that one can get reach with vomit, sperm whale vomit that is? Unfortunately, they are very rare which drives their value even higher.

Sperm whale vomit or ambergris is makes the scents of fancy perfumes last longer. Fortunately, Ken Wilman, an unemployed English beachcomber, with the help of his boxer, Madge, found a lump of it rumored to be valued as much as $180,000.

That’s about P7 million! Who could have thought that vomit is worth its weight in gold?

Liza Gaspar is a wealth coach and personal finance enthusiast. She spends her free time helping out with the projects of the Rotary Club of Makati McKinley (rcmmckinley.org) and the Gerry Roxas Leadership Awardees (grlawardees.org). Visit her Web site at thegirlninja.com, email her at liza@thegirlninja.com, or subscribe to her updates at facebook.com/annalizagaspar.

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