top of page


Anyeonghaseyo! Here I come South Korea, the land of Kimchi.” And I felt all the excitement built up after I subjected myself to the screening and deliberation for the 20 delegates who made it to the 2016 Korea-Philippines Teacher Exchange Programme (KPTEP). It humbled me to be chosen to represent the Schools Division of San Juan in this program of the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU).

What it is like to be a KPTET delegate, you ask? One of the objectives of KPTEP that I liked the most was to enhance teachers’ global educational capabilities and cross-cultural communication skills through hands-on experience. Prior to my application, I confidently believed that I could carry out the thrust of this program because of my background as an MSEP teacher and my experiences of performing in choral concerts abroad. True enough, I was able to blend well and learned some more as I got to be immersed in their culture as well.

It was September 19, 2016 when we left Manila and arrived in Seoul the following day. I was deployed in Yaum Elementary School in the city of Hyundai Group of Companies, Ulsan City. Going to Korea would probably feel like winning in a lotto as all expenses were paid by the APCEIU! However, things were not as easy as I thought it would be but it was definitely one for the book. You have to prove your worth there as it entailed hard work, commitment, faith, flexibility, and creativity to be able to be an ambassadress of goodwill, camaraderie, and cultural fushion.

In my three months of stay there, I taught students about the Philippine culture. I introduced the different symbols of the country, a glimpse of our history, courteous expressions, popular festivals, folkdances, and songs were taught as well. They also learned about crafts like paper flower making, weaving and knot-tying souvenir items, similar to what we do in San Juan. During the school’s foundation day, my Grade III students performed their own version of Sitsiritsit and Carinosa. It seemed that they have owned our culture as shown in their performances. The different outputs from cultural and art classes had likewise been set- up for a two-day exhibit in the Multi-Cultural Room. Each output was informatively presented to the class through a gallery walk. The most enjoyable, and perhaps even more memorable was when students wore the Philippine costumes and captured those moments with a camera. It felt good to be in-charge of that event that gave opportunities to the young children to get acquainted with our legacy.

December 10, 2016 was a moment of separation anxiety. It was time to bid goodbye to the sweet little faces of the children, along with the hardworking and friendly teachers of Yaum Elementary School. I had to say goodbye, too, to new gained friends, winter jackets, trench coats and spicy veggie meals. I was back to the Philippines with hands full of good memories, insightful learning and a heart filled with gratitude.

Today, I am now ready to unleash and share the wisdom I got from the program and the best practices of Korea’s educational system. I couldn’t be more moved by this verse that kept me grounded in my belief and love for God, “Truly, the Lord made all things beautiful and possible in His perfect time.”

In closing, I would like to thank the people who made this once-in-a-lifetime experience in my career as a teacher: To my principal then, Dr. Felicito M. Angeo, my current principal, Ms. Marina F. Aunzo, our Officer-in-Charge, Superintendent Dr. Joel T. Torrecampo and my entire DepEd San Juan family, my DepEd NCR family, the Ministry of Education of Korea and the APCEIU. To everyone else I hold dear, it is really to God be the glory! KAMSAHAMNIDA!

With the principal Ms. Gyeong Jae Byeonj and my Me when I attended the International Conference in Seoul fellow KPTEP teacher, Ms. Melissa M. Reyes

Posing in front of Yaum Elementary school is my partner Melissa M. Reyes from SDO-Valenzuela City My mentor Ms. Shin Eun Yong

Article written by:

Ms. Ruzvi Guima G. Perez (Kabayanan Elementary School Master Teacher)

Featured Posts
bottom of page