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ROLLING "KIMBAP", ROLLING FRIENDSHIPS

by Anonymous last modified Aug 28, 2019 07:49 AM

Kimbap is a very special dish for me because it symbolizes the friendships I have made with the Korean lay missionaries (LMs) who were assigned in the Philippines in the span of 27 years of work with the Columban Lay Missionaries (CLM)...We have not only rolled these seaweed rice to celebrate life but by our joyful rolling of these tasty creations, I feel that friendship has been bonded big time.

ROLLING KIMBAP, ROLLING FRIENDSHIPS

by Mavic Mercene

Office Staff, CLM-Philippines, from 1992 to present

 

 mercene

 

After weeks of coaxing, Sun Hee Kim finally gave in and showed us how to make kimbap or Korean seaweed rolled rice. Kimbap is a very special dish for me because it symbolizes the friendships I have made with the Korean lay missionaries (LMs) who were assigned in the Philippines in the span of 27 years of work with the Columban Lay Missionaries (CLM). Many of these Korean friends are no longer here in the Philippines, some have already left CLM, while others are presently assigned in other Columban Region/Mission Units. And there are those who have passed on to another life. Two persons who come to mind instantly when I hear the word kimbap are Columba Chang and Kyung Ja Lee.

Columba was one of the first Korean LMs I met in 1992.  She used to make these tasty creations for her baon to Payatas where she was assigned then. On one occasion, she made this delicious dish for our summer outing.  I still vividly remember the special spot we picked in the park, where we spread our picnic blanket and laid out our baon for lunch. Steamed white rice was out. The chicken adobo’s smell was inviting and the bicol express looked sinful. Columba slowly opened a plastic container full of carefully lined kimbap which she personally prepared, with the smell of sesame oil teasing everyone’s palate. Funny how almost everyone dove their forks and chopsticks first to where the kimbap was, right after we said grace.  Much thanks to the good food, lunch was gone instantly.  As I recall this beautiful memory, I reminisce with joy and thank God for Columba’s friendship and the years she served in my beloved Philippines.

 columba

 Columba Chang
 

 

kyung ja

Kyung Ja Lee
                       

The second person who comes to mind is Kyung Ja Lee.  Kyung Ja came to the Philippines in 2000. I remember sharing this kimbap with her on many occasions.  In 2011, I had the privilege of closely working with her for four months when she became the contact person for CLM Philippines. It was during this time that I formed a close and personal relationship with her. On regular occasions, during those four months, we would share our deepest thoughts and prayers, fears and aspirations, challenges and joys, laughter and tears, rejections and unexpected welcomes. That time, she was also being groomed to coordinate the CLM in Korea. Although she was not happy to leave the Philippines, the country she has called home for the past ten years, commitment was calling and she heeded it.

 In 2017, she came back to Manila for the CLM international meeting. I was very happy to see her and she was also glad to be back. At first, she was anxious to visit her former parishes, fearing that nobody would remember her.  She was wrong. Not only was she remembered but she was also missed.  Friends came to see her and thanked her for the help she extended in making their lives better and their future brighter.  I am sure that Kyung Ja will continue to spread her love and friendship to the migrants and asylum seekers in Ireland where she now works. Because of that, she will always have a special spot in my heart.

sunhee

Sun Hee Kim

Now, I believe that Sun Hee has made a special mark, not only in my heart, but to two other staff in the CLM House as well.  Thank you, Sun Hee, for sharing your love of food to us. Though quiet most of the time, your ready smile is always a welcome sight and your presence is a constant source of joy.  We have not only rolled these seaweed rice to celebrate life but by our joyful rolling of these tasty creations, I feel that friendship has been bonded big time.

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