After reading yesterday about this comic book in mykoreanboyfriend.com (Thanks Kring!!!), I excitedly grabbed a copy of Clara’s Diary for P250 last night at National Bookstore Greenbelt (there were only 3 copies there, so now there are only 2 left). Released by New Day Publishers, Clara’s Diary is essentially a 92-page journal of sorts that chronicles the perceptions of Ju Han-Young (Clara is her English name) about the Philippines. Having stayed for around 3 years in the country, it’s interesting and quite fun to see how this Korean student of De La Salle University considers a lot of the country’s beautiful and not so beautiful “eccentricities”.
Through several sections that focus on various topics — Clara gives ridiculously funny yet insightful comments on everything from the huge extended Filipino families, gay people, ghost stories, basketball, tarsiers, rice, San Miguel beer, Filipino time, traffic, the LRT sauna, shopping malls, to movable holidays. She does this in a tongue-in-cheek tone that is very personal and real. I love how I can somehow hear some of her Konglish (Korean English) in the way she wrote this. It’s like you’re just having a casual conversation with a Korean friend. Combined with the hilarious and cute comic panels that accompany the text, this makes for a very enjoyable read. I was even laughing out loud to myself while at the back of a taxi cab while reading it (Manong Driver seemed confused whether I was crazy or just plain weird). I swear, it was that good! And I have a very dry sense of humor, mind you.
Just to show how funny-yet-still-smart-in-an-ouch-that’s-so-true-way Clara’s comments can be, this is what she said about the “best service” in the Philippines:
The best service in the Philippines, in my opinion, is not provided in public institutions or schools or agencies, but by Jollibee! Great food and quick and courteous service.
We pay our money directly to Jollibee and indirectly to the government (through the taxes).Why is the service so different?
Whether you love Korea, or you love the Philippines, or you love both (like me!) – this is something you should definitely have on your bookshelf. I actually finished this comic book in one sitting because it seemed like such an honest appraisal of Filipino culture both good and bad (Yes, there’s a deeper sense to all the Korean hilarity that litter each page of this comic book). It really made me think about how the Philippines is being perceived by the world.
And of course, nothing beats reading someone else’s diary anytime (And yes, there’s a shallower point to it as well. Ha ha ha!). Especially when that someone is as hot as Clara. Did I mention that Clara is HOOOOOOOOOT?! 사랑해 글라라시!!! ❤