South Korea in the Perspective of a Filipino Expatriate

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2 Days and 1 Night Seollal Winter Retreat at Jisan Forest Ski Resort

The Seollal(설날) or Lunar New Year is one of the most anticipated holidays here in Korea. We usually call it Chinese New Year as it marks the beginning of the New Year based on Chinese calendar which predates the Gregorian calendar. The celebration of Lunar New Year is usually three days long commencing from the day before and ends the day after. For the year 2014, Lunar New Year falls on January 31, 2014 and we at Sinwoldong Sungkyul Church Foreign Ministry took the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy God’s wondrous creation at Jisan Forest Ski Resort.




We left Seoul at around 11 AM on January 31, 2014. Since it’s a Lunar New Year holiday, the families all over Korea usually gather at the house of their oldest male relative to offer worship to their ancestors and elders. The traffic was a little bit heavy but not really stressful. Jisan Forest Ski Resort is located at Icheon-si, Gyeongi-do, South Korea, if not for the traffic and other circumstances; you can travel from Seoul to Jisan in 40 minutes.

Our accommodation is in a location very convenient for skiing at Jisan Forest Resort. We can even see the view of the snow filled slopes enfolded by beautiful pine forest from the balcony of our temporary home. The accommodation daily rates range from as low as 150, 000 won to 600, 000 won depending on the size of the rooms and the quality. Generally, the rooms are clean but designed to appear minimalist.



As soon as we arrived, we relaxed a little bit while others prepared our food for our late lunch. It was a wonderful experience for all of us eating lunch with fellow brethren with laughter, fun and singing.



After our sumptuous lunch, some of us (especially the kids like me.. :) ), had decided to start the fun at the ski resort. We geared ourselves up with thick jackets, skiing gloves, goggles and all sort of cold prevention essentials because we are about to freeze for fun.




We rented the skiing and snowboarding equipment at Terraceski Rental shop which is just few meters away from our accommodation.


And look who’s the most excited to ski, the youngest member of the congregation we call Aling Maliit.



Lo and Behold! I think this is one of the most amazing creations of God. A sloppy mountain filled with snow. Our coolest Pastor ever is enjoying riding a sled with Aling Maliit.



So how was it to experience skiing for the first time? It was FUN, painful but FUN! If I am not mistaken, I stumbled 7 times before I finally learned to balance. But it was generally a happy experience for all of us.



We skied up to the early night time, just in time for our dinner. And then we celebrated more with Filipino street food. Yes, we brought these all the way from Philippines. We had Adidas, barbecue, Fishballs, and squid balls and our street food experience was followed by another noisy and fun dinner.



But wait, the day has not ended yet. We had already accomplished a lot of things from our first day of vacation but we are about to do the most important activity of the day just yet, our Devotional and Fellowship time. With the theme “In God Alone We Can Find Enjoyment”, we have feasted upon God’s word, we prayed and we sang praises and worship to the source of our happiness. Nothing can equate to the fun and enjoyment we got from offering sweet aroma of worship to our God.



We had parlor games that night too. We competed not only for the prize, but for honor, dignity and pride! Oh well, our group didn't win but we had acquired pure joy and fun from the games.



We slept already late that night but all things that had happened that day will always be part of our precious memories about South Korea.

The next day, we woke up a little bit late and we faced the new day with fun and laughter. After we identified who snored a lot, who sleep talked and who moved a lot, we had our breakfast to strengthen us for another round of skiing. Yes, we had so much fun the other day that we decided to do it again.
So we’re back at the Jisan Ski Forest Resort for more fun. Although the sky was cloudy and it will about to rain, that didn't stop us from our playtime. We skied more, we stumbled even more and we hit more people. The slope was too crowded in the morning, so it was a little bit uneasy to move around especially for the beginners like me.



We almost forgot we have to go home that day, we skied up to the last minute of our stay and prepared to leave Jisan to go back to Seoul. We traveled back to Seoul on that rainy Saturday afternoon.



Although we’re all tired, we enjoyed our winter retreat not only because of the ski, of the accommodation, of the food, but also because we are all spiritually refreshed. Albeit the world has all it got to make us happy through God’s creation, we acknowledge that the source of enjoyment is no other than the Creator of the world. What better way to celebrate and enjoy the beauty of HIS creation than to gather with fellow believers in fellowship and worship our God in spirit and in truth. It was a blessed 2 days and 1 night activity for all of us. Indeed, "In God Alone We Can Find Enjoyment".

17 comments:

  1. Wow...beautiful! I think you enjoyed the cold weather with family bonding at the same time. How I wish....

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  2. I want to try skiing and will surely try skiing when I am able to visit Korea.

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  3. Wow! I would love to experience snow and skiing in the near future. The Koreas are on my list of places to visit in the near future.

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  4. KOREAAAAA! So jealous right now because you get to experience Winter there! :D

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    1. get one of your planes and fly here in Korea now ala Christian Grey. LOL.

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  5. I've always wanted to visit Korea with my husband. I guess, we need to save a lot of money for that trip! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

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    1. You're always welcome. Hope to see you here soon

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  6. You are right God indeed blesses us with great scenery and seasons. Korea has, i think the best because of its four season weather!!! and I am so thrilled to see Korea soon :) God Bless

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    1. Great indeed. Four Seasons are beautiful especially the autumn

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  7. I'll include skiing in Korea in my bucket list. Love to get my hands on the snow-covered landscapes.

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  8. wow!! i want to visit this place too.. seems like a great quick getaway!

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  9. I've been to South Korea, but I never got to explore that part. But if I do plan on seeing some actual snow, then I'll surely visit during January --- and probably try the same skiing resort like you did. Your short vacations break looked really fun.

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  10. Wow! Skiing looks like a lot of fun! Hopefully I can try that too in the near future. =)

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  11. This post made me want to go to Korea more and try skiing there! :) Great post.

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  12. It's cold. hehe looks like you had a lot of fun. good on you.

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  13. I wonder when can I go to Korea. I hope you tried their street foods too. My sister said that it's like our version here but they have a lot of variants there to try.

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  14. I've just missed my Korean friends seeing those photos.

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