Thursday, August 5, 2010
The departure of the Filipinos going abroad for a job is not new and not a big news to us, Filipinos. It is not sensational as Kris Aquino's another revelation on her (un)colorful life.
An estimate of 9 to 11 million Filipinos or a huge 11% of the entire Philippine population are now in different parts of the world. And I am certain that we all have relatives or friends working or living abroad.
Doctors turned into nurses in Europe, career woman transformed into caregiver in Canada, tourists turned TNT in America, teachers being a domestic helper in Hongkong or Singapore, professionals to become factory or skilled worker in Middle East, etc.
The simple reason is money. The economic situation here is worst than you can imagine. Million college graduates has a job but without relation to their preferred education, millions has a job but working below the required minimum wage, millions are overworked but grossly underpaid and millions still looking for a job but can't find one.
We bargain our joys, we trade our happiness, we give up our vices, we disciplined ourselves and most of all, we sacrifice our families in favor of the opportunity to work abroad. Imagine the sleepless nights, the everyday boredom, the every night of tears, the frown on their faces, the fake smiles, the forced happiness, the worries of the safety of family he/she left, the fear of unfaithfulness by each other, the unending thoughts of anxiety, the endless counting of years, months and days left and the long wait of excitement over the years of our OFW.
The color of money is really bright and vivid that many of us just can't say no and some are do not have to ponder to resist just to give our family everyday food, the much needed education of the children and the hope of a bright future. Maybe sometimes or oftentimes the thoughts of working abroad crosses our mind.
As time goes on, OFW sometimes didn't even notice through the years that their children is already a grown-up man and the parent-children relationship is strange, as well as your loved ones who now has a gray hair and wrinkled faces because of the decade-long working abroad. An awkward situation that no one ever wanted to be in either places.
Overshadowing the SONA of P-Noy but not as explosive as his sister's latest brouhaha. Now, the exodus of the Filipinos going abroad is worsens again to a different level that the public servant; PAG-ASA weather forecasters and Airline Pilots are abandoning the Filipinos who needed them most and leaving behind their jobs here and worked overseas for a vertigo of higher pay. The Filipino weathermen who now serves Australians and forecasts the weather of the land down under and the true blood Pinoys maneuvering and flying foreign aircrafts. Can we blame them? Can our government even have the courage to offer high salaries to the remaining weathermen? Can the Airline management has a plan to even match the lucrative offers abroad?
The departure of these two professionals is now affecting the Filipinos, in general and the visiting tourists as well.
The PAG-ASA vintage problem of low technology equipment, lack of professional meteorology, the Service Administration's budget and employees' low salaries; adding insult to injury is the departure of the experienced and dependable forecasters. What happened now to us? Can we now call the remaining weather forecasters as fortune teller instead? Poor PAG-ASA. Poor Philippines.
The Philippine Airline industry doesn't have enough numbers of good pilots rubbing salt to the wound is the departure of the good pilots (if not best) we ever had! How can we go now to Cebu, Boracay and Maguindanao in a fastest and safest way? (A little exag here) Are we going back to the past where trains, galleons and horses are the only means of transportation? Poor Tourists. Poor Filipinos.
In a poor(est) country like Philippines nothing is unexpected, unprecedented, unusual and exceptional to this kind of decision made by our countrymen. Nothing personal. All for the sake of money. I might as well make the same decision if I were in their shoes.
What I'm afraid of if this scenario happens to continue in our dog-eat-dog world of economy is; we might don't have competent doctors to treat sick patients, the nurses might be available only in private hospitals, the teacher-student ratio might rose to 1:150, millions of Filipino children might be abandoned by both parents, untrained and inexperienced pilots might be manning the commercial airplanes, government owned & controlled offices might be in mess due to lack of proficient officials. If this happens we are going to shout: OMG! We are living in oblivion!
The growing numbers and the desire of the majority of the Filipinos to go abroad is a clear indication that we are indeed developing country 'though the remittances really helped to salvaged the dying economic condition of this country it does not tantamount that we are a competitive enough to other countries. The reliance of the government on OFW's remittances is not a good news that they want to portray. 11% of the entire Philippine population is really a huge number of people; it is twice as the whole population of the Singaporeans! And possibly may go up in millions in the next 5 years.
What is heroism if you can't feed your family?
What is pride if you are starving?
What is smile if you don't have food on your plate?
What is happiness if your children are uneducated?
What is legacy if you are living like a beggar?
It is tough to live in this country that's why to be in tiptop state of mind we have to leave this country.