Staying in this country

I wish Filipinos never had to leave their country just to make ends meet. They leave, find very good pay, sustain their family back home, but come home feeling estranged and out-of-function.

I was talking to an old man, someone who lived in the states during the gang-dominated and gun infested years of LA. He recounted how Filipino families would move in there with their young children only to see them become rebellious and overly americanized for their own good. Of course we can’t say if this is true for most migrant families, I mean, he was in LA after all. However this friend of mine seemed to recall it with a profound level of disgust. (He has many other stories of being pulled over by the LAPD and “drive-by” shootings.)

Depending on what you were before you moved to a different country, different people should end up differently. “Un-matured” kids like grade schoolers or some high school students who haven’t had some sense of self-idealization should end up…much changed. Of course, adults will always know their lives better here in the Philippines. It’s not so strange anymore to see our universities studded with professors hailing with PhD’s from the top schools in Europe, Japan and the United States. But get this, how bad is a research-active professor in UP Diliman getting only 35,000. PHP as a monthly salary? Obviously it’s beyond that. Honestly, can you imagine leaving the Philippines for good? It’s painful, I know, especially when money is tight. But don’t stay there. Don’t be happy there.

I suppose some of us are just too naive to understand hardship. They do account for a notable portion of the country’s economic growth, after all. It’s just so bad to see supposedly sweet and inseparable Filipino families disintegrating in the face of a hugely different cultures. But alas, what can we do. It should be incumbent then upon the remaining people here in the country to make best of every opportunity to improve Filipino life as we try and make better for our children and their children.


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