Ask any disgruntled Filipino as to why they want to migrate to other countries and you will hear a lot of answers. Better salary, better standard of living, and the chance for a better future. Amidst all the responses, one common theme would stand out – there’s no more hope for the Philippines. With the bucket list of corruption and the daily tele-novela like public service we have, or better known as Philippine politics, progress for the lives of every Juan dela Cruz, Asyong Aksaya, and Juan Tamad seem to be a foregone dream. Our education system has been called by many as a structure in shambles with the yearly litany of the same problems of classroomless schools, bookless or even moduleless learning, and what’s worse the dying supply of fresh and competent educators. High cost of utilities and a monopoly of sorts by such companies in some basic essential services, name it, our country has these problems. So is our country really that hopeless? Or are we just looking at the wrong side of the mirror?
If our country is that incompetent in terms of education, then why are Koreans, Chinese and other nationalities come here to study? Okay, so the college level education program is less screwed up compared to other level of education in our country. But still, many are still criticizing this level as low compared to other nations. Despite of such negative criticisms against our educational institutions, these non-Filipinos still come here to obtain their degrees. I asked some why they chose to study here and one common answer you will get – it’s way cheaper here and the quality doesn’t suck that bad. So if these people have faith in our educational system, why are we, Filipinos, so down on our own system? It’s really ironic that we would rather spend 10x more for an education abroad while those abroad spend 10x less to get it here.
Yes, it is true that compensation abroad is way too higher compared to the amount one can get here locally. Factor in if the peso-dollar exchange rates are extremely high, and every OFW and their family seem to hit the jackpot. Never mind the homesickness, never mind the missed Christmas, birthday and other relevant celebrations, at the end of the day the sacrifice for a better financial future is well worth it. True. But while our other countrymen are working their asses off in the land of milk and honey, who are running our country’s financial systems and institutions?
If there is no glimmer of hope for our country, then why are the Chinese, especially those coming from the mainland, Koreans, and other nationalities coming here for business? Every day as I walk the streets of Manila, fresh faces from China are walking, selling and building business all over the city. So what’s wrong with this?
Am I too narrow minded and too “crab” not to be happy for others’ success, especially the Chinese that were, ahem, made in China? Don’t get me wrong, I am also of such lineage, I am just made in the Philippines. Am I just jealous of my fellow straight-eyed race?
Yes. You can call it jealousy. You are hearing their stories and not to mention personally see their ascension faster than you can say kwek kwek. For us here Filipino- Chinese or even Filipinos who have worked for decades, can’t even amass such wealth in record time. You have to wonder how in the world can they just come here, instantly purchase a car, a condo unit or a house, a delivery van, and their store space? What’s sad, sometimes some, not all of them, would even belittle the efforts of local Fil-Chi businessmen and say how stupid of us or how lame of us to be this slow in being rich. Well, that’s for another blog for this topic. But the bottomline is, if these people come here in waves to do business, then they see something that we ignore to see: there is indeed a future in our own country.
We always hear that the Philippines WAS once a great and rich nation. We have the resources and the people to be great nation, the Pearl of the Pacific as we were once dubbed. But we were so hospitable that we let other nations take advantage of our riches and what was left for us were table scraps. They claim transfer of technology yet do you see any technology? The government has always been clamoring for foreign investments and when they come, the former just close their eyes when the latter commits highway robbery. We see Filipinos go abroad to work. We don’t see a lot of foreigners come here to work as soldier ants.
Go to any sprouting “shopping” complex, what do you see? Who are the ones behind the cashier? Who are the ones counting the money? But who are the ones registered as owners? We are a nation of workers, sad to say.
We are a great nation. We are just too blind to see this, too undisciplined to take care of it and too jaded to realize this. We can only have one country, one motherland. A paradigm shift is badly needed. We were trained in school that we study, then graduate and find a job. We are a country of workers that we fail to be a country of entrepreneurs. We were ingrained with missions but we lacked the vision to see something else. There is still hope in our country. Or are we just waiting for one day to wake up other nationalities having all the business interest in our country and leave us again with table scraps? The proponents for charter change of amending constitutional provisions regarding ownership of business and land for foreigners think so.