The Filipino in Me

The small room provided space for only twenty (20) people and yet it was not fully occupied when the activity started. There were only 16 of us who took interest in the ads about migration to other countries with ‘pay later plan’ and ‘50% off’ beaming in capital letters.

I was a little jubilant receiving a text message that I am invited to attend the ‘free’ orientation. The whole idea inside my head was that I could possibly work in other countries, or migrate, with a pay later plan. I was at the time hopeful of the possibility of exploring a different stroke of life. I could always return to my homeland was my thought. But the confident desire vanished after a series of questions and answers that tell us it was only the agency fees which will be subject to those terms of payment. Silly me. Overall, the expenses would amount to more than a million pesos. Shades! Where would I get that big amount of money? What will happen to dear Kay and Daryl if I pursue the plan?

Mulling over these things, I am not really considering migrating to other countries. My homeland is my homeland and I believe that it is still much comfortable and sweeter to spend life in my land of birth. Don’t get me wrong with these, dear friends who had migrated to other countries. Like my children, the Filipino in us makes us want to believe that there is always hope for the country. But admittedly, there are times, I wonder if there is still hope.

Funny how I succumb to a friend’s coaxing that it would be better living outside the Philippines and give that opportunity a try. Maybe yes, maybe no. The benefits that one would reap are really tempting, that is if one would really work hard. On the other hand, I don’t believe life would be perfect in other soil, that is, without flaws. There will always be challenges, no matter what, there will always be people and situation to deal with, there will be matters to consider, etc, etc. Except for the big amount of money (when you convert it to Philippine peso) one will earn, life would be the same – living and breathing as a human being, only that you have to do it in another land.

I would want to give it a try working abroad, but that is all what my heart desires. It is the Filipino in me that makes me want to stay and live until my last breath.


19 thoughts on “The Filipino in Me

  1. You know what Bing, there is no place like home. In my opinion, if you're doing well in your country of birth – stay ;although grab every opportunity to travel for leisure /educational purposes. It is afterall, empowering to have a broad “global” understanding of people and life in general, as you know…:).

    The hardest thing about migration is being UPROOTED. Period. It's ouch, ouch and ouch for years to come, the pain deadens with time of course; yet towards the end, you just really wanna go back HOME (not unless you've re-rooted yourself deeply where you migrated)….:).

    One other thing, language is more CULTURE than anything else; so kahit magaling tayong mag-ingles, pagdating sa ibang bansa (na Ingles ang pangunahing wika) iba pa rin ang tema ng pananalita nila. You gotta be truly assimilated into the culture before you're able to use idiomatic and colloquial expressions (confidently and naturally) in your daily conversations. And for this matter, hahahay, ang hirap mag-Ingles! Haha…..Dami pang challenges, maiistretch ang pang-unawa mo sa mga tao't buhay dahil sa mga daranasin mo – peculiar to migration.

    Let's continue to pray and believe that there is hope for the Philippines then. I'm looking forward to spending my retirement years there, God willing…:). At pag nanalo ako sa lotto, within a month, uuwi na ako…hahaha!


  2. Ate, there is no place like home for sure. And I'd like to say that Pinas is a beautiful country; I'm ever fascinated with the people, culture and traditions there.



  3. Truly, there's no place like home, Bing.

    If not for the corruption in government and the wide-scale pollution, I'd say the Philippines is more than okay.

    All my aunts and uncles on the father side (four aunts and two uncles) migrated to the US in the '70s. It was only my Dad who decided to stay put in Manila. He didn't like the idea of living and working in the US. We were already okay in the Philippines (financially stable), and he didn't deem it right to migrate to another country where the “grass is greener.” He knew how hard it would be for all of us to be uprooted and then planted well in other territories. And somehow, he was right.

    The Filipino in me is itching to go back to the Philippines. But being married to a Swiss makes it awfully challenging. (I have to consider my husband's feelings, too, of course.) However, I know that if it is God's will, He will equip us with all the things we need to settle down in Manila someday, in His perfect timing.

    On another note, I've heard from friends and relatives ,who had migrated to the US, Canada, NZ and Oz, that they're doing okay. There are lots of Filipino communities in these countries and this makes it easier for 'newbies' to adapt to the ways of their host country. And somehow, it's a plus factor that they speak English in these countries. Here in Switzerland, I always feel that people take it against me if I don't try to speak their local languages (German/Swiss German, French, Italian). And because of the language barrier, it's awfully hard to make friends here. Buti na lang I have Swiss and Pinoy Christian friends in church.


  4. hey, cacofonix. thank you for sharing this. and you're right saying that empowerment gives you a grab of things all over the world, that includes the people and culture of other countries. there are many ways though to empower one's self.

    i have learned and read about many Filipinos, too, who wanted to still spend their retirement years in the Philippines, and that proves that there is really no place like home. but as you said, there are also those who are content to spend their entire life and die in a foreign country. there are even those who had forgotten about their homeland. 😀

    Pinas is a beautiful country, kyels without the picture of poverty and hunger, of corruption and pollution, of evil and evil-doers. 🙂

    my husband shares the same sentiment, jayred, that if you're okay here in the Philippines, why the need to migrate?

    your situation is understandable. i would always consider my husband's feelings and thoughts, too.

    it's a good thing that there are already Filipino communities in the said countries. and there are agencies like the agency who'd invited us which provide accomodation within a short period of time. at least, that would not sound difficult for a newbie.


  5. One Million?? Heck if you have that much money to spend that means you have enough to start your own small business and live comfortably well. Bakit ka pa pupunta sa ibang bansa?

    Kaya ka nga pupunta sa ibang bansa para kumita ng milyones (in peso ha?) then here comes these shysters asking for a fee which you may or may not earn even when you work abroad…


  6. Living abroad is not great if you are far from your family. And like what snglguy said, if you can afford a million , then you might as well make it there in your place of birth. I would love to come home and visit definitely.


  7. Working abroad is not all it's cracked up to be. Sure, the salary is higher, but everything is also more expensive here (e.g. college, medical, and other living expenses), so it ends up becoming a rat race anyway. Not to mention the taxes. But don't take my word for it. You can always give it a try and see for yourself. Maybe give yourself 1-2 years to evaluate whether living/working abroad is for you.


  8. If I have it my way, I would love to go back and stay for good in the Philippines. Yet, the demoralizing situations and uncertainty prevents me. It is better to live there. Less stress, life is slower, and friends are, well, friends.

    Home will always be home. No matter where you are, no matter how long you've been away.


  9. Personally I really want to go and work abroad. It's not just the money but its more on fulfilling a dream. Also I will always be a Filipino wherever I will go 🙂


  10. those were the exact words of Papsie, single. and one 'may or may not' earn that 1 million in other countries. it's a risk for me. 😦

    very true si dorothy dun, chelsea.

    i can give it a try, wil, but there are more priorities here in Pinas that i can't even think of shedding that big amount. well, the bigger amount actually i have to think pa later after waiting for 3-5 years. i dunno, sounds not a sound idea to me pursuing this.

    it's the same reason why i was tempted to go and try the orientation, rey. so much frustration about my beloved country. but as the seminar went on, i realized it's not what it sounded like – easier, better life – it's not. i think one should be doubling or tripling one's efforts to earn more and not what is just enough.

    oh, if it would be work, that would be fine for me, verns. to work abroad would not mean you would migrate. after the contract, one can immediately go back. there are many ways to fulfill a dream. for some it is not going abroad, and for some it is. 🙂

    as my friend always say, verns, migrating will not mean you renounce your being a Filipino. kanya-kanyang opinion, and i respect her opinion. yun nga lang, i believe am much better off here, not in other countries, which means i wanted to stay in my own country. but i am not opposed to working abroad, if given the chance. 😀


  11. If I were to choose I would love to stay here at the Phil, my home or end destination. Kung pupunta siguro ako sa ibang bansa it would be for travel's sake or for work, but to stay there? Nah, I would go home to the Phil as well.


  12. I feel that way too Bing despite na karamihan sa mga ka-batchmates ko ay gusto talaga ang pumunta sa states—many of them are in fact already there.

    I think, it's different with each individual.

    In my case, everytime I imagine myself living in an area without friends or relatives, with foreign faces all around, makes me feel so uncomfortable.

    But if just to work there—I'd grab the opportunity right on and be back to the homeland after I made some sizable savings.


  13. I f the deal is excellent, the why not?

    When I say excellent, it must include the payment for other intangibles like psychological and emotional matters and etc… Why? Because you will be paying for them as well when you are away from your family and the country you love so dearly.

    I guess taking this out from the equation is a big mistake as most expats found out.


  14. I have been struggling with the whole idea too. A lot of my friends have been coercing me to work abroad, but I always put that on the back burner saying “I am still happy with my work now”. I am just torn cause as much as I would want to explore a new atmosphere, new cultures, new places…. I would still love to see my friends and family every single day. I guess if the right time comes for something like that, it will happen.


  15. me, too, ferdz. not sure what will influence me enough to migrate to other countries. 🙂

    if it's work, major tom, no harm trying. you can always go back agad if things didnt turn out well. 😀

    i believe there are only a few who would give such an excellent offer. the intangibles would cost them that much, rolly. we cant blame them for pursuing their dreams migrating to other countries, at the expense of their family being away from them, life is not easy naman talaga in the Philippines.

    i doubt, alternati, if there still is a right time for me. am not getting any younger. the processing will not take less than a year. if i decide to go, it must be within this year. if not, i believe it's too late for me. if there is that hidden desire in you, why not try? you still seem to be in the running.


  16. i perfectly understand you. being an adventurous person, my personal take on that is, i can live anywhere in the world but i'd rather die and be buried in my own country.


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