Sinigang Sinigang For The Soul

Wake Up Philippines, the World Economy is Falling Apart! Time to do Your Own Laundry!
comment 8 Comments November 15, 2008 – 3:00 am
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Maybe I’m tired. I have the right to be tired. I have the right to speak out in behalf of the the “expatriates” I know, who when we get together cry out in frustration that they feel so used. That their relatives only see them as an ATM, ready to cash out money to their every whim. Maybe I’m just tired of hearing the same sh*t that overseas workers lament on.

Rita sends money for her drunk father and her gambling mother. Oh send more money so Junior could finish his Nursing career too… by the way, mom says: Junior had impregnated his girlfriend so they decided to marry and are now living under the house you’re paying the mortgage on. Junior will still continue his Nursing but meanwhile, would you send more money for his wife’s prenatal needs?? Nine months later, Rita is still going to be responsible for Junior, his wife’s hospital bills and don’t forget the baby- the baby is your niece/nephew after all. What about sister Kay? it wouldn’t be fair if she doesn’t ask money from Rita for her extra-curricular activities would it? For now, Rita doesn’t know that Kay is using the money for her vices, booze, buzz, partying and shopping!

Oh please, we suffer here buying cheap unbranded items, would even buy our clothes at the thrifty store just so you could buy your expensive clothing in Kamiseta, Rustan’s or Guess?! Don’t mind us expatriates, skipping that vacation we’ve always wanted, after all Junior, Kay and the rest of the family needs money! Don’t worry about me buying you that jeepney or tricycle with my credit card so you could start your own route, earn a living as a public utility driver and later on have to sell it (your livelihood) because of some reasons unknown to me. Oh you want to be a taxi driver now, and you promise to really work and be self-reliant?! Ok, let me swipe my credit card again for that car you will only total (wreck) six months later because you were drunk driving! What happened to that piece of land I bought because you said cousin joe will plant sugar cane? Oh… Gone… ok. What about that stall mother wanted at the public market so she could sell fresh goods? Oh, the money was used for something else… Meanwhile, I have $20,000 in credit card debt because of all your irresponsibility and recklessness!

I’ve always wondered about Filipino migrants I’ve met here who totally did forget their roots and chose freedom- freedom, away from the dependency of their relatives and family who they forgave and given chance time and again to redeem themselves but failed. I’ve wondered about how, what kind of hard stoned person would forget and abandon her family in the Philippines because she couldn’t take the manipulation any longer. What kind of migrant can sleep at night thinking that her family are still living in the slums? What kind of migrant who won’t even send a balikbayan box (care package) for her family to open on Christmas?

And then I think about the drunk fathers and the gambling mothers. I think about the Juniors and the Kays, the cousins, the Aunts, the Uncles, the able and capable relatives, even friends who depend on us “expatriates.” Then it’s easy to understand and even applaud those who managed to free themselves from the dependency of their family and relatives.

Dependency and extending out help are two different and separate things. We would sacrifice all we can, ignore discrimination, endure the winter, biting cold, withstand the extreme heat, and sandstorms in the desert, suffer indignation, work 2 or 3 jobs a day if only it would make you our dear countrymen self-reliant and if only you our dear government would help the rest of our countrymen live with dignity and some level of comfort.

I’ve said it before in one of my posts:

We OFWs have to rely on our own resilience– the ability to bounce back and recover from adversity, our adaptation– a slow, usually unconscious modification of individual and social activity in adjustment to cultural surroundings, our assimilation, the process whereby a minority group gradually adopts the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture, and our hard work and zealousness to survive abroad.

Filipinos are known to be one of the hardest working, the happiest and the most reliable people in the world. Why is it that we seem to only do it when abroad? Why are we lazy, without ambition and drive, laid back when we’re in the Philippines? Why are we so freakin’ dependent and complacent?! That’s the same question I ask Filipino drivers. Why are we so law abiding, disciplined drivers when abroad and drive like mad men in the Philippines? When caught? Bribe the cops!

Please don’t wear us out. We have our limits. We are nearing the end of our ropes. The entire world is in crisis. Please don’t go around boasting that you’re all ok because your “expatriates” have got your backs covered. It’s not ok. We’re not ok!

We don’t know if my company will renew my contract, we don’t know if i could continue paying for your vices when I’m running out of my own savings and might go homeless soon! We don’t know if I’m layed off that I could find a job that quick. Retail stores are closing here, companies are downsizing and outsourcing, unemployment rate in the US are at its highest in 7 years, where will I find work in this scenario? My contract as a nurse in the UK is going to be over in 6 months, and they just told me they’re not renewing my contract. If I don’t find work after 6 months, they will send me home. Can I depend on you when I’m back in the Philippines jobless just like you?

Better get your acts together Philippines! Wake Up! Your “expatriates’ are waning down in patience. Don’t let us cut the ties that binds us all from you… Time to do your own laundry!

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