Category Archives: Job Journey

OFWs

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If Jose Rizal were still alive at the present time, he would probably have considered working overseas as well. Will that dethrone him from being the national hero?

What he said is true enough, and I’m doing my own translation: “those who do not love their mother tongue (or native language) is worse and more foul than a (for lack of better word) smelly fish.”

But he did not mention anything about actually having to stay in that place where the mother tongue heralds (the Philippines in my case) to show the love for the native language.

OFWs, while overseas, love talking about each other’s life stories and latest gossips in their own tongue, because it carries more impact, encourages more reaction, and appeals to a “homey” feeling. This is what I’ve observed with most – take note of the word most – Filipinos I encounter when traveling. Now, it doesn’t matter if it’s Tagalog or any other dialect, so long as we categorize it as one of our provincial languages. Of course there are some instances wherein these guys would opt to speak in another language either a.) to make them seem “classy” or b.) because they’ve grown up in another country.

And there are some, even while in the Philippines, would talk to each other in English and even rear their kids by implementing an English Only Policy at home. These are the kids you would typically hear “Yaya, I want to make weewee na.” These English-speakers-while-in-the-Philippines are commonly perceived to be the rich folks, although some are just plain trying hard.

Of course, I’m discounting those who work in call centers wherein part of the work etiquette involves speaking English at all times. Actually, some people also accuse call center agents of not being patriotic. Ever heard of the famous adage’s call center version: “ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay sa call center naglipana” or “those who do not love their mother tongue are all working in a call center.” My two points on this: First point: that’s their job. Speaking English on a conversational basis makes them carry out their job more efficiently, and avoids any untoward incidents such as letting “ay puke mo” slip all while on a call. It is also a courtesy and transparency for the foreign bosses so they know what’s happening around them. Ever been in surrounded in a conversation wherein you don’t understand anything anyone is saying? Out of place. That’s the feeling. And, oh, add paranoia too. Second point: The call center industry is one of the key income-generators for the country and a source of livelihood for a lot of people. You can’t hate a decent profession when it feeds several mouths, just because of your biased view of what patriotism is. Anyway, enough of call centers. Back to OFWs.

My point is, location doesn’t matter to prove whether you love your roots or not. I was only inspired to write about this during a recent job interview for a company in Australia. One of the questions asked was, why did you choose to leave the Philippines? To which a follow-up was jokingly inserted, do you hate the Philippines?

Five years ago, my decision to work overseas is not motivated by my “hate” for the country. It is purely a personal decision. I’m not working overseas as a Filipino, as an empowered woman who makes bold choices, as a Catholic, as a university graduate or any other categories the institution can think of. I am working overseas and decide to still work overseas for me, most especially, for family. I don’t go overseas because I am a Filipino and I am about to change how the world views that. Anyone who says that is saying crap. Nobody goes anywhere for a national purpose, unless of course you are a national athlete or a delegate or a politician. OFWs do not work overseas to make their country proud. They work overseas to make themselves and their family proud. The country being proud of the OFWs is just an after-effect, if these OFWs good, of course. People will get a good impression of you, and then the good impression of the roots follows.

Notice the difference:

I hate the traffic in the Philippines.

I hate the pollution in the Philippines.

I hate the corruption in the Philippines.

But it will never be I hate the Philippines, because all those things I’ve mentioned can be hated in other countries as well.

So, I don’t hate the Philippines. I will never hate the Philippines. My leaving it is not tantamount to too strong an emotion such as hate. My leaving the Philippines is all about opportunities and exploring the world. And I think a lot of OFWs feel the same way.

 

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Is it possible to have a mid-life crisis at 27?

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So, is it?

I have always validated my worth through the paychecks I receive. Now, now, if anyone tells me that the value of a person does not rely on material goods, I will shoot him in the head, for the simple reason of being a hypocrite. Keyword I’d like to emphasize is validate. While it is true that it’s hard to equate yourself with a monetary currency, let alone imagine it, in the ideal world the salary you receive is equivalent to the hard work you’ve invested.

Now, this being the case, I feel awfully distraught, bothered, and utterly useless for not earning any paycheck for the past three months. When at work, I often feel that it would be so nice just to stay at home, raise your legs up and just eat junk food while watching tv. But this is just a fleeting feeling, not one that I would wish for my self to do on a span longer than any tv drama’s running period. Being sloth has never been my life’s ambition.

I want to be able to see that I’m able to provide and buy things that my brother would need for his school, or for Mom’s meds, or for my sister’s tuition, or for Dad’s car. Encountering those problems, and not being able to do anything about them, is a big blow on my already-dented ego. It’s not the satisfaction of seeing material things, but rather the satisfaction of achieving things. If I can buy a 39″ tv, I’m not proud because I have it and no one else does, but I’m proud because I was able to buy it for my Mom so she can watch her soaps. If I can send my brother to an expensive college, I’m not proud because not everybody affords it, but I’m proud because I know that it’s gonna be making an impact to his future. So see the difference?

When people say money can’t buy happiness, that’s true. Nobody just walks in a convenience shop and says can I have $20 worth of happiness (unless you are willing to think green jokes on this one). What people can buy in relation to happiness is food, education, comfort, the things that would remove any obstacles to being happy. Money is not buying the happiness per se, but buying things so as to be able to enjoy life and becoming happy.

I guess after this pointless rambling devoid of any journalistic construction and form, what I’m saying is, I want a new phone but can’t buy one. Haha. Anyway, In the next couple of months, I hope I’ll reach a resolution in the progress of my career and my life in general. It’s shady at its best, not knowing whether I should go to SG, US or just be happy in my motherland. Moving to a different country is not about forgetting what the country did for me, or for anyone, in rearing me. As far as I’m concerned, it’s my parents who are directly responsible for that, but I’ll discuss that in different blog entirely. Moving to a different country is deciding what is best for me and for my family.

May the gods’ will be done.

5 Days

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Booked my ticket (damn expensive for a one-way flight, though it makes sense coz it’s nearer to my travel date) and finally got the present for my Dad I’ve been dreaming about for so long now. He’s gonna be happy when he sees this big box. Just crossing my fingers that I don’t have to encounter any sharks at the airport customs.

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6 Days

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This is my last Saturday in Singapore and it will only be 6 days before I head back home. It’s a bittersweet feeling for me –  I get to see my family soon and celebrate my birthday with them, but at the same time it’s a whole new experience, kind of like working in another foreign country. But this time, this “foreign country” is actually my home country. So much has changed that I don’t even know how to adapt.

Yes, the gods hasn’t answered my prayers for pass renewal yet. I still try to be positive, and I’m exerting a 110% effort in doing this, but que sera sera. Maybe it’s just rest period for me. Or maybe it’s time to realign my life. I don’t know. But I’ll keep the optimism alive.

Meanwhile, loved this awesome lunch from Nakhon Kitchen in Hougang. Finally got to taste the always-queued-for food.

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hullabaloo

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It’s 4:19 am as of writing, and I’d really love to say that I can’t sleep because of the loud snores from my roommate or because Candy Crush is keeping by braincells (or what’s left of it) up. But truth be told, it’s because of an overwhelming stress.

At (nearly) 27, things tend to get more serious in life, no matter how much one tries to cling to the Peter Pan Syndrome as they call it. This is such a bad age to be jobless and at the same time, to have to realign goals and courses of action. It’s so so easy to bitch about how come others possess what you have and not be appreciative about it, and to throw an endless fit about how things suddenly go haywire from being perfect. But at the end of the day, thinking about what others have is just a means of escapism, a way of avoiding your own problem and about delaying confrontation. This realisation is what’s keeping me up.

I’m not making any sense nor do I hope to make any sense. I’ll just treat this as a silent prayer from the gods above to guide me in the next critical days. I’m way past signs and miracles, and it’s about time to make a move and not wait. Still, a little intervention would help.