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World-class Filipinos
« on: July 04, 2007, 06:35:15 PM »
By Boo Chanco
The Philippine Star

A Filipina graced the cover of the New York Times magazine last weekend. No, she isn't a supermodel or a celebrity. She is much better than that. She is an OFW. Rosalie Comodas Villanueva, who grew up in the tough neighborhood of Leveriza, is a nurse at Al Rahba Hospital in Abu Dhabi. She makes $24,000 a year — compared to the $1,200 she made while working here at home. Her parents have been taking care of her two children for years. The lengthy feature honors OFW sagas, Rosalie's, her family's and many others like her.

There is no more doubt that our OFWs are now a world class phenomenon. Nearly 10% of our 89 million people live abroad. About 3.6 million are OFWs, another 3.2 million have migrated permanently, largely to the United States, and 1.3 million more are thought to be overseas illegally. There are a million OFWs in Saudi Arabia alone, followed by Japan , Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan. OFWs are in at least 170 countries, and about a quarter of the world's sailors come from the Philippines. They send home $15 billion a year, saving not just the economy but a succession of governments from a rebellion by the jobless and hungry poor.

I once made the joke that there is no need for our people to learn English because in a few more years, the world will understand Tagalog. Imagine all the Filipina nannies from Hong Kong to Rome to Toronto and London and who's going to say they aren't teaching more than a word of Tagalog to the young children they are taking care of. I think it was writer Jessica Zafra who once declared that we will one day conquer the world: today their bedrooms and bathrooms but tomorrow, the world!

Indeed, as Jason DeParle, the author of the lengthy NYT magazine article observed, the Philippines has exported labor for at least 100 years. The pineapple plantation workers of Hawaii, who left the Philippines in the early 1900s come to mind. Greg Macabenta traced an early colony of Filipinos in the New Orleans area, descendants of Filipinos who might have jumped ship during the Galleon trade between Acapulco and Manila.

This modern migration we are seeing today took shape 30 years ago under Ferdinand Marcos. And we were not alone. A number of Asian and Latin American countries were sending migrants abroad for the same reasons. A growing number of economists see migrants, and the money they send home, DeParle wrote, as a part of the solution to global poverty.

This view of effectively making the poor pay for development is distasteful. "It risks obscuring the personal price that migrants and their families pay. It could be used to gloss over, or even justify, the exploitation of workers. And it could offer rich countries an excuse for cutting foreign aid and other development efforts," DeParle wrote.

The worse part is how the phenomenon makes it easy for governments to develop a dependence on worker remittances. Migrants all over the world, according to DeParle, sent home some $300 billion last year. In contrast, the world spent $104 billion on foreign aid.

According to DeParle, the Philippines, which received $15 billion in formal remittances in 2006, ranked fourth among developing countries behind India ($25 billion), China ($24 billion) and Mexico ($24 billion). "Remittances make up three percent of the GDP in Mexico but 14% in the Philippines.

DeParle continues: "Despite fears that the money goes to waste, a growing literature shows positive effects. Remittances cut the poverty rate by 11% in Uganda and six percent in Bangladesh, according to studies cited by the World Bank, and raised education levels in El Salvador and the Philippines.

"Being private, the money is less susceptible to corruption than foreign aid; it is also better aimed at the needy and 'countercyclical' — it rises in response to slumps and natural disasters. Remittances help reduce government borrowing costs, saving the Philippines about half a billion dollars in interest each year… And consumption among the poor is hardly a bad thing."

The downside, DeParle writes, "is the risk of dependency, among individuals waiting for a check or for rulers (like Marcos) who use the money to avoid economic reforms… No country has escaped poverty with remittances alone. 'Remittances can't solve structural problems,' said Kathleen Newland of the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington research group. 'Remittances can't compensate for corrupt governments, nepotism, incompetence or communal conflict…'"

Then… there are the social costs. "Among the biggest worries, in the Philippines and beyond, are the 'left behind' kids, who are alternately portrayed as dangerous hoodlums and consumerist brats. Some people fear that their gadgets and clothes, sent from guilty parents abroad, corrupt village values."

Still, studies have found out that overall, "the migrants' kids did better in school, had better physical health, experienced less anxiety and were more likely to attend church…one theory is that remittances compensate for the missing parent's care. The study found migrants' kids taller and heavier than their counterparts, suggesting higher caloric intake, and much more likely to attend private school… There is no doubt that migration has costs… The point is that not migrating has costs, too — the cost of wrenching poverty."

The growth in migration, DeParle admits, "has roiled the West, but demographic logic suggests it will only continue. Aging industrial economies need workers. People in poor countries need jobs. Transportation and communication have made moving easier. And the potential economic gains are at record highs… with about one Filipino worker in seven abroad at any given time, migration is to the Philippines what cars once were to Detroit: its civil religion. A million Overseas Filipino Workers left last year, enough to fill six 747s a day."

This is why for me, the OFW phenomenon is a source of hope for the future. As I told a group of foreign businessmen last week, " with all our negatives in factors of production important to investors, it seems our real plus factor lies with our human resource. I am banking my hope in that large population of OFWs who will one day come home with new ideas, new dreams and a stronger determination to make political leaders accountable."

The world knows from first hand experience with our OFWs that we are good workers and top notch professionals, making them the best incentive to come here and invest. And one of these days, their talents would be used to bring to the motherland the economic gains they helped bring for the countries they worked in.

Summa cum laude

Mikaela Irene Fudolig, a 16-year-old graduated last weekend with a degree in BS Physics and with the highest academic honor of summa cum laude. She has a 1.099 grade point average. She is the youngest student to graduate from the UP in recent years and one of only two admitted to the state university without a high school diploma and without taking the UP College Admission Test, ANC reported.

I am glad there is an early placement program at UP to take care of gifted students like her. She was only 11 when she started taking college level courses at the university. I am sure we have many other students like her whose world class brains are being wasted in an educational system that provide them little challenge.

One other great thing… she isn't taking up nursing to work abroad. She is staying on at UP to teach. My congratulations to her, her parents and the UP professors who conceived and implemented the program! Let us now look for more Mikaelas out there and give them the education that they need.

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queen

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2007, 09:36:05 PM »
The OFW's bring so much money to the Philippines and yet, most of them are not treated well by some OWWA officers, hardly even a smile in return which doesn't cost a cent.   ::) ???
Soar, eat ether, see what has never been seen; depart, be lost, but climb.(Edna St. Vincent Millay)

Ligalig-Mike

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2007, 11:04:35 PM »
Ang atong mga OFWs gipangtulis sa Immigration officials inig abot sa Pilipinas ug inig balik sa gawas. Corruption at the Manila Immigration is cancerous.

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2007, 11:39:15 PM »
jessica zafra wrote in her book that if OFWs all over the world would stage a sit down strike on their eath mover employers, we can bring the world to its knees, bring it to a standstill as the diplomats and business leaders would have to do the washing and cleaning and cooking , nannying, driving all by themselves. then, we could demand whatever we want, and they would give it to us...

living abroad opened my eyes about the sad plight of a filipino migrant worker. i am a bit lucky because i got a pretty enough decent job. some filipinos are reduced to baring their bodies just so they could send money back home. who am i to blame them ? really sad. but, at least they have a job which brings food to the table back in pinas, a job which sends their children to school. consuelo de bobo. i think it all boils down to the fact that education, good quality standard education isn't made available to everyone. there are many mikaelas back home, they are just not given the chance to shine because the humay has to be thrashed, or because they can't afford to buy a uniform.
"whoever said that nothing is impossible has obviously never tried nailing a jell-o onto a tree"

Lorenzo

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007, 11:13:07 AM »
I totally agree with ya riva. Thats evident here in the 'states. Considering the massive numbers of Filipinos in America--we're the 2nd largest asian minority in the state's as there are almost 2.5 million of us here--second only to the Chinese Americans. To the point tho--there are thousands upon thousands of Filipinos in the US medical field--either as Physicians, registered nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, nursing aides etc. As a medical extern for my local podiatrist---many of the other physicians that work in the hospital i volunteer at is a filipino or the doctors there know of a filipino physician or filipino nurse. The hospital where my mom works at---the entire ICU/ intensive care unit floor is dominated by filipina nurses and physicians---who are considered 'crucial medical care providers here in the united states'. Imagine if all the Fil-Am med workers decided not to go to work?

Talk about a medical nightmare, lol.

Thats one thing I really admire about our people---we give so much to our host country---sacrifice so much for our kids and our grandchildren and manage to give back a couple of hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars a month back to the philippines to help family and friends. The big heart of the Filipino--and his hard working, proud nature---

No other people is as noble as the Filipino.

Ligalig-Mike

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2007, 09:56:41 PM »

No other people is as noble as the Filipino.

Long live, Onic!

Lorenzo

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2007, 10:04:31 AM »
Long Live you, sir! For making this site!!!


Salut ko nimo, hah! hahaha  :P

babhe

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2007, 09:12:04 PM »
believed pud ko ning aho ig-agaw ba maajo man diay pud mo english....
uy ang akong lolo sa buhi pa hagtik kajog english Doy Bran,tiaw ba giingnan kog...put in ur coconut shell bank,wa ko kasabot unsay bout nya pasabot ana,grade1 pko ana pud...
Sus btaw perteng paita jud sa ato uy,ang ako anak si Lianne gabayad ug taxes sa pinas paggawas namu bisan gamay pa wapa gatrabaho,
barato ang sweldo mahal ang palitonon,

Ligalig-Mike

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2007, 09:24:56 PM »

Onic, never call me Sir kay dili pa ko myembro sa "Circulo de Boholano."  :D

Mike is more than enough.  :)

Macky Ferniz

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2007, 10:19:07 PM »

Hey, this gives me a big IDEA. Why not we assign a day called OFW Day and all of us will not go to work, no matter what.... This will show the world of our strength and our importance....united, we are powerful.... Once the world will realize this power, we can walk with head up high and respect....

Mike, you decide which day and we will spread this to all OFW.... Yes, lets show them our power.... and the world will kneal before us...
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Ligalig-Mike

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2007, 10:45:43 PM »

Macky, I disagree. A day without reporting to work is considered AWOL. One Filipino who loses job abroad means tens of families will run out of food on their tables.

There are many ways we can show our power to the world.

By excelling in our workplace is alone a powerful testimony that we are different from the rest of humanity.

Read: Despite mass info dissemination, the absentee voting is but a failure. Only less than 2 or 3 percent of the more than 9 million Filipinos abroad did participate in a simple electoral exercise.

Lorenzo

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2007, 11:18:42 PM »
I totally agree with Mike. Instead of being negative in showing the significance of the Filipinos in our global society, why not just cooperate in our said specialized fields?

Filipinos are known to be hard working, dependable, patient, hard to anger and quick to forgive here in the United States. Do you know what my physicians say to me whenever I go to my preceptorships in the hospital? They always ask "Are you Filipino?" and after answering 'Yes, sir or Yes, ma'am', they always respond in a proverbial: "Ah, another Filipino doctor". The nursing staff that I work with in my time at the hospital are usually headed by Filipina nurses or--there is always that one PARTICULAR Filipina nurse that is the favorite of patients because of his/her intelligence and caregiving abilities.

Couple of weeks ago, when I was assisting Dr. Villanueva, a Podiatric Surgeon, in assessing one patient's metatarsals and calcaneal region--as the patient was suffering from disasterous dry gangrene--the patient asked if his foot was going to be surgically amputated. Dr. Villanueva, who happens to be Filipino, answered the patient's questions softly and always with a sympathetic voice. The patient was cared during pre-op as well as during post op. Though the patient died of complications after surgery (as he was hypertensive, had peripheral neuropathy and due to his age, was immuno-suppressed). Dr. Villanueva was there with the said patient till the end. Kind and always reassuring to the patient and to the family members. That to me is the very embodiment and epitome of what a surgeon/physician should be. And I am honored to work and shadow that man, and most of all very proud that he is a Filipino and that other Americans can see and witness the charisma and efficiency of Filipino medical professionals.

The same can be said in other fields be it Law, economics-commerce etc.

+++

Viva Los Filipinos!! Viva Las Islas Filipinas! 8)

Macky Ferniz

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2007, 11:43:37 PM »
Dear Mike,

I believed that one day a year would not hurt your reputation. However, if you are a doctor and you purposely do not treat a patient because of Holiday, that is called abandoning of duty, but not abandoning of Job.

We should not worry of getting fired for being absent just one day a year? We have proven enough to the world and we are indispensable. According to international labor law a Foreign worker should be given 3 warning system prior to termination (this is applicable to minor offenses including AWOL).

Mike, if the world does not realize our importance, they will abuse and that is the reason why some of our unfortunate OFW's are abused, forced to work in sweat shops like slaves...because nobody dared to show power....

Mike... sorry but this is my own opinion.... & thanks for understanding....

Ligalig-Mike

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2007, 11:47:50 PM »

Macky,

I admire your love for the Philippines.

Let's have a voting/poll here in Tubag Bohol so we'd also know what others think about this plan of having "A Day of Rest for all OFWs" worldwide.


Macky Ferniz

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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2007, 12:08:49 AM »

Mike about the above failure to vote, the information was well disseminated. However, most of our OFWs could not go out of their job and vote. The facility is there, but work related constraints prevented them. Moreover, facilities of the embassy are limited like in one city, there is only one voting center and some people need to travel for a long distance. Should it be by other means like voting through cell phone or internet, I am pretty sure the numbers would have reached at 90%.

Once again, one of the reasons why the absentee voting was only 3% success because some OFWs have no guts to tell their bosses "I will be absent tomorrow to Vote".... it is due to fear of being fired... sobra ra ta ka bootan to the extent that one of our basic rights as citizens are being sacrificed....

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« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2007, 12:16:55 AM »
Mike, it does'nt mean we will not work and stay home... The Filipino community must organize beneficial programs to show thier host society of what we are... Like in Bahrain, OFWs organized themselves to clean the beach and pick up garbage.... It was shown in Bahrain National TV....

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2007, 12:22:39 AM »
ok raman na absentee voting if naay free transportation...
"All that is needed for evil to succeed is, that decent human beings doing nothing". (Edmund Burke)

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2007, 06:51:17 PM »
i go for macky's idea, in theory, but in reality, nah, i need the money! hahahahahaha!!!

isn't it saddening, we organize stuff for our host country but not in our country who needs us so much? but, then again, i supposed that when one is in a foreign country, one naturally tends to coagulate with the kababayans.

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2007, 09:30:29 PM »
In Mackys idea, i have no worries for absent coz I don't have work, but the question is, am I including nga dili manko worker, pala raman intawon ko haha..

About absentee voting, nakabutar ko once adtong didto pako sa singapore, pero pagbalhin nako dir wala na kay wala manko katuod haha..

Ang uban mahadlok mananghid nga mo absent kay magparehistro or mobutar kay tungod man sab sa kinaiya sa amo nga tandugunon, dili man gud tanang amo masinabtanon.
"There's no perfect life, but we can let God fill it with perfect moments"

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Re: World-class Filipinos
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2007, 10:33:46 PM »
kana gud absentee voting kay hibal-an naman na daan na tikas...



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World-class Filipinos

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