Updated on March 22, 2009
Why I’m a Filipino Who Won’t Go Abroad
Everyone wants to go abroad.
Two of my high school friends, Rachel and Joy will go to the California, US and Australia to try to establish a new life in “greener pastures”. My aunt is always pushing me to find work abroad for me to prosper. Yeah, I’ll be in Hong Kong later this month for the HPAIR 2007 Business Conference for a couple of weeks – but that’s just to visit.
Why would I want to leave? Not because of the money…
Freedom from this “conservative” society – yet decisions are made on principles and morals, not your environment
Run away from corruption-infestation – traffic enforcement, long lines to get a passport or a license – ah, the simple joys of living in a corrupted developing country?
Independence – Close family ties have the benefit of saving you rent money but also distorts the concept of independence for young adults. My parents would take it against me if I move out within the metropolis, but it would be okay if I lived alone in another country.I want to stay in the Philippines.
I have no immediate (or medium-term) plans of going abroad to find work. For graduate studies maybe but I’m fine living here in Manila, Philippines. I’d also rather move to the cities of Cebu or Davao when I settle down.
I’m one of the rare Filipinos who won’t go abroad.
Prosperity in entrepreneurship and investing. There’s money to be made right here! Henry Sy is expanding SM by at least 5 SM Supermalls every year and Jollibee is going into the carinderia industry. Heck, the Chinese, Indians, Koreans, and Western expats are migrating here because there’s money to be made off us!
Things are looking up! I almost cried when I heard on the radio that Dr. Romulo Neri was the new Chair of CHED. On one side, the the public now has to confront the reality of the worsening â€œmismatchâ€ in the education sector. Fortunately, 88% of female college students are starting to recognize the vast potential in the Philippine market and want to become entrepreneurs.
â€œTo solve that mismatch, we have to reorient our education system, particularly higher educatio… So we have to go through more â€˜techvoc,â€™ or technical-vocational, engineering courses. Weâ€™re promoting entrepreneurship, education reoriented to entrepreneurship, instead of just [studying to be able to get] employment, among other things.â€ [Neri is education czar 7/29/07 Inquirer]
On the other hand, the currently unemployed and “mismatched” have to recognize that self-employment, starting their own business, and learning right money management can give them a better life than any instant cash loan or pitiful job (“just for the sake of having a job”) they don’t like.
Low cost of living. Infrastructure isn’t perfect and pollution in Metro Manila is so bad. Still, the Philippines has the conveniences of broadband internet connection, telecommunications. A single individual can live comfortably on $500 a month or even less and still have savings.
Filipino families in the Philippines can even afford a house maid ($2/day) to take care of laundry, cleaning the house, and tending to the children. We spend too like the Westerners but we manage to keep the costs down.
In comparison, just look at the string of OFW-themed movies that display the good and bad of working abroad. It’s sad how they work their asses off, live less comfortably than in the Philippines, and are unable to build enough funds for retirement or for a business.
Dubai (Claudine Barretto, John Lloyd Cruz, Aga Muhlach)
Do something for the Philippines. I truly want to make a difference – whether it’s just accompanying someone to a money management seminar, or finishing a project for a new client or spreading the campaign for financial literacy. I’m happy to do what I can from my home base.
Tags: aga muhlach, claudine barretto, dubai, movie, ofw, filipino abroad, migrant filipinos, jollibee carinderia, sm supermalls, sm build new malls, why filipinos go abroad, personal development, web startup philippines