Written by Lynda R. Erpelo, Teacher III, Nama Elementary School, Pozorrubio, District II, Pozorrubio, Pangasinan
Going abroad, to find employment has been the popular thing to do among Filipinos, that even a vast number of teachers are joining the trend. Many of the counties we end up in, could recognize the daring nature of our culture requiring much courage taking the risk of staying in somebody else’s land struggling to find work. One major reason would cite deciding to leave the country is a better compensating salary, regardless of whether or not they pursue working in the field they went to school for: in the case of the educators who leave, it’s regardless of whether or not they continue teaching.
While in many cases getting better compensation seem to be the main motive of Filipinos going abroad, it is hard for us to admit that we dislike to serve strangers in foreign land. Several of us who finally get to fly out of the country end up facing later on challenges that come with being far from home. Though we may initially realize the difficulty of leaving one’s entire family behind, most are often overwhelmed by the exciting fact that “money will come more easily this time”, and that further down the road, when all is said and done, and work slaps you in the face, everyone who aspires for a better life and leaves eventually has come to grips with the actual degree of adversities of not having the family close by. What are the misconceptions? Jobs are easy. You have a lot of money, dollar or other currencies are valued more than our peso. But how about the fact that while in a foreign land you run the risks of being sent back home because of lay offs, or that you would have to abide by rules that aren’t in line with our cherished ideals of freedom and equality, or just the simple fact that your family, your source of strength is too far from you?
Overseas workers particularly the Filipinos are hardworking. They deal with many stresses and could face several emotional issues. It is our generation’s job to clear up misconceptions. Perhaps we should stop focusing on what the overseas workers “have “or “acquired” because they worked. Perhaps we should limit our reliance on them. Nothing is more hurtful for a family member who works abroad than to be asked by relatives or friends for a present without even asked how the work was or being given a big hug of welcome.
Perhaps one good wish from the genie would be for every Filipino to experience going, working and struggling to survive abroad. By then, many would be more willing to throw – away the misconceptions, misinformations, biases, or even perhaps greed.