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Daybreak




The Pacific Breeze is thriving! I feel so lucky that my column still exists in the KaBlogs’ Journal despite the limited number of Filipino bloggers and contributors in the Pacific Region. Apparently, most of these blogs are in hiatus while others, I believe, have already been abandoned by the authors.

The Pacific Breeze is like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, nothing could impede its gentle blow. Amidst the inactivity on this side of the blogosphere, The Pacific Breeze is still puffing across the globe through this journal, which I think, is also comparable to the May and June remittances of the Overseas Filipinos to their family in the Philippines...

I have the confidence to say that most, if not all, of the global Filipinos have been working so hard in a foreign country so they could afford to give the right nutrition as well as the best education to their loved ones back home. Undoubtedly, compared to other nationalities in the world, Filipinos have the unparalleled faith on a college or a university degree, or at least a vocational diploma as a magical possession that has the power to liberate them from the bondage of deeply-rooted poverty.

This reminds me of the PEBA (Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards) which, through Believe International, supported the education of Ernesto (Camarines Norte) and Caren (Aklan). It is emotionally moving to read the letters of these poverty-stricken children who are so fortunate to receive a scholarship they deserve, and are now happy to be on another step towards success as they both look ahead for a brighter future!

We also have Efren Penaflorida and his Dynamic Teen Company whose efforts in providing education to children during weekends using a ‘pushcart classroom’ has been recognized internationally after receiving his CNN Hero of the Year Award last year.

I am sure that there are millions of Overseas Filipinos out there whose names haven’t been mentioned even on a local paper, nor heard over the radio or broadcasted on TV but are giving relatively the same efforts towards providing education to needy children as what Believe International and Dynamic Teen Company have been doing. Those Filipinos who work as temporary workers, or immigrants in a foreign land to continuously support the studies of their ‘scholars’ are too numerous to enumerate!

Indisputably, OFWs are regarded as heroes because of their great help to the Philippine economy through their monthly (or even fortnightly) remittances, but for me there’s another reason why they are worthy to be called genuine protagonists. I know somebody who is a Filipino veterinarian who sacrificed his degree and work as a piggery farm attendant in Australia. There are so many Filipino physicians who set aside their academic achievements and work as a nurse in a foreign land, or nurses working as caregivers, mechanical engineers working as maintenance guys and accountants working as sales ladies overseas.

I am writing this NOT to tear the dignity of the above-mentioned professionals away from them... because I am certain that Filipinos possess enough knowledge and skills, as well as the necessary attitude to improve their lives and finally achieve ‘something’ in a foreign land. There are so many success stories of Filipinos around the world who have accepted and initially did the meanest job when they first came to their host country. Thanks to ‘importance of education’ that was inculcated deep within the mind of these successful Filipinos when they were still young; their diploma had, of course, preceded their visa.

Ninety-two point six percent (92.6%) of the Filipinos are literate. We have intelligent and skilful professionals working and paying taxes back home, we have learned and prosperous global Filipinos remitting billions of dollars to the Philippines annually but many Filipinos are still living below the poverty line and we definitely don’t need figures to prove this. Currently, the Philippine economy is dimly lit. They say, and I believe, that scarcity in the country is because of fraud and wickedness within the government.

Filipinos believe that education promises a brighter future, and honestly, I am afraid that this very promising ‘future’ will remain to be the future that never comes.

...twenty-two days ago, the Filipinos have spoken. They want change and they want it to happen. By the end of this month, and in the next six years, there are a lot of things to look forward to. I hope the brighter future that every learned Filipino has been dreaming of will finally come and stay.


► Read RJ's previous column articles.

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