Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Place Where Only Bravest Souls Survive

I’m an OFW based in KSA. I must admit that in this country, being under the Monarchial form of government, laws are harsh and at times prejudicial to some of our hapless ‘kababayans’ especially the DH. But honestly, this is just my opinion, some of the OFW’s who were either sentenced to execution or those who are in jail are those who really violated the law in the Kingdom. Some Filipinos I heard are the ones running wine distilleries, others were caught having illegitimate affair (which is a big NO here in KSA), others are running gambling operations and the most common scenarios here are the homosexuals (though not all) engaged in a homosexual relations with Saudis, and more often than not, ended in a not so happy ending story.

I mean if you are here in KSA or any part of the world, you must ask yourself the first question, “Why am I here?, Am I here to work for the good of my family or to to do otherwise? Am I here to gamble, to womanize or to engage in other detestable acts. If an OFW can answer that question tactfully and without a doubt, then he definetly knows what to do and hot to behave–Goal setting that is.

While there were cases of abuses commited by the OFWs employers especially in the case of our hapless maids. I will generalize it for once and for all, middle east is not a safe HAVEN for filipina domestic helpers and let’s agree on that whether you like it or not.Do not be misled by false hopes that you can be well here. Work as a maid instead in our own country and do not sacrifice your dignity and the honor of your family in exchange of few riyals, dirhams and dinars.

I read an online story about a pretty woman who used to work as a Saleslady in a department store in the Philippines. She applied for a domestic helper in the middle east and when her prospective employer saw her picture from her CV, the employer opted to visit the Philippines to meet her personally. It may seem very intriguing but when the Filipina was there in the employment agency, she was given unsolicited advice by a fellow OFW who happens to be in the same agency to reconsider her plan of going abroad. Fortunately, the filipina heeded the advise and left the place without anymore seeing her employer.

These are just some of the many instances of OFW’s bitting the bullet.However POEA statistics will show otherwise that despite tha alarming cases of unfortunate incidents abroad were most of the OFWs, either being kidnapped by pirates while at sea or being beheaded by the host conutries, still the trend of Filipino migration or those lost souls seeking opportunities outside remains growing. Simply because the situation is much worse in the Philippines. I dont want to sound unpatriotic but the truth is, I love our country as much as I love my family. I used to condemed the pathetic situation of brain drain in the country and blamed Filipino professionals like the nurses, engineers and teachers until I experienced taking my own dosage of medicine. Leaving our country and my family to work abroad is bitter pill to swallow. But what place is worse than a country who can’t even provide a decent opportunity for their very own citizen?, but instead takes pride in admitting to be a country, inafamous for exporting labor abroad whose remittances by the way is the only thing that breaths hope to our ailing economy. Where people in the government still have the audacity to go on a foreign trips guise as ‘observation trips and conventions’ at the expense of taxpayers’ money. Now, can anybody tell me, what place is more pathetic than our very own country?

I love the Philippines and I always will. For now, I will remain hopeful that maybe someday,an opportunity to work in a place where my heart is –my family and my country. But until such opportunity is no where to be found, I will still remain in a a place away from home where only the bravest of all souls survives.

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