Imagine A World Without Filipinos

Nope. This is not a copy-paste of Abdullah Ai-Maghlooth’s full essay of the same title published in a local Saudi newspaper. By this time, his Filipino-friendly article has been amplified in a number of blogs (see Pinoy Around the World and USA Pinoy for example) and has landed in my inbox a gazillion times as a forwarded message. Why not? We hardly see something good written about OFWs and Filipinos in general. When we do get to hear positive remarks about ourselves, it is but appropriate that we smile and celebrate.

Randy David in his Philippine Daily Inquirer column Public Lives wrote A world without Filipinos which also mentioned Ai-Maghlooth. He quoted from the essay, “Nobody here can think of a life without Filipinos… We could die a slow death if they chose to leave us.” This could be true. I digress… Speaking of death, I wish greedy and self-centered traditional politicians in the Philippines, especially those with “cash cow mentality”, would die not only a slow death but a painful one at that!

I have been campaigning against the “cash cow mentality” (read On Milking the Cash Cow) of government officials in the Philippines. OFWs are being depended upon as cash cows. Bagong Bayani daw!!! In truth, the government has been juicing the fruit of OFW labor for years, setting up more and more remittance schemes here and there yet efforts and long-term programs to entice OFWs to return home are minimal if not nil.

I firmly believe that leaving the country to become an OFW could never ever be right. The government should not be contented with the billions of dollars in annual remittances by OFWs. The government should be held liable for OFWs who suffer discrimination, who are abused and who are murdered in foreign lands. The government should shape up and find ways to stop the Filipino diaspora. Otherwise, it is tantamount to committing crime against the people who they should be serving in the first place. The country has more to loose than gain by sending off its precious human resource abroad. I quote Prof. David,

“…[Foreign employers] single out Filipino workers for their skill, their tenderness and their loyalty. But they do not see the human being that performs all these services and possesses all these traits. They do not see the families these workers have left behind, the relationships they have put on hold because of migration, and the experience of humiliation and helplessness they often go through as virtual exiles in strange lands. Away from their loved ones and circle of intimates, their lives tend to be bare. Wrenched from the culture that is their medium, their identities tend to wither.

They help maintain and reproduce the social systems that host them, but these societies do little to integrate them as members. Their service is needed, but not their person, or-to be more precise-not the cultural practices that reproduce them as individuals with identities of their own.
A world without Filipinos may seem unimaginable to those nations whose lives have been greatly enriched by their presence. But, impossible as it may be, a world that allows every Filipino to take his loved ones along wherever he may choose to work would be a far richer world. Better still, a Philippine society that affords every Filipino the chance to grow and to use his talents without having to leave his country would be a far richer society.”

Now, what kind of government would allow the sons and daughters of its country to toil in foreign lands and rejoice in the bounty of their remittances? So sad. Very bad! Incompetent!



9 Responses to “Imagine A World Without Filipinos”

  1. 1 tanglad Huwebes 10 Hulyo 2008 bandang 6:14 umaga

    “The government should be held liable for OFWs who suffer discrimination, who are abused and who are murdered in foreign lands.”

    Omg, kabayan. My neck hurts from all the vigorous nodding you made me do, especially the sentence above. A government should serve its people, not the other way around.
    Joe: I wish our government would listen and nod in agreement too. Thanks for the visit! 🙂

  2. 2 nold Sabado 12 Hulyo 2008 bandang 12:04 hapon

    Filipino today is a global race, very much like that of Rizal, some of the greatest advancement in the arts and in science were initiated by us.

    This world is a better place because of Filipinos.

    Mabuhay ka Filipino!
    Joe: How are you Nold? Thanks!… Filipinos could do better if the government would shape up. I think misgovernment is pulling us down.

  3. 3 nold Linggo 13 Hulyo 2008 bandang 8:39 umaga

    I’m doing great, sana ikaw at lahat ng mga kababayan din natin diyan mabuti ang kalagayan.

    If we have good governance we would not have Filipino’s this many leaving the motherland. The fact that millions of Filipino’s decided to reside and seek employment abroad clearly reflects that we have a flawed system. Not that its wrong to seek opportunity abroad. For us Filipinos, importante ang Pamilya, and if it means that we should take our skills outside to provide them with what they need, gagawin natin.

    What worries me is that, since the government has seen the leverage that oveseas Filipino is bringing in, they seem to encourage the nation to work in foreign lands. Isang malaking pagkakamali na ganito ang pagiisip ng ating gobyerno, its implications will slowly be felt in the generations that would follow ours.
    Joe: Nadali mo Nold! Yan ang dahilan kung bakit ako nagsimula mag-blog. Kailangan magtino ng ating pamahalaan para hindi maglayas ang mga Pinoy. Tigilan na ang “cash cow mentality” pagdating sa mga OFWs.

  4. 4 Kevin Paquet Linggo 20 Hulyo 2008 bandang 12:58 hapon

    Greetings Pinoy!

    I’m 17yro Kevin Paquet from Davao City, currently blog hopping!
    Can we exchange links? My website is
    Hoping to know you better and that we’ll have a happy blogging relationship!
    If you accept our link exchange request, please comment back on us so that we’ll add you then 🙂 [hirap mag monitor ng mga responds sa comments namin sa dami ng blogs na dinalaw ko]

    ps: you can also add me on ym if you want: i.believe_11

    Salamat po!
    We’ll leave on topic comments next time, sorry for this offtopic one, kaya nga naghahanap kami ng link exchanges to also exchange good comments in future ^^,) bow

  5. 5 duskfading Sabado 26 Hulyo 2008 bandang 2:00 hapon

    At the expense of anniversaries missed…
    At the expense of childbirths missed…
    At the expense of graduations missed…
    At the expense of birthdays missed…
    At the expense of death of family members missed…
    At the expense of L I F E and F A M I L Y…

    ating saluduhan ang mga bagong bayani (daw).

    Joe: mismo!

  6. 6 Pheng Huwebes 7 Agosto 2008 bandang 6:10 umaga

    naiyak naman ako sa nabasa ko…i am one of those OFWs na nagtyatyaga sa isang malamig na bansa para lang kumita ng mas malaki…what drives me? practical reasons…but in exchange, i fight all the homesickness, the feeling of unbelongingness, discrimination and most of the time being alone…bakit ganito ang trend sa pilipinas, i hope mabago to, so we can all enjoy being in our motherland…
    Joe: Sana nga magbago in our lifetime. Saang bansa ka ngayon Pheng? Maraming salamat sa pagbisita. 🙂

  7. 7 Reginn Sabado 18 Oktubre 2008 bandang 5:15 hapon

    This only goes to prove that Filipino is indeed “world-class”. Leaving the country to work, study or permanently reside abroad does not mean we are losing our nationalism. If we re-read our history, a good part of Dr. Jose Rizal’s life was spent abroad. Did it make him less patriotic compared to those who have remained in the Philippines? I believe not. Fact is, he is our national hero. You know it, the world knows it.

    I also believe that Filipino skills and talents are infinite and that we should share these not only with Filipinos but to the world. Our God-given skills and talents should transcend across all nationalities. We may not be related by blood… but we are, in God. With the advancement of technology, the world had already gone small, so why chop it further? Let us not be wary of our professionals leaving the country. It is tantamount to saying that we have a shallow pool of talents and that no one could step up in their absence, to which I strongly disagree. We have an ocean of skills and talents out there just waiting to be given the chance to prove themselves. But how can they be, without available jobs within our country? By filling up job opportunities outside, we are actually opening up opportunities within as jobs left by those leaving will become available.

    Our leaders though should develop programs that would lure these “World-Class Filipinos” to invest in the Philppines and perhaps put up small businesses that would create more job opportunities for the Filipino.

    Let us be positive on this. The problem does not lie on the Filipinos leaving the country. It actually helps. To their families, to the country. It’s more on crafting appropriate laws that would ensure the safety, and general well-being of these Filipinos.

    We may be small as people, we may be undeveloped as a country and we are not perfect. But we are perfectly us… just the way God had designed us to be. We are Filipinos… World-Class Filipinos!
    Joe: Hi Reginn! Thanks for the comment. I also believe that Filipinos are highly skilled and talented, that is why the world loves to hire us. I did not say we have a shallow pool of talents as you put it. Going out of the Philippines to work in another country has its pros and cons… More pros than cons for that matter nowadays. For that reason I am not against anyone working abroad. I, myself, am an OFW… What I am against is the government’s “cash cow” mentality. The increasing number of OFWs is a “comfort” that seems to make the Philippine government complacent… I think you misinterpreted me.

  8. 8 Reginn Martes 18 Nobyembre 2008 bandang 11:18 hapon

    HI Joe, I did not misinterpret you. Maybe you just slightly misinterpreted my post. Though I am with you in the “Cash cow mentality” of our government, I did not delve on that topic. Instead, I just focused on the strengths of Filipinos and that Filipinos are “World-Class”. It was an appropriate comment that would compliment your post entitled “Imagine a world without Filipinos”.

    If you re-read my comment, I did not say “you” said that we have a shallow pool of skills and talents. It’s actually a generalization as most people are wary that all of our best professionals are leaving the country like nurses, doctors, engineers, architects etc and that we are left with nothing but “tira-tira”. This is where I am strongly disagreeing. As I have put it… “We have an ocean of talents and skills out there…”

    It was not directed at you as I know that being a Filipino expat yourself, you are a first-hand witness on how competent Filipinos are internationally.

    Surely, what we need now are people like you, people who contribute without being told or asked. If only those people with the ability are willing to share themselves voluntarily and unconditionally… maybe there’s a chance that we can still see a better future.

    You have deep thoughts, I invite you to write at Although the site is not yet done (About 50%)

    We are currently developing this to inspire, inform, entertain and give hope to Filipinos around the world. You are certainly welcome to share your thoughts. You may contact me at:

    Regards Joe,

    Joe: We are on the same side of the fence then. 🙂 I’ll check your site. Thanks!

  9. 9 Hazel Huwebes 8 Oktubre 2009 bandang 4:24 hapon

    Indeed, we are world class!

    Nevertheless, it is really depressing to know that the government is somehow taking advantage of this.

    As we have observed, there’s lot of fortune given to us, while Filipino people are whining due to the continuous rising of petrol’s price, where is our fellow kababayan who invented an apparatus that accept water as an alternative fuel? He proposed to our government but why it wasn’t supported? Is it because the government can no longer earn commission or profit from it? How about our farmers who were crying out loud to the government because we were not in a rice shortage situation and we don’t have to import as long as the latter give an aid to them. Yet, what was the government said?

    When I watched a noon time show through TFC, I can’t believe that until now some are still deaf and blinded with flowering words or angelic smile they are offering to our fellow kababayan every time we pay our dues or calling us bagong bayani, and in the end we cannot really get anything in return. To express what I really fell, I wrote a poem which I want to share with you guys. (Joe, hope it’s ok with you to post it here) Thanks.

    Palamuti Lamang Ba?
    By: Hazel

    Ako ay nayamot sa aking napanuod
    Isang programa ng Dos noon pa’y binabatikos
    Isang balik manggagawa, nagpahiwatig ng sama ng loob
    Subalit pinahinto siya ng abang dakilang host

    Sa umpisa ay maayos sapagkat pinapakinggan
    Kalauna’y kanya nang pinipigilan
    Bagamat nabigyan naman ng kaukulang tulong
    Sa aking palagay ay di dapat naging ganon

    Kung naisambulat man ang isang pangyayari
    Hinayaan sana upang malaman ng marami
    Maling gawain, ahensya ng pribado o gobyerno
    Hindi dapat ipagmalaki, bakit pa itatago?

    Totoong masakit sa aming mga OFW
    Na magbayad taun taon sa walang kuwentang serbisyo
    Ang paniningil nila’y mabilis pa sa alas kuwatro
    Kapag nangailangan na’y idulog ka kung kani-kanino

    Animo’y pinagtakpan nitong dakilang host
    At pilit na pinigilan bibig ni kababayan
    Paano pa mabibigyan ng leksyon at pangaral
    Kung ang mga taong ganito ay nagbubulag-bulagan

    Sa huli’y pinayagan na bigkasin ang kanyang tula
    Sa kundisyon na alisin na ang tungkol sa OWWA
    Ipinagmalaki pa na mas mataas ang makukuha
    Ngunit hindi niya naintindihan ang punto ng isa

    Nabanggit na noong una na sana’y magsilbing babala
    Na hindi na danasin ng ibang manggagawa
    Subalit ibig talagang ikubli nitong isang dakila
    Palibhasa di niya naranasan, magtrabaho sa gitnang silangan

    Kung ang layunin ng programa ay makatulong sa kapwa
    Dapat bigyan ito ng pantay na pagkilala
    Anuman o kaninuman ang reklamo o problema
    Malulutas ba ito kung hahayaan na lamang?

    Ilang milyong tao pa ang magbibingi-bingihan
    Sa mga hinaing ng bawat mamamayan
    Bayani ngang itinuturing na kami’y nabibilang
    Palamuti lamang ba sa ngalan ng bayan?

    Kudos Joe! Keep it up! It is really an eye-opener to all of us.

    Joe: Hi Hazel! Thanks for the contribution.

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...sapagkat ang gobyerno natin ay may "cash cow mentality" pagdating sa mga Overseas Filipino Workers.

(Read On "Milking the Cash Cow")

...sapagkat ako ay isa ring OFW; may mithiin, marunong magisip at nagnanais marinig... Makabagong bayani daw... Sa totoo'y tampok na gatasan ng pamahalaan. (English)

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