Better pay, bitter way-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
ONE of my Aunts was an aspiring banker, had gone to college and finished a four year course in business. She had dreams, big dreams for the family. She wanted to see all her siblings finish school and hoped to see her aging parents enjoy the remaining years that they have.
“I would work hard, and realize my dreams” she’d often say. But life has a way of challenging even the most idealistic person. After a year working in the field of her study, she grew frustrated with the apparent lack of progress. She left for an overseas work.
“I would cry on many nights, long for mother’s soothing voice on days that I am unwell. I have gone to work so many times even when my knees are struggling to hold me up. People think we get paid much and think that we are better off than many others. But unless you experienced it yourself, you’ll never know.” That was what she told me.
She is just one of the millions of our graduates who chose to leave the country in search of a greener pasture. She has been away from home for fourteen years now and speaks about life abroad with authority that can only be gained through years of experience.
Most of us will never experience hiding a slice of bread in our pockets just so we can eat. Nor we will ever dip our fingers in a hot cup of coffee to keep our fingers from freezing. It was a way of survival we don’t think about yet so many of them go through it on a daily basis. We don’t realize the pain they go through when they can’t come home even for burials or other special occasions like Christmas. Sometimes the only cure for their homesickness is through expensive phone calls. Or a timed Sunday day off with friends.
The more I think about her and what she’s gone through, the less I understand why so many of us still want to leave home and work abroad. Yes, I know you have to stretch your pay to the max in order to feed multiple mouths, I know that you can’t see a doctor as often as necessary because what good is seeing the doctor if you can’t buy the medicines prescribed anyways? Maybe if our government will offer our graduates jobs and corresponding pay to their skill, then perhaps we will see less of them leaving, and more of them staying to offer their services to our country. Until our government does something to help the massive number of yearly graduates though, expect many of our engineers, nurses, doctors, and name them all to leave us.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 13, 2012.