“Here” is No Better than “There”

The only reason I can find, why I left Philippines and went abroad, is because I have always felt that being in the Philippines makes you feel stucked in a place where it prevents you from building up your dreams, and the only way to start building your dreams is to go abroad. Where did that come from? I guess it’s been rooted from the thoughts of our Filipino elders.

Typical Filipino thinking. The grass is always greener on the other side. There is no progress in your own country. If you stay here, you’ll remain poor. Where else can you find a country wherein the parents decide what course their children should take in college based on what’s “in demand” abroad?

“You should take up Nursing like Auntie Lily. See, she’s living a good life in New York now.” Or, “You should take up Computer Science. I heard they hire a lot of IT’s in Singapore.” “Why should you be a teacher? Do you want to end up like your Auntie Ising who can’t pay her debts from her meager salary? If you want to become a Teacher then better apply as Domestic Helper in Italy or Hongkong.” “Why don’t you study as a Care Giver? I heard that’s what’s “in demand” now,” and so on and so forth…

When I was growing up, most of the “rich people” I know have worked in other countries. My neighbors were either contract workers in Saudi or domestic helpers in Hongkong and their children always has the latest gadgets and clothes and everything. My family owns a farm. We aren’t “rich” per se, as you may think that owning a farm makes you a rich person. In our province, owning a farm is a common thing. I don’t even know what rich and poor means. Some kids say we’re rich but my parents say otherwise. Maybe because when people work on your farm, you become “rich” from their point of view. But no. I grew up like any other kid from our neighborhood. Maybe my siblings and I are just lucky our parents were able to send us to school while the others stopped after elementary or high school to help their family earn a living.

Well, as you can see, I am a product of a typical Filipino thinking. I took up PT and Nursing so I can work abroad. And now, here I am.

I used to complain a lot. I was receiving a salary where I can live on my own. But I’m single and family-oriented so I lived with my other siblings who also work. One can save a lot of money that way. My Mom could take care of our farm without having to worry if we have money to spend. We can even help out financially whenever she needs it. We can buy the things we want. We can even go to places we want to go. It’s just a matter of prioritization, as we weren’t brought up to spend money lavishly. My Mom used to work in a bank and she taught us that saving money is very important.

But it’s not enough. We see people (Filipinos) who come home from other country sporting the latest gadgets, wearing expensive clothes, bags, etc. looking trendy and all that, with all that money to spend, treating the whole town to dinner, giving out presents (perfumes, shirts, shoes, etc.). You can’t blame other people from thinking that working abroad will make them richer.

Now I’m abroad…in a country where one receives salary tax-free, where one can buy all the things he/she want in a cheaper price (almost everybody owns an iPhone, Blackberry, iPad…etc). You can even send your loved ones anything they ask. Yay?

The thing is, I’m not happy. “Here” is no better that “there.” In fact, it’s just the same. The circumstances may be different, but the situation is still the same. Same complaints about work, workmates and work environment. Some wanted to go to other company because the other company is much better than this company. Or some wanted to go to this other country because it’s better than here. No one seems satisfied from where he/she is at the moment because it’s always better in the other side.

It all boils down to having the satisfaction and contentment, or the right attitude. You have to change the way you think about things because wherever you go, it’s just going to be the same.

Maybe I’d just fulfill my “dreams” abroad but I’d still come back to where I came from. I will consider this as an experience and a lesson learned. And I did learn my lesson. I guess the only thing working abroad did for me is that, I became a stronger person, maybe a bit confident than before, and perhaps, a little wiser.

But still…there’s no other place like home. 🙂


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