Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Shifting Local Parameters

I’m not astounded by the pool of Korean correspondents who went to the Palace last Monday. Together with the palace’s usual reporters, they had arrived to watch out SK Pres. Lee Myung-Bak’s state visit to the Philippine’s highest leader. Somehow, though they look totally different from us, I find them as a common sight. Maybe, because I meet a lot of their brothers anywhere I go.

The sight of SK media and diplomats remind me of how they are flourishing in the city streets, especially in posh, business districts like Ortigas. But it’s a wonder that even though I see them blend in the dusty, Manila façade, I rarely see them go along with Pinoys.

Birds of the same feather, flock together, they say. I somehow understood that foreign nationals would go with their own kind because of the similarities of their interests, much like we Filipinos would go along with our own brothers when staying abroad. But I notice that we, Pinoys, are confident enough to be friendly with the other nationalities. My theory: we have become adapted to an international tongue called English.

And this is what other Asians envy us for. This is the reason a rich nation like SK would be willing to send its people so we can teach them a language not born in our motherland. Indeed, Pres. Aquino see this as a positive indication that the nation is getting an improvement in its working environment. It’s no wonder English Korean schools came about like mushrooms.

I used to be one of the jobless people given a short stint in a small English school – for at least two months. Thanks to these English schools owned by Korean heads, we’re given jobs and our economy is given a chance to boost a healthy influx of wealth. I tried to be happy with the nicer students, though. But soon I realized that I wasn’t being productive at all because I felt I was not taken cared of as an employee.

It’s the same when I worked in a BPO company. I realized I wasn’t enjoying my job because it’s not my dream. But here’s another reason: this local employee produces wealth for the foreign employer.

We might be thankful that foreign investors come into the country and help our economy. They make themselves rich through our manpower and resources. The government in turn, get a good deal through the influx of money through our skills. But the law of investments is something that does not get a balanced give and take rule. I believe it’s the investors who get the largest percentage of these investments while we only get a small part of it (even though the salary looks big in our terms because of our low way of living from these foreign investors).

I’m not saying that working for a foreign boss is a sin. I’m also not saying that having foreign investors make money in our country is bad. I appreciate how the government makes an effort to invite these big guys to help the economy from falling into a case similar to the Eurozone crisis. But I just hope we won’t depend too much on them. Pinoys got their own skills to manage a business. But I just guess it’s the attitude that hinder us to do so.

We have this get-rich mindset. We rather waste our money for a lotto ticket everyday than investing one-time-big-time in a small business.  When we do get a good business, most of us are focused on getting rich rather than serving its customers – a major reason bankruptcy sets in a business. Having a selfish goal makes one a not-so-good leader in a business. Most of us do not understand that one who has a business should be a leader – not a devilish tycoon – especially to its employees.

It’s no wonder a business website named the Philippines as one of the worst countries for setting up a business. It just takes character and determination. I’d really like to agree with PNoy that we have to change our mindset if we really want to be a well-off country. Being rich is not because of how large our wealth is. It is by becoming good stewards of this huge wealth; just like the parable of the talents in Luke.

It’s time that we mend our ways. Thanks to the government who’s doing its job for the people; but it’s really up to us people to make up for the better. No need to depend on foreign countries. We are capable of sustaining our own provisions and expand it to bigger levels…it just takes the positive side of us to make it possible.


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