Global but alienated Pinoys

Image by Antipas Delotavo, Diaspora, 2007.

By Antonio Contreras/ – The Filipino diaspora scattered us to many places in the world. We leave our homeland to serve. We sweat and toil in the sands of the Middle East, building vast financial empires drawn from oil. We rock the cradle of the children of the world’s richest, from the Sheik in Saudi Arabia, to the Sultan in Brunei, to the banker in Singapore. We have a daily exodus of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) leaving through our airports, of mothers bidding farewell to children they have to leave behind to assure their future. The irony is never lost on the attentive. Women leave their babies to the care of their mothers to take care of the babies of other mothers.

And we bring our songs and our dreams not only to sing lullabyes to foreign babies, but to bring joy and pleasure to their adults. Our entertainers are everywhere, singing in posh cruise ships, performing in ritzy hotel bars, and yes, in brothels in Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan.

All in the name of loving the family, and of loving the homeland. Remittances from OFWs are a reliable source of cash inflow for our economy. But for the OFW, it is a means to survive the hardships of life which their families face. It means funds to school the children, matriculate siblings, and maintain the health of the sickly elderly and the frail young.


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