Carlo's Think Pieces

Reflections of a Filipino in the Netherlands

Together, we can do it…

Posted by butalidnl on 20 October 2009

This post is my entry for the Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards 2009.

There were only 60 of them.  Sixty young men and women were sent abroad by the Japanese government in 1871, to learn from Europe and America in order to help Japan modernize. Japan had then just emerged from 265 years of self-imposed isolation.  They brought home a wealth of knowledge from the West, laying the foundation for the present Japan – an economic giant in the world.

They were only 60. The Japanese experience shows what can be achieved when a country’s  citizens go abroad and learn things that can be adapted and applied in their home country.  Of the 60 who went, many became government officials who took charge of various parts of the modernization efforts.

We are with our millions. The Philippines has sent many of us to foreign shores, to work and earn money for our families back home. And we have done this – remitting billions of dollars that keep our country’s economy afloat, even vibrant.   But this is not the only thing that we send home. We send home values, insights, and a view of the world that Filipinos could not get by just watching foreign films and reading textbooks.

A wise consular official once told Filipinos abroad to “Experience your host country.”  It would be a pity to have spent many years in a foreign land,  and not have learned that country’s language,  seen its cultural heritage, or learned from its practices and values.  We would certainly enrich ourselves in all sorts of ways, if we fully “experience” our host countries. At the same time, we are contributing to the wealth of knowledge gathered by all Filipinos who had gone out and experienced the world.

We Overseas Filipinos bring back pieces of our host countries constantly – when we go home, but also while still abroad, through our letters, e-mails, social networking site postings, blogs. Little by little, the lessons from other countries are seeping through Philippine society. With millions of us abroad, the process is unstoppable.

We can speed up this process by being more conscious in learning what we can from the countries where we are. We can be more conscious in sharing with our kababayans back home about what we learn. It does not matter what country we find ourselves in – all countries have some things we can learn from. It does not matter what jobs we do abroad – all of us have something to contribute from our experiences.

Together we can do it. Our millions will become a force that will inevitably help make the Philippines into a developed country in a matter of decades. This is entirely realistic. After all, others had done this before. It is now our turn…

If you like this blog, click on the image to get to the PEBA website, and vote for this blog.


11 Responses to “Together, we can do it…”

  1. reymos said

    I do hope that someday Pinoys working abroad will go home and share their knowledge and expertise to the rest of our unprivileged kababayans. Definitely, I will be going home and do some tourism business. There is no place like home!

    Ironically, there are only few of them who really care and take risk of going back to our motherland. They only go home permanently when they are old and looking for someone to care for them. Sana, “ngayong bata pa tayo” and able to share our experiences, then I think we can do share a brighter future for our country.

    • Jun Pols said

      Yes this is important. Going back. Important and difficult.
      It was difficult for most to make the move out. Going back can also be as difficult and maybe even more than going out.
      I am not talking only of resistance to yet another change when change is difficult for most. I am talking about the difficulties of bringing back ideas and making these work.
      I have moved back more than once, and I still will. Each time learning more. Each time easier, each time learning from own mistakes and mistakes of others. I am still involved with people back home doing small tech projects sold here (Netherlands) and will continue doing this.
      There have been enough instances of people going back to the Philippines and end up leaving again. How can we change this? What gives?
      Nice article, thanks.

  2. regina said

    people think that living in another country is very easy… yes!.. you may find comfort…maybe, because.. the money you are earning when exchanged to our philippine money has greater value… thou.. i am not an OFW.. but i can feel the loneliness and emptiness of the filipino who have been working , trying to help their families who are left behind… i appreciate filipinos who still opt to come home… and share what they have learned from their host countries… and with the hope.. that they will bring in business to help our filipino people.. and be able to uplift our economic condition.. KUDOS OFW… indeed , you are the real living hero of our country…

  3. RJ said

    Magaling! I love the message of this entry.

    How apt is the blog by our fellow OFW, Mr. Carlo Batulid. If we, the more than 8 million OFWs will do our share to better our country, there is no reason that the Philippines can not rise up and join the ranks of the industrialized countries of the world. If Japan had done it with only 60, and Chian had done the same with all their scholars that had come to America and learn from their from them, there is no reason that us OFWs with our 8 million strong force can not do also for our county. AS THE SAYING GOES, UNITED WE CAN DO IT!!!

  5. LIFE Moto said

    yes together we can do it by returning to our motherland the blessing that we have from foreign land. the sad reality is that we OFW sending home the income. but the wealthy in our country investing in foreign countries.

  6. LIFE Moto said

    yes together we can do it by returning to our motherland the blessing that we have from foreign land. the sad reality is that we OFW sending home the income. but the wealthy in our country investing in foreign countries.

    have a nice day! Good luck for your entry.

  7. joy said

    wonderful message. one that i hope would be embedded in the minds of the future leaders of the Philippines. as we all know, the country just needs the driving force to move towards our potential.

  8. febykates said

    Its really our turn now, and we, OFWs could spearhead in telling our kababayans that we need to change for the better. We need to bring back the glory of the Philippines during 1960s. Kaya natin to!

    Good luck to PEBA 2009! 🙂

  9. united we stand, divided we fall

    welcome to peba, habol entry, ten days before closing, saya naman, 37th entry ka, wish us all the best;

  10. […] Carlo Butalid’s blog, Tilburg, the Netherlands […]

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