I came across a friend’s status in fb asking a very thought-provoking question. The questions was worded this way: “Life is good here in the Philippines, but why is it that a lot of people still leave and work abroad?” The question kept ringing in my ears, not literally, but it was a persistent thought. The reason is simple: I also know a lot of people who live and work abroad who keep saying that it’s better to live in the Philippines. However, all of them, after staying for a while, always go back to where they came from. Simply put, they prefer or choose to live and work abroad despite what they said.
But, my hats off to them; they are called mga bagong bayani, sacrificing so much just so that they can work and earn money for the families they have left behind.
Why do they always go back? Is it about money? Maybe. It’s a fact that abroad, as long as one is not afraid to roll his sleeves up and work, there will always be plenty of opportunities to earn. I know of friends who are professionals here yet they don’t mind waiting on tables or washing dishes in posh New York. I know of friends who take care of old people as caregivers for the green bucks. Yes, they send money to the families they left behind, but I have not heard of one who finally came home willingly to finally settle here for good – by choice. Well, I know a few who said that they will retire here, but then again, who knows if they will?
Maybe life is better abroad, even if one has to work very very hard. Maybe money is limitless there. Maybe the food is better. Maybe the schools are better (or the educational system). Maybe the culture is better over there. Maybe life is easier there. Maybe it’s safer to live there. Maybe people are better there.
Are you happier wherever you are because you have every opportunity to earn unlike many of our fellow Filipinos who chose to stay and work here?
Are you happier wherever you are because your food tastes better?
Well, someone once said home is not a geographical location; it’s where your heart is. So wherever you are, as long as your family is with you, it’ll always be home to you.
So … is your family with you wherever you are?
Happiness is subjective, which means my happiness and your happiness will never be the same. In the same sense, what makes me happy will not necessarily be the exact thing that will make you happy.
Hence, may I ask … what makes you happy?
I hope you have it nearest you … not just in your heart, but close enough for you to touch them and tell them how much you love them … close enough for you to see the moments when they lighten up every time they see a butterfly … or a rainbow … when they taste ice cream …
I hope they are close enough to you so you can comfort them when they are hurting.
Life is short … and money is not everything.
One thing is sure though, we always have a choice! And whatever your choice is, it means you’re sure it’s the best for you and your family, and I’ll respect you for that.