Saturday, August 05, 2006

 

Sisihin si Jim Paredes

I’m watching Reporter’s Notebook. It’s about Filipino nurses in the US. The stories of a Filipina MD-turned-RN-in-America, others who came before who are now living the American Dream, and reporter Maki Pulido’s closing statement “na naghihingalo ang health care system sa bansa…pero hindi natin sila masisisi” leaves a bitter, bitter taste in the mouth.

Eh, sino pala ang sisisihin natin?!? Ang gobyerno that has failed to provide adequate jobs for them… Ang mga magulang na pumipilit sa mga anak na pumili ng kursong in-demand as opposed to their passion… Ang pamilyang handang magkawatak-watak para sa maginhawang buhay… Puwede ring ang mga dayuhang nanakop at nagtanim ng “colonial mentality…” O baka naman si Marcos na ininstitutionalize ang OCW as a stop-gap program because of the weakening economy nu’ng Martial Law.

Ang totoo, halos wala na nga tayong sinisisi, eh. Ang isang stop-gap program eh tuluyan na nating kinarir. Pinaganda pa natin ang pangalan: OFW at nu’ng height ng Flor Contemplacion national tragedy naging “Bagong Bayani.” Hindi ba tama si Randy David nang sabihin niyang “hindi dapat nating tanggapin na habambuhay na lang nating kapalarang mga Pilipino ang mangibang-bansa para guminhawa ang buhay?” Hindi ito ang permanenteng solusyon. Like a tourniquet, it may stop the bleeding but if you use it for an extended period you risk losing the limb, or worse.

The Filipino Diaspora, despite the promise of greener pastures, the dollar remittances (which allows the government to create an illusion of a robust economy), is a big problem. People choosing to leave their own country for good is a problem. ‘Yun ang bottomline. May element of choice. And yes, maraming factors that may make a person make a particular choice pero it is the person who decides the course of action. At kung ang choice na’yon contributes to the problem, siguro safe namang sisihin ‘yung gumawa ng desisyon. So mali si Maki Pulido. Puwede nating sisihin ang mga Pilipinong nurse na pinilipiling magtrabaho sa Amerika. At puwede ko ring sisihin si Jim Paredes for romanticizing this.

I used to look up to this singer-songwriter-TV host-photographer. Nakaka-inspire ang kanyang nationalism. If I’m not mistaken, siya ang kumanta sa unang lines ng “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo,” the anthem of People Power. Sabi pa niya nu’n, sobrang tindi ng pride niya sa pagiging Pilipino after 1986 that he gave up his Green Card. He went on to write more songs that make you proud about being a Filipino. He hosted Tatak Pilipino, a landmark TV show about the beauty of the Philippine culture. But his co-host Gel Santos-Relos eventually migrated to the US. And, what do you know, Jim Paredes packs up and heads for Australia. Ginive-up nga ang Green Card, pumunta namang Land Down Under! At ni-reveal pa niya na as early as 1988 ay pinangarap na niyang manirahan sa Australia balang-araw (a mere two years from his supposed People Power high).

This guy’s passion for being Filipino used to inspire me and now… It’s like your high school basketball coach leaving your team to coach the rivals. And to add insult to injury, he dares write about all his wonderful experiences as an Australian immigrant in Newsbreak (isa pa’tong nakaka-disappoint na publication). Fine, Jim Paredes! Your children has more options there “where your being you won’t matter as much,” and that the handbag and the wallet they left in the mall and in the bus were returned to them. Fine! Ang ganda-ganda ng Australia as opposed to this bulok, thieves-riddled, third world country! But after everything you’ve said about being a proud Pinoy you dare declare that “beautiful chapters about the Filipino diaspora will be written” in your new country!?! Pucha!

Siguro nga ‘yung mga doktor na gusto lang magka-bahay-at-lupa makikitaaan pa ni Maki Pulido ng excuse para hindi masisi kung piliin nilang mag-nurse na lang sa US. Pero Ateneo-bred, Loyola Heights-residing, American Junk-singing Jim Paredes?!? Isa ka sa mga problema ng bansang ‘to! Sinisisi kita!

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Cool blog, interesting information... Keep it UP »
 
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