Thursday, September 6, 2007

"Bagong Bayani" (New Hero), a farce, political theatrics???

Every day, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, you can witness the huge arrivals and departures of the so- called "bagong bayani" or new heroes . This is what the government of the Philippines called those Filipino expats or OFWs working in different fields abroad, in short, "dollar earners." The high volume of dollar remittances that OFWs sent to the country, prompted the government to coin an ambiguous label to all overseas Filipino workers.
On line dictionary, defines, Hero as follows:
he·ro
1. In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
2. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.
3. A person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine. See Synonyms at celebrity.
4. The principal male character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.

Now, based on the above definition, which one applies to us expatriates? I think we have to add a number 5, such as, "a person who send dollar remittances to his country." And this is exactly what our government wants us to do. Otherwise, there is no use to call a guy a hero unless he sends dollar thru bank remittances. How about "door to door" services? Perhaps, it is not included in this category and I am sure you will not be called a "hero," simply because remittance here is to an individual and not thru banks.

The question arises, what does a "hero" gets in return for helping our economy grow?

Before going further, let us have a flashback since you departed as well as in your first vacation. I have not experienced in my life going back and forth the international airport that someone ever told me personally that I am a "hero". I read the word only in the newspapers. I believe, majority of the expats have the same feeling with me on this issue, except for those guys especially nominated and awarded this honorable distinction in various "bagong bayani" selection categories. But for the majority, I have no idea what the government has given in return. But as an OFW, I kept paying the OWWA, POEA and Insurance fees and reduced travel tax for family members.

Returning OFWs could not escape the rising prices of basic commodities and a country in turmoil over political feuds, and a sick system. Once, an economic giant in the Far East, but now ranks at the bottom and economy in shambles.

The only solution, perhaps, is total overhaul of the political system. People should always be reminded that if we want a change in our system, we have to install a fresh, qualified and highly educated "servant" to occupy our political chambers. Forget about this "padrino" or "compadre" system, if we would like our country to restore its credibility and economic prestige once we possessed. Change will come only if we have courage to remove all those in power serving their own interest. My advise to these old folks, why not give chance to younger generations of political "heroes."? You are more than old enough to stay. Leave your futile years behind and enjoy your remaining life. We have vast reserve of untapped resources of talented professionals ready to take over and reign for the love of country and not for the love of one's self. It is a shame that we shall serve our country for money. Our sublime right of suffrage should be preserved and guarded, not to be tarnished with a 100 peso bill distributed on Election Day.

Note: Above piece is a personal blog only.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A piece of advice..."negotiate effectively."

When somebody ask for a raise, promotion or some form of benefits to uplift oneself economically, it calls for a lot of planning, strategy, and proper communication in order to achieve all these things. There must be a proper forum to present and address the issues of both sides. It would be a great step if both parties are brought face to face and tackle to find solutions for the underlying problems and explore the "give and take" process. Sometimes, out of anger, we tend to make hasty decisions and rush to conclusions, accusing and throwing to the public allegedly a "dirty linen." To hurl inappropriate personal revelations, is a waste of time and pave the way for failure and it will just unnecessarily sow bitterness and resentment on both sides. First of all, we are not in a position to prejudge. My advice is to come to the open, present your case since we have all the right to negotiate. We should be talking business and not personal matters. Stick to the demands and as long as it is meet or a fair bargaining is achieved, we can conclude that negotiation is successful. It is not a hopeless case and no need to create enemies. In this way, a friendly atmosphere will be maintained and feeling of respect is always there.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tip from my kitchen..."sharpen your knife with a ceramic cup."

I have four kids in school and since we have no household helper, I do the task of cooking the food, washing dishes, and all that kitchen routine stuff. Here's my schedule, sort of a daily script:

Wake up early morning at 4:30am;
Prepare the food for the kids' breakfast;
Breakfast is ready and served at around 5:30am;

Meanwhile, my wife is busy attending to the kids uniform for the day and do some fixes on their school requirements, pack lunches, etc. While I was slicing the beef, I noticed that the knife was not sharp enough to have a clean cut. In a hurry, I got hold of our ceramic cup and I just slide back and forth the edge of the knife three times and its sharpness restored. So don't forget... a knife against the ceramic cup. By the way, my cup is "MADE IN CHINA..."

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"You lack communication skills..." an alibi??

"You lack communication skills," I often heard this remark in the
workplace. The worst thing, the remark is translated into a low
rating in staff's performance evaluation. I have known a colleague
who was always subjected to this remark in his performance
appraisal, inspite of the fact that he speaks English well and he
writes some articles in a local English newspaper. He even surpass
his boss in the correct usage of English grammar. But one thing I
have noticed with my colleague is that he is a silent top performer,
I mean, he does not brag or shout to the world his achievement.
He remains cool inspite of the soaring temperature in this part of
the world at 43 degrees celsius. I have suspicion it was just an
alibi since we found out that the boss has a so-called "favorite son."
Thanks God, he was gone for good and my colleague has just
recovered from the trauma. Hopefully, he will get a fair share
this time.