Thursday, July 03, 2008

My cousin just told me that his foreman's name is not listed in the staff personnel at his work anymore. I know his foreman. He is my uncle's good friend. He is a good person, smart, full of hidden jokes, and one of the now rare breed of artists practicing balagtasan. I guess his story goes something like this:

He came to America in search for livelihood. He left his family back home. As it is customary for Filipinos, he worked two or three jobs at one time, just trying to earn some money to send home. He's been doing this for a while, and was able to make enough to be able to build a house back home. Recently, he helped my cousin to get in the same job and trained him for the line of work that they're doing. My cousin learned pretty quick and, like many Filipinos, feel indebted to him. Utang na loob is inherent in every Filipino. A few years back, he applied for his family to come over and for some reason, he was denied the opportunity. What he ended up doing then was to go back home every year to spend time with his family, and after every short visit he comes back to the US to make ends meet. The last time, however, he went home for a funeral, and after two weeks, comes back to work. He spends a few days at work, then left again; this time, without any notice. He went back home; maybe for good, this time...

...I was talking to a friend a few days back. She told me she is fascinated by stories of migration. I told her, "Well, you know, the story of Filipino migration is a sad story, with broken families and many lonely lives. We migrate not for fun but mainly for circumstances against our will." She insisted she still likes to know these stories. I continued on feeling how sad the stories are, though I too would like to know their stories, even if for a different reason as I perceive.

Part of me wishes that my uncle's friend, the foreman, finally decided to go back home. Home, to where his heart is. I think everybody deserves a life around people they love. And I still continually feel bad about the plight of many Filipinos. I do long for the day when we migrate no longer in search for bread and butter (or for many Filipinos, in search for rice and bagoong, hehe). I do long for that day, when we live our lives once again, and explore our world whenever we want, to bask in the beauty that there is, to be truly free and not be chained by what, in the end, are simply unnecessary hardships bestowed to the hardworking people of Man.


At 9:17 AM, Blogger A. B. said...

with lots of friends going the migration path, i can only wonder how it feels like. i, too, wish for a plight not borne out of, as you say, 'unnecessary hardships'.

don't know, but i might be part of this flipino diaspora one of these days.

times really are a difficult now.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger kauban said...

migrant pipols of the world... laban!!! haha. pretty soon, everybody's a migrant. officially, I think 10% na sa buong mundo ang migrante na...


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