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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

KWENTO NG DISKARTE SA ABROAD

Nung kinakausap ko sila "Dong" at "Jojo" kahapon, parang natatakot sila na nahihiya, para akong CIA na nagtatanong, nakashades kasi at nasa loob ng sasakyan, kaya bumaba ako habang nilalabas ni Dong ang kanyang mga paninda. Akala ko kasi baka mga takas o walang sahod na mga Kabayan na nagtitiis kahit nakabilad sa araw, nais ko lang sana matulungan, pero maayos naman ang trabaho maliit nga lang talaga ang sahod kaya lalo akong humanga sa kanilang sipag, tiyaga at pagtitiis.

Nakalimutan kong tanungin kung maayos ba ang pasahuran at hindi delayed kahit na sobrang baba lang ang kanilang sahod. 

May kakilala rin ako si Roel, kaibigan namin ni Mrs. Thoughtskoto, ganyan na ganyan ang trabaho at sahod, nagpapart-time naman, masahista sa mga Pinoy dito na pagod sa trabaho.

Kanya-kanyang pakikipagsapalaran sa abroad. Kanya-kanyang diskarte para sa pamilya. Bawat OFW ay may kwento. Sikapin nating pakinggan ito, may matutunan tayong aral, at magsisilbing gabay kahit saan ka man, sa Pinas or sa ibang bansa. 



Natutuwa tayo na ang ating munting larawan sa ibaba ay naging viral, bilang pagpupugay sa dalawang OFW na nagsasalamin ng buhay sa abroad, maliit ang sahod, nagtitiis at hindi nahihiyang gumawa ng marangal na trabaho para matustusan ang paliit na paliit ng kitang pinapadala sa pamilya.



Umabot na ito sa kasalukuyan ng 3,150 LIKES, 2,162 SHARES at 462 COMMENTS. Sa kay Dong at Jojo, magkikita pa tayong muli.  Marami na tayong ginawang graphics at images na naging viral, ang iba umabot pa nga sa 60,000 Shares sa ating pages at groups pero ito ang image na pinagmamalaki ko, ang positive na bagay kung paano ang buhay OFW ay hindi madali pero alang-alang sa pamilya, pangarap at sipag at tiyaga ay nagiging inspirasyon para umangat sa buhay o umahon sa hirap.

Halos lahat ng mga comment ay nagpupugay sa ating mga bayaning Pinoy, at nagpaparinig sa mga mahal sa buhay sa Pinas na ingatan at pahalagahan ang perang pinapadala ng mga OFW.

Muli, salamat sa mga naglike, nagshare at nagcomment!

KWENTO NG DISKARTE SA ABROAD mula sa Facebook page ng Thoughtskoto

Siya si “Dong”, porter daw sila sa agency na nagdedeliver ng mga goods at bigas sa hospital, at ang nakatalikod na si "Jojo", ang kanyang kasama sa trabaho at kasosyo sa pagtitinda ng tuyo na mga isda kagaya ng dilis, sapsap at pusit sa kanto ng Balad sa Jeddah, KSA.

SAR600 lang ang sahod nila, katumbas ng P6,000 sa atin kaya napipilitan silang magtinda para may kaunting kikitain pampadala sa pamilya.

Nalungkot ako na doble sa triple ang sahod ko sa sinasahod nila pero halos garalgal ang boses kong nasambit na hinahangaan ko sila, na kahit sa gitna sila ng init ng Saudi, at sa gilid ng daan at paradahan, sila ay hindi nahihiyang kumita sa malinis na paraan.

Hindi po minimina ang pera sa abroad, bawat OFW may kwento kung paano nakikipagsapalaran at dumidiskarte sa buhay dito sa ibang bansa, sa gitna ng lungkot at pagtitiis. Ito ay halimbawa ng marangal na diskarte at hinahangaan natin ang mga kababayang ito.


©2013 THOUGHTSKOTO

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Love letter to Filipinos by Dr. David Harwell

GMA 7 grab image of Dr David Harwell in his Loveletter to Filipinos in the Inquirer.net

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Love Letter to Filipinos
I am writing to thank Filipinos for the way you have treated me here, and to pass on a lesson I learned from observing the differences between your culture and mine over the years.

I am an expatriate worker. I refer to myself as an OAW, an overseas American worker, as a bad joke. The work I do involves a lot of traveling and changing locations, and I do it alone, without family. I have been in 21 countries now, not including my own. It was fun at first. Now, many years later, I am getting tired. The Philippines remains my favorite country of all, though, and I’d like to tell you why before I have to go away again.

I have lived for short periods here, traveled here, and have family and friends here. My own family of origin in the United States is like that of many Americans—not much of a family. Americans do not stay very close to their families, geographically or emotionally, and that is a major mistake. I have long been looking for a home and a family, and the Philippines is the only place I have lived where people honestly seem to understand how important their families are.

I am American and hard-headed. I am a teacher, but it takes me a long time to learn some things. But I’ve been trying, and your culture has been patient in trying to teach me.


In the countries where I’ve lived and worked, all over the Middle East and Asia, it is Filipinos who do all the work and make everything happen. When I am working in a new company abroad, I seek out the Filipino staff when I need help getting something done, and done right. Your international reputation as employees is that you work hard, don’t complain, and are very capable. If all the Filipinos were to go home from the Middle East, the world would stop. Oil is the lifeblood of the world, but without Filipinos, the oil will not come from the ground, it will not be loaded onto the ships, and the ships will not sail. The offices that make the deals and collect the payments will not even open in the morning. The schools will not have teachers, and, of course, the hospitals will have no staff.

What I have seen, that many of you have not seen, is how your family members, the ones who are overseas Filipino workers, do not tell you much about how hard their lives actually are. OFWs are very often mistreated in other countries, at work and in their personal lives. You probably have not heard much about how they do all the work but are severely underpaid, because they know that the money they are earning must be sent home to you, who depend on them.
 The OFWs are very strong people, perhaps the strongest I have ever seen. They have their pictures taken in front of nice shops and locations to post on Facebook so that you won’t worry about them. But every Pinoy I have ever met abroad misses his/her family very, very much.

I often pity those of you who go to America. You see pictures of their houses and cars, but not what it took to get those things. We have nice things, too many things, in America, but we take on an incredible debt to get them, and the debt is lifelong. America’s economy is based on debt. Very rarely is a house, car, nice piece of clothing, electronic appliance, and often even food, paid for. We get them with credit, and this debt will take all of our lifetime to pay. That burden is true for anyone in America—the OFWs, those who are married to Americans, and the Americans themselves.


Most of us allow the American Dream to become the American Trap. Some of you who go there make it back home, but you give up most of your lives before you do. Some of you who go there learn the very bad American habits of wanting too many things in your hands, and the result is that you live only to work, instead of working only to live. The things we own actually own us. That is the great mistake we Americans make in our lives. We live only to work, and we work only to buy more things that we don’t need. We lose our lives in the process.

I have sometimes tried to explain it like this: In America, our hands are full, but our hearts are empty.

You have many problems here, I understand that. Americans worry about having new cars, Filipinos worry about having enough food to eat. That’s an enormous difference. But do not envy us, because we should learn something from you. What I see is that even when your hands are empty, your hearts remain full.

I have many privileges in the countries where I work, because I am an expat. I do not deserve these things, but I have them. However, in every country I visit, I see that you are there also, taking care of your families, friends, bosses, and coworkers first, and yourselves last. And you have always taken care of me, in this country and in every other place where I have been.

These are places where I have been very alone, very tired, very hungry, and very worried, but there have always been Filipinos in my offices, in the shops, in the restaurants, in the hospitals, everywhere, who smile at and take good care of me. I always try to let you know that I have lived and traveled in the Philippines and how much I like your country. I know that behind those smiles of yours, here and abroad, are many worries and problems.

Please know that at least one of us expats has seen what you do for others and understands that you have a story behind your smiles. Know that at least one of us admires you, respects you, and thanks you for your sacrifices. Salamat po. Ingat lagi. Mahal ko kayong lahat.



David H. Harwell, PhD, is a former professor and assistant dean in the United States who now travels and works abroad designing language training programs. He is a published author and a son of a retired news editor.
©2013 THOUGHTSKOTO

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"Saudi ka lang pala?"


Dates photo taken at Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

When we went home, one Sunday afternoon in the Philippines, I bravely and briefly conducted Saudi 101 in a group of around 100 people in our congregation, telling them what the real life in Saudi is.

What makes it different working in Saudi than in any other place? What makes a certain place/country the best location to work? Nice and beautiful sceneries? Cozy and pleasant environment? Tall and skyrocketing buildings? Salary and high-income places? Peace and satisfaction?

 Facebook post here
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Mr. Thoughtskoto with his Jeddah-born son, Galei
The Thoughtskoto family
 Our daughter was born in Al Khobar, KSA.


-Saudi Ka Lang Pala?!-

(Madami po kaming kaibigan sa ibang bansa maging sa US, Canada at Europe. Hindi po mahalaga para sa amin kung nasaan tayo, ang importante po, tayo ay nagsisikap para sa ating mga magagandang pangarap sa buhay at para sa ating mga minamahal)

“San ka ba galing?” Tanong niya sakin. “Saudi po ako. Isang buwan at kalahati kaming nagbabakasyon dito. “

Saudi ka lang pala, akala ko nasa Utah ka na, or di ba mag-aaral ka sa Hawaii?”

(Umismid ako sa “Saudi ka lang pala”. Biglang uminit ang aking pakiramdam.)

“Ay hindi na po ako natuloy sa Utah, wala po kasi kaming pera noon para sa show money para maaapprove yung scholarship grant ko sa BYU or sa Hawaii.”

“Anong trabaho mo dun sa Saudi? Ang init-init dun di ba?”

“Chemist po ako. Mainit po kung summer pero sobrang lamig naman pag winter. Nagissnow pa nga po minsan sa Riyadh, capital city ng Saudi.”

“Ilang taon ka na dun? Sabi nila kapag matagal ka na sa Saudi, pag-uwi mo, wala ka nang trabahong makukuha at wala ka nang masyadong alam. Nakakabobo daw dun.”

(Nagpanting ang tainga ko, dinig na dinig ko ang kalampagan ng drum at cymbal, pati kampana. Bumuntung hininga ako at sumagot…)

“ Magwawalong taon na kami dun, kasama ko ang misis ko, at dun na ipinanganak ang dalawang baby namin. Walang trabaho? Baka po wala ng mahanap na trabaho dahil kakarampot po ang sahod ng mga ultimong technician dito, minsan nga 3 months kontrakwal lang, ang dami pang deductions lalo na tax at baka po nabobobo dahil hindi po kami ganun kaupdated ng mga nangyayaring corruption lalo na sa gobyerno at mga krimen na nangyayari dito sa Pilipinas.”

Sabay tanong ko sa kanya, “Nakapag-abroad na po ba kayo? “
(Alam ko na nakapagbakasyon na siya sa Hongkong, sa Europe, sa Macau, sa US.)

“May mga kakilala po ba kayo na nagwowork din sa Saudi o sa Middle East?”

Si Pareng Domeng niya daw, at ang mga pamilyang Maganto at mga anak ni Aling Trisya mga OFW daw yun sa Saudi o Dubai hindi niya matandaan, pero mahirap pa rin daw ang buhay. Yung isang anak nga ni Aling Trisya, umuwi daw dahil 3 months na walang pasahod ang kompanyang pinapasukan.

“Bakit kasi Saudi pa kayo nag-aabroad, ang dami naman sa Malaysia, sa Singapore o sa Australia o sa US o Canada.”

Depensa ko, “Ano po bang kaibahan ng OFW sa Saudi kaysa sa ibang bansa? Sa Middle East po, we enjoy some benefits that other OFW’s doesn’t enjoy. Most common is the free tax kaya buong-buo ang salary na makukuha mo. The benefits and standard of living of most OFW’s are higher because the costs of living are cheap as well as the price of goods. Nakakaipon ng malaki kasi nga walang taxes and many fees. And besides pangalawa po sa US ang Saudi at Middle East sa may pinakamaraming OFW sa buong mundo. With regards to the walang pasahod, marami po talagang ganung kwento sa Saudi, kakaawa nga eh. Pero sipag, tiyaga at tibay ng loob ang labanan sa buhay abroad. Dyan sa pamumuhay sa Middle East lalo na sa Saudi na siyang sentro ng relihiyong Islam nasusukat ang tibay ng isang OFW.”

“Sa Saudi na pala pinanganak ang anak niyo, di Saudi citizen yan?" Tanong niya.

“Hindi po wala pong ganyan sa Saudi. Filipino pa rin po sila. Sa totoo lang po, mas masaya sanang kasama ng mga OFW ang kanilang pamilya dito sa abroad, pero nakakalungkot din na hindi lahat ay makakasama ang pamilya, ganun pa man, masaya na rin sila na napupunan ang mga pangangailangan na hindi kayang tugunan kung mananatili lang sila sa Pinas”

I joke around before we part ways.

“May suggestion po ako sa inyo, tutal, natour naman na ninyo ang mundo, bakit di niyo subukang bumisita ng Saudi, subukan ko pong hanapan kayo ng sponsor. Marami kayong matutunan dun, at malalaman niyo ang tunay na sitwasyon ng mga kababayan natin. May masaya, malungkot, at may nagtitiis, nagsisikap para matupad ang mga pangarap. Ipagdaddrive ko po kayo ng kahit anong uri ng sasakyan, (nagyabang ako ng konti na lahat ng klaseng magagandang sasakyan nakikita sa daan, at may mga pwedeng marentahan) pasasakayin ko pa kayo ng kahit camel! Pang-asar ko na sinabi.”

Ito pong usapang ito ay isang halimbawa kung papaano na sa sariling bayan natin or in other places ay kulang sa information at hindi tamang pananaw about sa tunay na kalagayan ng buhay OFW sa Saudi . Sa palagay ko, kung gaano kadami ang nag-aakala na kapag abroad ka ay nagmimina ka ng pera at ginto, ganun din kadami ang nag-iisip na gadisyerto ang init at naliligo ka sa pawis habang nagtratrabaho dito sa Saudi o sa Middle East. Hindi po natin kailangang maliitin ang ibang tao kung saan man sila nagwowork, at hindi rin po ibig sabihin na hindi maganda sa US o Canada o sa Australia, dito lang pinalad na mapunta sa Saudi at Middle East ang mahigit sa 1.5 milyong mga OFW, kasi may opportunity dito, maayos na trabaho, para sa katuparan ng mga pangarap sa mga mahal sa buhay. Hindi importante kung sa Singapore yung iba o Malaysia o sa Hongkong o kahit sa "Saudi lang pala", ang mahalaga, masaya ang pamilya at maging maayos ang buhay ng bawat isa.

When we went home, one Sunday afternoon in the Philippines, I bravely and briefly conducted Saudi 101 in a group of around 100 people in our congregation, telling them what the real life in Saudi is.

What makes it different working in Saudi than in any other place? What makes a certain place/country the best location to work? Nice and beautiful sceneries? Cozy and pleasant environment? Tall and skyrocketing buildings? Salary and high-income places? Peace and satisfaction?

"Saudi ka lang pala?" Mas mabuti po ito, marangal na trabaho kahit nakakalungkot, nagtitiis kaysa mamatay ka at ang buong pamilya sa Pilipinas na dilat ang mata!

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©2013 THOUGHTSKOTO