Thursday, June 21, 2007

First Half

First off... I apologize for not posting a new entry during the last few weeks. As you may well know, I had massive colds followed by the flu. Along with the runny nose came what I consider a case of "Mental Diarrhea." I can't seem to find a topic worth sharing and discussing, everything was jumbled up and short circuited that my neurons were in a state of displacement. I was inclined to talk about the final results of the last elections or lack of credibility thereof, but decided against it since EVERYONE was already bombarded with incredulous excuses why up to now, the 12th "honorable" senator has not been proclaimed yet. I also thought about writing a short essay about the colds and the flu, but found it too technical and realized that illness is too broad a topic to generalize its symptoms and causes as they vary from individual to individual. Aside from these two, there were several topics that I mulled over but due to reasons beyond my control, was all put aside.

Then I suddenly realized that June 2007 is almost over. Seems only yesterday when we lit firecrackers welcoming the New Year. Time really flies... well... for me it was not all fun... but nevertheless, time did fly. So many things has happened during the last six months that it would be unjust to stick to only one topic. So for this post, I decided to let it flow free until I find a mental antidiuretic that will relieve me of this incapacitated state I'm in.

During the last six months, so many interesting things have cropped up from American Idol, Pinoy Big Brother, Tele-Seryes, Tele-Fantasyas, politics, local and foreign showbiz, to highlight a few. It's interesting to note that the general day to day activities of the average Filipino remains at the status quo. The poor remains poor amidst blatant announcements that the economy is improving. Yeah right. Can someone please ask these government people how those numbers announced on tri-media can be converted to food on the table for 80% of Filipino's living below the poverty line? But let me state that this 80% is a variable depending on how many jobs there are at a given time and how many are actually employed and when the survey was taken to spruce up the image of some self-serving "pontio pilato" in government. It's only in the Philippines can you find contractual jobs as a bagger in a supermarket that requires one to be at least college level. Jeesh. Well, there are jobs that doesn't require a college diploma that gives good pay. Being a call center agent is one of them. But don't bother applying if you do not know how to use computers and do not have a good command of the English language and have an impeccable twang that goes with it. You better make sure that the person on that far side of the globe won't be able to distinguish your accent as one coming from "Pidru". You better make sure you sound like "Peyd-Roh". One thing more, you also need to have the nocturnal ability of a vampire and the uncanny reflexes of a werewolf to make it in this line of work. Forget about family gatherings, legal holidays, social night outs. Never mind. You have all that money to spend, that is if you still have the energy to go to the malls after your shift, and pray that that ball of fire in the sky we daytime dwellers call the sun will not melt your skin for staying out of it's light for so long.

Only a handful of our untapped workforce can handle being a call center agent since most Filipinos nowadays can't even speak English fluently much more with "the proper accent." I, for one am guilty of this fact.... sometimes... especially if I am talking to a fellow Filipino pedestrian. I see no need to speak in a foreign language when we can fully understand each other perfectly by speaking in Tagalog. Unless that someone doesn't know how to speak in Tagalog. Yes people, the Philippines has so many dialects I find it frustrating that this might be one of the causes why this beautiful country cannot function towards one objective and without the need of interpreters and fear of violating certain ethnic customs and traditions as well as various religious affinities. "Ay sus, ginoo!"

It is sad to note that the strength of the Philippine Peso is pitted against the almighty US Greenback. Not discounting the fact that it's strength is mostly due to the remittances being made by our Overseas Filipino Workers, heralded as the "Bagong Bayani" (New Heroes). Not forgetting the fact that some are being beaten and molested, and suffering from a myriad of inhumane atrocities by citizens of the their employing countries, while government agencies turning a blind eye, notwithstanding, unless somehow exposed by the media in an exclusive to boost their rating against the "other channel." This is the sad plight of modern Filipino families being broken up by the need for survival. Having one or both parents leaving the country to work in a foreign land to be able to put up a house to live in, food on the table and clothing on our backs and to be able to send the kids to reputable schools so that they will have the fighting chance when their turn eventually comes to join the workforce. But how can our kids learn when most of our good educators are now working abroad as well. We cannot blame them for leaving because they too have families that need to live comfortably only few "de-buena familias" enjoy. Why would they stay if they are being paid only slave wages and being shot at, burned, and harassed during elections?

I could go on and on, but I'm afraid that I see no end to this dilemma as of yet. But I am still hopeful that one day we will overcome all these obstacles and have a Philippines truly worth dying for.

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