Thursday, May 2, 2013

Restless Steadiness

Sunset at Bonuan beach. More fun in the Philippines.

     "If you have family, friends, and a good career, you don' t have to go to the states." my tita's husband said as we stared at the morning traffic ahead of us.

  He pointed to one of the tall buildings along the street. He says he has worked as a doctor in there. The sort of doctor who dealt with military personnel and their mental, emotional traumas. He enjoyed the privileges that came with his position. He was good at his job and colleagues respected him. He made enough to provide for his family. Then he moved to the states.

"In the states,  they don' t care if you have a diploma." he sighed as we moved slowly through the traffic. He couldn't be a doctor there so he had to settle as a caregiver in a hospice. He says it wasn't entirely dreadful since he knew how to cope. In states, work was work. It was an odd change from his homeland's more laidback atmosphere. It was lonely sometimes, he added.  Right now, people were still trying to drift through the recession. The economy was still quite bleak and recovery would take time.

I understood what he was trying to say. He was aware that my family and I are just waiting for our green cards so we could joinmy dad in LA. I am too aware of the shift in greener pastures. Filipinos are tired of being torn away from loved ones. The illusion is shattered. Yes, the states remains to be a land of opportunities but most Pinoys are thinking twice about migrating. Migrate for economic opportunities? Maybe. I would go just to travel and see the sights but I've been spoiled by my homeland's white sand beaches, oceans, wildlife and landscapes. I probably won't settle anywhere else for the rest of my life.

Maybe except for Spain (even with the sucky economy).

I believe that our generation is painfully aware of this need to be with loved ones, to stay and grow, to be appreciated in their roots; a sense of responsibility to help our homeland and our fellowmen. At the same time there is a restlessness in us to go beyond our borders and comfort zones and maybe- just maybe- discover our place in the world; to confirm that there is something bigger than ourselves.

Perhaps I'm the only one who feels this way.

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