Young Filipinos Choose to Work in Their Own Country

January 14, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. greener pastures (idiom) [green-er pas-cher, pahs-] –  a better situation (usually a job) at a different place
Example: She is thinking of leaving her job to find greener pastures.

2. disjointed (adj.) [dis-join-tid] – separated or disconnected
ExampleDisjointed sentences are hard to understand.

3. heritage (n.)  [her-i-tij] – something that is inherited or passed down to another by birth
Example: The big mansion is his heritage from his grandfather.

4. gratitude (n.) [grat-i-tood, -tyood] – the feeling of being thankful or grateful
Example: The boss expressed his gratitude to his staff for contributing to the company’s success.

5. opt (v.)  [opt] – to choose or make a choice
Example: He opted to leave his job in the city to live a simple life in the countryside.

Read the text below.

 A desire for strong family ties and a sense of social responsibility have encouraged a number of young Filipino professionals to remain in the Philippines for work.

In a country where promises of greener pastures have already urged more than 9 million Filipinos to leave their families behind to work abroad, the decision to stay is a strange one, considering that they could earn much more in other countries than in the Philippines.

However, more Filipinos are realizing that having family members working abroad may result in disjointed families and children left without parental supervision. Without their parents around, children may be exposed to psychological and emotional distress, even abuse.

Knox Balbastro—a young professional from Manila whose parents are Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)—knows the disadvantage of not having parents at home. Growing up was tough for her because she constantly missed them. The imported gifts she received were nice, she says, but they were not enough to comfort her and make her feel secure.

But even when Knox got the chance to live with her parents abroad, she would feel as though she did not fit in there and would miss the Philippines. Eventually, she decided to stay back home.

Knox is now among a small but influential number of young Filipino professionals, who have chosen to work in their own country.  Many of them have come back from abroad and have started innovative local businesses that generate employment for others, while some have pursued volunteerism to help the needy. According to Knox, their choice to stay with their families and work where their culture and heritage are rooted plays an important role in helping build the nation.

Despite having a tough time growing up, Knox expresses her gratitude to her parents for the most important thing their efforts provided her-- a good education. With that advantage, Filipinos can opt to make a difference at home, so that one day Filipinos would not have to sacrifice time away from their families just to give them better lives.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A
      Do you think it is the government’s responsibility to generate jobs so that people do not have to go abroad for work? Explain your answer.
      Aside from higher salaries, what do you think are other reasons why people would want to work abroad?

Discussion B

      What if leaving your family to work abroad was the only way to ensure a better life for them, would you do it? Explain your answer.
      How do you think can the absence of a parent or parents affect children?

January 14, 2012