"Bahala na bukas" (tomorrow will take care of itself)

People often ask why things don’t develop as well as they should in the Philippines and the above statement plays a big part. People generally don’t think of family emergencies, education costs or the consequences of having a large family. I have seen the problems reappear time and time again and I often wonder why nobody learns the lessons from their relatives/parents. I have seen people complain at things being so hard and financially may be the only bread winner in the family to the next thing of becoming pregnant and expecting me to say “congratulations”.

The reason I cant say congratulations is many of the times we have talked they have talked about their dreams and what they wanted to do with their lives as soon as pregnant or their partner is pregnant their dreams seem to be ripped from them just thinking of today. This year alone I have seen 4 people quit work as soon as they found their partner is pregnant then ask me if I can find them a job.. Question from me is if you quit your last job without reason on a whim why would I help you?

Short term thinking is a plague of the developing world on all levels politicians only think of personal gain and everyone below is either thinking that or not thinking about a future at all. I hope this can change as the Philippines has the right tools in the right places to rebuild the country they are called OFWs give them support instead of feeding from them, let them build the country people want instead of people seeking to leave and always dreaming of coming back. The OFWs are not only financially the backbone of the Philippines they are also the one thing that can manipulate the country to a better government if there were no remittances even for a short period of time the entire economy would collapse. Not that this should happen but the importance is that OFWs should realise they are the voice of the country and not just the propping mechanism to keep their relatives in good living and corrupt politicians in power. Think of tomorrow there could be a very bright future.

4 comments for “"Bahala na bukas" (tomorrow will take care of itself)

  1. Anonymous
    October 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

    “People generally don’t think of family emergencies, education costs or the consequences of having a large family”.

    Yes indeed! The “one day millionaire” syndrome is very common in the Philippines! While visiting the Philippines recently, I planned a shopping trip to SM with the sister-in-law. I suggested Thursday, but she said “No, Thursday is no good because it is payday for the OFW wives and they flocked to SM”. Sis-in-law said to let the OFW wives do their shopping and we will go on a Monday when it is less crowded.

    You mentioned the OFWs as financially the backbone of the Philippines. Well, have you heard how many of these OFWs lost their jobs (and remained unemployed) when the financial crisis hit the world? I think it might have been late last year that a group of Filipinos from the middle east had their airfares paid by a Filipino celebrity in order for them to come home after losing their jobs. Many of these OFWs still owed money to creditors in the Philippines, money they borrowed to finance their job placements abroad.

    When I was a little girl, I read an article in a magazine titled “Quo Vadis Pinoy?”. This question came to mind when I read the thousands of Filipinos who also became victims of the global financial crisis. Yes, indeed, Qou Vadis Pinoy – where to from here Pinoy?

    • Tropicalpenpals
      October 26, 2010 at 8:58 am

      This is a major problem that needs to change quickly. People often talk of China as an exporter of cheap goods but do you know they are already training thousands of nurses and will be able to provide cheaper staff than the Philippines in the future? The OFW market could shrink quicker than the Philippines could hope to find new ways to make incomes, there is a future in the Philippines if the people and government would embrace the fact that it needs to adapt to an ever changing world.

      The financial plight of OFWs who lost their work is also something the Philippines government should address to “GUARANTEE” they can return home e.g. the value of plane tickets would have to be funded and held in a government scheme for all OFWs regardless of how long they will be abroad to fund their return. If a company won’t fund the ticket it can’t employ the Filipino citizen and that’s how I would reduce the risk of this problem.

      • Anonymous
        October 26, 2010 at 9:45 am

        I am hopeful that the Filipinos will always dominate the foreign labour markets. Of course it is always better if they can stay home and still earn a decent income. However, I honestly don’t think it will happen in our lifetime. The problems of Filipino society ranging from poverty to political corruption is akin to the chicken and egg question. I feel sorry for each new President that gets sworn in. He is often regarded as the saviour of the country’s ills, the people often forget that rescuing the country is a team-effort, not a single-handed task as most Pinoy perceives, i.e the common people can help by reducing the sizes of their families to begin with and all must fight corruption at all levels among other things.

        As for the OFWs, the Filipinos are facing stiffer competition from other third world countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan. One brother who is an OFW reported that in the old days, Filipinos are much sought after because of our levels of education and better command of the English languare. But these demands for the Filipino labour has been undermined largely by competition and of course in recent years, the global financial crisis.

        Your idea of pre-funding a return ticket is a western concept Matt. Ideally, if the government makes it mandatory it will work. But there will always be Filipinos who will undermine this and succeed, because we just have so much excess manpower!
        Of course you are welcome to disagree – 🙂

  2. Anonymous
    October 27, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I won’t surprised this type of problem in the Philippines. This is like an old stereotype of problem. I even many times got angry to my family sometimes doing this but what can I do if I am away and can’t control them. Filipinos don’t look for their future and don’t even invest and secure when they get old. Many of them when they got money they seem like one day millioner and tomorrow back to normal as before. One of the big reason filipinos never improved their life and they are not interested about it.