A hero is coming home. Our hero.
My brother who works as project engineer in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is coming home before the month ends, or earlier than that. It will be a poignant homecoming for his family (wife and two sons) have missed him for the past two years, his first time ever out of the country and away from them. The constant phone calls and chat on the internet somehow eased the homesickness of the missing dad to his kids.
Our mother, too, is quite excited. Her youngest son’s presence will add more color to her forthcoming birthday on the 26th of the month. Indeed, it will be a celebration of sort.
My brother’s homecoming is one of the thousands that occur every week in our impoverished nation. If homecomings are that numerous, the same is true of those leaving– destined to a foreign country, have contracted themselves to be the global Pinoy.
Before, professionals and skilled workers were classified by the government as overseas contract workers, then renamed overseas foreign workers. Now, again, they made it sound good and classy, to the new, global Pinoy. For however and whatever name the government calls them, the fact remains that the country has been exporting talents and labor force to distant lands in exchange for jobs which itself can not provide.
In return, these workers send home hard earned money to their families which directly props up the financial and economic viability of the government. The foreign exchange remittances of these hard working, indefatigable lot of courageous people has helped the economy afloat. For the first two months of this year alone, foreign exchange remittances to the Philippines totalled a whopping $2.8 billion already. The major sources of remittances were the U.S.A., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Italy.
On previous years, remittances topped over eleven percent of the country’s gross national product! Never mind the sob, some very sad, or outright tragic, stories these people experiences and continue to experience or fell trapped into.
Todate, there are about 14 million Filipinos (approximately 13.46% of the total population) scattered around the world with the biggest number found in the United States of America, followed by Saudi Arabia and Canada. Other favorite destinations of the country’s labor force are United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait, Taiwan, Italy, and Bahrain.
Some of them got married to locals and finally settled on their adopted country. Now, that’s a happy ending.
So while other countries consider their soldiers heroes, the Philippines has more heroes than anywhere in the world, fighting their own wars, in some countries by not using weapons but with their hands and talents working for a foreign master.
The government branded these people heroes. Have you got a hero?
(Note: Photos above of my brother and his co-worker at the Red Sands of Saudi.)
Thanks to Sky Watch Team of Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia. See more skies on this link. Skywatch Friday