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Human Capital


Posted Oct. 11, 2010 by Rex Jaime

I found this from a post by my Uncle in Vancouver.  The video above is of Solita Monsod, and this was her last lecture at UP.  Beyond her message of honor and integrity to be true leaders of today and the future, she sent a message of importance to retain human capital for the betterment of the Philippines.  Where I’m trying to capture the various experiences of our culture’s diaspora across the world, she is trying to stem the flow of talent outside of the country. 

It is rather profound to me because as I look around me at work and in my community I realize there is so much Filipino talent imported into the United States in the way of Engineers, Nurses, and even Educators.  They are outstanding people leading in their fields, and paving the way for their children to grow beyond the foundation they’ve laid…which happens to be here not there.

My parents give back to the Philippines as she says to do if you should ultimately choose to go abroad.  But, I look at my brothers and my cousins out here and realize, that connection and commitment won’t last for more than my parent’s generation.  That’s a reality.  We are so tied to our localities.  We may know of what is over there, but it’s not the same connection as those who made the journey and really know.

There is so much professional and financial opportunity outside the country, what is the benefit to stay and fight the steep uphill fight against the corruptive attitudes protecting wealth and political power?  How do you say no to the promise of what is abroad?

Just on the point of finance, while I was in a Toronto airport I met a South African man who lives in Singapore working in logistics.  He has a full-time nanny who is Filipina with advanced degrees in nursing.  But simply stated, it pays more to be a nanny in Singapore than being an established nurse in the Philippines.  Once their children are grown, they hope she can establish herself as a nurse again where the standard of living is higher.

From the eyes of an observer looking from the outside in, it’s going to take a great deal of sacrifice to make good on “the deal” she makes in the speech.  Personal sacrifice and fortitude is a requirement to make it happen.  Unfortunately, the forces of economics is difficult to discount.

Ironically, her message was an English and I dare to guess many will entertain offers from the west.

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