Pinoy care

30 04 2010

This was what I intended to post yesterday after I was assaulted by that Manny Villar OFW ad on TV the other night. However, my thoughts concretized to become one full article in itself. And so, I am posting this here now to enrich my discourse of the plight of the OFWs and, in this particular case, the global nurses and caregivers.

This was a speech I wrote for my sister after she was invited to address her peers during their graduation at St. Augustine School of Nursing in Zamboanga City some two years ago.

I took a humanistic perspective at the phenomenon of the wave of Filipino global care precisely because I placed myself in the shoes of my sister, who took a second course in caregiving in the hopes of pursuing work opportunities outside of the Philippines. She was inspired by my brother who is also a nurse now successfully practicing in Norway.


Retrieved from Alex in Wonderland


Care is a universal need. Which person wouldn’t want to be taken care of? I cannot imagine any nation or country that would deny the chance to be cared for. And it does not require a particular gender or age. Neither is it exclusive to only those who have the money. And one does not need to be sick in order to call for one. We all need care.

Care is in fact the reason why we are all here today. And this is the very reason why I’m honored to speak in front of you today.

We are all here to recognize our efforts in professionalizing care. We do not merely realize that care is an essential human value but that we all join in the quest for improving ourselves in providing quality service for those who require our attention. And though we are here to culminate our years of training in this institution, we hope that our struggle to learn more about caring does not end here. As we step out of the comforts of our building, then will we encounter the true meaning of Care.

I am a mother of a little boy who makes me understand what care truly is. Everyday, as I would toil over my assignments in (mention most difficult subjects here) or review for a long exam in blank (place another memorable subject here), I am reminded that I must go through all these struggles not merely for myself but more so, for my son. And then, I appreciate my obligation to care, and care more.

It is quite ironic that as the world progresses, the demand for professional care is growing. It is even more ironic that Filipino care, particularly, is now recognized as world-class. While more and more poor Filipinos require our help, it is in fact poverty that motivates most of us to find opportunities for care elsewhere. I believe that this is one of the harsh realities that we must face as we step out of school. But I’d say that this should be a good challenge for all of us. This should remind us that pinoy care is not only about quality global service but that it is also about investing in our own future as a family and as a nation.

This realization may perhaps lead us to the main reason why Pinoy care is sought after by many countries in the world. We Pinoys have this immense ability to hope. We take each adversity in life with a grain of salt and we always manage to smile. Regardless of the problems that come our way, we remain strong and firm in our faith. These are the values that we must always carry with us as we move along to provide care for people, wherever we may end up in.

I recall now the recent Nursing Board Exam tragedy that affected our country’s integrity and relationship with other countries. Despite the government’s call for the re-take of exams or the loss of confidence of hospitals around the world, Filipino nurses rose up to the challenge to regain the trust of the global medical community. Perhaps, we are really the best in the world for if not, it would not have been easy to achieve this. And while we may enjoy this opportunity for global of opportunities, I challenge everyone to always prove to the world that we are in fact, the best in global care. We must show the world that Pinoy care is uncompromising, passionate, and reliable, quality service. We must never be complacent about learning more and improving ourselves in our craft. We must protect the integrity that Filipino nurses, caregivers and nursing aides have established in the global medical community.

Let me end by reminding us of St. Augustine’s example of care. As he is one of the greatest doctors of the church, he was before this, one famous sinner in our faith. He brought his mother, another saint, Monica, huge sorrow for his sins. But when St. Augustine finally found God, he totally changed his life and brought peace not only to his mother’s heart but more importantly to himself. Thus, his famous line: “My heart is restless until it rests in You.”

In the end, we must all learn to find our own resting places before we can finally help others. In keeping our faith, we become a lot more capable for others to have faith is us. Because although care is a universal need, only genuine and loving care will make the big difference in the world.

Thank you very much and congratulations to all of us!



3 responses

1 05 2010

hi rj,

this is an engaging post about “pinoy care”. the story of caregivers and nurses in the other parts of the world is as close to the heart, for we belong in the generation of filipinos that a family member is an OFW. at first, i am not completely in favor on the proliferation of caregiving course in the philippines. but on second thought, i realized that it is selfish to be indifferent to the compelling reasons why there is a growing exodus of OFW’s working as caregivers and nurses abroad. it is because of the government’s inability to phase out poverty. thanks to this post.

i find it strange, that we are always harping that filipinos are world-class. i think, most of co-OFW’s in abroad will agree, that most of western expatriates look down on filipinos as third world citizens. and it is heart-wrenching to come face to face with this truth.

unless, the philippines can collectively show some tangible success in the economy, like what singapore, japan and korea can do. gone are the days of discrimination and inequality. gone are the days of filipinos scrambling to get western citizenship or even working abroad. i just hope that i still live in my lifetime witnessing that dream to happen, one day.

just sharing,

1 05 2010

Thanks Marvin.

Yes, there is that reality of poverty and shoving of more Filipinos onto opportunities outside of the country. We simply cannot deny this exodus.

The treatment of Filipinos as second-class citizens is an even bigger reality that albeit being much-demanded in the global medical scene, OFWs cannot really counteract this treatment of Filipinos as smaller people in many countries. But you must admit that Filipino nurses and caregivers are very much in demand in many countries. This must mean that we’ve quite a track record in providing quality, not to mention affordable, service.

I’m afraid though that it will take much longer for this world to fully eliminate discrimination and inequality. Even within our country and with our own countrymen, as in many other countries, we resort to many acts that vary from diversity, to put it mildly, to injustice.

1 05 2010

Thank JR. It means a lot. :)

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