Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Previously on Diaspora

The other day, I had an informal chat with an old client. They are engaged in B2B marketing of green products and services. The client was asking if I could install the mobile app they created, and rate it on Google Play. Since I had nothing to do, I was more than happy to set aside some time to explore the app and write a review about it. The comment I wrote - both in public and private - seemed to have won the client's approval, and what started as a small talk had turned into exploratory discussion about working for them once more.

The exchange packs a lot of promise. After all, anything that is eco-friendly will find its appeal to the market. This belief, has long endeared me to the client. I have nothing but admiration to the vision they are trying to sell. The app is still in its Beta stage, and the client disclosed that should they win the bidding, they will have to move to a country in the Middle East. Their project aims to create a directory of green products and services in a city in Saudi Arabia.

And they were asking me to join them and work there.

The invitation took me by surprise. I was flattered, and for a moment the words rung, like it would cause the collapse of my long held principles. To be clear, I was merely asking if they have data entry jobs we could work on. For the client, however, the suggestion was a loud musing. Had I said "yes" to their invitation, nothing still would come out of the negotiation.

Except heartaches.

In a time when every person I know plans to work in Singapore or some other country where the pay is significantly higher, the idea of joining the bandwagon has yet to cross my mind. So strong is my aversion to becoming a foreign worker - or immigrant - that I'm willing to take extra jobs just to support my lifestyle. The reason, I believe, already goes beyond the need for someone to stay behind: halfway through my lifetime, I am more afraid to be uprooted and start elsewhere, than live a life with meager resources. 

It makes me sad thinking nothing would change my mind.

There are times I wonder if I'm letting some good opportunities pass by. There are clear indications that I'm more than qualified to work abroad than those who struggle to get there. And yet, I cling to my comfort zone believing this is the only world I've got. Like those who elected themselves to remain in Manila, I get a tinge of envy when someone I know succeeds in another country. They come back and move around like royalties, and rather than feel the pitch, and the pressure to catch up, the absence at reunions speak of my resignation. 

That I still have to prove the merits of my chosen direction.

Looking back and recalling the conversation with the old client, the invitation to work in the Kingdom revealed my stubbornness to open myself to the possibilities. For instead of responding to his suggestion, I skipped the question entirely and opted to stick to the app subject. 

Not even a hint of interest to work in the desert city was shown, when it's obvious that life offered a new direction. 


tipzstamatic said...

I think it's still worth a try if the opportunity comes. the worst that can happen is you wouldnt like it and just come back to the Philippines. :) or the best thing that can happen is you enjoy it.

JM said...

Hi Tipz.

Let's see in a few years if I'd still refuse to work or immigrate to another country. I was just surprised by my reaction and remembered I already delved into the subject many years back.

I read your blog but can't leave a comment because of Capcha. Ikaw na ang Globetrotter. :)

tipzstamatic said...

with asean integration coming and the further onset of globalization, there should be opportunities, but they rarely come to you hehe.

that globe trotting part is just a day dream if i eventually move to some place more far flung which will make travelling harder and longer :)

Overthinker Palaboy said...

JM, sumumpa ako nung college days ko na di ako mangingibang bansa.

After x years ng paninilbihan sa bayan, minsan naglalaro na sa isip ko lumabas ng bansa pansamantala para makapag-isip at makalanghap at makadama ng ibang hangin.

Sa ngayon, walang guilt feeling naman sa akin sa pag-entertain ng ideyang yun. Nagchi-chicken out lang ako na gumawa ng hakbang para lumabas ng bansa.

Mas masarap kasi ang buhay dito sa Pinas kahit mas mahirap :)