More food for thought
Virtual Damocles’ Sword
‘Four gives’ – INQ7.net is my column for today.
Manuel L. Quezon III: on-duty punditry, off-duty rants, double-duty opinions and opportunings. Resources on Philippine history.
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Oops – I didn’t realize that the list inverts in the final version. Thus my previous comment should have read: “… the comments BELOW … chilling passage as your LAST commenter”. I thought I’d better clarify that, since I don’t know whether I’ll necessarily agree with the comments “above” (since they haven’t been made yet!). Phew, complicated business.
I completely agree with the comments above. Today’s column was in the best traditions of essay writing: an elegant discourse spun out of a mundane activity such as a visit to the dentist. I mentioned it on my blog (funnily enough quoting the same chilling passage as your first commenter above).
To live in a society where the professions, which once gained respect and assured their practitioners advancement in life, are now increasingly irrelevant, is a crushing, horrifying fate. — your best line in the column at least for me, this captured everything in it. It’s sad but true. It hurts. And then you follow with “The erosion this has on our work ethic must be profound.” If anybody is not hurt with that line, they have no heart.
Thank you for this socially relevant article. It is a great eye-opener, because most Filipinos still think that the health professionals, especially the physicians, are already very wealthy to begin with and, as such, do not need to be paid for their professional services.
A lot of my colleagues have left to work overseas, some as physicians, but most as nurses, to be able to provide for their families. I deeply appreciate your empathy towards us.
Dear Mr. Quezon,
Thank you for writing that “Four Gives” article. It really hit the mark. I belong to that generation you described, whose parents made it good in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Unfortunately, I’m finding it difficult to replicate their achievements. I’m not lazy; the mere fact that I engage in one or two rakets at the same time to supplement the regular paycheck can prove that. Perhaps there’s really something wrong in the system in which it is now imperative for couples to have their respective jobs to keep their family afloat. My own mother stayed at home to take care of us, yet we lived comfortably. Now, my wife and I leave home early and come back late at night and yet we still have yet to drive our own car (or own our own house in a subdivision).A thousand pesos can only bring you one or two bags of groceries nowadays.
Our kids only have their yaya as company (so you can imagine our efforts to make sure they pronounce words correctly, hehe, not to mention ensuring that they are taught the right values). We’ve thought of one of us working abroad but we realize that the social cost would be high. I guess this is the tragedy of our times: In our desperate struggle to survive, we are putting our families at risk. Either we entrust the upbringing of our kids to strangers or work abroad and face more risks.
Today’s version of the middle-class subdivisions you mentioned can be found in the new suburbs north, east and south of Metro Manila. The trouble with these low-cost housing units–costing P300,000 and up–is that they are so small. How can a family of five fit in a house with a 40-sq m floor area?
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