In the New York Times Magazine there’s A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves by Jason DeParle (registration required to read the artilce), which takes an exhaustive and in the end, rather inspiring look at Filipino OFW’s. There are the social costs of working abroad -and the social gains: surprisingly, some studies say children of OFW’s are better fed, even better adjusted, than the children of non-migrants; if there’s “brain drain,” there’s “brain gain”, OFW’s bringing home knowledge and connections; our bureaucracy is a model for other countries, though we often have nothing but bad things to say about it; it can build dependency, but also breed independence; if our culture has remained static over the centuries, it has breaking old habits and eliminating old limitations. Things have changed:
With about one Filipino worker in seven abroad at any given time, migration is to the Philippines what cars once were to Detroit: its civil religion. A million Overseas Filipino Workers - O.F.W.’s - left last year, enough to fill six 747s a day. Nearly half the country’s 10-to-12-year-olds say they have thought about whether to go. Television novellas plumb the migrants’ loneliness. Politicians court their votes. Real estate salesmen bury them in condominium brochures. Drive by the Central Bank during the holiday season, and you will find a high-rise graph of the year’s remittances strung up in Christmas lights.
Read the article and compare it to what you see around you, and the people you know.
My column for today is Making political parties obsolete. Another, related article was Randy David‘s Sunday column on volunteerism. Sylvia Mayuga, on the other hand, focused on the things that don’t change.
Amando Doronila says the country is showing signs of being a failed state, because of political killings. And yet, as I point out in my Inquirer Current entry, the country has actually inched away from its 2005 Failed State Index rating of 56: last year, it was rated 68, a substantial improvement (i.e. we were ranked as less failed, but still within the orange “failing” category).
Justice Isagani Cruz says a legislative trick -the insertion of a rider in a law on an otherwise unrelated subject- may be the political salvation of Senator Lito Lapid.
In the blogosphere, Big Mango uses a medical strategy for problem-solving: if they use the triage system in emergency rooms, can there be a political triage?
Ruben Nepales of the Inquirer’s Nepales Report has highly enjoyable cultural notes on people of Filipino ancestry in Hollywood who deny their origins, and on the Filipino-American obsession with awards.
The Bunker Chronicles says DZMM’s embarking on televising its broadcasts is the worst kind of television -TV on the cheap.
Yugatech presents some very interesting figures on Internet penetration in the country:
Still, the internet usage growth rate from 2000 is 291%. If you extrapolate that, we could make an educated guess of 10.15 Million for 2007 or 11.6% penetration.