I followed with great interest the article about APO Hiking Society’s Jim Paredes (not because he’s a namesake, i.e., nickname!). I have to admit that the articles that followed was a kind of rebuke to me–never leave/forsake your country. However, despite Jim’s daughter’s request to have the issue laid to rest, I will do it after this.
The issue of moving to another country is not a big deal, i.e., to pursue your dreams, aspirations and being able to meet living standards (decent living standard). The Paredeses pointed out that the article put them in a bad light that they are abandoning the Philippines, which at first I thought they were doing! The reason, though, was personal and not that much–but really for a good editor (and the Inquirer has lots of them! I should be able to tell having worked as a correspondent for the PDI back in 1999) it means a juicy human interest story. PDI was able to extract a good article on a simple conversation with Jim.
The Paredes’ response to the article had me thinking about my loyalty to my country. I am loyal to my country, hopeful that it will again be called the next tiger economy of Asia, however, with the reality of things happening in the field, at the village level, even down EDSA at one corner of Shaw–you can’t help but have this feeling of hopelessness. However, there was also this hanging idea about the Paredes and all the others who left the country and says they still love the country–how come they left without anything to come back? Are they just being hypocrites?? I’m not being judgemental but I’m just expressing a point of view, a question hanging over my head about various people at many sector, including the migrant Filipino populace around the world (including 9 working in North Korea!) could debate on.
Hopeless Philippines? It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. But then again there’s prayer!