to the promised land

my cousin called me up yesterday at lunch to tell me he's leaving for Qatar to work as a laborer there. I was mildly surprised but not really. There really is no way for him to get a decent job here. He didn't graduate from college and the past 8 years or so, he was doing this dead-end job doing menial stuff.

His salary there is really small. I kind of made provisions of the fact that he has free uniform, lodging and food but it still doesn't give much comfort. His fiancee was really sad to see him go but what can they do? Kung yung mga me college diploma nga wala pa ring mapasukan dito, paano pa siya? How can he hope to give his future wife and family the good life he envisions for him when even brilliant teachers are forced to become domestic helpers abroad (where good-for-nothing recruiters complain about DOLE's edict that the minimum wage of DH be increased from $200 to $400 saying that in essence it's a buyer's market out there and we have no right to complain. “The Philippines, being a labor-supplying country cannot demand what it wants from foreign employers,” Fama president Eduarto Mahiya said. “That is a function of a free market, dictated by supply and demand.”)

Naalala ko tuloy itong sabi ng isang kolumnista sa Inquirer nung malaman niya na $200 lang ang sweldo ng mga DH sa Lebanon, yung mga nagsiuwian nung panahon ng pagbobomba ng Israel at Hezbollah : Why can't we even provide them with jobs that pay P10,000 here in the country?

Imagine, that they risk life and limb in a fragile country for just so they can provide for their families. And now my cousin has joined their ranks, taking the same path that his older brother and sister took a decade ago.

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