Tuesday, May 17, 2005


This is not the first time I blogged about this news article. Maybe I had to confirm and reaffirm to myself that I really did the right thing of coming here to the U.S. leaving my special ed Filipino students behind, my family and friends. I still feel guilty, you know, of leaving when I know that they need someone like me there. One of my fellow bloggers, Ka Uro, expressed his sentiments similar to what I am blogging now. He asked if he is being a traitor to his country. I gave a comment, beautifully written; it made me think of what a prolific writer I am. Everyone was convinced, except me.

Baltimore County school officials have signed contracts for fall with 120 teachers from the Philippines, where teachers speak English without a heavy accent, Boden said.

“The Philippines is attractive because the education is American-based. … We are so impressed with the quality and caliber of teachers there,” he said.

The Washington Public Schools recruited 15 Filipino special education teachers last fall and plans to hire more.

The average salary of $40,000 lured the Filipino teachers to leave home and teach in the United States. Although the cost of living is lower there, Filipino teacher salaries average about $3,600 a year.


This news article was published in several US newspapers and the Phil Inquirer's "Newsbreak". Filipinos fill demand for special education teachers in US schools, NEWSBREAK termed the US as "(Filipino) Teachers' Haven". First there were the nurses and ITs which were the cause of braindrain in the country, now the school educators. Can you blame us for leaving?


Anonymous said...


remember whn bicol on line was still on line, ths issue was one of the subjects that was being discussed. U DID THE RIGHT THING !!!

there are thousands of people out there that wld be more than happy to trade places with u and have the oppurtunity to go abroad and have a better life. u might not remember because that was a long time ago, when i used the nursing profession as an example on why they go abroad to wrk. the earnings potential here in the states is astronomical compared to what they make in the phil. and that enables them to live a better and more prosperous life.

DNT FEEL GUILTY, u were given an oppurtunity and u took advantage of it. also marisol, dnt forget, you are handsomely paid on ur job for smething that u already like doing, that is helping and teaching special ed students. u probably wld do tht for free bec that is somethng that u like doing, like professional athletes they get paid millions of dollars for a sport that they already love playing.. they are very lucky so are u. i get pd good on my job, but i hate my job.my wife is a nurse, she makes very good money for something that she likes to do.
also marisol, when u purchase ur home, buy a new car then u look at ur FAT BANK ACCT, U WLD SAY ---- YEAH BABY !! - HE HE HE ! THEN U WOULD KNOW U MADE THE RIGHT DECISION.

sol, i have a very stressful job being a call ctr sup, also my wife being a nurse is also stressful, but after a long tiresome day, whn we go home and we look at our daughter, we say to ourselves ---- THIS IS THE REASON WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO ! i knw u have family and friends left in the phil,, but the 2 most important people in ur life is here in the states with u.

god bless u, reiner and rae


Teacher Sol said...


Yep, I won't forget the BICOLONLINE discussion we had there about braindrain, in fact, I saved it so I can look back to it whenever I feel guilty again. I'm saving this reply of yours too, it's very well said and a good reminder for me. Kasi naman I am in the point of getting burned out again with the students, syempre almost end of the shool year na. The job I have is not easy, I am faced with low level bad behavior everyday. It makes me think that I will never ever be cursed out in my own country by the Filipino students. Never! It is during my really burned out afternoon dismissal time that I would come home, so relieved like you, that I have a whole different life outside my school. Financially and talking about professional development trainings shouldered by the school district, ok I think it's all worth the trouble.

Anonymous said...

Hey Teacher Sol,

I saw your blog on Atty.Punzi about the journalists. Mare, I feel as guilty as you are. I don't have time to create my own blog because I have two kids who are very young. I became a Canadian citizen last year with guilty feelings. Living here makes me appreciate our country's natural resources and climate but at same time feel really bad when it comes to poverty of the voiceless people back home. I am also guilty because I feel like a commentator rather than someone who can make a difference. So far, winning th lottery has become so elusive. I do not have the time nor resources to give back to our country.

Anonymous said...

Hey Teacher Sol,

Forgot to tell you in case you miss Imelda's documentary on pbs.org. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/imelda/talkback.html

LadyWhiteSpirit said...

mas maganda pala mag basa dito dahil infomative ang mga topics ganundin meron ding news na links .ang mga guro ay huwaran ganun din ang magulang .para sa kin,both parents and teachers ang pinakamagandang mag impluwensya sa mga anak.

Anonymous said...


we should not be guilty for leaving the phil and affording us the opportunities that our country cannot provide.

nowadays regardless of who we are and where we come from, it doesn't pay to be nationalistic. the basis for one's existence is not so much about guilt but its about what's our contribution to the betterment of humanity regardless where we are. and by being in america you are still contributing, and the only difference is, its a different venue. but the purpose is still the same which is molding the mind of the youth.

by migrating to america and instead of wallowing in the phil for a meager income, the multiplier effect of your contribution was enhance manifold. not only you are ensuring a good future for your daughter but in many instance and perhaps in the future you would be
able to help your relatives and even your friends in the phil.

no matter how we analyze whats wrong with us or if we did the right thing, no one could judge us by the thing we do or if we pursue opportunities abroad.

to each our own. we decide what is best for us. whatever others say is insignificant in the scheme of things. all of us are capable of turning our back and be a part of the braindrain if provided the

so cheer up and enjoy your journey of hope and a better future in america. you are one lucky teacher
and you should never forget that regardless how others make you feel as if you betray the philippines.


Ka Uro said...

mam sol,
kaw talaga, in-extra mo pa ako.
in my case, i tried really hard to think about my situation and where i should stay. in the end the choice is a no brainer. opportunities for a decent livelihood at home have become rarer and rarer. survival was already difficult. anything nobler like helping our countrymen would be wishful thinking. at least now that we're not preoccupied with surviving anymore, we could channel our time, extra money, and efforts to nobler ideals.

Teacher Sol said...

ANONYMOUS, I am honored by your visit and your taking the time to comment here. It means to me that my blog makes sense that people who stumble here take the time to read my blog and say their opinion about some issues raised. It's true also to me that my nationalism and patriotism was strengthened when I came here. This is true not only to us but to every migrant that I talk to about this. "Imelda" is a very entertaining movie, she's a very amusing personality for me too. Dami nyang ginagayang personality, trying hard labas nya kasi naghihirap na nga ang bansa natin pasosyal pa sya. Pero sa gatherings ng mga higher ups, pride sya ng Pilipinas kasi magaling syang magdala, parang mayaman din ang bansa natin...hehehe...galing magpanggap.

LADY WHITE SPIRIT, gusto mo kamong maging "balanse" ang buhay mo di ba? Dapat balanse rin ang mga binabasa mong blogs. Ibig kong sabihin tama na minsan magbasa ka rin ng mga blogs na tulad ng sakin...hehehe...dami kang mapupulot na aral sakin at sa mga commenters ko. Sana maging compatible na ang blog mo sa computer ko para mabasa ko na rin ang entries mo.

Teacher Sol said...

ANTONIO, whew! grabe! ito ang masasabi ko: "you are very right!" makatotohanan ang mga sinabi mo. Hindi ko kinukumbinsi sarili ko ngayon, pero sa mga binitiwan mo na salita feeling ko tama lang talaga ang ginawa ko. Sabi ko na nga ba dapat mag-blog ka na rin. Ang dami mong pwedeng i-sahre at magaling ka rin mag-express ng sarili mo.

KA URO, sabi ko na pareho talaga tayo ng blog entries eh. Parang binabasa ko ang nasa isip ko pag nagbabasa ako ng blog entries mo. Salamat sa link at pag mention mo sakin sa blog mo, pampadagdag ng traffic yan...hehehe. Wala akong masabi dito, magko-comment rin naman ako sa blog mo pareho rin lang ang sasabihin ko. :)

Anonymous said...

Just remember that the brain-drain issue is not confined to the Philippines alone.
It all boils down to economics and survival.
It's all about the stomach.
You cannot eat principles.

How else can we justify brain-drain? Specially among the young graduates.
Wala silang choice.

I am not going to blame the Phil government. We are a poor country, period. Huli na ang lahat. It will take a millenium (1000 years) or not at all to improve the country. There are many countries like us on this earth.


Anonymous said...

am not guilty as well. i am still helping the philippines. I am sending some $$ to the philippines and its a big help to our country.

Our country is so poor, so what our country needs most is an outside economy the will pump it. We are the outside economy thats pumping/boosting our economy. Our hard earned money that we send to the philippines is a big part of our resources. Withour us, without the dollar earners i cant imagine kung saan pupulutin ang pilipinas.

so if yu have family or friends in the philippines na nangangailngan ng tulong sa inyo, dont ever hesitate to help....... yung tulong nyo sa kapamilya nyo o kaibigan nyo at tulong na rin sa ating bansang pilipinas.

so dont ever feel guilty okae..... and besides always remember that we are in the era of golabalization na...... we are citizens of the world, not just our country of origin...... so yun lang po!


Major Tom said...

I beleive that despite your doubts, teachers who trevels the world remain heroes to our nation. Aside from helping our economy keep afloat with the dollar remittances, you make our country proud for having been sought to teach other pupils in other countries.

schatzli said...

Hi Sol
I have left the country way back 1984 and NOT once I have condemmed the nurses, the doctors, the ITs
,the teachers who have left the country.

You did your best too but didnt see much hope and future.
The kids you are teaching now are lucky to have you and I would say (lets forget the income) you are still giving... and thats what it counts.

PS Yesterdays children's parade here in Oslo left me teary eyed.
Special schools, kids in wheelchairs, spastics were all represented. I have lived in Greece half of life and I have never seen this kind of thing before. Kids of special needs were given as much attention like the others!


MAJOR TOM, thank you, your kind words are very convincing that I feel proud now of being a pinay teacher in America.

SCHATZLI, ang hirap i-pronounce ng name mo pati ng blog mo...hehehe...nabubulol ako. I hope you frequent my blog, I would like to read what a Filipina in Greece could share about some Educational issues that I post here. I believe we are all educators in our own right, teaching our kids is a lifetime profession. Kaka-touch naman yung parade na nabanggit mo. Sa special olympics nga gusto ko isali mga students ko eh.

ARVIN said...

I am sending money to my family in Philippines because it is my OBLIGATION! Since working abroad, I never failed to send money back home, so the feeling of guilt is not a positive move... We worked abroad because we want to improve, explore new things and while doing it we are helping the Phil. economy in a small way ( as dyotim said- which is right!) by the $$$$$ thing..

dyotim is so right !! dnt ever thnk twice on helping family in the phil that need help. my wife still snds money every month to her mom and sister in the phil. her mom is retired, her sister, even though she is wrking, money still is tight, so what my wife snds is a tremendous help to them. and the dollars snt to them is in turn spent toward the phil economy. we kind of take things for granted here in america, we can buy whatever we want and we sometimes forget our relatives that are still in the phil that are struggling to make a living and just to survive. so let us not feel guilty about leaving phil, but since now tht we are in a better financial situation, lets do our part to help the ones that are less fortunate.

Anonymous said...

Yon bang mga Pilgrims, Hugenots, Irish Potato Famine Refugees, Amish, Menonites, Eastern European economic/political refugees, yong mga Scandinavian, Icelandic, Italian, German, Greek, Portuguese, Maltan, English, Hispano at Franco settlers ng North, Central and South America inisip ba nila na betrayal sa kanilang mga bansa ang pagpunta sa America? Si Swartzeneger naisip ba niya yon? Inisip ba iyon ng mga Chinese coolies, East Indian indentured servants, plantation workers at solders ng mga Anglais, Japanese farmers, Korean labourers, kasama na yong mga naunang Ilokano plantation workers at mga Visayan shipbuilders at sailors ng mga conquistadores na napuntang America? Fulfillment of the American Dream, that is what makes and drives Canada and the USA great.

Noong araw idealistic din ako - ibagsak ang brain drain!. Kasama ko na dito si Ka Sonny de H at iba pa. Pero pag kumalam ang tiyan at umiiyak ang bunso sa gutom ano ang gagawin. Kung nakatakda na ma-salvage sa bayan - nationalism pa rin kaya?



*** Posted in the Martian Blog...

A Haven For Teachers
Tue May 17 2005 10:29 PM
Teacher Sol has a new site and as expected, it is as invigorating as the DIGITAL BOOK.

In her latest entry, she dramatizes the usual sentiments of Filipino teachers like her who had to leave home for better pay in the United States, a country which is becoming more and more a haven for teachers from the Philippines. She asked if they had betrayed their homeland by flying across the Pacific Ocean. I say they still remain heroes for OFWs remain one of the energizers of our economy with every dollar they send home. Read more on this topic at TEACHER SOL

Anonymous said...

Hello Teacher Sol,

Just found your blog by accident. Isa rin ako sa mga desperadong pinoy na gusto nang wakasan ang kahirapan. I am also a trained Special Educator like you. Mahirap maghanap ng pera sa pinas, pero alam mo bang sa unang move ko na makarating ng Amerika, na-denggoy pa kami ng isang consultancy? Haay, hirap talaga ng buhay...

Matutulungan mo ba akong magsimula uli ng pangarap ko? Share ka naman ng details kung paano ka nakarating dyan.

Mabuhay ka.


Promethean Planet


The following is the opinion of the writer and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. Any view or opinion represented in the blog comments are personal and is accredited to the respective commentor / visitor to this blog. This blogger reserves the right to moderate comment suitability in support of respecting racial, religious and political sensitivities, and in order to protect the rights of each commentor where available.