Dear Teacher Sol,
Inggit naman ako sa iyo. You are a teacher! you are able to touch lives, to inspire and to be a part (kahi't konti) of others. What made you choose the US? Is it more rewarding? You know you can do a lot more in the Phil.(mas kailangan ng kabataan natin ang mga tulad mo, 'di ba?)Actually, pag naga-abroad ang mga teachers natin ang tawag ko, ay hindi brain drain kundi heart drain. Mas kailangan ba ng mga batang Amerikano kesa mga Pinoy na special children ang mga teachers like you? o fantasya ko lang ba ang self-sacrifice o pagiging martir ng isang tunay na PINAY? I'm sorry, teacher Sol, pero di ako pwede sa lip service.You know you can do more for the Pinoy youth.
What in the world are you doing in another country?
Salamat sa mensahe mo Bel, naiyak ulit ako at nag-isip na naman. Matindi ang dating ng huling katanungan...arggh! Pero matagal ko nang iniyakan yan, at marami na akong blog entries tungkol dyan. TEACHER'S HAVEN nga tinagurian ang Amerika ng mga pahayagan (Newsbreak/ Kansas City Info Zone). At sana maunawaan ako ng aking mga kababayan.
"What the world are you doing in another country?"...siguro katulad ng sagot ng maraming OCW nating kababayan...DREAMING THE AMERICAN DREAM:
Psychologists believe that the basic necessities of a human being include security, recognition, control over one’s life, and a need for creative expression and new experiences. (M. Scott Peck, 1978.)
In the Philippines one cannot guarantee his own security. I never had peace of mind. Never. My life in the Philippines wasn't much of a bad life because we had food and shelter, but not too much economically. Poverty dominated and took over the lives of many Filipinos. Many had to live as "squatters", living on the sides of the roads in cardboard boxes. Now more than ever, the Philippines is in very poor shape. It breaks my heart that my Mother Country, who brought me up to be globally competitive, cannot compete globally, nor even sustain our needs.
However, I had complete control over my life back there. But I was yearning for my efforts to be recognized too. I was the youngest school administrator (I started when I was 23, remember?) in the Philippines then who was able to work my way up from 4 tutorial students to more than 50 exceptional students in a matter of 4 years. And FUNSHINE was one of the highly recommended schools by professionals in the field because of our good reputation. But I wasn’t given much acknowledgement for it.
I was craving for more ways on how to maximize my potentials; because I know I can do better than what I was able to produce. But my resources limited me. I wanted freedom to do everything there is for my professional development, and for the security of my family. I wanted to reach more stars. I wanted to achieve the biggest star…a better future in life.
I started to dream the American Dream. I was thinking that even though the chances to make money in America were small, chances to do so in the Philippines were almost non-existent. The major reason to migrate to the United States was mainly economic. Ask any Filipino why they decided to come to America, and they will take a step back and answer as if it were quoted directly from a text book, "it is the land of opportunity…a land of promise."
As president Hoover would say, the American dream is "A chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage,” or as others would say, “it’s the hope that everyone can enjoy life and be successful at it.”
Upon learning that my sorority sister, was able to leave the country and work in California as a Special Education Teacher, I immediately got the number of the agency where she applied and grabbed the opportunity.
May 26, 2003, I drove to the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) amidst the strong storm “Chedeng” and the flooded highways. This was the most complicated interview I had in my life. We were interrogated through a video conference; it was awkward seeing yourself in one big screen and the interviewers in another big screen. There were a lot of interruptions because of the typhoon, and there was a two-minute communication delay. I successfully passed the interview to the DC Public Schools. I was going to teach in Washington DC… the world’s capital…the seat of power!
Is the American Dream what modern immigrants come to America in search of? If not, what do they come to the United States for?
I still dream THE FILIPINO DREAM, who will make it happen?
P.S. My story THE FILIPINO DREAM was published in PinoyZone.com.