Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CH47: White Noise

What's wrong about not missing Filipino food?
What's wrong about not missing the Philippines?
What's wrong about not wanting to invest in a place I'm not sure I'll retire in?

After seeing the viral coke-video that's been making rounds in the social media sites, I couldn't help but feel disconnected. I'm an OFW in the sense, but my reasons are different than theirs.
From the video, it seems to me that it pains them to actually have to work in a foreign land away from their family. But in my case, I'm actually having a great time.
Perhaps, it's in the structure of my family. All 5 of us are in different countries - covering 4 timezones. I'm part of the next-gen OFW - the generation that is making the conscious choice to live and work abroad.

To live and work abroad not for anyone else's sake but my own.

I like living and working in Singapore. It's actually refreshing to be free of the traffic jams and pollution. I like not being surrounded by noise from the media. I like being away from the saturated news and the distracting billboards. I like how my shoes do not seem to get dirty - contrary to how dirty it gets just by walking through the car park to the mall. I like how safe it is here. I like the accessibility of the pools and how convenient it is here to actually make a healthy living and adapt a healthy lifestyle.

I like so many things here in Singapore that I'm sure I can find elsewhere abroad - when and if I choose my next destination.

But, with so many things I like - does that mean I hate the Philippines?
With regards to the questions I initially asked:
  • What's wrong about not missing Filipino food?
  • What's wrong about not missing the Philippines?
  • What's wrong about not wanting to invest in a place I'm not sure I'll retire in?
I left the Philippines without any notion of what to expect I'll turn out to be. In my mind, I expected to be the same way I was. To love the same things I was used to loving. To be the same person that I am - or was.

But, as I stay in Singapore more and more, the more I realize, that perhaps, the Philippines is not really the place I want to grow old and die in. I don't miss Filipino food nor crave for them. When I went to the Philippines twice, I never really craved to order for anything. My mom and I ate at our usual eateries - Sumo Sam or Cyma. The only thing I miss in the Philippines are my mom, dog and friends/relatives - oh and driving. My family is all around the world, it's hard to say the Philippines is still home. 

I don't miss Chicken Joy. I don't know exactly what to miss in the Philippines, that's why I'm using the context I usually hear from people. I don't know what to miss because, in my head, there's nothing in the coming future for me to miss in it.

People grow up and move on. At this point, I've come to accept that if the time comes for me to apply for permanent residency or a migrant visa - that yes, I'll go for it. I'm not saying that I'll go for it here in Singapore- maybe NZ or somewhere in Europe?

Which is to say - I'm ready to give up my Philippine citizenship.
The thought having already encroached itself, actually makes me defensive when I get the questions like the ones above. Is it so wrong to already consider rescinding my citizenship?

In the apathy I've grown to and have come to enshroud myself with, there's nothing wrong with the thought. Given that the world is coming to terms with globalization, what is citizenship or home country? 

Patriotism and nationalism are dead to me.

People live their lives to their own ideals. People are given the free will - the freedom - to choose who they want to be. People do things to make them happy (bound by ethics and morality?). People have the choice to choose.

If for some, they feel that patriotism and nationalism make people better people. Then that's them - not me.


  1. I think the Filipino concept of "nationalism" is just too OA. Aside from what you mentioned, about having to love Filipino food etc., meron pa yung tipong parang may famous person abroad na may 1/100th lang ng Pinoy blood, "Pride of the Filipino people" na agad. I actually find that kind of "nationalism" annoying. I don't hear Italians in Italy cheering over Lady Gaga and Madonna as "Italy's Pride"!

    Personally, I'm a Filipino simply because I was born in the Philippines. If I'm to be nationalistic, it's not because it's a "Filipino" thing to do, but because it's a HUMAN thing to do.

    (And oh, just for the record, I hate halo-halo and Manny Pacquiao ;p)

  2. Actually, I'm quite irritated by media features on those people who are making it abroad as well. Half filipinos, 1/4, etc etc. They're making such a big fuss about it. But then again, I think we're not the target audience. I think their goal is to inspire the poor to be strive.

    But what sickens me is they feature it without any follow through. It's like giving the poor more dreams than reality.

    And, personally, I sometimes think that I'm "more Chinese than Filipino" lol

  3. "And, personally, I sometimes think that I'm "more Chinese than Filipino" lol"

    Mainland, or Southeast Asian? =))

  4. So glad I got to read this. =)

    1. thanks! happy 1 year here in SG!