Pinoy Pride Complexities: The Need and Want to Escape the Philippines

by: Danielle Bryn Anos || Photo Credit: Joxyne Gravoso

In the lenses of reality, the Philippines stands as a land stricken with crime, poverty, and illusion. Dull skies linger above the cramped houses in the slums while those in power and the rich continue to pursue their selfish aspirations. One might think there is no longer hope for this nation. No remaining hope for their motherland to even prosper in the future. However, amidst this dreary place, a ray of hope strikes the lands—a light source coming from miles away, foreign to the people. Lo and behold it’s… from overseas?

The mammoth Filipino population scattered all around the world should not be surprising now. Being situated in a nation where improvements are hardly evident, those parents working abroad, relatives migrating, and students opting to study at universities overseas actually have valid standpoints for their decisions. The obvious high income and increased opportunities pave the way for these people to help better their lives and to achieve their dreams even if it costs them to leave the country for good.

Although one’s sense of nationalism is acknowledged, the term “Pinoy pride” remains to be a complex puzzle in this viewpoint. If they are so proud of their country, then why is there the need to flee it? What exactly awaits overseas that lures Filipinos to go there? And in those circumstances, do they just embody their pride in the hands of another country?

Going abroad frankly stands as one of the few jutting ways for an individual to thrive. What this country offers is inadequate, and those who solely yearn to be rightfully compensated and to live a better life are not to blame for migrating. These opportunities mean life to them, and prospering is nothing but an upright path to follow. 

Hence, why would the people be at fault here? They could still embody the Filipino spirit and rightfully represent us by flourishing and putting themselves out there.

To get a grasp of it, we can take Lea Salonga as an example. At a very young age, she started playing numerous musical roles in the Philippines, exhibiting her passion for performing with an audience. And at 17, she got the leading role in a musical in London that marked her international debut. This then gave her the chance of a lifetime to be able to play on Broadway and many more. She really did get to swim in opportunities abroad that the Philippines could not have provided for her. If she never left the country, it would not have been possible for Salonga to satisfy her love for the stage and perform all over the globe as a world-famous singer.

Another case would be the majority of Filipino nurses working in first-world countries. Considering how the occupation is undervalued and overworked in the country, these individuals choose instead to be overseas just to be treated properly. Unbeknownst to most, the stereotype alone of why parents push their children to pursue this degree is for them to have a pathway to live abroad, directly illustrating the severity of the situation, especially to the nation’s healthcare workers. It is then, of course, worth considering for nurses to apply away from the Philippines to improve their lifestyle with their occupation.

Despite having richness, talent, and ambition present in the country, Filipinos still draw away due to the lack of opportunities and options to flourish. However, this does not provide grounds for blaming them; leaving the country does not automatically mean being unpatriotic. After all, the Filipino spirit in each and every one of us lives on by thriving even at such a distance from home.

Choosing to seek a life abroad is not necessarily an immediate badge of pride nor a definite means of success; rather, it is simply answering the door when opportunities come and knock.

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