Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poverty and the Filipino Diaspora

It's almost everyday that I get to talk with fellow Filipinos who are dreaming to live and work in Canada. I get to meet people from all walks of life - nurses, doctors, lawyers, business owners, engineers, domestic helpers, welders, farmers, etc - and every time I ask why they wanted to leave, I often hear a common answer. They are looking for opportunities to have a better quality of life for their family.

Leaving is the solution to have a better quality of life?

I've been working with Canadian Immigration Consultancy for more than a decade now and so far, I haven't seen a client who regret their decision to live and work in Canada permanently. In fact, I have clients who are now in Canada who still send me email once in a while and share their stories. It's not a perfect world and it's true that they are also facing some problems like discrimination, labor issues, etc., but they have a better quality of life now. And it feels good that I made a difference in their lives, by helping them on their visa applications. But my college friends would often make a joke out of what I do. I used to be a student activist when I was in college and this is what they say now - Apol used to shout revolution as the solution, but now he says it's immigration. :-)

I have nothing against those who opted to leave the country to look for a greener pasture. It's their families' welfare and future at stake and it's their right to secure it. However, immigrant visa application is not cheap and not everybody may qualify to apply. So what happens to the majority who don't have the education and funds to apply for immigrant visa to countries like Canada, which promises generous government benefits?

Well, we're stuck with a society governed by the few who owns the majority of the country's wealth. This I think is what causes poverty - a system that tolerates exploitation, injustice and corruption. For instance, how can you expect the land lords occupying the majority of seats in congress pass a law that will threatened their interests, their haciendas? Under this wicked system, farmers will remain landless and the poor will become poorer.

Poverty, in my opinion, will not be solved without changing this system. Joining this blog action day may not radically change the system, but it will definitely create awareness. And who knows, this may be another people power revolution in the making... and this is my contribution for now.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I am the marketing and communications manager from an immigration law firm in Montreal, Quebec. I have read you blog, and I think it is very well done.
    We have begun a new initiative that I would like to invite you to become involved in. is a non-commercial social-networking and guidance site for people interested in, or in the process of immigrating to Canada. I would like to invite you to join this initiative. I think that you would be a great individual to become a resident expert on immigrating from the Philippines. There are so many people who you could help, including your clients who are more then welcome to use the social networking site as well.
    Please review the site, and contact me to discuss how you can become involved. I truly hope that you have an interest and that we can work together in the future.
    Thank you!