As known to a good number of people the word over, “Exodus,” is the title given to the second Book of the Old Testament. Therein is narrated in graphic words and with a stirring spirit the detailed account of the en masse departure of the Israelites from Egypt. In this one of the oldest Books of the Holy Scripture, the said historical event was anchored in three primary societal realities: first, that the Israelites were oppressed and felt hopeless in Egypt; second, they made the communal option to leave Egypt in pursuit of a more promising place to live, toil and improve their socio-economic condition; and finally, they in fact decidedly made the huge exodus, braving all possible dangers and facing the many unknown.
The significance and import of the Exodus that took place thousands of years ago, appear rather familiar. Numerous Filipinos feeling restless and desperate in the Philippines, who are the men and women leaving the Country to find whatever work – notwithstanding the uncertainties they face, the cruelties they are told off, plus the dangers to their lives and limbs.
These same people have but one focal intention: to leave the Philippines regardless of how costly it will take from their pockets, health and safety. They have but the same fundamental lesson: that which says that the Country has nothing to offer them in the present, and nothing as well to promise them for the near future.
In general, the Filipinos are known for their many admirable and even enviable attributes, v.g., patience in poverty, contentment with little, industry and parsimony. Over and above all these are their distinct love for the family and their particular grateful regard for home. Only those with antisocial personality traits, with delusional perceptions and other psychotic features, hate their families and abhor their homes. The normal Pinoys are family and home oriented. Yet, their families and their homes are the precisely the primary consoling and strengthening realities that millions of OFWs are constrained to leave behind.
There is definitely very wrong in a Country where millions of citizens leave behind for either work in or migration to foreign nations – even at the cost of taking chances, facing discrimination, and suffering danger. When millions of Filipinos leave their families and homes plus their native land – this in effect is fundamentally a big indictment of the incumbent government, a big slap at the face of the ruling administration.
Instead of the government providing for their common welfare, the OFWs are in fact the ones funding the government to keep the Country economically afloat through huge dollar remittances. Such is a concrete and clear standing gross and shameful contradiction in the Philippines today—the people are for the government and not the other way around.
When can the immense exodus of the Filipinos from their Country eventually stop? When will Filipinos prefer to stay with their families and live in their own homes? When can Filipinos finally find local employment and livelihood? When can the Filipinos actually trust their government and become proud of their Country?
It is only when these questions are answered can the exodus end as a matter of course. Till then, poor Filipinos can certainly expect that their present is dark and their future is bleak.
September 12, 2008