Friday, February 03, 2017

WALANG NATIRA” (Sheng Belmonte)




The above title is given to a song lamenting the danger/difficulty of Filipinos going abroad to work and their families being left behind in worry and fear.  It’s a relatively long song of regret, the first paragraph of which says the following undeniable  and distressing fact:  “Napakaraming guro dito sa amin ngunit bakit tila wala nang natira.  Napakaraming nurse dito sa amin ngunit bakit tila wala nang natira. Nag-aabroad sila.

Thus loudly and pathetically laments a rather known and popular song.  Thus stands a pitiful reality.  And thus remains the OFW phenomenon - something that is a continuing predicament  to the workers, a big and heavy cross to their families left behind, an argument against the socio-economic realities in the Country.  In other words, the song was but stating a blatant existing national misery – a blaring lamentation then when the song was composed and a glaring national calamity  was noted which to this date continue to haunt a big number of Filipinos, particularly those who precisely  leave their families behind to find work abroad so that those they leave behind could have some assurance of having food, clothing and shelter, to make a decent living somehow.

The previous administration has not done anything noteworthy to remedy such a sad and saddening phenomenon in the Country.  In fact, there were indications that it even wanted the pitiful situation as it was – promoting it even – in order to gain something from the workers through their dollar remittances to the Philippines.  Such was a disgusting national panorama whereas instead  of the government giving public service to the people, the millions of OFWs were the ones giving private service  to the government.  So it was that the government even looked for work abroad specifically for Filipinos to have foreign employments.  Hence, the wording and the reality of the partly-cited song above – a song that became popular because it brought out a distinct truth obtaining in the Country.

But then, truth to say, the incumbent administration has not even started to remedy the sadness and loss brought about by the OFW living reality.  Yes, it has grand plans and predictions, it makes grand proclamations and forward super visions.  But aside from such magnificent and impressive prophecies, it has nothing yet concrete to point out about any economic gains in the national level, any concrete financial achievement in favor of the People of the Philippines.  Yes, the present administration has big visions, great plans.  But all these are still but in the realm of the future, the sphere of the possible.

Without the least intention of belittling much less insulting all those concerned – the one on top and the ones by the sidelines of national governance – the latest survey done by a commonly considered tenable entity came out with the finding  that there are more poor people in the Country now than some four months ago.  Translation:  The present administration has not been able as yet to improve the socio-economic standing of the people in general.  Possible reason:  Such is not its priority, much less expertise.  Yes, it is said that the incumbent government appears to be an expert in doing away with human lives – but not in improving the living conditions of the people.