Here’s a story written by a kailiyan which pretty much reflects the experience of thousands of Igorots/iCordilleras and millions of Filipinos who, despite their misgivings, end up working abroad. Our best wishes, Rolly.
Originally published in the Inquirer’s Youngblood section:
By Rolly Allan Matinek
Little did I know that one day I would join the ranks of Filipinos dispersed around the world, who now make up more than 10 percent of the Philippine population. While it is no secret that most Filipinos harbor the desire to get out of the country in the hope of improving themselves and upgrading their socio-economic status and living standards (as well as that of their families), it was not really my “cup of tea”—as they say here in England—to work abroad.
On board an international flight with a one-way ticket, my priced laptop and my passport stamped with a foreign visa, I still could not believe that I had turned my back on my idealism. I love my country, especially my little town of Sagada in northern Philippines; and I consider myself a patriot. If I try giving this as a reason for not leaving the country to someone I meet on the street, I’d be met with rolling eyes and be called crazy. Every time a colleague or a friend left Philippine shores for the same job but with a much better compensation abroad, I wished him all the best, yet at the same time felt not a pang of envy, only sadness for the loss of one more talent.