stand by my brother Pinoy


COMMON SENSE is not my strong suit, though at least it nudges me in the direction of thinking that the smaller the host nation, the tinier its migrant communities might be.  But that’s not always the case, as anyone in New Zealand would know.  If a country is hospitable enough, and provides its residents with a living wage, a clean environment, and a good enough quality of life, just sit back and watch the migrants come in.

If you’re not sure where this is leading, well neither am I.  But a country with less than the population of Metro Manila has a robust Asian community, with 100,000 each of Chinese and Indians, with Pinoys soon to follow.  What I’m trying to say is that as long as life is better that the life lived back home, a future exists, water is clean and food is plentiful, people will come in from all over.

But it doesn’t mean that migrants will come in wholesale and assimilate with the natives, disappear into the gene pool, far from it.  In fact, the distance, differences and challenges posed by living in a strange land oftentimes encourage migrants like us to wear our distinctness on our sleeve, to promote and proclaim our Pinoy-ness, our Indian-ness, and our Chineseness, our Asian-ness if you will.  Irony of ironies, but we become more proud of ourselves when we are with strangers.  Love us or hate us, but know us for what we are, we seem to say.

Unfortunately, our positive traits (that by now you’ve probably acquainted yourselves with, if you’re not one of us), reminiscent of Janus, frequently come with negative aspects of our character, because when we show our candid selves, warts and all, everything shows.  We are industrious, but we are also addicted to siestas.  We are loyal to our friends, but we don’t think twice about gossiping about them.  We are thrifty and save our clothes for the next generation, but think nothing of buying first-class imitations at Divisoria and Greenhills.  This is what drives others crazy about us Pinoys.

***               ***               ***               ***               ***

Recently we’ve been given pause by an incident that has cast a shadow of doubt on some of the hardest workers in the Pinoy community, that of our caregivers.  For now we don’t know how it will turn out, if the facts are presented are true, and if a breach of trust has been committed.  But this is an example of us at our best and our worst, as Pinoys and as caregivers.

While we never condone dishonesty and uphold only the highest standards of integrity in work and career, we also need to stand by our countrymen if there is the slightest chance that there might be a misappreciation of facts.  I have been a part of the Pinoy community here and I have never heard of anything that would sully the reputation of even one Filipino, and hopefully it will stay that way.

On the other hand, we all know that in New Zealand and in all countries that respect the rule of law, the wheels of justice grind slow, but they grind exceedingly well.

Forgive me for being cryptic, but that’s all I can say for now.

Thanks for reading !

11 thoughts on “stand by my brother Pinoy

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