Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Filipino Dream

What is the Filipino dream?

There is no simple way to answer that. But I suppose for millions of Filipinos, the Filipino dream is nowhere near the American dream. The Filipino dream is not about getting fine slices of success, achievement, self-actualization and doing exactly what you want in life.

For countless Filipinos the dream is simple. Most of our countrymen just want to have the right pieces of the food pyramid on the table for a change instead of just rice and instant noodles. Most Filipinos just want a small, tidy bungalow in a nice community that isn’t under a bridge, over a canal or within mounds of trash that in the Philippines are homes to both mice and men. For people who may never have tasted a candy-coated spoon, much less a silver one, the dream is simply to wake up from the nightmare of poverty.

That was probably the idea when Marilou Ranario and thousands of other Filipinos left the country. Now Marilou might just hang for that dream. Before that, she has to endure more days in a country that’s warmer than the Philippines but colder than Iceland.

I suppose though that the solution to our chronic problem doesn’t just lie in waving placards in front of embassies and thick-faced politicians. We are part of the problem that has driven Marilou to Kuwait. If we don’t set our own marbles straight, many more will hang for the Filipino dream. The rest of us will probably suffer worse fates than dangling from a noose.

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