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Post Filipinos Working Overseas: "National Geographic"
Created by John Eipper on 12/06/18 4:28 AM

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Filipinos Working Overseas: "National Geographic" (Richard Hancock, USA, 12/06/18 4:28 am)

The December 2018 National Geographic has an article on the Philippines, "Heroes of the Philippines."

An estimated 10 million Filipinos, out of a population of approximately 108 million, work overseas. These individuals send about $31 billion annually to their homeland. This amounts to about 10% of the country's gross domestic product. Quoting from the article, "Filipinos are domestic workers in Angola and construction workers in Japan. They staff the oil fields of Libya and are nannies to families in Hong Kong. They sing on the stages of far-flung provinces in China and help run the hotels in the Middle East. A quarter of the world's seafarers are Filipino--about 19,000 Filipino nurses are deployed annually to hospitals around the world."

There are some downsides to this overseas employment. Families remain separated for long periods. Filipina women nannies working in the Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries may suffer physical and psychological abuse. "Employers confiscate passports, and workers may be starved or forbidden from leaving their employer's house for months. Many Filipinas return with stories of rape."

Having spent 9 months in the Philippines during WWII, I found this article to be fascinating. I have a friend in Oklahoma who was born in the Philippines. He graduated from Oklahoma State University and became a dentist. He was born on the island of Los Negros. He plans to take a trip to his home in the near future. I hope to have a conversation with him when he returns.

I have a cap that reads WW!! Veteran. I was recently in a store wearing this cap when a young woman clerk asked me where I had served. When I told her the Philippines. She said, "God Bless Douglas MacArthur!" It happened that she was a Filipina.

JE comments:  First of all, a warm greeting to Richard Hancock, and a hearty thanks to him and Nancy for the WAIS donation!  (The check showed up in the mail yesterday, together with donations from fellow WAIS heavy hitters Michael Sullivan, Henry Levin, and an angel who asked to remain anonymous.)

Richard, does your cap read WWII or WW!!?  I posted the latter spelling as received, as it absolutely fits.

The Philippines are closely linked historically and culturally to the United States, as well as to Spain/Latin America, yet the archipelago is so poorly understood.  Fortunately, we have Filipino WAISers to help.  I just did some math:  if 10% of the population works overseas, and they produce 10% of the nation's GDP, this means that the 90% who stay home produce the other 90%.  (OK, I'm not sure what conclusions to draw from this.)

Here's the NG article.  The "heroes" refer to the overseas workers:


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  • World War !! and Other World Wars (Michael Sullivan, USA 12/06/18 7:55 AM)
    WW!! (see Richard Hancock, December 6th) reminds me of a story that supposedly took place a few years ago during a high school assembly. A surviving crewmember of the Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, was invited to the high school relate his experience. He was introduced by the female Dean as a survivor/participant of World War Eleven!

    When he heard that he got out of his chair on the stage and walked out of the auditorium without saying a word!

    JE comments:  That's a classic, Michael.  Most folks today are challenged by Roman numerals.  But I do want to take this opportunity to thank you for joining the WAIS Honor roll for MMXVIII.  (Did I get that right?)  Your check was received yesterday, General, and welcomed with great joy.  Semper fi.

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