Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Corporate Chronicles: Filipino workers here and abroad

Since it's labor day in the Philippines, I am inspired to write about Filipinos and our work ethics. Filipinos have a trademark in the workplace. Some say we are hardworking, and surely we are. I know of foreign employers attesting that Filipinos will break their backs just to deliver their work. Some Filipinos even have 3 or 4 different jobs, especially those who are working overseas. Yes, we are hardworking because we are driven. Filipinos are driven by family obligations and big dreams. This is also the reason why a lot of Filipinos go abroad - they want to make it big and them working abroad meant bigger paychecks. And because these Filipinos are 'not in their motherland' they really prove themselves worthy of the jobs they have. Filipinos also work hard to save up and go home to the Philippines. The money they saved for months or even years will be gone in a few days - relatives visiting the 'balikbayan' to experience Christmas gift giving on odd days of the year. Filipinos in the Philippines think that Filipinos working abroad are earning big bucks for nothing. We don't know if they're really breaking their backs to earn and all we do is line up and get a share of their hard earned money. Isn't it just ironic that while foreigners appreciate all the hard work of Filipinos, people in the Philippines think they earn with just a snap of a finger.

In the Philippines, it may not be perfectly the same. Filipino workers in the Philippines work hard too - from Mondays through Thursdays. Fridays usually meant longer breaks and free-er calendars. It also meant beer and hang out after work. It's a reward for a full week of hard work. I think it makes us (Filipinos working in the Philippines) happier as a worker. We keep it balanced. We are better energized for another week (well, for most haha). I wish Filipinos here in the Philippines would instill the values of hard work of Filipinos working abroad. Perhaps, we can have a better economy and perhaps, Filipinos won't have to leave anymore. It's not in the government people, it's in our hands. We are the economy. We can make or break it. At the same token, I wish Filipinos working abroad will be recognized for their work ethics and merely for their "hard work." We are not slaves and we don't have to prove ourselves merely because we are working outside our country.

I am patriotic. I had a chance to work abroad but I had to go home. But I don't blame anyone who leave the country for better opportunities. We all have reasons. But one thing's for sure, Filipinos wherever in the world are truly valuable to companies. We are your partners in success. And as a Filipino movie famously stated, "we love our jobs!"