Saturday 19 April 2014

Babalik Din Ako (I Shall Return?)

A friend of mine who is working here in the Middle East attended the Wealth Summit 2014 in February. Wealth Summit is an annual event hosted by Bo Sanchez' Truly Rich Club where individuals who aspire to be truly rich gather and are given the chance to listen to famous speakers experts in their fields (eg. business, real estate and stock investing). My friend aside from coming out of the summit empowered, he was melancholic. He took his flight back abroad heavy hearted. Why? Because he met a lot young professionals (in their mid-20s) in the summit who became successful though they are staying in the country. My friend began to doubt and question if working abroad, being far from his family, is still the right choice.

People used to say emphatically that the only way to earn more and live a quality life is to work abroad - wala pang tax (you will not be taxed)! But that is no longer true. There are actually more opportunities in the Philippines if you know where to look.

Perhaps one has to go out and live outside the country to realize that. Looking at the Philippines from the outside make me see all these opportunities that I would have been blinded to if I opted to stay there. Everything happens for a reason. I am here abroad not only to earn but to learn as I work with foreigners. I am growing more as a person and hence equipping myself better for the future.

Every time I land in Ninoy International Airport the smell of the air makes me nostalgic. Polluted it may be, the humid air brings back so many fond memories. Philippines, with all its imperfections, will always be my home.

Especially now that there are so many things to do there...

Oh no, it's not about the concerts, the malls that are mushrooming all around the country, the "improvements" you see everywhere. Those are just trappings.

It is the place itself...
... the islands, the white sand beaches, the fresh air in the mountains... and of course our loved ones who are always waiting for us to come home.

After all my years as a traveller, I am no longer aimless. I will go home for good and retire in the Philippines. I long for the day when my family and I will finally decide enough is enough. When we will finally click the heels of our ruby slippers - It is time to go home.

"Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.
-- Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

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