Revisiting Jim Paredes’s “giving up” on the Philippines and moving to Australia in 2006

Following that whole kerfuffle between singer and die-hard Aquinoist Jim Paredes and Manila Times columnist Rigoberto ‘Bobi’ Tiglao over the question of Paredes’s citizenship, people are now curious about what is it exactly that makes Jim Paredes such a seemingly confused individual.

After all, Paredes back in the 1980s already had a United States Green Card (a document many hopeful Filipinos regard as priceless) which, in a euphoric fit following the happy conclusion of the 1986 EDSA “people power revolution” he supposedly returned to Uncle Sam. Gerry Lirio who interviewed Paredes while on a concert tour in Melbourne in 2006 wrote in his ensuing Inquirer report, how Paredes in 1989 was so committed “to the Filipino, he decided to get rid of any means of escape.”

All that, only to successfully apply for Australian residency in the late 1990’s citing “fatigue” he felt for the situation surrounding him in the Philippines.

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“I felt I’d already done too much in Manila,” he said. “I experienced political fatigue. Nothing new was being discussed in Manila. I told my son: ‘There is polarization. There are no new ideas.’ People have become cynical. I had to leave. I needed to recharge. I had a good life. I want to do things in a foreign country. I told my wife I wanted to leave before I got too old.”

Not surprisingly, Lirio’s Inquirer piece was given the title “Finally, Apo’s Jim Paredes gives up on RP” by the news editors when it went to print in August 2006 — a title Paredes took offense to.


Writing to the Inquirer on September, 2006 Paredes accused Lirio of “cherry picking” information he included in his report to fit the title and “so missed the true story”. He also expressed how the article and its headline “caused me stress and has sadly upset my family, friends and a lot of other people.” He also proceeded to call Inquirer news editor Artemio Engracia Jr “calloused” and “pathetic”. He also called him a liar.

Sure, I expressed disappointment with the politics of the country just like everyone else, but to say I have “finally” given up on the Philippines is to put it mildly, a naked lie. It seems that the one who thought of this headline feels the best thing this country needs is a daily fix of despair and gloom.

More correctly, I have always said I would fight another day. Every day in Sydney, I wake up to discover the things that work well and wonder how we can do it back home.

Note that Paredes is often a victim of so-called liars — so he says.

Though the Inquirer publisher later apologised to Paredes, news editor Engracia along with his co-editors stood by their headline in a response to Paredes printed under Paredes’s letter…

With due respect to our publisher, the editors strongly disagree that the Inquirer owed Paredes an apology. While Paredes may not have said so in direct quotes, the sense of Gerry Lirio’s interview with him unmistakably delivered one message — he had given up the fight and ran away. Whether he plans to come back to fight another day — as he had promised repeatedly — remains to be seen. Until that happens, the thousands he had inspired with his patriotic songs through two decades are left holding the bag.

Our understanding is that when one migrates to another country, he intends to live, stay and work there for good. He applied for and was granted permanent residence. If permanent residence is not what he had planned in Australia, then he is abusing the generosity of his adopted country and has a lot of explaining to do to immigration authorities.

Engracia also cited an August 2006 blog posted on the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) which features a podcast interview with Chit Estella where Paredes said that his reason for migrating to Australia was to “take a vacation from being a Filipino”.

It seems. however, that Jim Paredes is now in the Philippines taking a vacation from being Australian — so much so that he now endures prolonged periods being away from his family (who still live in Sydney) while he does whatever he feels he needs to do back in his homeland. One of these “duties”, it seems, is to continue being a member of the cadre of celebrity mouthpieces of the President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III and his Liberal Party who have now pinned their hopes on Mar Roxas in a desperate bid to cling to power past 2016.

That’s some vacation, Jim.

22 Replies to “Revisiting Jim Paredes’s “giving up” on the Philippines and moving to Australia in 2006”

  1. Whatever the reason a person leaves his country, and migrate to another country is his business. It is none of anybody’s business.

    I am also an OFW, and a potential immigrant of the U.S. My Green Card is yet to come. My wife is British. However, I do not want to become a Queen’s subject.

    Even if we are in a foreign country, we can be of help to the Philippines. Not only from our monetary remittances; but , thru the worldwide Information Technology advances. We can blog, and give insights to improve things in our country.

      1. The Philippines is a Hopeless Country. Even all foreign immigrants /OFW, go back; they will never make any difference.
        I am not insane, to go back to such a Hole. I dug myself, out of this Hole, already…

        1. 88Hyden007765Toro,

          I can’t blame you for feeling thae way you do about the Philippines. I moved back to this country about 10 years ago, and each day is a struggle on how much longer I can tolerate to stay here. The Philippines is a “Hell Hole” because of the attiude and way of life of the people. Not just the corrupt politicians, but the people in general.

          Everyone talks about wanting a change or improvement, but no one wants to step up to bat to make those changes. I’m totally convinced the Filipino people have managed to convinced themselves that the ‘shitty life’ in this country is tolerable and someone else’s job to fix.



      2. @Juan Dela Cruz III

        What you’re basically saying is, if parents love their home and kids, then they should not go out to find decent work, but just stay home with their kids and just hug each other even if this means starving their families to death.

        A lot of OFWs serve their country way better than those who remain in the Philippines. It’s more patriotic to fight for one’s country in a far away land than remain in the Philippines and allow oneself to just be exploited by our country’s politicians.

        1. I can understand retreating to a different environment like Oz, and clearing and collecting one’s thoughts in order to plan his next move, but his choice of politicians to support shows his profound naiveté.

          I’m not sure whether Paredes is secretly so smitten by nostalgia over the first Edsa that he would simply gloss over the brand of corruption this Aquino administration has introduced in place of the old corruption.

        2. Felipe,

          I disagree on your assumption that “a lot of OFWs serve their country way better than those who remain in the Philippines.” OFWs–first and foremost– serve themselves and their families’ needs.

          The remittance monies that OFWs send to the Philippines are only helping their family, enriching the politicians and businessess, and digging a deeper hole for the poor.

          The growing “consumer mentality” among the country’s elites, Balikbayans, tourists, as well as foreign investments that only benefits certain industries in the country–raises the inflation rate (cost of living), in which the majority of the population (mostly the poor) will have to shoulder or fail miserably to try to keep up with.


        3. @Aeta:

          I am a Technical man, dealing in Science and Technology. It is the way, I earn my living.

          Our country is two centuries, behind any industrialized country , in Science and Technology. I cannot make a decent earnings in the Philippines. Unless, I become a Politician.

          So, I decided to be an OFW, like the rest of the Filipinos.

  2. In the Philippines, patriotism means to be stupid. They will ostracize everyone except the thieves. Kailan naging problema ang mga overseas filipinos? On the contrary, they’ve kept the PHL economy afloat over the years.

    If you want a good future for your family, na you can’t get in Pinas, ibig sabihin pala nun ay tinalikuran mo na at has forsaken the Philippines?

    1. Who wants to live in a Hell Hole? Most of the Filipinos want to get out…see the OFWs? Long lines under the blazing sun, just to get a job out of the Hell Hole…

    2. its not about being an ofw.. he renounces being a filipino ng ganun ganun lang then goes back to fight the fight daw

    3. You have a point there. Just because someone wants to leave the Philippines for an indefinite number of time doesn’t mean they hate the country, some might want to leave our country indefinitely so that they can be exposed to foreign culture and from there, see what traits can be picked in order to improve our own country. It’s like when you move out of your family home during college, it doesn’t mean that you have forsaken your family but rather you do it so you get to experience more and use these experiences to improve life for your family. Leaving is not equal to Forsaking all the time but unfortunately, not a lot of people in our country have grasped that concept yet.

      1. Donna,

        Filipinos who leave the Philippines (as OFWs or expats to other countries) do not hate the Philippines; they just dislike and distrust the Filipinos who live in it. This feeling dislike and distrust for one another is rampart in the Philippines, and abroad, among all Filipinos.


  3. His bad opponent’s “facts” he sweeps away, And drags his sophistry to light of day; Then swears they’re pushed to madness who resort To falsehood of so desperate a sort. Not so; like sods upon a dead man’s breast, He lies most lightly who the least is pressed.

  4. It is not about being an OFW folks… it’s about this jim paredes trying to appear very patriotic to his homeland but ironically, is an australian citizen. OFW’s don’t necesarilly have to be a citizen of their chosen country to work in. Hence tbe term ofw (overseas filipino worker, then known as ocw, overseas contract worker) they’re just there to work, not citizens. Let’s not miss the point. It’s not about being an ofw.

  5. Ofw is different from immigrants. Immigrants renounces his/her nationality. While ofw just works outside his country but still holds his citizenship.

  6. Mr. Paredes failed miserably in Australia. The only way he was earning was by teaching guitar lessons.
    After realizing that in Australia he was a nobody, while in the Philippines he can be a freeloader and still live comfortaby.. He returned to the country he rejected and took a job as a judge in a tv reality talent show.

  7. i can’t blame this gay. maybe he just want to protect his family from any malicious intent.

    Threat cause him to relocate his family.
    but he is so dumb to learn that his bad mouthing caused all the bad lucks he is reaping.

    a double face activist is quite hard to deal with.
    that’s true!

  8. he is an opportunist for a reason and not a warrior, selling his patriotic song to the people is really a fair sums, right Jim?

    his patriotism is just for the sake of popularity. whenever his name appeared in the newspaper, he gained popularity with it.

    so what is inside this “Handog ng pilino sa mundo” mean to us?

    it’s like a pain in the a.. twisted “Hotdog ng Pilipino sa mundo, mahahaba at….lalala” after Imelda won several cases over this plunder case.

    it was a failure and cory accepted her fate and died a very very sad individual.

    sorry, the show is over Jim, wake up!

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