Netizen slams PNoy’s views on OFWs in viral ‘open letter’ posted on Facebook

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A note posted by Facebook user Lesley Dianne Siojo Cabildo containing “an open letter” to Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III is going viral. The letter accompanied a meme originally posted by Cabildo on the 24th August 2015. The meme (pictured below) quoted the following statement supposedly made by the president:

Filipinos leave their country to work abroad because they want to, not because they have no opportunities in their country.

pnoy_on_ofws

The meme had the Philippine Liberal Party logo displayed on its lower right-hand corner. However, a Web search could not reveal a reliable source from news media quoting the President actually making that statement verbatim. The quote seems to have been a loose interpretation of statements made by Aquino in reference to OFWs in his 2011 State of the Nation Address. The Inquirer.net in a report following that speech quoted a specific passage that could have been interpreted in the way exhibited in the meme:

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Kung magkasakit ka at makita mo ang nars na nag-aruga sa iyo, sa halip na magserbisyo sa dayuhan kapalit ng mas malaking suweldo, pakisabi rin po, ‘salamat po.’ Bago ka umuwi galing eskuwela, lapitan mo ang guro mong piniling mamuhunan sa iyong kinabukasan kaysa unahin ang sariling ginhawa; sabihin mo, ‘salamat po.

[Translated by the Inquirer.net from the Tagalog dialect: “If you get sick and you see the nurse who takes care of you, instead of serving foreigners for a higher salary, please say ‘thank you’. Before you go home from school, approach the teacher who chose to invest in your future instead of prioritizing her own welfare, and say ‘thank you’.”]

Here is a copy of Cabildo’s response to the statement, nonetheless:

An Open Letter of an OFW to Our Dear President Noynoy Aquino

Dear Mr. President,

I am one of your supporters and I voted for you last presidential election 5 years ago. I am also an OFW but because of this post you made my blood boil.

I tell you that it is not true that we chose to work abroad rather than here in our country. Yes, there might be opportunities here however due to the very high standards raised by companies, we are having a hard time getting employed. There are discriminations here, that even skilled and capable people are left unemployed. For example, if we did not graduate from top schools (UP, ADMU, et al), we will not able to apply for a higher post. If we are on the healthy side, we are advised to come back until such time we meet the qualifications of being stick-thin. Tell me, are these people that perfect to degrade the applicants and hurt their feelings???

I have been here in our country for the past 2-months and am still jobless until now. I have submitted my CV in various hospitality properties using the experiences I gained working for five-star hotels abroad. However it seems that physical qualifications matter more than having the expertise because until now I have not received any response from these companies.

So tell me Mr. President, where should we go for work? In other countries, applicants are accepted despite being healthy, short or inexperienced. They will invest so that you become fit for the job you have applied for.

If there are really opportunities here, then why has the unemployment rate gone up instead of [gone] down?? You have upset me on how you see us, OFWs. We did not [choose] to be like this. We just wanted to give our families a comfortable life which is elusive for us here in our own country.

Have you ever thought why Filipinos choose to work in the Middle East? It is because we are getting our salaries full; no taxes and no deductions. We are given good benefits as well. Unlike here, it seems like 50% of our salaries go to the government and the cost of living is too steep. So, how [can we] save and reward ourselves?

I hope PNOY you will realize that YES there are so many opportunities in this country, but sad to say, they were NEVER meant for us.

–Lesley Dianne Siojo Cabildo

25 Replies to “Netizen slams PNoy’s views on OFWs in viral ‘open letter’ posted on Facebook”

    1. you can hate anyone but hating this country by a Filipino is a big NO and that’s a big insult to our country.

      (insert a famous quote from Heneral Luna):

      Bayan o sarili? Negosyo o kalayaan? Mamili ka?!

  1. What opportunities is Aquino talking about? I, myself is an OFW. I graduated with a good degree; and I can find only a job, with pay, that cannot even take care of my needs.

    So, I went abroad; worked and pursued further education. The company , that I worked with, even paid for my tuition in full.

    Aquino is Schizophrenic…he is seeing things. Maybe, he is seeing good jobs, where they do not exist. He sees it by himself…

    1. well that’s because the Aquino-Cojuangco clans are business family and they have their own businesses from Hacienda Luisita to San Miguel Corp. Oligarchy at its finest while the ordinary Filipinos are suffering miserably. Let’s end this bad system in our country and vote either Duterte or Seneres for president in our country this 2016.

  2. Well said and deserve to be heard. Forums where objective opinions are not censored but became a collective thoughts of the many, Internet viral can spread exponentially and push the proactive means on social issues.

    If the statements made where true and accurate then the current president is living in a bubble and only changing the statues quo to benefit the few and the rich.

    And besides, what does he know about the masses social issues, the powers to be can always rationalized it many ways to silence the masses just because they have a bigger podium.

  3. Thank you, Get Real Philippines! 🙂
    I am just expressing my point of views and eperiences. Now, still I am proud OFW. 🙂

  4. I agree with Dianne and it is really true and happening in our country that the so called economic boom is not felt by us but only for the oligarchy.This prove that abnoy Aquino is an incompetent leader and must be ejected outright to avoid further damages to our country eventhough he has only 5 months in office. EJECT is the right word.

  5. The president’s statement seemingly shows his ignorance to OFW contribution to Philippine economy.They need to enroll remedial class in Economics together with Mr. LACIERDA.

  6. This is what happens to people who lack Chinese blood or good business acumen, they end up looking for jobs instead of creating opportunities and employing people. So guess what – PNoy is right! – depending on how you see it (half full/empty). Maybe bec he had Chinese blood.

    To a Chinese, PH is a wonderland of opportunities. Why do you think so many migrated to PH from the mainland? Ever heard of a Chinese-blooded OFW?

    Chinese people see things in a different light – must be the chinky eyes. They are good detectors of opportunity.

    I once heard that where there is pain – there is an opportunity. And for Chinese that equals Money.

    I should start a business selling Chinese blood – to increase your biz skills and luck. Siguradong maraming mauutong Pinoy! Any investors? Please wire transfer money to Aeta my new partner/buddy in fixing Pinoy dysfunction.

    1. Zaxx,

      Awesome! We’ll even call our new company, ‘Chekwa and Associates.’ Our motto will be, ‘We will suck your red blood dry and replace it with our yellow blood. Yellow is cheaper than red, and we are such cheap motherfuckers.’

      Aeta

      1. Aeta,

        Great Co. name man! But I think a simple injection of 3.1416 mL of yellow blood will do the trick.

        We should ask PNOy (Yellow camp) to be the first blood donor. Korina will be next.

        It shouldn’t be a scam since it will work like magic (placebo) on superstitious gullible native Pinoy businessman wannabees.

        There will be a guarantee: Donor is willing to be run over by a train if it does not work.

        Henry Sy’s blood will not be cheap though – his net worth right now is 13.8 billion USD. We’ll have to settle for Chinoy politicians then like Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla – they’ll surely come cheap.

        1. Zach,

          Well, thank you. I do take pride in assigning ad hoc titles to deserving individuals or groups.

          Are you sure 3.1416 mL of yellow blood is enough? After all, our goal is the complete Chinization of the whole archipelago before 2050, when the predicted current world population doubles.

          We at least want the red flag–with one large gold and four gold stars on the top- left corner–flying over Malacanang palace by 2020, with Korina and PNoy as the first she-male and lady-boy, respectively, emissaries to hold office in this newly acquired Chinese territory.

          As far as Henry Sy’s 13.8 billion USD is concerned, it will be sanctioned to fund the newly installed territorial government. Sy and his family will be forced to move to tenement-style dwellings like the rest of the population, forced to work in factories or farmlands, and fed cabbage soup and rice everyday.

          I guess too good of a good thing for a long time will eventually come to a close.

          Aeta

        2. Aeta, Sounds like a plan. Your scenario is beginning to resemble those creepy fiction stories of Grimwald.

          There may be a shortage of yellow blood so we should go into sideline business of processing surname change (into more fashionable Lee, Song, Yap, etc. ).

          The last SM mall may well be in the Spratlys – joint venture with Mainland PRC – before Henry Sy retires to his cabbage soup existence.

          I have to hand it to you man, You have more vision than our presidentiables who only see the next 6 years of their reign.

        3. Zaxx,

          Everybody has a plan and my scenario is no creepier than yours nor Grimwald’s; it just depends on our unique deliveries.

          As far as shortage of Chinese blood, I seriously doubt that will ever happen. With almost 1.4 billion Chinese in China–mostly trying to chew their way out of an oppressive government–are spreading their seed money via the intricacies of their “Bamboo Network” throughout the world.

          Aging Chinese-Filipino Billionairres like Sy, Tan, and Gokongwei are going to have to hurry and do some serious “double-time” of fleecing the wealth of Third World countries like the Failippines, before these new generations of monied Chinese expats arrive and give them a run for their money.

          Henry Sy does not have any stake, or hold, of Spratley Islands. That part of the archipelago is reserved for much bigger players from various countries (not just China), who all carry big sticks and play for keeps.

          I doubt very seriously if Sy and his peers will have enough money combined to keep up and stay in the game. I guess we can both agree that these wealthy Chinese-Filipino giants just might have to retire to cabbage patches someday, when (not if) Spratley gets run over.

          My vision is consistent with my view on life: we start with nothing and we end with nothing. Everything that we’ve spend a lifetime working hard (conscientiously or not) will be left behind when our numbers are up—including the problems we’ve created for future generations.

          The only difference is the same bullshit game will be played by different characters under similar conditions. Selfishness and Greed.

          Aeta

        4. Zaxx,

          Everybody has a plan and my scenario is no creepier than yours nor Grimwald’s; it just depends on our unique deliveries.

          As far as shortage of Chinese blood, I seriously doubt that will ever happen. With almost 1.4 billion Chinese in China–mostly trying to chew their way out of an oppressive government–are spreading their seed money via the intricacies of their “Bamboo Network” throughout the world.

          Aging Chinese-Filipino Billionairres like Sy, Tan, and Gokongwei are going to have to hurry and do some serious “double-time” of fleecing the wealth of Third World countries like the Failippines, before these new generations of monied Chinese expats arrive and give them a run for their money.

          Henry Sy does not have any stake, or hold, of Spratley Islands. That part of the archipelago is reserved for much bigger players from various countries (not just China), who all carry big sticks and play for keeps.

          I doubt very seriously if Sy and his peers will have enough money combined to keep up and stay in the game. I guess we can both agree that these wealthy Chinese-Filipino giants just might have to retire to cabbage patches someday, when (not if) Spratley gets run over.

          My vision is consistent with my view on life: we start with nothing and we end with nothing. Everything that we’ve spend a lifetime working hard for (conscientiously or not) will be left behind when our numbers are up—including the problems we’ve created for future generations.

          The only difference is the same bullshit game will be played by different characters under similar conditions. Selfishness and Greed.

          Aeta

  7. Chinese blood does not make anybody an entrepreneur. What our country needs, are programs for jobs for people. Industries, that employs people. Not retailing, or light industries.

    To point that unemployment is caused, because people are looking for work, and should become business people, instead ,is ridiculous.

    Some people are suited for business, some are not. It is the job of a leader, to serve people, not to find reasons to downgrade people.

    1. Chinese blood does not make anybody an entrepreneur.

      If it were the case, then demand for “pure” Chinese blood for transfusion will be in high demand!

    2. “Chinese blood does not make anybody an entrepreneur. What our country needs, are programs for jobs for people. Industries, that employs people. Not retailing, or light industries.”

      Also, what we Failipinos need to realize is our insatiable desires to live the aristocratic lifestyle of our country’s elites, being greedy for material gains and working at our invidividual endeavors in parasitic instead of symbiotic manners, will inevitably lead to ruins for all of us someday.

  8. Unemployment issue was our long time problem in our Country, Philippines..Politicos just come and go, President Noynoy Aquino term of office is only six years .In fairness, it’s not proper for us OFW’S to be hurt with his comment..Let’s just be fair because the real score here is, we wanted to earn more and do away with competition and that’s the main reason why we choose to work abroad.Our President is also like us, an ordinary creature who was just elected by the people of the Philippines and because of this we can’t blame him or his administration if he’s not successful in solving all the problems in our country.but if we just look back on the past administrations, well, i’m proud of having him Noynoy Aquino III as our President..because only in his term in the history of Philippines Politics that we jailed corrupt politicians..who are the real monsters in our countries economy…Remember the countries problem can’t be solve for just a term, what’s important here’s a good start to changes..let’s all join our hands and together we pray for a good governance by choosing the right candidate who’ll continue what the current administration have started..Peace be with you!

    1. Aquino jails his political enemies, and protects his corrupt friends. Enrile, who is corrupt since Marcos time is released. Mar Roxas, with the missing Typhoon Yolanda fund is running for President. Abaya, with his “lag lag bala” scam at the airport, is still in his cabinet. Aquino , himself with his DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrel bribery, etc…is in power. The guy, cannot jail himself…

  9. “If you get sick and you see the nurse who takes care of you, instead of serving foreigners for a higher salary, please say ‘thank you’. Before you go home from school, approach the teacher who chose to invest in your future instead of prioritizing her own welfare, and say ‘thank you’.” These are the President’s words translated from ‘Tagalog’ to ‘English’.
    This reminder looks like good patriotic advise to the Filipino youth, particularly those about to enter the job market. It might sound a lot like a left-handed advice to those who might have viable potential for success among this segment of Filipino society; it still is, however, a thoughtful reminder. Granting that the prospect of job-hunting in the Philippines today is a lot like looking for teeth in a chicken, the reality is.. the country needs new ideas, fresh thinking and strong minds and backs.. in order to supplant the same old and tired notions and the same lethargic and inert programs that really belong to the last century.
    Ms Cabildo’s chiding of the President is, none-the-less, timely and necessary. Given the downturn of the petro-dollars of the OPEC countries, and the slowdown of economies world-wide, the singular reliance of the Philippines on its OFW program is, now, like standing on a wet cardboard box to catch some fresh air. We should work ‘overtime’ in order to diversify; “to put our eggs in more than just one basket”, so to speak’.” It’s never too late”; we know this refrain only too well. But, if not now.. when?

  10. Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.

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