Funny it may seem. But with all honesty, I have been mistaken as someone not Filipino several times. I have been mistaken as Indonesian, Burmese, Thai, Malay (of course, not Chinese).
For a few weeks I have been out of the country, I have met people from other parts of the world, different nationality.
Anyway, I am a Filipino. full-blooded Pinoy - hindi kaputian, balingkinitan ang katawan, pango ang ilong. Yan ako.
Pinoy ang puso ko sa maraming bagay. I do not have to elaborate. I get hurt whenever I hear negative remarks about my country and its people. I really feel bad. But what can I do? What they say is true specially about corruption. Yes, corruption is rampant is the Philippines. But I guess, that is also a problem of other countries.
When I applied for a job, they asked why I wanted to work overseas. I told them that aside from the money, I would like to have the prestige of being called an OFW, Buhay na Bayani. The guys asked if it is really hard to find a job in our country and I said not really. The Philippines may be down economically but life back home is not really that bad.
Same thing was tackled today while i was in a cab with two of my bosses. We went from site to site to do physical inventory. They were asking me why teachers end up housemaids here, why some engineers become kitchen crew here. They were even asking how low a typical Pinoy's salary would be.
I know some professionals end up working as housemaids, gardeners, helpers, kitchen crew overseas because they are so desperate to find a job overseas that they grabbed every possible opportunity regardless of what the job is. Some go overseas purposely to fond a job and they don't want to go back home as a failure, so take whatever job there is.
One of my bosses asked me why a lot of Filipinos chose to stay and work overseas despite the meager salary they are being offered. I told them, the salary with that currency may be low compared to the cost of living in that particular country. However, our families are in the Philippines so an OFW is by himself. So, there is more than enough to be sent to that Philippines and feed a family of 6, maybe, and a portion of it still goes to the bank. Cost of living in my country is very low.
Then they asked if I ever got worried that I might not get a job in SG. Modesty aside, I did not. I was even having second thoughts working overseas. I know I can earn almost the same as what I can earn here. But since I was given the opportunity, I will make it to good use. A lot of Filipinos are dying to work overseas and never get lucky. So why would waste such an opportunity?
And the big boss told me, I have a very different perspective from the Filipinos that he has spoken to. He said I don't talk like a Filipno. Even said that he could not find the Pinoy accent in me. Hmmm... perhaps talking to Americans everyday for almost five years helped a lot. But deep in my heart, I am a Filipno.