Saturday, January 17, 2009
For A Better Life
One year ago, when the world was on a countdown, I was there sitting up in the night sky. While the world danced and sang merriments, I was there strapped in the rigidity of my seat. While the world was spellbound by fireworks, I was there confined and confounded. There was mixture of feelings, and with the high altitude pressure it became an unrecognizable concoction. For any neophyte Pinoy expatriate that would just be a temporary anxiety that is soon comforted by the very reason of taking that very first flight away from home: for a better life.
I am now part of the ever-growing diaspora of Filipinos; seeking better opportunities in places where they are strangers. It has been a year already yet the events leading to where I am now are as vivid as today. This has not been part of my plan actually. The plan was to establish myself in a local company and make myself all the way to the top. I guess this is what most fresh graduates would dream of achieving. Afterall, it's one hell of a package: money, entitlement and power. Wow! I could have sold my soul to the devil. But then I realized that the place on top seems like an exclusive club where members got into either by hard work or by other means. Moreso, one can't really be sure that having a view from the top is having a view of a better life. This realization might have been brought by an opportunity I didn't expect to come; an opportunity I discovered when I entered Globe Telecom (GT). It is an opportunity that I find difficult to explain to most of the people who ask about it, but then I found easy to be identified with the closest of my GT friends. We call ourselves FABL-ers: driven by one goal and the acronym says it all. We don't just exchange CVs and technical reference materials; we exchange personal stories. We don't just reveal new job positions abroad; we reveal secrets with one another. We laughed a lot in and out of the office, but most of the time inside when we're burned out with work. We had our share of dramatic moments, then back to laughing again (yes, that can be normal). Dinner outs. Movie trips. Out-of-towns. Sleep-overs. Road trips. Yosi breaks. 5th floor. Coffee sessions. Untill it was hard to say goodbye. One by one we left our desks. One farewell video presentation (a bit of a tradition) and a dinner, and we were one less of a count. It may be emotional but we always say to ourselves: "Magkikita-kita rin sa finals.". Soon enough, some of us met in Brasil but I bet it's still not the "finals" we're referring to. It is hard to leave the place one has been for the longest of time. Not only that I left my family and friends, I also left behind habits and comforts. For some, a better life resides on other lands. Personally I can still find my better life back home. Some FABL-ers found theirs. I will, soon. But hey, being with these guys is a glimpse of that afterall.
It kept me thinking: how would a better life looks and feels like? Would it be a significant amount in the bank account? Would it be land titles and cars? Would it be a family of my own? Yes, how would I gauge "better"? I guess I will soon find out. It's just that now I believe that the path I am taking would eventually lead me there. Maybe because I'm now able to do some things that I might not have done when I chose to stay. You see the word "better" begets an onward action; it makes me seek what lies ahead. In this temporal world we're living in, it can be a rollercoaster ride, and that's life where tomorrows will most of the time... better.
So why not just go for the best life?
Why would I? I'm still enjoying my stay; still preparing the way for the inevitable.
GMT 0 Accra, Ghana