Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Why Are 2.9 Million Filipinos Jobless? [Thoughts]

Some people who know me personally have already heard about this, but in any case I am at a crossroads in my professional and financial life. I also don't blog a lot and do not wish to associate much with local bloggers save for a few, as you can very well tell. But I have been following a few blogs to keep me focused on one of my life goals, which is financial independence before the age of 30. (I'm 24 now... ohmigosh, six more years! @_@) One such blog is owned by Mr. Dave Aguila, which he has currently titled FOR EVERY JUAN: “A blogsite that inspires every Juan to care for their health, mother earth, and money”.

One of his most recent posts is Why 2.9 Million Pinoys Are Jobless. It's a very thought-provoking read, though it ends with a plug that's masked in a call to action (more on that later). Because the particular entry's original target audience is Filipino like myself, it is written in a mixture of slang-riddled Tagalog-based Filipino, with a smattering of English. For those who may be interested, I have asked permission from Sir Dave so I can put up a translation here (in the next post, most possibly).

The whole point of the post is to tell Filipinos like him and myself, to our collective face, to (pardon my language) get the hell up and do something instead of biding our time just waiting for financial security and success and complaining why they haven't come yet. It's a sad fact, but true - for some reason, we Filipinos are a really lazy bunch, and would rather earn a lot with little to zero effort. I see it everywhere: in the city of Makati alone, pockets of street corners reveal able-bodied men who would rather drink under the heat of the afternoon sun instead of clocking in or taking on the most menial (and sometimes disgusting) tasks if they meant enough money to put food on the table. Or worse, they make their WIVES AND CHILDREN do all the working for them, as laundry washers, sampaguita vendors, and of course as prostitutes.

Reading it for the first time felt like a slap in the face. That's exactly the style Sir Dave wrote it in - brutally frank, no-nonsense and pitiless. But then I found myself admitting that I have this lethargic feeling at work every day, the same strange mix of complacence about my financial state and pickiness about the jobs I want, that he's trying to shake the Filipino readers out of. I mean, part of my current job is to add website content, and I keep putting that off because it's mind-numbing work, not to mention that I am a bit arrogant about not wanting to clean up over website owners who make life miserable. And it's that same attitude, I'm sure, that keeps other Filipinos from earning their way into financial success.

I wish more Filipinos would actually be able to read this though. That's the biggest problem I find here - bloggers in the Philippines are an educated bunch. But this attitude, this culture, is one of the few things that actually bind Filipinos young and old, rich or poor, from all walks of life. How about those who don't know how to use computers? That's a HUGE chunk of Sir Dave's audience right there. I guess I'll have to put up flyers now...

My other problem is that the last paragraph wasn't so much a call to action but a call to ... well, call him. He's also an entrepreneur of course, but I had hoped that for once his own interests didn't get in the way of a perfectly written and particularly persuasive piece. Of course this is just my humble opinion.

Next time hopefully I can write a bit more cohesively on this. For those who can read in Tagalog, please read the article, comment on it and pass it around!

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