Another open letter to a friend

Dear Friend,

Spending these past few months are the most humbling moments I ever had in my life. It reminds me that I am just a simple pilgrim travelling and searching here on earth. These moments of being all by myself gave me almost all the spectrum of feelings I felt with myself. Sometimes I pity myself; I got angry with myself with the choices I made; I felt sorry for how life events turned out for myself; and, I felt proud for what I have done these past few years particularly for all the graces and opportunities I got in joining the Marist Brothers.

I am sorry for sometimes disregarding and being indifferent to people I have met along the way especially to my family and friends. You know well that I always say sorry to you guys. If I have hurt you in ways I am not aware of, patawad po (I’m sorry).

Though people hurt me, stabbed me in the back, maligned me, called me names, used me in any manner, treated me indifferently, or though some of them keep hurting me, I forgave them all and will forgive them anyway. They might have almost broke me down but all of them made me stronger, tougher, and wiser. So thanks to you all.

It has been 29 years of existence for me and I am still keeping on dreaming. I don’t know what I really want exactly for myself to be quite honest and I am okay with that. But one thing I am sure of that no one can take away from me is hope. But yeah, hope is a good thing to paraphrase Andy Dufresne of Shawhank Redemption, my all-time favorite film.

I know myself well that I sometimes miss the point of how it is to live as a brother and I forget sometimes to do things with love. Love is also synonymous charity. Speaking of it, it reminds me that I might be speaking in tongues and be great in many things but without love, I am nothing. I know without it, I am nothing. Let it be for the sake of love and let it be with great love that I will be able to do great things.

If I feel proud, let it be not because of myself but because of all the great things God has done for me in my life. Let it be for God’s grace that people will call me blessed.

Your little brother,

Allen, FMS

Brain Drain and poverty

It’s sad to think that in our country, the people who are rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. This March, there would be an estimated 0.7 million tertiary graduates in the country. Is there enough job openings for them considering that the unemployment rate in the country remains a problem?

I know there’s a lot of quality graduates produced every year as well as quality professionals who are currently serving the country. But it’s sad to think that a lot of these people choose to go abroad to improve their current economic situation as the salary in other countries offers more than what we have here in the country. You cannot blame them for choosing to seek greener pasture in other countries. This brain drain is slowly affecting country.

Speaking of OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), I have another question to raise—if you take away all the OFW remittances, what would happen in our Third World status economy?

Personally, I experienced underemployment for a year before I entered the Marist Brothers. I have experienced the competitive job market against people with good connections and people with better qualifications than me. To get a job, I think it often falls down with the people whom you know.

Going back, I still believe that there is still hope and I really want to believe that there is still hope in the country. We need to do something against poverty. No one should be left behind. It’s not just the government that needs to act. We, the Filipino people are the ones that should start the solution. Thanks to the Non-Government Officials (NGO) and missionary workers, as they are finding ways to ease the problem. Let’s not wait for foreign countries to help us. We need to help ourselves first. Yes, there is still hope.