My role in nation building

My role in nation building

by UA&P News Desk on December 7, 2010 - 1:53 pm

What is my role in nation building as a child of an Expat Pinoy?

by Erilyn Marie V. Dagan, III Entrepreneurial Management, SMN, winner of the BPI Ibang Klaseng Entrepreneur Award

Since I was born, my parents have been working abroad. In fact, both of them met in Japan as Overseas Filipino Workers. My siblings and I have been raised by our grandmother. Our parents go home every year and stay for a month.

Paper Airplane by Woodley Wonderworks under CC BY

Being an Expat Pinoy child calls for independence and maturity at an early age. Our parents try their best to guide us along the way even though we’re miles apart, and we appreciate and feel their love. However, it’s still different to grow up living without them. During family day celebrations in school, I didn’t get to attend and play with them like other children. At times, they can’t come home and go up on stage with me in recognition rites and other awarding ceremonies. They can’t always be with me during ordinary days as well as special days of my life. I can communicate with them but not all the time. There were also times when I had a problem that I had to face it myself.

There are decisions which have to be made quickly on my own, so I can’t call them overseas and ask for advice. There are times when I miss them and want to be with them, but I must bear and accept the situation. The fact that my parents are working abroad continues to make me tough and mature as I face different circumstances and obstacles in my life. At the age of reason, I had to fully understand why my parents have to work abroad and they can’t be with us always. As the eldest child, I also have to show my siblings that we can be good even without our parents closely looking after us.

I am already presented with reality even though I haven’t even graduated from school and experienced working. My eyes were already opened that it’s not easy to make a living as I witness my parents work very hard for our future and learn that they can’t go home even if they want to be with us. As a result, they became my inspiration and motivation to do my best in everything I do. I would like to give them endurance to surpass the loneliness of being away from us abroad and to express my gratitude for their undying efforts by letting them see that I’m doing well. I would like to make them fulfilled of their work, because their remittances result to a responsible daughter.

As an Expat Pinoy child, I give my best in all my endeavors given my internal capabilities and external opportunities to thank my hardworking parents and make them happy. I developed a strong and moral character, and I strive to have good work ethics. Because of this, I fulfill my role in nation building as a part of the nation. Because I make the most of who I am by doing my work well, I am able to help other people around me by influencing them to do the same. They will be able to see that I am contented with what I have and I can do many things given my situation. Even though I can’t always be with my parents whom I love, I can still do many things and I can make a difference. In fact, my parents’ physical absence makes me stronger and inspires me to be good and responsible.

Study Work Desk by Nicole Lee under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0As a student, my endeavors include academics, business and other activities. Giving one’s best in something starts with a matter of attitude. I’ve learned to love what I’m doing and appreciate life. The way I relate to other people affects them more than I know. If I learn how to love myself and my lifestyle, I will have a good mood towards it. Consequently, I influence other people’s mood. One can set his mind into thinking that his work is his hobby or interest. Dragging one’s self to do his obligations is tiring. Treating them with passion makes living life peaceful and fulfilling.

In school, I just enjoy the company of my classmates, professors, mentors and the rest of the community, as well as the loads of school work. Coming to think of it, I have to go school for only a couple of years, then I will work for the rest of my life. It’s best to enjoy the school environment and take the stress and fun it gives happily. Education is also my foundation and preparation for work and it’s a bad idea to not take it seriously and do things sloppily. It molds me to become a good citizen. It’s also self-fulfilling to learn that you can finish tasks more than you can imagine. Besides, it doesn’t feel good to be delayed and see your classmates graduate before you. Above all, parents work hard to send their children to school, like my parents who work abroad for our future. Messing around makes them feel that their efforts don’t bear fruit.

Before, I didn’t think that I can influence other people with my principles. I just thought about doing my own thing. However, a classmate opened up to me that I inspired her to do her best too. She said that it’s more satisfying to bond with friends after a hard day’s work than partying all day and flunking in the end. I taught her that doing well in academics is a short-term sacrifice with long-term results. Doing my work well also makes other members of the school community satisfied with their work and inspires them to do their job better. Some professors aren’t satisfied and treat themselves as a failure when their students flunk in their exam. It’s because they think that they haven’t taught well enough.

Show Us Your Smile by Ben Smith under CC BY-SA 2.0The school administration is also proud to see their students do well and fulfill their dreams. They get a confirmation that their courses and programs are successful. Mentors are also happy to see their mentees follow their advices and are on the right track. They are more inspired to help others, as they feel that they’re indeed needed. Simple smiles, greetings and thanks can also make the janitors and security personnel acknowledged. Doing my best to be clean in using the school facilities and following school regulations such as wearing my ID make their job easy and not very tiring. This makes them more passionate in maintaining the cleanliness and security of the university, because they feel that we also care for them and appreciate their work.

When it comes to business, as an Entrepreneurial Management student, we were asked to make a business plan, present it to the panelists for approval, start it and make it profitable. We should accomplish these so we can graduate.

Before I reached my teens, my father sold prepaid text and call cards in Japan. After years of hard work and determination, he was able to save enough capital and put up his own business in the same industry. From being a card agent and distributor, he became the manager of the system operations of the prepaid cards under his company and he became the first Filipino resident in Japan to own a telephone company. These cards cater to his fellow Overseas Filipino Workers in Japan, so they are able to text their loved ones in the Philippines at an affordable cost. Because of this, my father not only inspired me to do well in school but also to become an entrepreneur.

My proposed business plan in school is an “order regalo” or gift-delivery service for the loved ones of OFWs in Japan. It was approved by the panelists and the business is now successfully operating. I used my father’s customers as my captive market. If my business grows, I will expand my business and also serve OFWs in other countries. Through my business, I am able to bridge the gap between the OFWs in Japan and their loved ones in the Philippines. Moreover, I am able to help the families of those who work in my company. Working honestly with people outside the business such as suppliers makes them be used to a healthy corporate culture. Paying taxes diligently also helps the government in their new projects for the betterment of the nation. Putting up a business is also for the welfare of the society.

I’m honored to serve the Overseas Filipino Workers in Japan, because my father is an OFW in Japan himself. OFWs are close to my heart. That’s why when I learned of BPI Search for the Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children, I wanted to share how OFWs create an impact to the society not only through themselves but through their children. I wanted to share how my parents made me a better person and how they are fit to be called the heroes of our country.

Building Blocks by Artful Mugpie on Flickr under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licenseWhen it comes to other activities, I find time to join charitable events in our university clubs and to join my father in his annual visit to Boystown Foundation in Marikina City where he used to stay when he was a child. He never failed to share his blessings with them. The said foundation is the home of the orphaned children and the aged. Every week, I also allot time to attend catechism classes and share what I learn to other children. I also see it to it that I am updated with the news or what is happening in our country so I can do my role well as a Filipino citizen. Participating in nation building starts not only with doing one’s work well, but also seeing to it that in our own ways we try to reach out to other people.

To be able to give our best in all our endeavors, we should fully accept ourselves and our situation. It’s a matter of attitude and having a positive outlook in life. We can’t control the external factors around us. What we can control is ourselves or our reaction to these events. We should strive to be proactive.

A nation cannot be built by one person alone. However, if a part of the nation performs his work poorly, the nation will not be built. It’s because this part also has the ability to influence other people and thus help in building the nation successful. Our thoughts, words and actions greatly affect and influence other people more than we know. Our joint efforts can transcend the boundaries to building our nation. #

Photos: Paper Airplane by Woodley Wonderworks under CC BY | Study / Work Desk by Nicole Lee under CC BY-NC-SA | Show Us Your Smile by Ben Smith under CC BY-SA 2.0 | Building Blocks by Artful Mugpie on Flickr under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license
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