The global Filipino
It is laudable that the Philippines is being proactive in its foreign affairs, and is willing to return to the USA, where around 4 million Filipinos and/or former Filipinos call this place their home.
OFWs play a part in every Filipino tourist’s journey abroad, mainly because we see our countrymen everywhere, even in places where you least expect it, and they are always willing to offer a lending hand or two. This writer is now in Vancouver, Canada, where countless Filipinos will be seen and conversed with, may it be in the hotel, restaurant, airport, and even the local golf course. It is a wonderful thing for Filipinos to be entrenched in cities abroad and to establish a decent livelihood there.
What struck me the most was on our flight from New York to Vancouver, Canada, we had a terrible layover experience in Denver, Colorado, where we were forced to spend the night since we missed our connecting flight. Our airline was kind enough to provide free overnight hotel accommodation, plus meal vouchers, but the fatigue and anxiety that came with it made the experience something worth forgetting. Our main takeaway from this was when we checked into our hotel in the middle of nowhere, the hotel receptionist was a Filipina, who was kind enough to assist us and lighten our moods by sharing her story of how she ended up in Denver.
For this reason, it is laudable that the Philippines is being proactive in its foreign affairs, and is willing to return to the USA, where around 4 million Filipinos and/or former Filipinos call this place their home. President Bongbong Marcos Jr. showed interest in attending the UN General Assembly this month in New York to deliver a speech before the United Nations. US President Joe Biden likewise invited our President for a state visit to the White House, which will turn out to be a historical event, given the rich and storied past between our countries.
We have always seen the US as our ally, and vice-versa, so it makes perfect sense for our President to conduct a state visit in the US. However, what makes this visit interesting is the Marcos family’s ties with the US, particularly in New York City, where the Philippines’ presence in the most affluent locations in Manhattan may be attributed to the Marcoses. Some groups have aired their objection to President Marcos Jr.’s visit to the US, and we can anticipate protests to follow him wherever he may be. These incidents come with the territory, in any case.
Foreign trips are enriching experiences where all your senses are heightened. Your mind is opened to the stories of the people you meet and gives you a sense of humility and awe with how vast the world really is. Moreover, you get exposed to how foreign countries have developed, as can be seen with their infrastructure and public facilities, to the point that it has positively affected their mindset on efficiency in work and conduct towards strangers.
I am sure our President, even how well -traveled he has been for his entire life, would be reaping boundless benefits in his forthcoming trips that would inure to our country. In his recent visits to Indonesia and Singapore, the President secured billions in investment pledges that will bring forth thousands of jobs for Filipinos.
Global Filipinos demand a global-thinking and oriented President — we must acknowledge that the Philippines will not make it with an isolationist approach to the global economy. We must recognize that Filipinos are now intrinsically global in nature, and we must bring all that we can to our country, without compromising our culture and national treasures. Alas, we will be keenly observing our President in his next state visits with eagerness and high hopes.
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