Sunday, April 27, 2008

No Choice

I was asked to make a post about why I am still in the Philippines when most of my medical school classmates are already finishing their training in the U.S. (read it here)

To quote:
Why are YOU still in the Philippines?
This post's title does not mince any words.

I mean, if I had the choice to name my citizenship, or where I live... but I don't have a choice.

I have learned to love certain aspects of living in the Philippines, but they alone do not make the argument compelling enough.

Like how cheap things are.

And my friends, family and girlfriend Joy are here in the Philippines.

And I am a PRC-licensed physician.

And Boracay, Kalibo, and Iloilo are great places to visit and settle.

There are more arguments against staying in the Philippines. Just a sampling:

Doctors and nurses insensitive enough to make light of an embarrassing situation WHILE being filmed. I am sure that worse things have happened in government hospitals - I've been there.

High society life exposed by a foreigner as filled with excessive partying, and total lack of social sensitivity, while the price of rice steadily climbs up making life more miserable for the majority.

An inept government content with maintaining the status quo, because they are the status quo.

Crab mentality.

Taking credit for something that was done by another person, and ironically disowning the same person when he makes a mistake.

A total lack of well-placed national pride. Being proud because of what Manny Pacquiao has achieved is a shallow demonstration of national pride, prone to politics and forgotten in 20 years.

I could go on and on.

Some people would react - those problems are not unique to the Philippines. I agree.

But bear in mind that there are a lot of countries that are more fervent in their nationalism, more transparent in individual and group dealings, etc., etc.

Let's just say that there is more integrity in some countries. Why can't we strive towards increasing integrity in everything that we do?

Staying here in the Philippines is not a choice for the suffering majority. We owe it to them to make their stay here a little more tolerable, by living with integrity.

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