There was a big outrage from Philippine Politicians and Migrant workers about an article written by a Hong Kong writer named Chip Tsao published in HK Magazine naming the Philippines “A Nation of Servants”.
Is this tag so alarming? Do you find servitude a degrading task? This issue is debatable and has long been a cause of public outburst for many times in the past. For me, the tag when I first heard it– is really disturbing, annoying and totally uncalled for. However, as I think deeper I saw a different perspective so I have to say that the Philippines tagged as “A Nation of Servants” is really nothing to be ashamed of. I view it the same as the Half-filled glass vs. Half Empty glass principle. Now you may ask me why I don’t consider his article too degrading.
Below are my opinion on the matter:
1.) Yes, there are many Migrant Filipinos who work as Domestic Helpers, Construction Workers, Entertainers and Sales Clerks in most part of the world. They earn meager salary and usually belong to the lower class of the society.However, we have to acknowledge that these people make the daily lives of the families, companies and entities they are working for easier. Everytime I recall the article published in Arab News titled “Imagine a World without Filipinos” it inspires me and makes me proud to be a Filipino. This article so clearly defined the importance of Filipino workers in the society.
2.) There is really nothing to be ashamed of if you are working as a Domestic Helper, Construction Worker and the like. If you are sent overseas with full documentation and done through legal procedures, then by all means be proud of yourself and your work. More importantly, you are helping your family to have better lives and the Philippine economy in general with your monthly remittances. Even if a doll was depicted in your likeness wearing a Governess outfit, you have every right to put your head up as you are doing a good and decent job.
3.) Thailand is a very popular tourist destination. Thai brand of Hospitality is even synonymous to world-class service with a smile. Now, if we are talking about the Hotel business, all the top hotels claim to have modern amenities, luxurious decor, homey ambience…everyone try to upgrade or renovate their rooms as often as they can to beat the competition. But what is the thin line between a normal deluxe hotel and a superb hotel? It is their service. A Hotel may have the fanciest room decor but if the service is terrible, expect business to go down soon especially in this era of Trip Advisor, one bad comment about the service of the hotel can spell disaster.
The Keyword to all the above is SERVICE. As a Nation of Servants, it is our underlying advantage which can make the Philippines a key Tourism as well as Industrial Destination if we make it consistent in all sectors of the society.
Now the question is– Are we only settling for the tag “A Nation of Servants”? I think more appropriately, we should aim for the Philippines to be tagged “A Nation of World-Class Servants and Leaders”.
We have a surplus of intelligent minds but only if these minds work out something good and productive instead of making dishonesty and corruption their main principles in life, then we can produce outstanding Leaders that can be recognized and idolized the world over.