Keeping up with the Con Gen: Musings on Philippine Independence

By Consul General Paul Raymund P. Cortes

We celebrate the day we successfully unshackled our country from the three-century rule of the Kingdom of Spain. For the first time in the history of our people, we were proud, sovereign, and independent, albeit tragically short-lived. One hundred and 18 years thereafter, over 102 million people call the Philippines their motherland; almost 13 times the 8 million people who found themselves comprising Asia’s first republic. We ask: where are we headed to?

Our statistics estimate that 10% of all Filipinos or a little over 10 million are elsewhere across the globe, spread out in some 190 states. Some 600,000 call the UAE their second home; a region that has for decades provided the economics for so many lives back in the Philippines. Employers around the world all agree that the Filipinos are the ideal employees.

They’re cheerful, industrious, respectful, responsible, focused, highly skilled, incredibly productive – the superlatives continue on and on. The work ethic of our nurses, doctors, teachers, engineers, architects, accountants, office managers, household service workers, and all those in the service industry is regarded as the norm by which everyone else must be measured.

The surge in the Philippine Demographic – not only in the UAE or the Gulf Countries but also in Europe, the Americas, and Asia – is expected to continue for years to come. It is indeed heartening to know that everyone in the world loves us.

For foreign employers, it is it difficult to imagine their world without Pinoys. After all, we raise their children and make homes for them. We teach their young and provide care and nurture for their sick. We build the magnificent structures that become their cities’ icons. We learn their music and serenade them in their language. We run their world.

For as long as our people do not foresee the motherland as a viable option for our families to live, study, work, and raise the next generation of exemplary Filipinos in, there will never be an America or Hong Kong or Canada or a Middle East without us.

Keeping up with the Con Gen: Musings on Philippine Independence

Deep in our hearts though, we yearn for the time when leaving the country is only by choice; when the environment back home would compel us to take our chances there instead of looking for these elsewhere. While clearly those before us could not take us closer to this dream, its fruition now lies within our grasp. To begin with, however, we must understand that we cannot simply wait for such blessings to fall onto our laps. We must take charge of our own fate and will it to realization.

Only we Pinoys can ensure that the processes we devise to maintain law and order in our country are strictly enforced. Only the Filipino can innovate and build our own society in a fashion that creates and provides an economic environment that is conducive to growth. Only most Pinoy can demand that our educational system is to be kept rigid, rightfully demanding that our children be schooled in the highest standards.

Only we can insist that the government leaders whom we have elected to manage the macros of the country are held to the highest forms political, economic, and judicial accountabilities, and anything that would compromise these standards will not be tolerated or accommodated. When it dawns on us that no one else can make the Filipino dreams come true but Filipinos, only then do we become truly free: free to achieve anything we desire without having to rely on any other country or people.

I call on all overseas Filipinos to continue nourishing that dream of returning home. Let us be relentless in pursuing our wish to provide the home we imagine for our families. Now is the time for us to raise our own children, and teach them in the manner we have done so for others.

Filipino dreams

Let it be our time to take care of our own sick, the way we have for the aged and infirm of the world. We call on our very own to design and engineer our own structures the way we built the mega structures in foreign cities. This clarion call cannot be put off until tomorrow. It has to start now, believing that when we do, Inang Bayan becomes the envy of the world, for the world’s best are back home where they belong.

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CONSUL GENERAL PAUL RAYMUND CORTES

When not performing his duties as the head of the Filipino community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, or the obligations of a dutiful dad, passionate patriot Paul Raymund Cortes, mulls over how to further enrich the local Filipino community by promoting a more progressive mindset.

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1 comment

  1. He is indeed amazing person! And we are blessed to have him as our father in Dubai and Northern Emirates. Knowing him as a person is someone that you will really look up to…His Character…”The respect that leadership must have requires that one’s ethics be without question. A leader not only stays above the line between right and wrong, he stays well clear of the gray areas.” Mabuhay ka po! H.E. Consul General Paul Raymond Cortes.

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