loving what we do

by Melissa

I went to the beach this weekend.

We followed the blogs-  and took a jeep to the MRT to a bus to Calatagan.  3 hours on an overwhelmingly air conditioned bus.  We made it afterdark and ended up in a lover’s hotel for the night.  the kind of place for first timers, or the scandalous, or maybe for valentine’s day. There are mirrors everywhere, and mood lighting, and a holographic image of a sexy lady.  We could have paid and stayed for 3 hours but we took 12.

The next morning at 8am we were beach-bound.  The tricycle ride gave us a window into the everyday lives of the locals: fishing.

A year ago or so this beach was bought by somebody who will develop it (destroy it?)  This blog suggests the buyer is no other than SM (the megamall virus and other more libelous descriptors) although we were not able to confirm this info from local folks we talked to…

There was one other group camping on the beach.   We didn’t bring enough food or gear to stay overnight, and we were not really planning on it.  But we were open.  And then we saw the beauty of the place, its simplicity, and a blue sky; we wanted to stay.  And sure enough a tent is for rent.  The family that seems to manage the place has a small house that also doubles as a sari sari store and information center.  They were even kind enough to cook rice and fish for us for a small fee.

I used to be really into risk-taking and travel.  And while I no longer seem to travel like a punk, I loved the reminder that life provides.

The beach family it turns out has migrant aspirations.  Kuya Ramon told me about three of his children- a dentist, a nurse and a manager at a local fast food chain each bound for an overseas job in either toronto, british columbia or brisbane.  Yup.  Professionals taking what’s available elsewhere.  Even the manager will take a counter job in Canadian fast food.  Since when has Canada been importing its fast food workers?

But weirder still, for Kuya Ramon, was the enigma of a Canadian citizen working in the Philippines. “so many jobs there but you’re working here!” he says incredulously, shaking his head.  It doesn’t seem to add up in the logic of economics-  where jobs are ever only about meeting basic needs.

I dream of a future where work is about fulfilling purpose, cultivating passions, engaging beauty…

But today, I am one of the privileged.

I can attempt a holistic approach to work.  I can be in the Philippines as a traveller/worker/ lover/ cousin/friend/investor…  I can love what I do for work!

Last night in a very productive conversation with a friend and fellow social entrepreneur, we talked about our projects in the Philippines.  “You can do anything here”, she says with conviction.  It’s a paradox of the Filipino experience.  That while there are not opportunities to meet even basic needs for many people here (thus persistent poverty; the migration phenomenon), for those with capital-  money, resources, social networks- the Philippines is just ripe with opportunity.

One Comment to “loving what we do”

  1. Well done Ka Nadia! Sulat ka pa ng marami!

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