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Pinoy Homecoming Years 2011-2016

20 Aug

Hola  a todos,

In  June  this  year,  President  Noynoy Aquino III,  issued  Proclamation 181, or  otherwise known as  the  Pinoy Homecoming Years 2011 to 2016.  On the outset,   I  see some  noble  cause behind this  effort on the part of the Presidency.     The  Department  of  Tourism itself   indicated  that  it  is  meant  to  boost  Philippine  tourism  because  it  will  attract  Filipino  balikbayans to  come  and  see  their  families  at  any  time  of the year.

But  you know,  I have  a  skeptical  feeling  about   the  effective  result  because  it appears  to me  as  an irrational  manner  of  inviting  your  own  countrymen  to  visit  their   own  country.   In  the first  place,  Filipinos  left  the  country for  one good   reason or  another,  say   for  “greener pasture”,   the  topmost  “because”  why  thousands  have  migrated  to  the US,  to Canada,  to Europe,  to  Australia,   to other  Asian  countries,   precisely for the  purpose  of  revving  up  their  financial   status,  which  is  wanting,   if  they remain   in the Philippines.  Most  of  these  Filipinos have already   found  their  “dreams  come true”,   although admittedly,  some  failed  or  some continue  to struggle.   For those  who  met   success,   they´ve decided to   settle  down  in their  chosen land,  but  for those  who continue  to  struggle  they still  chose  to remain  in  the country  they´ve established  in  because  going  back home would  be  like  finding themselves  “going  back to sleep on  the  floor”,   while  they  are already  sleeping  in  a  bed – bluntly  putting  it.   But  the question  remains:    why had  it  become  “unattractive”  for   pinoys,  who have  already experienced  good  bounty outside of their  country,  to  return  or even  to visit  the Philippines?   I´ve  spoken  to a  lot  of  Filipinos  here  in Madrid  and  outside  of Spain,  and  more  often than  not,   I  get   the  same  answer to the  question:  “when  do you plan  to return to the Philippines?  Very  often  the answer   had  been: “when  I retire”.  The  rest  would  say,  “well,  when I am  able  to save  some money to spend  in my  visit”.  Others would simply  shrug  their  shoulders  and say..”I  don´t know”,  “I am not sure..” While  the more  undecided  ones   won´t  even  say  a  word!.    I´ve  met  a lot of  Filipinos  who have  not  gone  home  for  years,  and  I mean  lots  of  years.

I  ask  therefore:   Will the proclamation  provide  them some  sort  of  a  concession  while  in the Philippines?  Will they  be  given  50%  discounts  when  shopping?  Will  they  be  accorded  a  “red-carpet” welcome at the  airport?  Will the President  receive them in  a  private   audience?..  You know  there are hundreds   of  questions  as  to  “why  now?”.   Isn´t  it  that   a Filipino  can just  freely go  home  and  visit  the Philippines  without  having  to  be  “invited”  through  a  Presidential  Proclamation?  Have  I done something wrong in leaving the country  that I   have  now  to be  “invited”  to return,   else  I am not  welcome?

I come  to a  thought,   instead  of  inviting  Filipinos,   why not  invite   foreigners  who can afford  more  to  spend  in the Philippines?

Hasta  luego  a  todos.

Eric

NOTE:   The above   is  a personal  opinion   of  this  author  and should not  be misconstrued as  libelous  on its  form.   Freedom of the  press is  a  constitutional  right  provided in  Art. 3,  Sec. 4 of the  Philippine  Constitution which protects  me  as   a Filipino.

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3 Comments

Posted by on 20/08/2011 in Filipinos around

 

3 responses to “Pinoy Homecoming Years 2011-2016

  1. Eloisa Munden

    21/08/2011 at 01:15

    Very good point. Tourism should all the more attract foreigners than balikbayans. “Tourist spots” should be developed, improved, and must become safe and secured so that people from around the globe do not hesitate, feel at risk nor threatened to visit what is supposed to be the beautiful “Pearl of the Orient” Philippines.

    Waiting for more!!

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  2. larra

    20/10/2011 at 12:16

    “Homecoming 2011-2016” sounds more like money-raising project and less on reunification with the family. The Balikbayan Visa already exits and the Privileges Cards are limited to the assigned institutions mostly owned by the governement. Phils. is expensive compared to other Asian Countries like Thailand not to mention that Phils. has less to offer in terms of security and organization. I think the focus must be on security and the prices especially hotels must be competitive.

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    • Eric

      21/10/2011 at 11:33

      Hi Larra, Your comments are well said. It’s true that the project of the government is more or less like “fund-raising” scheme so it doesn’t have to think much about what “gimmick” it could use to lure Filipinos in coming back home to spent their holidays in the Philippines. One thing though is that fact that it is sad, because instead of focusing attention to the more “monied” foreigners, the government “preys” on its fellow countrymen to bolster the economy. It is a pity that the Philippines is being left behind by the other Asian countries while those countries used to emulate us decades back. We just have to wait and see the result of the program.

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