Sunday, July 17, 2011

Success from a country of failure

I've been hesitant to write this piece, because is very personal to me and my friend Ron.

I first met Ron when he was a young teenager, a poor kid living in Iligan in the jihadist ridden territory of Lanao del Norte in western Mindanao in the Philippines when he was 16.  His father was a local politician and was murdered by the "religion of peace" and he and his family didn't have a support mechanism like a fundraiser to help them out.  Needless to say he and his family had hard times.  Ron, not being one to just roll over finished high school, went on to the Iligan Institute of Technology, part of Mindanao State University, and graduated with high honors in computer engineering.  He initially had a hard time finding a job.  It's even harder to get a job there than in our "Summer of Recovery".  Well that didn't work out so well.

Ron worked midnight shift call centers, took crappy jobs, and finally found a teaching  job.  It paid the bills, almost, but he wasn't going anywhere with that job. We chatted about a strategy a lot and his best bet was to find work overseas.  Ron was thinking Qatar or UAE, and I was thinking FUCK NO.  Filipinos in Arab countries are slaves.  Well Ron finally has found a decent paying job in Singapore, living in ok conditions, and being respected by his students.  I'm not sure he is getting the pay he deserves for what his employer gives him, but he is doing much better than a year ago, and can go home and face his family with honor.

I'm wishing my friend Ron all the success in the world.  I love this guy like he is one of my own, and am proud of all his achievements against a lot of odds.

We Americans don't know just how good we have it.

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