I have received responses galore from well-wishers concerning my wife’s condition after her traumatic stick-up. One local Filipino friend also sent news of his impending departure to The UAE. I find this upsetting…once again it seems that a very good man is traveling afar because there is just no real opportunity locally.
I had always heard the term “brain drain” when it comes to the Phils, but there’s more to it than that. It isn’t just smart people flooding out of here—good-hearted and caring people are also leaving in droves. Henry is one of each. I met him over three years ago when I started taking college classes. He teaches English and Literature mostly, but his contributions go much further. His classes are uncompromising in quality—he takes no shortcuts, and in a country where shortcuts are pandemic.
It seems like Henry provided oversight and advice to nearly every student club and activity on campus. He arrived at the school early and always left late. We often commiserated over the direction his beloved nation seems to be heading or its lack of any real direction at all, and now it seems that he also is abandoning the seemingly impossible task of trying to make change from within. The Philippines desperately needs good people like Henry, but alas, he feels he has no choice but to go. I’ll miss seeing him on campus.
As you read his note to me and my response, think of Henry and pray for him and his beloved nation. I know him—he would very much prefer to live and work in the Philippines, but unfortunately, his country has let him down. This is a classic modern Philippines story and it’s a tragic one.
Hi there buddy,
I just read your message and I’m sorry for what happened to your wife. I hope she's just fine.
I also keep on reminding my wife and students as well to be careful and vigilant. There have been incidents as such that were experienced by some of my students.
Actually, you are right that AC is becoming a dangerous place because of its economic boom which is not supposed to be, right? If AC's economy is improving, there must be an increase of employment. Maybe, now a days, people are becoming more lazy and want to have easy money rather than WORK legally.
At any rate, let's just be all extra careful and vigilant especially you every time you ride on your bike...and of course always PRAY........
By the way, I’ll be leaving for DUBAI probably 2nd week of November. So, you won't see me in school anymore. I'm going to try my luck there.... thanks for your friendship and I hope that even we're far, we will always be friends.
Hi “Professor” Henry,
Thanks for the concern and good wishes. She’s doing much better now.
I keep hearing that there is an economic boom here in Angeles, but I'm not so sure. I see new stores going up, and homes, hotels and apartments, BUT where's the industry? It seems most of the “boom” here is driven by speculation that more tourists will come with the expansion of airline flights into Clark, but lets face it, the tourists that come here do so mostly for the girls. Much of the money driving the local economy is from OFWs (Overseas Foreign Workers) sending bucks back, like I assume you plan to do, yes? If there is so much more opportunity here then why are you leaving us Henry? That's a rhetorical question of course. I KNOW the answer and it is a shame, because many of the brightest and most industrious leave, often the very best that this country has to offer take off--present company included.
It greatly sorrows me to see you go as you are such a great teacher; in fact, one of the best I've had since I started attending classes here. But, I am happy for you if this move helps you and your family reach your dreams of a better life. It’s just a shame that it can't be done right here in your own country, ESPECIALLY for you, a guy who obviously cares greatly for your students, teaches righteous things and provides an incredibly selfless example.
If you must go to that part of the world to advance yourself, then I'm glad it’s the UAE. It seems to be very progressive and tolerant for a Muslim country. I certainly hope it works out that way for you.
I also hope that we can maintain our friendship and correspondence Henry. Please stay in touch my friend!