Fatima Lasay on Sun, 24 Jul 2005 15:12:00 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> FW: Happy Birthday! Open Letter to BBC Outlook

Dear nettimers,

 From http://korakora.org/weblog/index.php/journal/2005/07/18/happy_birthday

A forum on "collaborative practices" (among others) soon to take place, if 


Dear Outlook (<mailto:outlook@bbc.co.uk>outlook@bbc.co.uk),

Yesterday I went to a birthday party for a 26 year old in metro-Manila.

Ella is a student nurse -and most of her young friends are nursing 
students. Nothing special about that, perhaps -except for the fact that she 
already has a degree in digital communication -and is now studying nursing 
.in order to get a visa for Canada.

Her brother is also approaching his final year as a student nurse. He is a 
film maker -with a degree in business management -but is also studying to 
get a visa for Canada. Their older brother is not studying nursing -but he 
is applying for a Canadian visa. Two of the remaning siblings are already 
in Canada and one has not yet met the immigration requirements. Soon, five 
out of six children from an entire generation in one family will have 
emigrated to Canada.

Getting a Canadian visa is for people here perhaps somewhat similar to 
British parents getting their child into one of the more popular 
preparatory schools. The visa process takes several years -and so one has 
to start early -even before one graduates. Canada seems to be the top 
choice -simply because they are the most welcoming (and therefore the 
easiest to get into) -and of course family connections (in this family 
orientated country) also help. The word is that getting a job in Britain 
requires prior experience -and so this automatically disqualifies it 
(whatever other conditions might apply). Here the kids seem to  move 
directly from being a student to being a practicing nurse in Canada.

The drain on the country must be enormous. Not only is it losing those who 
would naturally become nurses here. Doctors and dentists and a whole range 
of other professionals are retraining to join the overseas brain drain. The 
Filipino education system is effectively subsidizing the world market for 
care-givers. In the meantime, local politicians go abroad for medical 

With so many kids emigrating -who will look after their parents?

However, one should not be fooled into thinking these people are innocent 
and helpless victims. They are well educated and intelligent people who are 
maximizing their personal potential as best as they can within the system 
they are presented with. Ella has just had a letter published in a local 
newspaper -challenging the widow of ex-presidential candidate Poe to put 
her money where her mouth is and, instead of simply exploiting the current 
presidential crisis for her own personal ends, actually do something useful 
to solve the problems confronting this country. Ellia's brother is planning 
a film based on his experiences as a student nurse. Previously developed 
skills are not abandoned for the sake of a new career on a foreign 
continent -they become interwoven with new skills -which in turn increases 
their future potential.

Clearly, the tragic loss for the Philippines is a great gain for the 
Canadians -but, in a world in which everything is supposed to be 
inter-connected and which that which goes around comes around -can the west 
really afford to keep sucking other countries dry?

Surely, one day the worm will turn -and when that happens,  can we then 
trully claim that we have not sown whatever the whilwind will reap for us.....

Yours sincerely,
Trevor Batten

-Korakora- Knowledge, Technology, Autonomy - http://www.korakora.org/
-Collaboration Space- http://balikatan.korakora.org/
-Discussion Group- http://kurokuro.korakora.org/

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@bbs.thing.net