Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

‘I will return to fight another day’

Posted on February 26, 2006 by jimparedes

For those who don’t subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I am reprinting my blog entry entitled ‘Yes, It’s True!’ reworked and retitled “I will return to fight another day’ as it appeared on Sunday Inquirer Magazine last Feb. 25, 2006 It is a much longer version than the original and seems to ‘read’ differently. If you’ve read the shorter version, please bear with me.

I wasn’t going write about this until I was ready. I am ready now. Yes, it’s true. I am moving with my family to Australia.

I thought of migrating in 1998, a few months after Erap had won. Even if I did not vote for him, I was (in hindsight) naively hopeful that he would be a leader who would prove his detractors wrong. I was not just ready but hoping to be surprised. As it turned out, I was wrong. Instead, I found myself, with so many others, quite disgusted and disappointed with how things turned out. I saw little hope for the next six years.

How depressingly different the future seemed at that point compared to the optimism I felt in 1986 when I and my APO group mates, Danny Javier and Boboy Garrovillo, joined several million Filipinos in breaking the dictator’s repressive grip on our country. EDSA I was the glorious, euphoric culmination of years of struggle to win back our freedoms. It was the bold, victorious step we collectively took to redirect the country to the path to greatness.

We in the APO had done our humble part through our performances that somehow helped inspire fellow Filipinos to struggle for a different future. In the last months before EDSA I, the APO was banned from the controlled media, radio and TV, and prohibited from using government venues like Ultra, Folk Arts Theater and CCP.

It was par for the course but it only made us more committed to the movement to get Marcos out of Malacanang and our lives. I was more than ready to risk life, limb, career and future for a better Philippines. The events leading to EDSA I shaped my political convictions and the historic three days of the EDSA revolution told me that my idealism was not misplaced. It affirmed my belief that we Filipinos have what it takes to be great.

‘Magkakapit bisig libo-libong tao
Kay sarap pala maging Pilipino’…

Handog ng Pilipino sa mundo
Mapayapang paraang pagbabago
Katotohanan, kalayaan, katarungan
Ay kayang makamit na walang dahas
Basta’t magkaisa tayong lahat

Those words, which spontaneously came out of me as I wrote what became the EDSA anthem ‘Handog Ng Pilipino Sa Mundo’, captured both the greatness and unity that we are capable of when we set aside our differences.

Fast-forward to 2000. 1986 seemed so far away, like a half-forgotten dream. In place of the euphoria and optimism, I remember the feeling of being tossed in a sea of uncertainty and despair as we were fed by media with a daily diet of scandal after scandal that characterized Erap’s failed presidency and moral weakness. We had undoubtedly taken a wrong turn somewhere and we were headed for the abyss, which was just around the corner.

It was around then that I applied for migration to Australia. At the time, I felt it would be a good opportunity to sit out the Erap years and pursue something the family has always wanted to do — live abroad. I was in my late 40s and I was restless, wanting to try things I’ve never done before. My decision to move was and remains to be as much about personal growth as it was and is about the disappointment with how our leaders are running the country to the ground.

Before EDSA I, my family actually had green cards to live in the United States. But we surrendered these to the US Embassy in 1989 right after the deadliest coup staged by the military adventurists of the Reform the AFP Movement. After that close call for our democracy, my wife Lydia and I decided to make the statement that we were staying to defend the gains of our newly recovered freedoms from the military predators. We were staking our lives and that of our children to show our belief in and support for our new democracy. And to prove it, we closed the escape hatch.

I believed then as I do now that sometimes, one must do what one must, even if others think it’s crazy. The immigration officer was flabbergasted when I showed up at the US Embassy just two days after the coup ended to return our green cards. He could not fathom why we were doing this when so many Filipinos were willing to give anything for the chance to live in the US.

The way things stood in 2000, however, we felt it was the time to seriously consider the option to migrate. To our great delight, we were promptly approved for migration to Australia. We were given a five-year window to make the move but we wanted to leave right away. I was tired and had little enthusiasm for political involvement and causes.

It seemed that we had not learned anything from EDSA I. We had squandered our opportunities for genuine and lasting change. Almost every institution in our midst was faltering and failing its constituents and I felt deeply let down. Where after EDSA 1 I had the passion to engage and get involved, 15 years later, I was tired and even doubted whether doing so would change anything. It was Marshall Macluhan who said that the price for eternal vigilance was boredom. In my case, it was more a case of a flagging spirit, worn out in trying in my own way to get the country out of the inertia that it seems to be perennially stuck in. I was becoming too cynical. I needed a break.

But politics aside, leaving was understandably attractive for many other personal reasons. I was eagerly getting into new pursuits—teaching, writing books, photography, scuba, giving workshops. And I still wanted to do other things, like pursue further studies, or simply try a different milieu to wake up to and engage. In other words, I was looking for new challenges, new vistas to explore and conquer.

But EDSA Dos intervened and delayed our move. After EDSA II succeeded in evicting Estrada from Malacanang in January 2001, we had second thoughts about leaving. But, as things turned out, our hope for change was short-lived. Soon after President Arroyo took over the government, it was clear that we would still be in for hard times. There was the nightmare of EDSA Tres in late April, the relentless assault of the opposition on the newly installed President, and its blind ambition to return to power at any cost. And the scandals that have plagued the Arroyo administration almost since Day One, did not inspire confidence.

Still, our plan to leave would be delayed by more important and tragic events in the family. On the home front, my mother-in-law was found to have cancer and passed away in less than a year. Shortly after my mother-in-law died, Lydia, who took care of her mother until the end, was herself diagnosed with breast cancer, which forced us to put our move to emigrate on hold indefinitely. Lydia’s cancer came as a big shock to our family. We considered the option of her getting treatment in Australia, but we later agreed it would be best to get her treatment here amid the healing company of her friends and loved ones.

Fortunately, she showed positive signs of recovery but our euphoria was quickly dashed when her father was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer in January last year. We stayed by his side until his death in October.

With the demise of both Lydia’s parents and her continuing recovery, we decided that it was time to pick up our plan to move to Sydney, Australia.

Why Australia? I’ve always enjoyed visiting the place. As a parent, I always think about what my kids’ future will be and constantly worry about their safety. Australia seems like a good place for them to learn to be independent, in a society that is stable, equitable and relatively safe. For starters, the country is kind to immigrants: it provides free education, medical benefits, social services, etc. and is still a decent place to live.

If the kids find that they want to return later on to the Philippines, it will be their choice. But by moving, we are giving them the opportunity to live in another country and thus be able to make an informed decision.

As for Lydia and me, we are doing this while we are still (relatively) young enough, strong enough and crazy enough to start anew. Do we intend to live in Australia for the rest of our lives? No! We are too hopelessly Pinoy to uproot ourselves completely from this country and society. Our roots are here. Our friends are here and we have spent most of our lives here. We will be back.

Years ago, I explained to a foreigner why overseas Filipinos want to eventually return home. First World countries may have great infrastructure, material comfort and modernity, but these cannot compare with the way the homeland speaks to a Filipino’s heart. There may be potholes in the street where I live but they ‘speak’ to me in a way that a flawless highway in a developed foreign country cannot. I may be upset by the potholes, but the feeling is a familiar one, and it is easier to endure than alienation in a foreign land.

The things that upset me about the country ‘speak’ to me in that same familiar language. In fact, it is so familiar that my sense of humor can run circles around the very things I complain about. But that is precisely the problem: because these have become too familiar, I am no longer moved by them – at least not enough to be able to change things. Indeed, they have become ‘my’ potholes. Life in the Philippines may be hell at times, but it remains our home. Lydia and I are not even selling our house.

I have been asked if I am disgusted with the way things are here. Yes, absolutely, just like everyone else. Am I abandoning the Philippines? No. I am Filipino. One big issue that I grappled with was the possibility of having to give up my citizenship in the course of migrating. I could not picture NOT being a Filipino. I still can’t. But with the new law allowing dual citizenship in place, that has stopped being a concern. Regardless, I know from years of meeting many of our kababayans abroad that we Pinoys may leave this country and settle in other places but our Filipino-ness will never leave us. Being Filipino is, after all, in the heart.

It might be a good experience living in another society, even for just a while, and becoming a Global Filipino, like Rizal, Luna, Ninoy, and the OFWs I have met while performing with the APO in the US, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand and Australia. I wish to share their experience of living abroad, in functional and orderly societies, and bringing back home lessons learned form the experience. I suspect that being a Global Pinoy can only be broadening.

I am thankful that my closest friends and partners in APO – Danny Javier, Boboy Garovillo, Betta and Butch Dans – have been very supportive, making my decision to emigrate easier. APO is truly a free society. We have always encouraged each other’s plans to grow in the directions we chose.

This is not the end of APO, however. Not by a long shot. Mick Jagger, in explaining the Stones’ longevity says that ‘good things last forever,’ I feel the same way about APO, especially after our newly affirmed realization (thanks to our concerts overseas) that generations of Filipinos have indeed grown up with our music. We will continue to tour abroad, and perform in Manila occasionally although admittedly, our appearances here will be more limited.

In the next few months, I look forward to pursuing my to-do list. After setting up house in Sydney, I would like to study, maybe pursue a masters’ degree, or try getting a job — something I have never done. Whatever lies in store for me in this new adventure, I am saying “yes”. There is something crazy, thrilling and exciting about it, almost like signing a blank check. One has to do crazy things every now and then.

I know my decision to leave has stirred some concern among some friends, but I have to do what I have to do. Call it a sabbatical. Or a Jungian call to adventure. Maybe it’s just me mid-lifing. But the fact is, there are parts of me wishing to find expression somewhere and in ways I have not tried. Political fatigue has made it easier for me to pursue my personal development. I will return to fight another day.

A wise person once pointed out, ‘We do not see the world as it is. We see it as we are’. Perhaps. When I come back, I shall have acquired fresh eyes and a revived spirit and hopefully, a better appreciation once more of the many blessings of life in the Philippines. I can once again jump into the fray and give my heart and soul to the day-to-day task of chipping away at the block of inertia that has characterized our society and brought us so many problems.

I am hopeful that I will want to join the effort once again to try and change things for the better in our country where Lydia and I intend to live the remaining years of our lives.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jim,

    Felt the same way when I moved to Sydney in 2003. I’ve built my life since then and have learned how to become totally independent (though I cried my eyes out the first few weeks, hahaha).

    Kuwento lang… I was able to return to Manila last Christmas en route from a business trip. I bought a couple of your CDs for some officemates. Hindi kasi ako makapag-work without hearing any music so I started playing your CDs in my office. Akala ko pagagalitan nila ako, but it turned out they want me to increase the volume pa. Nung una, nakakatuwa kapag Tagalog na yung song then lalapit sila sa akin to ask what the song is about. Pero nung tumagal nakaka-irita din pala kaya I had to prepare a special playlist of English OPM songs para matigil na sila. Pinaka-favorite nila is “When I Met You” which I even sang on the wedding of 2 of my officemates.

    Anyway, welcome to you and your family. I hope you enjoy the good times and learn/smile on the hard times, as much as I have. Just in case you need help on your transition here, you could email me badette@optusnet.com.au.


  2. sachiko says:

    I envy you Jim, exciting and challenging years ahead for you and your wife..what a great way to keep and feel forever young. goodluck.

  3. linchpin says:

    you are lovely.

  4. Mec says:

    your post really echoed most of my sentiments… my husband and i are both looking for jobs abroad, and researching like crazy to migrate…

    i’ve always wanted to travel internationally, but i never really wanted to live and raise a family outside of the philippines…

    but with what’s happening now, i feel i owe my future kids the option of a more stable environment in order to fluorish

    and philippines will always be home… it will always be more beautiful than the rest of the world…

    (hopefully, your wife will continue to recover as my nephew conmtinues to fight)

  5. Toe says:

    That was a very moving piece. Good luck to you, Lydia, and the kids on your new life in Australia. How exciting it must be to have a fresh start… you can be anything and anyone. After more than 3 years of living abroad myself, I learned to appreciate the Philippines and the Filipinos even more. I think it’s different when you really live abroad rather than just visiting or touring. You get an entirely different perspective of things. No matter how magulo it is back home, you still love the bloody country. I read somewhere or watched somewhere that instead of perceiving the migration of Filipinos as “brain drain,” we should perceive it as “brain gain.” I am positive that all things you will learn, and all the experiences you will have… you will bring them all back when you go back home to the Philippines.

  6. khing says:

    Hi Sir Jim!

    I read your article at INQ and was able to read it again here…

    My husband and i also plans to migrate in Oz but just like you, we’re still giving our country and ourselves some hope that someday (if not sooner)we can still live us a proud and contented citizen of this republic. We would often discuss wether to live there permanently or be there until we realized that it’d be the proper time to comeback home.

    For me, i honestly can not live my motherland but reality bites that i cannot offer this patriotism to my starving son nor to my jobless husband. Leaving our country does’nt mean forgetting our roots…Sometimes it helps being away from home ‘coz it’s then we realized how we love it and how we need to help it and the people living there.

    If ever we leave this place we’re sure that we’ll come back home to help our country and our fellowmen in our own little way.

    Wherever we may be, wherever this thinking might lead us…we will always be a PROUD FILIPINO!

    btw, Iam 31 yrs old and i was in malacanang the day the marcoses left the palace and i was also there in Edsa 2 watching APO and other Pinoy who wants to change our country for a more better future.

    Good Luck and God bless you and your family and our mother land.
    You’re in my prayers. MABUHAY KA!

  7. maricar says:

    Hi Sir Jim!

    I read your article at INQ and was able to read it again here…

    My husband and i also plans to migrate in Oz but just like you, we’re still giving our country and ourselves some hope that someday (if not sooner)we can still live us a proud and contented citizen of this republic. We would often discuss wether to live there permanently or be there until we realized that it’d be the proper time to comeback home.

    For me, i honestly can not live my motherland but reality bites that i cannot offer this patriotism to my starving son nor to my jobless husband. Leaving our country does’nt mean forgetting our roots…Sometimes it helps being away from home ‘coz it’s then we realized how we love it and how we need to help it and the people living there.

    If ever we leave this place we’re sure that we’ll come back home to help our country and our fellowmen in our own little way.

    Wherever we may be, wherever this thinking might lead us…we will always be a PROUD FILIPINO!

    btw, Iam 31 yrs old and i was in malacanang the day the marcoses left the palace and i was also there in Edsa 2 watching APO and other Pinoy who wants to change our country for a more better future.

    Good Luck and God bless you and your family and our mother land.
    You’re in my prayers. MABUHAY KA!

  8. jey says:

    sir, i hope you don’t mind me using a quote from your book humming in my universe.

    home is the silence and the darkness.

  9. Manding says:

    Hi Jim

    Benigni articulated what I am trying to say. Maybe it is a bit of a radical an idea when I say I just find it contradictory professing an undying love for a country thet one is leaving or have left. when I left the country, i was really sad about my family and my friends but I thought the country sucked, that is why I was leaving.

    Life is too short to be in between identities. How true. I have maintained my ties to my old country but Australia is my country now. It has given me and my family a future, a very good one. It treats me and my ability with respect and by and large, our leaders are fighting each other on how to best serve the Australian people.

    Whenever I feel homesick, and think of the happy times with my friends over there, I also think about the those times how hard it was for my parents to bring up kids. I think about the times that people a lot less smarter than me get ahead in life because of their padrino. I think about the times that some people treated me with disrespect simply because they are wealthier than me. I think about the times when my family’s life and future was being decided by the idiots in the police, hospital and the government. Then I look at my world now and I just feel very grateful to my new country.

    I live here, my kids were born here. This country love and respect me and I am not going anywhere. So how can I say that my heart still belongs to my old country. It is not a good life to live anywhere always thinking that there is a better place somewhere.

    If I really love the Philippines so much, I would not have left.

  10. BLACKMOON says:

    First of all , Good Luck Mr. Jim on your big move to OZ . May you find the peace that you seek in this country.

    Secondly , forgive me for making a comment against “Manding” who so blatantly belittle the Philippines . “Country that Sucks..
    Why can’t you FOLKS just keep those thoughts to yourself ?
    Mate if you have switched your citizenship then Good For You …but YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY RIGHT TO BELITTLE THE PHILIPPINES ? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE??
    “Country that sucks” ..so what ???
    Do you think God judges people based on where you live ..based on your citizenship ???
    If you found your fortune here in Australia ..then be thankful….BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY RIGHT TO BELITTLE THE PHILIPPINES !!!

    Yes you are an Australian …and YES you have your BLUE PASSPORT…
    SO WHAT ???? Does that make you a better person than the farmers , the teachers , the ordinary filipino workers back home ?

    Who gives you the right to comment against the philippines ???

    I’m sorry but I am disgusted with EX-FILIPINOS who after managing to buy (“MORTGAGE??”) their mansions here, after buying (“borrowing…Oh YES..Home loan Top Up”) their dream car ..after the endless rounds of STEAK ….have this tendency of just outspokenly humiliating the Philippines ?

    Saan ba kayo galing in the first place ??

    With regards also to your comment Mr. Manding about being passionate about Australia, about developing love for this country ?

    What exactly do you mean by that ?
    Loving their cricket and their rugby ????Shouting “OZ..OZ..OI..OI”

    Give something back to this country ? Mate …this country ought to be thankful for the amount of taxes we pay…that helps pay for the bludgers out in the street….

    Mr. Jim, even though I don’t know you personally ..
    ..Please do not be like the rest of the EX-FILIPINOS here…who after making their fortune …DI NA MARUNONG LUMINGON SA PINANGGALINGAN !!

    I still believe that there are still folks out there just like me

    Again Mr. Jim , Good Luck and God Bless !


  11. Manding says:


    See, that is exactly my point. Why do you What is stopping you. If you like the Philippines so much, just go back.

    If you are eternally proud to be a Pinoy, then waht are you doing in Oz, shouldn’t you be in the Philippines fighting for your principles? What kind of the so called “love” and “pride” you have for the Philippines when you cannot even stand to live over there. don’t dream, just go back “home”, what is stopping you?

    Your problem is you are more of a romantic than a realist.

    Don’t you realise how utterly silly you are. Oh, oh, I love my country so much, I am a proud Pinoy, but i don’t want to live there!

    Don’t be a hypocrite and a mercenary. You love the Philiippines and a proud Pinoy, then why did you have to leave? what kind of a love and pride is that that you gave it up for money.

    As long as you are enjoying Oz, it is hypocritical and just plain stupid to say that the Philippine is a better country, because if it is, you should be there. One obvious thing that people like you don’t want to accept is that Pinoys can make it anywhere in the world, except in the Philippines, and that is a terrible indictment of the country you love so much.

    Yes, I am an ex Pinoy and proud of what I have achieved. And it is very clear in my mind what I am.

    How about you. What are you? A proud Pinoy who don’t have the guts to live and fight for the country you profess to love.

    Be a man, just go back to the country you love.

  12. Jim says:

    Mandinng and blackmoon–please refrain from using my comment box for an argument.

    I don’t think any of you are entirely correct–or wrong. Both of you are correct, and wrong but only partially.

    Does it mean that every time a person lives outside his country, acquires another citizenship, he has lost his love for it? Go tell that to the Jews in NY!

    Does it also mean that just because you do not live at home, you are being a hypocrite when you profess love for it? Not at all. Rizal, Ninoy, Luna, and a million other OFWs I have met felt (and continue to feel) otherwise. And so did Picasso, and Einstein, and so many others who opted to live elsewhere outside their own countries.

    There is no place like home. At the moment, for many Pinoys, Sri Lankans, Indians, and Third World peoples, Serbians, etc. there are no jobs like the ones they have abroad. Is it unpatriotic to want to live abroad and acquire another citizenship? Beyond patriotism, beyond all borders and artficial divisions there is such a thing as finding one’s place however one can feel true and comfortable.

    And I use the word artificial because those divisions are man-made. The Bigger Truth is whether one is aussie, kano, pinoy, chinese o kahit ano pa, we all have eyes, we all cry, laugh, yearn for bigger dreams, love, and all that.

    Let’s not fight over who is more right. Often fierce judment over others is our way of wanting to feel superior by pointing out thet ‘we’ or ‘they’ are different.

    There is nothing to condemn or trash. People are allowed to live where they want. What’s important is where it works out for you.

    peace, mates!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Dear Jim,

    heard that your leaving, BUT before you leave can you please talk to your friend DANNY JAVIER?

    Why? Heard of what had happened to several parents holding PACIFIC EDUCATIONAL PLANS? All of them had paid good money to ensure that their kids will get good education from good schools in the future. Pacific Plan had decided NOT TO GIVE THE TUITION because of reasons na sila lang ang nakakaalam. accdg to SEC, they think mali ang mga YUCHENGCO (owner ng Pacific Plans).

    Now, ano ang relation nito with DANNY JAVIER? well, DANNY JAVIER, known to be a FIGHTER against dictators like Marcos and fights any corrupt government officials,etc is part of the YUCHENGCO IMAGE BUILDER. He talks without thinking and is saying tama daw ang ginagawa ng PACIFIC PLANS!

    NAKAKAGULAT ano? Yan ba ang nagagawa ng PERA? I hope NOT kasi I can’t imagine any member of the APO HIKINGS na TALIWAS sa KABUTIHAN!

    Please, pakiusapan mo na lang siya na UMALIS na sa team ng IMAGE BUILDERS for YUCHENGCO & Co. Masisira lamang siya sa mata ng PUBLIKO!

    maraming salamat Po!

  14. benign0 says:

    The concept of “nation” and therefore “nationalism” is a man-made concept. It is a masterpiece of marketing so much so that not only has this concept been a catalyst for so much progress, it has also been an instrument for so much needless suffering and death.

    Therefore to fight over the concept of one’s allegiance to whatever nation is pointless and downright stupid. The whole premise behind the creation of a nation is for the creation of a home to all who adhere to the principles embodied by said nation to lead fulfilling lives.

    Unfortunately, the Philippines had failed to deliver that promise to MOST Filipinos. And the fact that even an A-Lister like Mr. Jim Paredes here is leaving the Philippines is a testament to this dismal failure of the Philippines to live up to the whole point of its very existence.

    Whilst there will ALWAYS be Filipinos, whether we are scattered all over the world or crammed together to scrounge around for breadcrumps in a bunch of islands named after a 16th Century Spanish king, the whole question as to whether there should be a Philippine NATION is a completely separate argument all together.

    So wag na kayong mag-talo about who has the right to call himself “Filipino”. As I said earlier, you CANNOT shake off the identity (and all the stigma associated with said identity) EVEN IF YOU WANTED TO. 😉

  15. marcogalsim says:

    as julia said, follow your heart jim. i’m sure it will lead you back to our homeland. I’ve been living in the US for the past 9 years and I can truly relate to your pothole situation. I just don’t belong here, no matter how much material blessings I have nor how convenient and safe everything is around me. I just yearn to live and be where I grew up. During my vacations in Manila, I grumble when I get to NAIA and the customs officer asks me for some ‘lagay’ – pero at least “I’m home”.

    12 years old pa lang ako nung 1986 and I still remember clearly the events that took place. My parents took me to EDSA to march with them, and I am proud to be Filipino then and now. It’s just so sad that everything we worked for in EDSA I is slowly being destroyed.

    Is the price of vigiliance truly boredom? Who will continue the fight? I truly believe it’s more than just one person, we all need to change our mindsets as a people. We seem to accept mediocrity and essentially corruption as part of life. At one of the pinoy gatherings here in the US, I met a middle aged Pinoy for the first time. We got to talk, and he told me about his vacation in the Philippines. He told me that he was lucky because all his expenses were paid. I asked him why, he said it’s because his highschool classmate just got elected Mayor of their hometown and paid for all his expenses. He added “alam mo naman ang Mayor sa atin, malaki ang kickback”. I was shocked. Has it come to this, that we as a people openly talk about and accept corruption? It’s truly tragic. How do we fix this mindset? I don’t know.

  16. BLACKMOON says:

    Mr. Jim ..such wise words.. if I have offended this site.. please accept my sincerest apologies ..
    However ,I must (although regret to a certain degree) provide a much deserved rebuttal. You have a lot of readers so forgive me , but I think this needs to be read.

    My point being ,no one in this world has the right to insult or carelessly ridicule the Philippines. To all the folks out there , no matter where you have made your fortune , be it in the US , Canada ,Australia or in Timbuktu, PLEASE….just be thankful… and avoid saying negative things about the Philippines , it doesn’t achieve anything .

    So OK , you guys did the right choice of leaving the country . But DOES that give you the right to condemn the PLACE WHERE YOU WERE ORIGINALLY BORN ?
    I mean,somebody even used the word “STIGMA” (ASSOCIATED WITH SAID IDENTITY?) Stigma of what? of being referred to as a FILIPINO ?


    I work in a global company , I work with Americans, British , Australians, Chinese , Indians, Irish ….. every possible race there is … One thing I can say…

    Why am I here ? Am I being a hypocrite for living here and earning lots of money ?
    Yeah right,lots of money…you still spend it HERE NOT BACK HOME..!

    Didn’t you ever consider that SHOWCASING the Filipino talent ENTAILS generating jobs back home ? Ever heard of CALL CENTRES ????

    If it wasn’t for the first batch of PINOY IT workers in the US ,every IT outsourcing job would be in INDIA. REMEMBER THAT!

    So don’t go and tell me what I need to do with my life OR anyone’s life ..You do not have the right ..! Be thankful , if you don’t want to be associated with the word Pinoy or anything near it,
    go find some other NON-PINOY blog out there. If you are that persistent ..then I implore you to EXPLICITLY broadcast how proud you are of being an Ex-Pinoy. You might want to consider sending that to all Filipinos in the world .

    Lastly for Mr. Jim, for the sake of those folks planning to migrate and for yours as well…it is not necessary to acquire the Australian Citizenship to stay here..for good (or indefinitely) .I don’t believe that it’s a requirement , you have the option of just aquiring a permanent residentship. I’ve been here for more than 5 years and I’m still under the permanent residentship visa. Only difference between the two , you carry a BLUE PASSPORT and you get to VOTE.
    Regarding the JEWS in New York , I don’t think they have a choice , either they get their US citizenship or OFF they go…
    At least here ..just get your PR ..no need to give up your citizenship…

    As a closing note, I remember watching a TV interview of someone from Amsterdam. A foreigner who has lived for sometime in the Philippines…(not sure whether you’ve seen that interview) I was trying to remember what his exact words were but I know he said ” Mga Kababayan Ko ,…” in PURE TAGALOG ..I think he was addressing the pinoys regarding the current state of the country (around a year or two years ago) about us NOT BEING PROUD OF BEING PINOYS anymore. Just think , a foreigner referring to us as his KABABAYAN !!

    How can someone not born in the Philippines even say those words ?

    I wouldn’t be suprised if someone from a “THIRD WORLD COUNTRY” would say how proud he is living in the US , or in Canada…etc….
    but a foreigner referring to the PINOYS as his KABABAYAN ???

    So there you go !!!! Someone from a first world country falling in love with a third world country…


  17. lance says:

    hi mr. Jim.

    i saw just this afternoon sa unionbank ortigas. hehe. di mo siguro kilala kung sino ako dun sa dami ng mga nakakasalubong mo.

    now i know bakit sabi ng nanay ko crush na crush ka niya dati. gwapings pala hehe.

    sa march 11 may concert kayo. we’ll support you, and the rest of the APO.

    more power.

  18. benign0 says:

    blackmoon said:
    it is not necessary to acquire the Australian Citizenship to stay here..for good (or indefinitely) .I don’t believe that it’s a requirement , you have the option of just aquiring a permanent residentship. I’ve been here for more than 5 years and I’m still under the permanent residentship visa. Only difference between the two , you carry a BLUE PASSPORT and you get to VOTE.

    So basically you are recommending that we esimply live off the fairness of an excellent society like Australia as a Permanent Resident?

    Read some Australian papers dude. Aussies take offense — and rightly so — at migrants who live in Australia “indefinitely” (including schooling and raising their kids there) without even caring to acquire Australian citizenship.

    I’d like to know what you think of THAT, if you please.

    Just recently a 30-something Serbian guy who has been living in Australia SINCE THE AGE OF TWO but has not acquired citizenship was DEPORTED to Serbia for bad behaviour. Fortunately for him, he managed to work out a deal with the Aussie government to be repatriated back. He is now practically kissing Australian soil and has made public his appreciation of how great a country Australia is. He even promised to start the process of applying for citizenship and re-building his life.

    As a wise man once said — “you either take a dump or get off the can”

    Life’s too short to be investing half a heart on any endeavour. What is really pathetic is someone VOLUNTARILY living in a place whilst lamenting that he belongs somewhere else. What a waste of precious emotional energy.

  19. Anonymous says:

    you are about to do what my parents did 3 years ago. for me as their kid it was hard for me to leave the phil after all I’m just a high schooler but as time progresses I’m learning to adjust. sometimes it will be hard for all of you but you will learn how to apreciate your family more


  20. BLACKMOON says:

    AMEN !

    Good luck to you and your family…
    a couple of websites to check sir ..sorry for intruding..

    1. ww.realestate.com.au ..to
    check out suburbs where you want
    to establish your base..

    2. http://www.rta.gov.au –license..

    God Bless!

  21. Jim says:

    Please please please. Enough righteousness and condemnation. If anyone wants to remain a permament resident, let him be. If he contributes to the society and economy as well and is a good neighbor to people, then what’s wrong with that? By the same token, someone can be a citizen and be a burden or worse, an asshole to society, and that’s not much help, is it?

    As an example, I would welcome the Dalai Lama in my country even if he remains just a permamnent resident and retain Tibetan citizenship, while I will not be too crazy about say, a migrant who takes on citizenship but is a drug lord! A person’s ‘value’ goes beyond a piece of paper.

    Enough judging of people’s motives. What do we REALLY know anyway to judge based on a mere blog comment? Let’s be bigger and allow people the goodwill they deserve.

    Let us allow people to be what they want to be.

    This is NOT the forum for accusations and counter accusations. I will delete further comments of this nature.

    Nuff said!

    On another topic:

    To everyone who has commented, I normally answer each one but alas, there’s too many of them now.

    Thanks for the visit and the interest.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I myself left the Philippines 2 years ago and it’s one of the best decision i’ve done in my life. It’s really hard at first but then this is the time that your family will bond together.Good luck to you and to all the filipinos around the world!!God Bless us all

  23. wanderer says:

    i think as a father, and plainly as a Filipino, you have showcased to all of us true courage. you’ve made a tough decision but i guess even if a filipino leaves the philippines, the philippines lives in the heart of the filipino. 😀

  24. krishtine says:

    i left the philippines and came back. i found patch of green pasture in my backyard.

  25. vinzi says:

    i can relate with moving abroad.
    god bless and good luck. 🙂

  26. pinoy says:

    Someday, I dream of seeing, hearing you again w/ Buboy and Danny singing Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo. A day when you will return and be proud of our country Philippines. Good luck!!!

  27. jo anne dp villarosa says:

    “I believed then as I do now that sometimes, one must do what one must, even if others think it’s crazy. The immigration officer was flabbergasted when I showed up at the US Embassy just two days after the coup ended to return our green cards. He could not fathom why we were doing this when so many Filipinos were willing to give anything for the chance to live in the US.”

    so much like what i always get from Filipino friends and relatives, “lahat ng tao gusto pumunta dito [the U.S.], ikaw gusto mo bumalik.”

    thank you for this post. there is nothing like reading another Filipino who is also engaged in the struggle.

    after six years of being away from the country, at [almost] 23, i think i am ready to go home and offer what i have to offer to the Philippines.

    it’s a comfort to know that there is some sort of continuance happening in terms of generation after generation fighting for the betterment of the country.

    magpahinga muna kayo, at kami muna ang lalaban.

    someday, as is always my wish, hopefully all Filipino/as will want to come back to the motherland, and stay.

    all the best to you and your family, Mr. Paredes.

  28. Anonymous says:

    nakakaiyak, magiging katulad ka na din nila.
    kahit ano pang sabihin mo, katulad ka na rin nila, ipinagkanulo ang pilipinas.

    masakit kaibigan.

  29. myl says:

    thank you

  30. nonoy says:

    Hi Jim. Thanks to my friend, ivan, i found your blog link. It’s really nice to read blogs, moreso if the author is a well-known personality. btw, APO fan here. I even chose to do an MTV project in college featuring your song “Batang-bata Ka Pa.”

    Anyway, i am surprised to know (just now) that you actually migrated to OZ. I, for one am thinking over this matter (migrating) for a few hundred times already. long story… i hope we could communicate also, considering your (and mine, too) busy schedule. feel free to drop by my blog.

    jon 😉

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jim kahit huli na, WELCOME to OZ and hey if ur planning to visit The Great Barrier Reef do it in summertime, kasi pagpumunta ka ng winter wala kang makikitang stunnning Ozzie ;)God Bless! cheers!

  32. Joanne Yap says:

    had no idea you were in OZ already. I am aussie living here with my husband and 3 boys in Manila and pretty soon we are going back to OZ (I came to oz at 13 left at 27) and course one of the concerns of my husband is how to fit in the oz way of life. i guess he is pretty lucky since I lived most of my life there and i could give him a hand on how to adjust..
    I just wanted to post a comment just to let you know that its nice to have you in oz and when i finally come back — fantastic bump into a guy like you,..

    hhaha you know the APO music was instrumental in my family coping up in oz in the early 80s when we migrated there (my parents and siblings),.. hhaha funny my 2 younger siblings sang your songs not knowing the words but now they still understand tagalog well!

    good luck inyou new life

  33. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kuya Jim

    I live and am taking my law masters here in Japan. A few days ago, an American friend haughtingly declared, “You Got Everything From Us. We owned you”. Another European classmate also retorted, “What have you Filipinos contributed to the world? You Just copy everything.” My other foreign classmates just smirked. I told them about so many of our contributions but I knew it was pointless then.

    It is just now, 18 June 2006, that I remembered your song – Handog Ng Filipino sa Mundo. Hoping to refute them, I immediately surfed the net for its lyrics. I inadvertently then found your sad blog saying that you, as with our other well meaning countrymen fed up with the government, are leaving the Philippines.

    My last encounter with your song was when we (then law students) from law school, sang it at EDSA 2. We padlocked the UP College of Law and marched to EDSA to join the protest then against corruption. As we were singing Handog Ng Filipino that evening, I saw that a lot of us young law students were crying. Your song was that moving and powerful – even for would be calloused lawyers.

    Now, having grown a little older and jaded by the gore of legal life, I listened to your song and again, hard to admit, I was moved. Ok, a few old tears flowed again.

    I guess the song never loses its power to respark that love for our country wherever we are – a love that is inch by inch changing to hopeless surrender whenever we see the government and the opposition squandering our country away.

    Sad to say, I myself, slowly losing hope, am thinking of living abroad for good. Maybe the promise of a better life in the Philippines is not in this generation of leaders. Maybe that gift is reserved for the Filipino children who will return someday.

    Ngunit, ganoon paman, Kuya Jim, kung ang handog ng Filipino sa mundo ay mapayapang pagbabago . . . kayo po ang handog ng Diyos sa aming mga Filipino.

    Sa muling pagkikita and to a better Philippines.

    God Bless the Filipinos whereever they are.


  34. Maria Hrafn says:

    Hi – very good site you have established. I enjoyed reading this posting. I did want to issue a comment to tell you that the design of this site is very aesthetically pleasing. I used to be a graphic designer, now I am a copy editor in chief for a merchandising firm. I have always enjoyed playing with computing machines and am trying to learn code in my free time (which there is never enough of lol).

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