Reflections on my visit to Cebu
I’m in the Philippines. I have been here for 10 days and I have about 10 more days to go. I love it here. The people are very friendly and gracious. The town is quaint, simple and unassuming. The pace is relaxed. The climate is a bit warm for my liking. But after the midday heat passes, I am fine. There is water everywhere and everyone loves to sing and dance. The families are close and supportive.
What I find disturbing is the inability for so many people to earn a living wage here. So many work for just a few dollars a day. Even a security guard we met says he only makes 150 pesos (about $3.50) per day. The younger people are very fluent in English. But the elders are not. The infrastructure here is difficult. With 7,107 islands, it is very expensive to move product and services around. Even Internet access is scarce except along the main roads and for wealthier residents and resorts.
Maybe this will change someday. But I don’t see a future that includes a major shift in wealth for this nation. Many of the best and brightest get medical degrees as a way to escape poverty. Some have computer skills that enable them to earn more. But most don’t have access to computer training and very few own a computer.
The world is flat but the poor countries still struggle to earn a living wage. But I still have hope because even though most live very modestly, Filipinos have amazingly bright attitudes, will continue to work hard for a better future and are thankful for what they have. The Filipino people are amazing and I am lucky to be able to be among them.