SEA Games: A lesson in geography

By Jessrill Oporto

I am amazed at the people around me. They do not know where Southeast Asia is or have no a sense of geography. To think they have gone to school. Tsk,tsk. Where has all the education gone?

While watching the opening of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, they had no idea what countries were participating. They were expecting Japan, China, Korea and even Saudi Arabia.

When I told them Southeast Asia is primarily of a Malay race. They even wondered why the United States, Russia and India did not participate. I wanted to cry.

One even thought Singapore is a neighboring country of Oman and Saudi Arabia beside Brunei. These are from the people who want to work overseas as domestics, medical practitioners and what not. Two had even been to Lebanon and they do not know where it is in the map.

It’s worrisome to work abroad and not know the country one is going. Pinoys do not care to know and study its specific culture and that is, where the first problem lies. 

Misunderstanding, ignorance and disrespect follow and the unpleasant experience happen to all. Some can even be tragic. But some Pinoy labor having gone and work abroad never learned.

I always wondered a lot of our kababayans do not put geography in their consciousness when most of us are jumping out of the country to find work. And it’s a big risk. No wonder, we have migrant workers with a lot of horror stories to tell and refused to go back.

Life and work abroad after all is not a sport but an endurance. It pays to know where one is going.

Artwork courtesy of theleadersonline

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