i love this word diaspora! it seems so exotic!
they are not exactly your typical OFW. they don't have the sad stories of a hard life in the rural areas, of cows sold off, of dreams that couldnt be fulfilled if they continued as teachers, engineers, nurses in the philippines.
they are young, mid20s - 30s, tertiary level of education or higher, from manila's better schools - up, ateneo, la salle. from mostly upper C families which have provided them with good Catholic private education.
they can earn decently in the philippines. corporate types they were when they started their careers here, usually with the multinationals. but they were lured by the prospects of overseas.
probably for the pay, but most usually, a chance to be truly independent, to experience the world, to learn from usually first world economies. so these are largely male, adventurous. not yet an expat but definitely beyond rank and file.
they leave the country with eyes wide open. and are excited about their prospects. they earn big. and since they dont have to remit to any famiy member, they end up with huge disposable incomes. and they indulge voraciously in either luxury brands, travel, gadgets, or nightlife.
being filipino allows them to assimilate quite easily to the culture. and they are proud that they see and experience the more upscale living of the locals. very far from the ofws they would bump into, going to church, or at the mall.
they probably avoid them, avoid the association. they certainly feel and know that they are different from them. and though they respect them, they belong to different worlds.
they can go home anytime, should their schedules permit. and most of them do that. besides, they are soooo wired that their friends back home hardly miss them.
with all that money they could use to entertain them, with their excellent assimilation skills, do they ever get lonely like their kababayans?
i suspect they'd tell you that they dont feel it as often. again, part of that answer is to differentiate themselves from the ofw, constrained to save every penny earned. and surely, the twitter and fb links, and the magic jack and skype are within reach. but my guess is that most of it is denial of loneliness. that they can't and shouldn't be lonely. because this is their choice. because they wanted this. and feeling lonely is almost like regretting. no way.
i have been seeing so many of them in the networks. and i suspect some of my raiders are in their lot. and as i am proud of them, for im sure they make their bosses and firms proud of the way they work, their intelligence, their creativity, they have also left that gap here in the phils.
we could certainly use their talent and skills. unfortunately, who could afford them when they are done with their social experiment and are ready to go home? they may have priced themselves out of the market.
the good rumours flying about. manny pangilinan is luring them back to the philippines with pay that match their current salary levels. i hope they are attracted enough to come back and contribute. we have much to learn and gain from them. it would be a pity if their stint there ends with a citizenship application