From Exile to Diaspora by Epifanio San Juan, Jr.
excerpt from the Introduction. “...Filipinos now “belong” to the whole world... Formerly redundant liabilities, they become assets, “human capital,” when they transplant themselves. This crisis of deracination and unsettlement (permanent or temporary) afflicting a whole society becomes pronounced in the phenomenon of the “brain drain,” a factor that explains the continuing underdevelopment of the South or “Third World.” It is not a joke to say that the Philippines, an economic basket case during the last decade of Marcos’ despotic rule, produces every year thousands of doctors, nurses, scientists, and engineers for the world market. As exchangeable commodities, many of them immediately head for the United States–note that there are several million “warm body exports” now inhabiting the Middle East and Europe–whereas in the Philippines, where 80 percent of the people are poor and 30 percent of the children malnourished, most towns and villages lack decent medical and health care... For the new settlers, this sorry plight is now erased from memory, translated into a safe language, or set aside for retrieval on occasions when a need arises to justify why they left the no-longer-hospitable homeland.