I read this and thought, “This is also what my parents chose.” My parents both have Bachelor’s degrees from Filipino universities — my mother in Elementary Education, my father in Engineering. But my mother in the US was qualified only for an assembly-line job, while my father in the US Navy was placed as a galley cook. What does this mean?
1) A huge disparity between Filipino post-secondary education and American exists, to the detriment of the immigrant professional, and
2) Folks like my parents and Elmer Jacinto would rather be in a lower prestige job in the US because they can make good money, than be in a higher prestige job in their home country because they’d be dirt-poor.
This choice of the immigrant professional is not easy, as the article elaborates clearly. But it’s their choice, based on a strong sense of personal freedom and what their country should do to secure that freedom: As Elmer Jacinto states,
“Patriotism is a two-way process. . . . It’s not only you as a citizen. It’s also about the government that should also give you work, or something for yourself, to be able to live a dignified life.”