Welcome to the website of Villamor High School, a public school, an enduring beacon of knowledge on Pasig Line Sta. Ana Manila, Philippines. For over half a century, it has been educating, inspiring and caring for the youth in the community. Of its almost a quarter of a million alumni, many are accomplished and established in their calling in the home or business in the Philippines and around the world.

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Division of City Schools
VILLAMOR HIGH SCHOOL
Pasig Line, Sta. Ana, Manila

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An OFW Valedictory Address- "Evil triumphs because good men do nothing."

"Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and

is reputed strong only because he has remained silent." Winston Churchill, Don't be silent, Speak Up!

Subject: Valedictory Address of an OFW in Malaysia

 

Ophel Belo is the valedictorian for 2007 at the recently concluded

Graduation ceremonies of the Filipino Workers' Resource Center -

Skills Training Program (FWRC-STP) here in Kuala Lumpur. Although she

never became my student at FWRC-STP, I was fortunate enough to work

with her during the center's numerous events. She's quiet but

efficient, unassuming yet smart. Despite her brilliance, she is

working as a domestic helper here in KL.

 

In her valedictory address, Ophel had a lot to say about the sad state

our country is in.

 

VALEDICTORY ADDRESS "Evil triumphs because good men do nothing."

by: Ms. Ophelia A. Belo

 

Excellencies, Ambassadors Lecaros and Brillantes, Mrs. Lecaros, Labatt

JBJ and Mrs. Jimenez, Faculty Advisers, Embassy Officials, Filcom

Leaders, Malaysian Nationals, Princess Becky, Datu Lim Sun Hoe and

Datu Sunny Lim, Honorees, Guests, Fellow Students and Graduates,

Friends Countrymen and Visitors, Good Afternoon,

 

I thank God for this honor and I express gratitude to my country and

government for this opportunity. I accept this distinction with both

joy and sadness. There is joy in my heart right now because once

again I have proven that there is a reward for hard work, dedication,

and excellence. But I am sad right at these moment, I am sad for our

country and for our people. I am sad for you fellow graduates. And I

am sad for myself.

 

I am sad that the Philippines, the homeland of brilliant, highly

skilled and very articulate people, is now becoming the number one

supplier of cheap labor including domestic helper into the booming

world of global markets. We can kid ourselves by saying there's

nothing wrong in being a domestic helper. Oh come on! I am a

domestic helper myself and I'm not ashamed to be so. But then, what?

 

I am looking at the big picture and I am looking at our country and I

am disappointed that there is not much hope if we remain there. I am

regretful that every single day, no less than 3,200 Filipinos are

leaving the Philippines, many of them for good, in the hope of

finding jobs that can send our children to school, buy medicines for

our sick, repair our dilapidated shanties or pay for all our

indebtedness.

 

What happened to the Philippines?

 

Our country is supposed to be the Pearl of the Orient Seas. In 1961,

many Malaysians used to envy the Filipinos. They dreamt to study in

UP, La Salle or Ateneo. Today, Malaysians are the employers of

Filipino domestic helpers. They have sent an astronaut into space,

while the Filipinos are still quarrelling about government contracts

and alleged rigging of elections.

 

We, the OFWs must begin the process of the renewal for our country.

The FWRC is our center of excellence to be able to compete globally

and turn around our country.

 

The global labor markets are unforgiving. The avalanche of rising

demands for quality comes rushing every single moment and the

standards of excellence keep on rising without pause. Only those who

never stop learning will survive in this crazy and mind-boggling

competition for skills.

 

Filipino engineers and technicians in IT who surf the cyberspaces for

emerging opportunities find themselves competing with highly competent

Indian computer wizards. Indians are also emerging as our OFW's top

competitors in the global labor markets.

 

Our oil and gas engineers are still preferred by Malaysian employers

because the local chemical and mechanical engineers prefer to work in

UK and in the Middle East. This is the result of globalization of

human capital.

 

Our domestic helpers from the Philippines are still the preferred ones

by Malaysian royalty, high government officials and top businessmen.

But the Filipino domestics represent only a miniscule 2% of the entire

DH market in Malaysia, Indonesia commands more than 90% of the 500,000

household service providers in this country. But the Philippine

government is aiming for QUALITY employment. We frown upon QUANTITY

or high volume of 5 D's: the jobs that are DIRTY, DIFFICULT,

DANGEROUS, DEMEANING and DECEPTIVE.

 

Even if the Filipina DHs are only few, they enjoy superior benefits.

They enjoy Sunday day-offs every week or at least every another week

with the two Sundays paid for when they are not allowed to go. They

have much higher pay and better terms and conditions of employment.

They are allowed to study in the FWRC Skills Training Program.

 

The Filipino household service workers, along with other OFWs do study

in FWRC. They learn word processing, spreadsheet, internet,

illustrator, Photoshop, AutoCAD and multiple computer applications.

They study Commercial Baking, Advanced Cake Decorating, Western Food

Cooking, Basic Nursing, Reflexology and Arts and Crafts. They even

learn the Art of Communication, Composition and Correspondences,

Business and Social Correspondences, Financial Management, Business

Development and Entrepreneurship.

 

The Labor Attaché and top Embassy Officials teach BLAWSFIL (Basic

Labor Laws for Filipino, a subject created by Labat JBJ as a means for

empowerment, to arm the OFWs with fundamental knowledge of the labor

and family laws, immigration and even contract laws and criminal

statutes. The migrant workers from the Philippines are aware of their

rights as well as obligations to employers and host government. They

have less chances of being arrested and detained and they are more

confident when confronted with legal issues.

 

OFWs from Malaysia who are now venturing to UK like Lyn dela Rama and

Gene Sarmiento, both outstanding FWRC alumnae, have better chances of

survival and even excellence in more challenging work environments.

Former FWRC resource persons like Dang Penarubia who migrated to

Canada has better probability of success than others who went without

FWRC KASH (Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habits)

 

Today, the 21st of October, here in the Grand Ballroom of Crown

Princess Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, few shall graduate those among the 490

who enrolled in January, survived the grueling holistic training in

FWRC. Today, the word GRADUATION should be understood as a process,

not an end, a process of enhancing elevating, improving and developing

the KASH positions of the OFW who made the correct decision to study

in FWRC.

 

Today, also is a COMMENCEMENT, a starting point, a beginning, a point

of embarkation to a higher level of consciousness, to a better

perspective in life, a much improved point of view and a stronger,

higher quality of qualification, a better state of readiness, an

empowered new beginning of the rest of our lifetime journey.

 

The quest for excellence, the drive to win the global labor markets,

the hunger for bigger challenges, the thirst for learning -- an

insatiable yearning to learn more -- these are the hallmarks of men

and women who are geared and programmed for success in life.

 

The next motto of FWRC is "ON TO THE MARCH FOR EXCELLENCE," both in

skills and in Character. Both committed and competent. Thus, today

is indeed a day for celebration. But after the celebration, we need

to do something for our country.

 

And so today, ladies and gentlemen, what are we going to do to create

a meaningful difference in the future of our country? Evil triumphs

because good men do nothing. Let us all do something, no matter how

small.

 

FIRST, let us not remit everything that we earn here. Let us save at

least 50% through the Samahang Impok Bayan and keep it until we go

home for good.

 

SECOND, let us all take courses in the FWRC that will help us in our

reintegration like Business Management, Entrepreneurship Accounting,

Basic Laws and other relevant courses. Indeed it is only bring

EXCELLENCE THAT WE CAN TO THE GLOBAL WORLD.

 

THIRD, let us all write to our congressmen, let us write to our

newspaper, let us e-mail jour opinions and let us be active in

denouncing the abuses of our political leaders.

 

FOURTH, let us rally behind honest and hardworking officials and staff

in government but let us denounce and expose and charge all those who

violate their oaths as public servants.

 

FIFTH, let us help in the FWRC. Whatever honor we receive today

should provide us an inspiration to share our knowledge to other OFWs.

 

SIXTH, let us discipline our families at home. They should learn to

value our remittances and not squander them in luxuries. Let us let

them learn that we worked hard for the money and we should not

tolerate extravagances.

 

SEVENTH, let us all be aware of all the economic, social and political

developments in our country. Let us monitor what are the trends and

programs of our country's future. And let us share our thoughts with

those who spend our remittances.

 

AND lastly number EIGHT, let us all be aware that all that were, all

that are and all that will be in the Philippines are driven by

economic realities, high population growth, labor excess economy,

cheap labor, globalization without safety nets, insufficient social

services. All these are exacerbating the pains and sufferings of our

people.

 

These are the reasons why the joy of my success today is eclipsed by

the sadness in our situation as a nation and as a people.

 

We've got to feel the pain so that we will do something about it. We

can not continue deluding ourselves. We have to face realities and

bite the bullet.

 

According to a great social scientist: THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THE

DISCONTENTED. The Filipinos should start to be discontented with our

situation and tell our leaders of our discontentment.

 

According to a Chinese Philosopher: IT IS CRAZY TO EXPECT DIFFERENT

RESULTS IF WE CONTINUE TO REPEAT THE SAME MISTAKES. The Filipinos

should accept that there are for too many mistakes and we have to

correct them.

 

And according to Dr. Jose Rizal in his NOLI ME TANGERE, recorded in

the history of human sufferings is a cancer of so malignant a

character that the least touch irritates it.

 

Since the time of Rizal until now more than a century after, the

cancer is still here -- a SOCIAL CANCER, AN ECONOMIC MALADY.

 

The only difference is that we can do something about it. Yes we can.

And we should. No matter how strait the gate and how charged with

punishment the scroll, we are the masters of our fate. We are the

captain of our souls, to borrow from Invictus.

 

Kaya mga kababayan, dapat umpisahan na ang pagbabago, umpisahan sa

ating sarili. Kung hindi ngayon, kaylan pa? Kung hindi tayo and mag

umpisa, sino pa? Bahala tayo sa ating kinabukasan at bahala tayo sa

kinabukasan ng ating bansa Pakaisipin ninyo ito. Huwag kayong

masyadong magsaya. Dapat magkaroon din kayo ng lungkot, upang

magsikap kayong magbago. Dahil ang mga problema ay hindi nakakatuwa.

 

Marami pong salamat.

"Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and

is reputed strong only because he has remained silent." Winston Churchill, Don't be silent, Speak Up!

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