Filipino Nurses: Carers of the World

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WHAT MAKES US FILIPINOS (aka PINOY) DIFFERENT from the rest of the lovely people around the world? Well, the quick answer is that – every Pinoy has a relative who is working as a NURSE, either in the Philippines or abroad. Whether a sister or a brother, maybe a cousin, nephew and niece, or an aunt and uncle, even a neighbour – we have it all. It runs in our big and extended families!

DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PINOY NURSES WORKING ABROAD? Thanks to google search engine and I was able to find it for you.  According to a news article published in PhilStar.Com that  between 12,000 and 15,000 nurses and other medical professionals leave the Philippines annually for better-paying jobs abroad. Majority of them end up in the US, UK, and the Middle East. Despite the drop in Sterling pound and US dollars, it is still lucrative to work abroad. It is estimated that  nurses can work 12 hours a day, three days a week, earning between $45,000 and $50,000 annually – 10 to 15 times they will receive back in the Philippines.

Bhea and her officemates in Dubai Hospital

The ALSO REPORTED THAT THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PINOY NURSES to work abroad are getting slimmer every year. The decline is due to the changes in “policy in destination countries, the oversupply and quality problems on our nurses.” For example, UK is one now limiting Filipino nurses by passing strict immigration policy, allowing local new graduates as priority pool than recruiting from overseas. This is a reality check for our aspiring graduates to get a job abroad after passing the licensure examination. Consequently, it will affect the nursing and health/medical education in the Philippines, and future graduates do not get an assurance to work overseas.Bhea and her colleagues at Dubai Hospital

ON THE OTHER HAND, THOSE NURSES WHO ARE NOW WORKING AND LIVING HAPPILY ABROAD are fortunate enough to harvest their hardwork and generosity. One of them is my younger sister who did her best to get a job in Dubai. Im very proud of her after so many years of encouragement, even hiring her as my office secretary for the time being that she was looking for a proper position in a hospital/clinic back in Manila. It took 10 years for her dream to become a reality. I remembered that she took this job in Makati paying here soooo low, just to complete her Dialysis training program in Ortigas for a year as part of the employer requirements abroad. At the end, she managed to get a long-term contract in Dubai since 2006.

FEW MONTHS AGO, SHE ASKED ME IF I COULD WRITE A POEM to be entered in a local competition. Guided by the theme, “what nursing means to me”, I was able to write this poetic piece, thinking about my sister’s dedication to be one of our “carers of the world”.  Having said that, I will take this opportunity to share and dedicate this poem to all the Filipino nurses around the globe, my simple way of saluting them for being the “ambassadors” of the Philippines.

FINALLY, to my shy but generous and trusted sister BHEA, thank you and advance happy birthday!

What nursing means to me…

N- othing really inspired me to pursue this career

but I played with dolls and needles as a little girl

not to become a scary-bitchy witch, to bring magic spells

just having a fun and pretending to keep them well.

U- ntil I realised what a great life it might be

not only wearing a white cap, but all the way

confident enough to bring an addictive smile

all wary- weary hearts, making all them worthwhile.

R- em’bring my beautiful cousin’s dream of a lifetime

with  Uncle Sam’s  promise , that everything will turn fine

not a surprise, “land of the free” gives her freedom to stay

she’s working so hard as a devoted nurse to be!

S- o now Im following her footsteps to help my kin

i’m away from home, helping others Im not too keen

and as the years go by, Im confident and strong

embracing the essence of nursing as I go along.

E- motionally draining, coupled with fear and panic

but it’s hardwork, patience and being sympathetic

able to care, regardless of colors and beliefs

vocation that keeps me inspired in what I believe!

Click to cast your vote and find out more about PEBA!

Click here to vote for my blog (#25)

NOTE:  This post is part of my entry and support to the 2009 PINOY EXPATS/OFW BLOG AWARDS. If you are a Filipino or by any affinity to a Pinoy, living or working abroad, then you are qualify to join and share your blogs to the Filipino communities around the world. Indeed, you are the “hope of the Philippine nation and special gift to the world”!

If you want to cast your vote, click the PEBA image at the left or at the top of this post, and if you find this blog interesting, then dont hesitate to vote #25 on the list of nominees! Thank you…Mabuhay!

~ by reymos on July 29, 2009.

52 Responses to “Filipino Nurses: Carers of the World”

  1. Maraming salamat sa [agjoin at support sa PEBA. Goodluck on your entry, we are elated that we have a nominee now based in the UK!

    • Thank you very much for a quick approval! Ako ay nalulugod na makibahagi sa inyong programa, lalung-lalo na nagbibigay ng kahalagahan sa mga Pinoy sa iba’t-ibang bahagi ng mundo. Salamat at mabuhay ang PEBA!

  2. Thank you for joining PEBA 2009.

    Nice piece out here. It must be hard doing a poem about your personal career.

    Ask your friends to vote you in the poll. Kindly put the 2009 Nominee badge in your SIDEBAR and link it to PEBA site. you are #25 in the poll.

    All the best!

    Ingat ka jan…

    • Thanks for the approval of my nomination. I already indicated the badge in my introductory post for easy link to PEBA site. For clarification, the poem is dedicated to my sister, so this is how I feel about her as a “nurse”…

  3. saludo ako sa mga nurse kasi napaka sipag at matyaga sila. nice post po. good lucks on your PEBA entry 🙂

    thanks for visiting my page 🙂

    • Hello, yeah I agree with you. I think that really suits to Pinoys to become nurses or carers because of these qualities and attitudes towards people especially for old people. Im glad that you like my post. Good luck too!

  4. thanks for the poem kahit di tayo nanalo ok lang..just want to tell you that your money was really a great help sa akin sa pagpunta ko d2 sa dubai. half of my pocket money and agency placement i got from ur bank account.. hehehehe!!!! thank you talaga but i guess bayad na me.hahahahaha. ingat ka lagi dyan.goodluck sa thesis mo.

  5. I am proud of our Pinoy nurses, they are the great gems of our Global Filipinos, at mapalad tayong dahil ang mapagkalingang mga kamay ng ating Pilipino nurses ay kabilang sa kinikila sa mainstream ng “Global Human Ecology of Caring”. Sa tuwing ako ay pumapasyal sa ospital o klinika sa gitnang Silangan, di ko mapigilan na hanapin, lingunin at bigyan ng ngiti ang ating mga kababayan na dito nagtatrabaho, dahil iba ang pagkalinga ng kapwa Pilipino.

    Welcome to PEBA, salamat sa pagbibigay inspirasyon sa ating mga kapwa Pilipino at mga OFW.

    God bless you.

    • You’re absolutely right! Talaga yan din ang ginagawa ko kapag dumalaw ng ospital. It also reminded me of what happened to me when I was in London a year ago. My friend is a nurse and her place is just few meters away from the hospital. I stayed with her family for two nights but on my last day, I suffered a stomach pain (due hyperacidity) early in the morning. Unfortunately, my friend slept over that day at her sister’s house, so her husband decided to bring me to the hospital. Since it was so early morning, few staff is available in the emergency reception. To make this comment short, my friend’s husband look for Pinoy nurses, luckily there was one! I told her the medicine that I need and in few minutes she handed me some of them. Thank God, she was really a saviour, otherwise it will be a long agony and pain if I did not take the tablets. Kaya nga, bilib ako sa Pinoy!

  6. […] you fancy to cast your vote in PEBA’s 2009 Blog Awards for Filipinos Overseas Bloggers, then CLICK HERE and dont forget to read my entry and support to this annual event. Your votes make a difference to […]


    • Thanks alot for having time to post your comment. Thank you for sharing your story as well. Your son is the luckiest kid in the world for having you as the loving mother of all times! Your sacrifice will be rewarded and Im sure your son will be successful in the future! All the best!


  9. i feel at home when i visited a hosptal with Pilipino nurse around. But some are isnabera, wag magagalit sa puna. But they really caring in general.

    Nice entry you have here bro.

  10. Kahit dito sa Saudi I’m proud of our Filipino nurses.

    It bothers me though that while reading your piece, parang I’m developing this thesis that being OFW is now a ‘dream’ rather than an ‘excuse’ to alleviate us from poverty. Hmmmm….

    Here’s a penny for your thoughts: Should Filipinos dream of becoming OFW’s?

    • Sa aking sarling pananaw, and pagiging OFWs ay bunga ng “hangarin o mithiin at pangarap” sa buhay. Bawat Pinoy, lalung-lalo na ang mga mahihirap ay may hangaring umunlad at umangat sa buhay para malasap ang kasaganaan na tinatamasa ng mga mayayaman. Ako’y galing sa mahirap na pamilya, bagamat hindi hadlang ito para marating ang aking kinalalagyan ko ngayon sa lipunan. Oo, totoo naniniwala ako na ang magbanat ng buto sa ibang bansa ay panaunahing paraan para makaahon sa hirap, ngunit ito’y di matutupad kung wala tayong “pangarap” tungkol dito.

      Sa kasalukuyang panahon, ang bawat Pinoy ay malayang “mangarap para maging OFWs”. Hindi lamang maging isang “hangarin” para umunlad at makatulong sa ating pamilya, ito rin ay isang “pangarap” ng mga Pinoy na may pinag-aralan, may tiyaga, may tiwala sa Diyos at tapang para malampasan ang bawat pagsubok o suliranin sa buhay. Ang pagiging OFWs, tayo’y nakakarating sa mga magagandang tanawin sa iba’t-bang sulok ng mundo na wala sa ‘Pinas at higit sa lahat nabibigyan tayo ng pagkakataong ipamalas ang talino at sipag ng Pinoy sa mga dayuhan. Maraming salamat po!

  11. nurses abroad is deteriorating due to poor qualification that can pass the board exams ,not all the passing graduates of nurses can make it to land their job abroad so its very lucky that nurses who are now in abroad will know how to treasure the hard earned money.

    • This is also my sentiment on the quality of nurses that our education is producing at the moment. Majority of the Philippine universities and colleges focus more on “quantity” than having caliber medical graduates. Moreover, I think leakages for the board exams are also rampant which really ironic that for those who really worked hard to pass this and suddenly the results will be disqualified and they will repeat again!

      I remember two years ago, the Philippines is already considered as one of the testing centers for the US Nurses Licensure Exam. Instead of going to Singapore to take this, our graduates could save more money in travelling/accommodation. Unfortunately, it was decided to cancel due to this leakages and cheating! Finally, I agree with you that those nurses who successfully got job overseas will treasure the hardships they undergone just to earn more than they are receiving back in the Philippines.

  12. hi kuya rey jacky garcia here…this is such a wonderful blog…tamang tama for all the nurses and those who want to be a nurse too…i like the way you define the word nurse…sounds funny pero totoo…i hope that this will serve as eye opener for those who took up nursing just for the sake of money………

    • Hello pinsan, thank you very much for having time to write your comment. Alam ko, ikaw ay magiging OFWs sa mga susunod na buwan! I understand your sentiment on Pinoys who encouraged their siblings to take nursing courses – to earn more abroad! Yes, it is the ultimate goal of everyone to help and alleviate their lives from poverty, but we have to bear in mind that working as a nurse, not only locally but abroad is a “serious” business. There are commitments and responsibilties attached to it that you are accountable to your employer or agent. It is not an “easy go lucky” profession… it requires dedication, patience and hard work for whatever dollar, dinar or pound you are receiving! In general, being an OFW is a daily struggle – to survive in the midst of cultural differences, work ethics and even religion.

      Akala ng marami, ang pagiging expats ay palaging marangyang pamumuhay… akala ng iba, ang kumita o umani ng salapi ay madali lamang. Diyan kayo ay nagkakamali! Sa bawat dolyar, dinar o pound na “remittance” na pinapadala ng ating mga kababayan ay galing sa pawis at dugo habang nagbabanat ng buto – kahit ang gabi ay ginagawang araw para lang matustusan ang pamilya sa ‘Pinas. Akala ng iba, pag-umuwi ang OFWs, marami silang dalang pera…madalas nagtatampo o nagagalit pa kung walang dalang pasalubong! Hay, ang buhay nga naman!…

  13. Sibuyan, San Fernando geek, Mr.Ramos , sir nice thread though.I have a best friend who’s working as reg.nurse in Sheil Hospital, Ballyshanon.Her principle is family first.She keeps 50 euro on her bulky piggy bank aside from saving cash in and out of country’s banks.Know what she told me?”Dear, it’s not easy here, but if you start working with a heart, you’d never leave Ireland nor any country lalot maganda ang treatment nila sa yo.”This is my life.I have a great plan to invest on greater things.But still , I will be in Sibuyan , Island Romblon Philippines when I retire.There’s no place like home.”I was challenged to go far cos of many reasons, one was the emotional baggage-heavy one I was carrying!That’s it.Thaks for it.Somehow it did not only make me a better person than before , but gave a good life to my FAMILY IN SIBUYAN AND MANILA.”

    Mr.Reymos, thank you for these pages.Keep it up!Expect for my VOTE.God bless you brilliant writer!Best regards!

    • Wow maraming salamat sa kwento! Yeah I agree with your friend’s sentiment, I still prefer to go home in Sibuyan someday but for the meantime “kayod” muna! Thanks for the support as well and your kind words. Comments will always inspire me to write more!

  14. Rey, your blogs are great! And I like the poem. We share a lot of things in common. Thanks for leaving your email add in my inbox. I’ll send you mine. Oh, please respond to my invite, ok? Peace.

    • Thanks Vince for the invitation as well. Im happy that I found a Sibuyanon who also treasure the beautiful nature we have in our hometown. Im looking forward exchanging travel experiences with you in the future. All the best.

  15. Things are interesting here. I choose not to make more comments because I am not comfortable with the color of this site.

    • Thanks for posting your honest comment. Well, unfortunately, this is my personal choice for the theme and appearance of my site powered by which I could not really change much of the color and lay-out.

  16. Hi Rey,

    Kumusta? I just voted for you a while ago. Good luck pare and God bless!


    • Hello Handeil, maraming salamat sa oras na ginugol para basahin at magboto ng aking blog. I also sent you a separate email thru your email address. Thanks.

  17. gandang post… ok naman design mo.. keep it up..

  18. visiting you..nice blog..visit mine also if it is okey to you..thank you..

  19. Excellent site, keep up the good work

  20. hello, gud pm po, this is jenny, know me naman di ba,i salute to the filipino nurses/abroad, even the ofw, especially the mother’s who left their children here in the philippines, sakripisyo talaga, para mabigyan ng kaginhawanan ang mga mahal sa buhay, feel ko talaga ang mga nandyan sa abroad na nagkukumayod para sa pamilya, kasi nakita ko yan sa mga kapatid ko at sa mga pinsan ko, minsan naisip ko rin mag try magtrabaho sana sa abroad kaya lang parati me pinangungunahan ng lungkot para sa mga anak ko, sa madaling salita, wala pa akong lakas ng loob na mapalayo, kaya siguro it takes time pa para maka punta me jan, wish ko lang. Regards, lalo na kay bhaby, very proud ako sa kanya, classmate ko yan since grade one up to high school at katabi ko talaga yan kahit saang grade at high school na kami, kaya nga kahit gimmick ng batch kami pa rin magkatabi.. Ok po ingat kayo dalawa parati. Bye.

    • Hello Jennelyn, siyempre kilalang-kilala kita lalung-lalo noong bumili ako ng O2 cell phone two years ago which you allowed me to use your credit card. Hanggang ngayon bago pa rin ang unit! Siyanga pala, maraming salamat sa mensahe. Naiintindihan ko ang kalagayan mo ngayon bilang isang ina. Totoo yan na dapat may lakas ng loob at tapang para lisanin ang ating mga pamilya. Balang araw, kapag malaki na ang inyong mga anak, sana matuloy ka rin mangibang bansa. Maraming salamat.

  21. Nurses News
    Keep up with the latest nursing news and jobs here

    or read whats happening in the medical world of treatments, causes

    And assist your patients and family by knowing generic drugs, where you can buy them and prices here

  22. hi reymos congrats na nominate ang blog mo wow tyaga ha! wishing u the best. nasa uk ka na ba uki?nandito na ako sa scotland.regards

    • Thanks Jigz for visiting my blogsite and of course my entry to the 2009 PEBA Blog Awards. I just returned from Manila! Good luck to your new phase in life!

  23. […] My world is getting smaller, Northern Ireland, UK Francesca in France, Nice, France […]

  24. very inspiring story…mabuhay ang pinoy!!

  25. hello! Rey..i hope you can make it! It is worthy to pay tribute to the Pinoy nurses.

  26. yes.. indeed! i agree with you that it Filipinos are suitable for being a nurse because is a part of our culture! Nice piece for your sister.. =)

  27. hi kuya rey kamusta na? hope manalo ka….im so proud of you!!!!!

  28. That topic is very interesting. By the way, i also found an interesting site about jobs abroad. Click here to visit the site.

  29. Amazing post. Will require a bit of time to think about the website!

  30. […] Filipino Nurses: Carers of the World July 2009 48 comments 5 […]

  31. Thank you for your work. Article helped me a lot.

  32. There are many Philipino nurses in Australia and they all are great! Thank you guys for being such a great nation!

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