Saturday, December 3, 2011

Coca-Cola Where Will Happiness Strike Next: The OFW Project

I just watched the "Coca-Cola Where Will Happiness Strike Next: The OFW Projectvideo.  I could definitely identify with the emotions highlighted in the video but I couldn't help thinking how this commendable project by Coca-Cola inadvertently highlights how nearly 1 of every 5 Filipino contract workers2 cannot ever go home because they are working overseas without legal status.  Irregular migrant workers are able to return to their home countries only if they have been captured and deported, or if they have turned themselves in and voluntarily departed.

What caught my attention in the Coca-Cola video was the babysitter, probably in his late 40s, who hadn't gone home for 11 years.  I was thinking if he had originally left 11 years ago in his late 30s for a babysitting job - which isn't at all improbable.  He could have been hired directly by his employer on the strength of a personal recommendation -- a situation sometimes referred to as "chain migration," that is, when new migration is initiated mainly due to the presence of family members or friends who are already overseas.


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