Monday, October 16, 2006

Long fingernails, rat droppings and the Philippine government

Yesterday, I noticed my nails were long since they were already gathering dirt. I wanted to cut but I had no time. I will cut them tonight.

A few weeks ago, I noticed rat droppings beside my bed, by the windows, on top of the double decked bed, underneath the cabinet of books, behind the books themselves. I only snuffed them out with a vacuum cleaner last night.

I hated stalling but I do it all the time.

Yesterday, I and more than 200 migrant workers witnessed another stalling - this time from the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong.

Yesterday was the scheduled Leader's Forum which the Consulate and the migrant organizations here decided to hold. It was the biggest (standing room only!), well-attended forum of all.

After all the chitchats from the Consulate people, we all went down to business. And so did the Consulate.

They stalled, agreed to further look into the matter, smiled, smirked and called for professionalism, friendsly discussions and healthy debates. Any kind of shouting or hard debate would have been deemed uncivilized, undisciplined and not worth the dialogue.

The Consulate itself, however, solicited this kind of response. They did not make any categorical answers to the migrants' demands. They stalled and beat around the bush with their answers to the questions. In essence, they committed to nothing. Clearly, a sign of inutility and worth the people's indignation.

Behind their sweet words and smiles were policies that kill and chill migrant workers to their deaths. They did not waste time in squeezing every dollar from us and making sure we agree. This is one thing they did not stall on and something they do all the time.

These days, with yesterday's event in mind, a lot of migrant workers are sharpening not only their long fingernails but their minds and hearts - against this Consulate and a system that is worse than rat droppings.