Saturday, October 01, 2011

On volunteering...

Just when I was thinking of a volunteering vacation in Vietnam or some place else...

The protagonist, a Filipino, living in the US, : "...we were there in Costa Rica, helping build wells"

L: "Why not the Philippines? Isn't Costa Rica relatively well off?"

The protagonist: "Um, we didn't know that till we got there!"

-The Ilustrado, Miguel Syjuco

... found this funny. Charity begins at home?

Hopefully, no more extracts from the Ilustrado. Yet to fully grasp the ending, but loved the book, the style of narration. The protagonist embodies one we sometimes find in ourself, the part that is always trying to straddle the new with the old, the idealist with the realist, and probably for some who have left their roots, the west with the east. Mixed reviews on whether he presented Philippines truly or a skewed overseas citizen's version, but loved it anyways!

1 comment:

Sheeba D'Mello said...

But charity in an alien land gives you "outsider immunity". Think of India - there such a big difference in the attitudes of people towards foreign social workers rather than Indian.

Plus, when you volunteer in a foreign land, you know it is temporary and you will leave it behind someday.