Some of you may not know Mal Conlan, but he has been quietly earning the attention and admiration of Filipinos everywhere for his love of everything Filipino.
An active personality in England, this Englishman is not the type you’d expect to root for the Filipino people.
The Philippines and Filipino people have always had an influence on my life. So many people ask me why I love the country and people so much? I guess through my experiences and the hospitable welcome I received when I made my first trip ever abroad to the Philippines when I was eighteen years old; I have engraved the Philippines in my heart and mind.
So the question remains, why do I have such love, respect and admiration for the Filipino people? There are some eleven million overseas Filipino workers or OFW’s around the globe. You see Filipino’s in nearly every airport, hotel, hospital, care home, airline and other service sector industry around the world, caring for and helping people; be it looking after a sick relative, caring for the elderly, looking after people’s homes or family or serving the public.
Filipino’s are in my opinion a very caring and hospitable people, what helps them to stand out I believe and make them so employable in these sectors is their passion, dedication, empathy and of course their smile and ‘can do’ attitude. Filipino’s are never afraid of working hard to support their families and pursue their dreams. How many Filipino’s do you see relying on benefits or state support?
In the Philippines, there is no unemployment benefit or many of the other benefits that we often take for granted here in the UK and Europe. Hard work and sacrifice therefore prevail, to the point of some Filipino’s being forced to their homes and families to seek a better life abroad is something all too common and I believe admirable.
Filipinos have managed to blend into society, culture and accommodated to different lifestyles worldwide. My worry with this, however, is that Filipinos need a voice, so they are often very tragically taken advantage of and mistreated due to their caring, accepting attitudes, unwilling to make a fuss or seem out of place.
I never really wanted to become a voice or indeed campaign for Filipino issues and concerns, although through the power of social media and my writing of ‘Open Letters,’ I have stood up and become one of those voices who believe that the Filipino people deserve the utmost respect and admiration for their contribution to the world. This voice needs to be heard and the rights of Filipino’s worldwide need to be respected and upheld.
Finally, I would like to see a day when leaving the Philippines in search of work and a better life becomes a choice and not a necessity, God bless the Philippines and her people. Mabuhay tayong lahat.’
To find out more about this man, visit his page here.