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Filipino workers in Russia

/ 05:12 AM February 08, 2018

It was interesting to read Russian consular officer Denis Karenin’s letter, “Russia open to Filipino workers,” (Letters, 2/5/18) where he states that “To apply for a [work]  visa, a Filipino worker has to provide an invitation issued by the Russian migration authorities … and [original copy] of their employment contract.”

In Aug. 25, 2014, my commentary “Russian Dreams (?!)” was featured by the Inquirer in which I wrote about friends of mine in Hong Kong, a married Filipino couple, who went to Moscow of their own volition. They paid for their tickets to fly to Moscow via Aeroflot, after learning from friends that anyone can go to Russia on a visitor’s visa, stay for a month, and check for job openings at an official employment agency in that city.

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In Moscow, the couple worked as hotel cleaners for some weeks before finding an opening with a magnate needing a caretaker for his dacha (second home) outside Moscow, as well as a nanny for his child. (It’s very interesting to read that the capitalist system is doing well in communist Russia, where friends of Mr. Putin can live much better than their ordinary compatriots; it reminds us somewhat of our own feudal “democratic” system.)

And so my friends have been earning better money in Russia than they did in Hong Kong to support their children in Butuan.  By not following the official migrant’s path, they did so with great  faith (some folk would call them foolhardy). Their intrepid spirit and ability to adapt to places like Russia’s permafrost provinces certainly displayed much courage.

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My article about them ended by pointing out, tongue-in-cheek, that as adherents of El Shaddai they might “be able to Christianize the heathen Russians or at least soften their Cossack tendencies.”  The way things look in Russia right now, this is obviously just a dream.

ISABEL ESCODA, isabelescoda@yahoo.com

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