After decades of waiting, an amendment to the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act to exempt children of certain Filipino World War II veterans “from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas and for other purposes” or simply allow them to “immigrate immediately, irrespective of priority dates” has been approved by the United States Senate Judiciary Committee last May.
In 1990, thousands of Filipino war veterans were granted U.S. citizenship and offered full veteran benefits by the United States as their incentive for enlisting during the war.
However at present, many families of those WWII veterans who migrated to the U.S. remained in the Philippines since 1994 because of long waiting list caused by the tight annual numerical immigration quotas set by the U.S.
The veterans now worry that the applications they’ve filed for their families will die with them.
With the approval of the said amendment, families are hopeful that finally they’ll be able to see and experience America, The Land of Stars and Stripes and see what it’s like to live there.
It’s ironic though that while millions of Filipinos wanted to live in foreign countries, four foreign chambers of commerce (European, American, Japanese, and Korean), together with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) are promoting the Philippines as a retirement and healthcare destination internationally.
In fact, they are offering those foreign seniors a short- and long-stay visitor program to “test-live” the country and learn about our people, culture, and lifestyle.
The Philippines is their “preferred retirement and healthcare destination”. They are actually seeing themselves living and spending the rest of their days in the country because their caregiver services or retirement homes are becoming more and more expensive that even Filipino elders/veterans hope to return to the Philippines after their retirement.
Retiring in the Philippines appeals to elder foreigners because the country has lower cost of living, and it is continuously improving its telecommunications facilities.
The Philippines has some of the world-class tourist destinations. Its medical services and facilities can compete internationally. Even its medical practitioners are in-demand abroad because of their naturally warm, friendly, and hospitable nature.
Now, have you ever wondered what the real American Dream is all about?
“Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.”
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter where you live are as long as life is better, richer, and fuller for everyone.
*First published as Editorial at the Urban Scroll July 2013 issue