Patricia Chanco Evangelista Essay

Patricia Chanco Evangelista is a debater, TV show host, columnist, segment producer, product endorser and leader. As a 19 year-old student, she became the first Filipina to win the Best Speaker award in the International Public Speaking Competition – an annual contest sponsored by the English-Speaking Union held in London. Her speech entitled Blonde and Blue Eyes,[1] for the theme Borderless World, bested 59 contestants from 37 countries. [2] Education Evangelista finished high school at St. Theresa’s College, Quezon City.

Evangelista graduated as a BA Speech Communication major in the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2006.

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She is an alumna of the UP Debate Society (UPDEBSOC). Career Evangelista became a host in Breakfast Supersized, Tara Na Pinoy and Y Speak Live. She later replaced Anne Torres to host ABC-5’s DOKYU. [3] She became a product endorser for Lipton Iced Tea. Her column Rebel Without A Clue appears every Sunday in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Opinion Section. She used to have a column called Crazed in the Philippine Star.

Evangelista also teaches Creative Writing at Saint Paul College, Pasig. She is also a writer/host/segment producer for Living Asia Channel and for Media Focus, a talk show on media affairs hosted by Cheche Lazaro. In addition, she writes for the history talk show The Explainer hosted by Manolo Quezon and a consultant for debate show Square off. She serves as the National Youth Spokesperson for Operation Smile and a volunteer writer for Gawad Kalinga. She also produces the series Story Line for the ABS-CBN News Channel.

When I was little, I wanted what many Filipino children all over the country wanted. I wanted to be blond, blue-eyed, and white. I thought-if I just wished hard enough and was good enough, I’d wake up on Christmas morning with snow outside my window and freckles across my nose! More than four centuries under western domination does that to you. I have sixteen cousins. In a couple of years, there will just be five of us left in the Philippines, the rest will have gone abroad in search of “greener pastures. ” It’s not just an anomaly; it’s a trend; the Filipino diaspora.

Today, about eight million Filipinos are scattered around the world. There are those who disapprove of Filipinos who choose to leave. I used to. Maybe this is a natural reaction of someone who was left behind, smiling for family pictures that get emptier with each succeeding year. Desertion, I called it. My country is a land that has perpetually fought for the freedom to be itself. Our heroes offered their lives in the struggle against the Spanish, the Japanese, the Americans. To pack up and deny that identity is tantamount to spitting on that sacrifice. Or is it?

I don’t think so, not anymore. True, there is no denying this phenomenon, aided by the fact that what was once the other side of the world is now a twelve-hour plane ride away. But this is a borderless world, where no individual can claim to be purely from where he is now. My mother is of Chinese descent, my father is a quarter Spanish, and I call myself a pure Filipino-a hybrid of sorts resulting from a combination of cultures. Each square mile anywhere in the world is made up of people of different ethnicities, with national identities and individual personalities.

Because of this, each square mile is already a microcosm of the world. In as much as this blessed spot that is England is the world, so is my neighbourhood back home. Seen this way, the Filipino Diaspora, or any sort of dispersal of populations, is not as ominous as so many claim. It must be understood. I come from a Third World country, one that is still trying mightily to get back on its feet after many years of dictatorship. But we shall make it, given more time. Especially now, when we have thousands of eager young minds who graduate from college every year.

They have skills. They need jobs. We cannot absorb them all. A borderless world presents a bigger opportunity, yet one that is not so much abandonment but an extension of identity. Even as we take, we give back. We are the 40,000 skilled nurses who support the UK’s National Health Service. We are the quarter-of-a-million seafarers manning most of the world’s commercial ships. We are your software engineers in Ireland, your construction workers in the Middle East, your doctors and caregivers in North America, and, your musical artists in London’s West End.

Nationalism isn’t bound by time or place. People from other nations migrate to create new nations, yet still remain essentially who they are. British society is itself an example of a multi-cultural nation, a melting pot of races, religions, arts and cultures. We are, indeed, in a borderless world! Leaving sometimes isn’t a matter of choice. It’s coming back that is. The Hobbits of the shire traveled all over Middle-Earth, but they chose to come home, richer in every sense of the word.

We call people like these balikbayans or the ‘returnees’-those who followed their dream, yet choose to return and share their mature talents and good fortune. In a few years, I may take advantage of whatever opportunities come my way. But I will come home. A borderless world doesn’t preclude the idea of a home. I’m a Filipino, and I’ll always be one. It isn’t about just geography; it isn’t about boundaries. It’s about giving back to the country that shaped me. And that’s going to be more important to me than seeing snow outside my windows on a bright Christmas morning.

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