Posts Tagged ‘India’

I skipped my regular routine attending church services in the morning that Friday.  A week ago, I have already informed our pastor that I plan to attend the Industrial Area church service instead in the evening.  I also missed out our church choir practice that night, which I am so sad about. 

We braved the dusty road leading to Industrial Area. When we have arrived at the place, it was a regular accommodation building intended for company workers.  The road leading to the building is quite notorious with potholes and mountain of construction debris on the side.   We reach the worship place after winding up seven staircases worth of our stamina, of climbing the steps. The place of worship is located in the rooftop.  About 24 sq.m. approximately, capable of seating around 20 people, right there along with the clothesline of wet laundry left out to dry.

The truth is, I am not expecting it.  Of all places, to hold a church service.  A rooftop towering over other rooftops of factory buildings in the midst of desert wind and the usual darkness of the evening.  I am used to attending house of worship with the comfort of sheltering oneself against the external elements, such as rain, heat and dry wind.  That night is a wake up call.  Believers are called upon to honor the Sabbath, wherever, whenever and whatever it takes.  Be it under the shade of the tree, or under the canopy of the bridge, or an open field. 

I am deeply humbled by the fact that here in the wide stretch of the desert, away from the comforts of the homeland, people who are disciplined in faith, are braving the routinary grind of their overseas life, partially isolated to the urban centers.   This is mission’s work,  a life dedicated to the cause of bringing the Gospel to the far reaches of places.  Administering the continuous flow of the message and strengthening people’s faith in God.

I admire my pastor, who is a missionary himself, for the kind of passion he have for the lost  souls and bringing them all to Christian faith.   His silent ways are a steady yet constant reminder that complacency has no place in Christian service.  Believers are ought to steer clear of their comfort zones, sacrificing time and effort for building up Christ’s work and taking upon each the individual God’s calling in putting into action all the Christian training they have learned.

I admire my friend Grace, who chose to become a full-time missionary, while administering translation of the gospel to the native tounges of the tribes among the hinterlands of Mindanao and Luzon back home.  She already had the chance to go to India, for some introductory mission’s work as part of her trainings.

Sometimes, it is a pity, when I hear myself, complaining about being so tired to get up early in the morning to begin my morning prayers.  Sometimes, it is a pity, when I see myself, scrambling over reading best-sellers in the night rather than having a bible reading of a chapter or two. Now it occured to me, that what I am doing for the kingdom is not enough.  Christian life calls for able and willing men of faith to stand up and do the work.  Whatever the circumstances may be or a situation they are in. 

The next time, I will go to the Industrial Area to have my Friday church service there.  I need to listen to what God is saying to me, visually.

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Poly, an Indian working as a licensed architect in Mumbai in his topic " how degrading his salary" lamented his woes on receiving an annual salary amounting USD$ 3,300.  Roughly equivalent to Php 165,000.  A gross monthly income of Php 13,750. 

In the Philippines, the same scenario has similarly taken place since architectural practice is unfair and controlled by monopoly of star architects and the wealthy conglomerates and corporations.  The stream of available projects has been fiercely competed eversince the financial crash of 1997.  Major infrastructure, complexes  and high rise building projects were halted.  Real estate businesses, construction firms and architectural firms mellowed for such a long time.  Coupled with unstable political situations such as Erap ascendancy as president and the corruption scandals that rocked our integrity as a nation.  The economy is in a downside.

A regular, newly licensed architect can make the bottom offer of Php 10,000 per month to work for an architectural firm, as this is my observation since 2000.  And since CAD came into the picture, virtually all of architects must learn a number of CAD and 3d-modelling softwares such as AutoCAD, 3dMax, Microstation, AutoViz, ADT, Maya, Vectorworks and graphic enhancing softwares such as Photoshop, Corel and Macromedia Flash to stay competitive as ever.

In an honest observation, AutoCAD operators and 3d renderers make the killing for taking home a higher bracket of paychecks. They become more in demand since overseas companies dealing with design and construction scouts for them in volumes.  Now, being a CAD expert does not need you to be a graduate of architecture or engineering course, a technical 3-months training on AutoCAD will do.

I remember when I got my license to practice as a new architect, I have tried to apply for an architect job at one of the best architecture firms located in Pasay City.  I am regretful to note that I am competing with undergraduates and underlicensed  with the position.

I begin to doubt regulation and licensure for the architecture profession, if it serves its purpose well. It never occured to me that the  battleground is really rife with unfair competition and politics between school affiliations, "padrino system" and the like.

This continuing condition and the eroding standards of the architecture  profession plus the almost predictable nature of PRC of producing professionals like selling  hotcakes, will never stop the exodus of architects and technical professionals from leaving the country. 

This is because the pay scales is something to frown about with in the Philippines.  We got the lowest cost of living in the world based on a survey that complements low wages. And it only translates to low standards of living.

With architects prone to malpractices such as incessant signing of construction documents for building permits ranging from Php 500 to Php 1000 per package, which violates its code of ethics, is an open secret. And the many, fall prey to corrupt practices to clinch a project deal. It is rampantly being practised even by the very front runners of the architectural organization.

Growing discontent among majority of licensed of architecture have no recourse but to take the inevitable career switch to other profitable jobs and professions. Like nursing, caregiving course, tech-vocational, teaching and immigrating to Canada, US, Australia and New Zealand to work there as domestic helpers, construction workers, interior decorator, cashier, farmer or a factory worker.

So it was, my assumptions are right, there is no future for architecture in the Philippines.  With the pay scales almost insulting even if I do want to think of doing it for the love of the profession.  To the point that I am regretting of my seemingly unwise career decision to push through with it, no matter how bad and hard it is.

And the lure of getting a different kind of job that pays well is almost a tempting offer that is leaving me no room to refuse.  Then the choice might be uncontestable.  It is disheartening to think that I make a  living by struggling to fight the many injustices in our profession while seeing myself being laughed upon and scorned by my contemporaries.  Stuck in here defending my pride.  Stuck in here hoping for the hopeless. Stuck in here upholding the ethical standards which is of no use to abate poverty and discrimination.

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