Author: James Z. Carpio
Chances are that every time I would pass along Elias Angeles Street at the bus stop at Plaza Quezon I would see young professional workers. At different occasions I have seen a group of five or ten. I was too early I guess for my morning exercise. Then one instance at 6 in the morning, I finally chanced upon seeing what they were waiting for. A big air-conditioned bus stopped by at the loading/unloading section.
Roughly, they were more than twenty by that moment: Forming a long line and others from across the street catching up.
Vivid memories of Hollywood films came to mind showing a truck fetching a group of day laborers to work on a field to till the land or to pick fruits and vegetables.
A version of young urban professionals get off the bus to go home fresh from the night shift then the new batch get on the vehicle to be driven to their office at a nearby municipality. They are call center agents working for a Business Process Outsourcing company.
Naga has BPO firms as well. The Philippines is the BPO capital of the world. They first established in Mega Manila but have been distributed across the country in recent years. Fortunately, Naga City is one of the cities that cater to these international companies and soon more will follow.
Furthermore, Naga has a vibrant English speaking pool of human resources. The educational institutions here are reputable and provide a good number of qualified graduates. Information technology is one of the courses offered in these colleges and universities. It is very much in demand in the 21st century.
Exposure to western culture through television, radio and movies had shaped these individuals into a savvy, cosmopolitan, and learned workforce. They actually get the Americanisms like cultural jokes in movies. Moreover, the country had been colonized by two western powers: Spain and the United States of America.
It is estimated that at least over a hundred thousand of them work in two to three shifts in rotation. These opportunities give competitive compensation packages to the employees.
Admirably, they help their families have access to basic resources like shelter, utilities and most especially in order to put food on the table.
That bus stop is showing signs of future success for the locals. The city showcases itself as a promising choice for national and multinational enterprises. Seeing them up close and personal makes one realize the significant opened doors that have ushered in to positive realities.
Personally, I have only read about them in newspapers and online. It is truly a pivotal change for a much more bullish and progressive stance in positioning Naga in particular, and Bicolandia in general both nationally and globally towards the forefront of full comprehensive development.
Before the bus left my sight I felt excited and it deepened my optimism for my fellow Bicolanos. As I went along the street in the opposite direction, I stopped at an intersection where the newly installed traffic lights have been just activated for the day. I stopped for a few seconds of waiting for the red light to turn green. Then I had 33 seconds to cross the pedestrian lane. Modernization and progress have come to light. A rosier picture is now being lived by the people by the thousands with their hopes and dreams fulfilled.