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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

entry arrow12:55 PM | So You Want to Be a Caregiver?

I have friends who pay good money to enroll in Caregiver School. Some come from rich families. Others are professionals, and quite well-educated. One is a U.P. graduate. I know several who are known for being sosyal. I have one very good friend who makes very good money teaching other people how to be a caregiver. The one thing I have gleaned from these friends and acquaintances is this: it's not about caring or giving at all; it's about getting out of a certain hell-hole. (You have to be naive to think otherwise.) Sometimes, we even sell our souls to the Devil just to be able to get out of here. This is an excerpt from a writer-friend's blog, the URL of which I don't think I can tell everybody. Here, my friend gets a call from someone who had just come back to the country:

We met up in a Tomas Morato cafe and there he told me all the horror stories of being a caregiver, and of not lasting the six-month trial period. "I cleaned shit from strangers' butts. Old people with their poo smell and their old people smell. The Americans and Canadians won't do it, that's why we Filipinos do it. I'm a college graduate and there I was cleaning the asses of these people I didn't know and who didn't know me." One time my dear friend wiped some old man's ass clean and was ready to put on adult diapers. When he came back to the ass, the old man had defecated again, kept defecating the whole day. "It was the first time I understood the phrase, 'the runs.'"

He said that among their caregiving ranks in Canada were former public school teachers who got sick and tired of waiting for their delayed promotions and salary adjustments, who had their master's degrees and were in the middle of their postgraduate studies, but gave it all up to be like himself, washing the poo of old people and then washing the smell of poo from their hands.

"But I'm still lucky," he said. "One of my kasama when I worked as a service crew wrote to me. He's based in the United States now. To get his green card, he paid a permanent resident $5,000 to marry him. The fee's usually $10,000, but he found a kababayan, someone from his province...you'll never guess who."

His grade school teacher.

We are in such deep shit.

[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich