U.S. health care crisis fuels Pinoys’ American dream

September 2, 2002

By Ted A. Regencia

CHICAGO — Lisa, 25, is a computer engineer from Mindanao. Desperate for a job, she left the Philippines for the United States in 1999. Three years of hard work and loneliness have paid off. She now drives her own car and leads a comfortable life in a Chicago suburb.

DJ, Lisa’s cousin, is also an engineer. Lured by the promise of pay in greenbacks, he gave up his 10-year-old job in Makati to pursue his American dream. As a reward, he was able to finance the repair of his parents’ house in their provincial hometown, send money to his relatives and save enough for his and his wife’s first born that is due in November.

Lisa and DJ are making money not because they are engineers. Both are caregivers, a job they never imagined doing while they were still in college back in the Philippines.
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