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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Safe from Lebanon strife, Pinoys pine for work abroad

By Jay Garcia
Villamor Air Base—The wind howled and lashed thumb-size raindrops on the windows of the Airbus 310 taxiing the tarmac, but the storm has nothing on the bullets and bombs raining Lebanon.
Yet, the 232 Filipino Airbus passengers wished they were back in Lebanon.Even before their feet kissed Philippine soil, some of the first batch of Filipinos flown from the strife-ridden Middle East country, couldn't help but wish to go back abroad.
Efren Limon, 39, for one, already expressed his plan to go back to Lebanon, where fighting between Hizbollah guerillas and Israeli soldiers have grown fierce in the 15 days since the conflict began.Carrying two large green duffle bags on each shoulder, Limon didn't appear to have come from what other Filipinos like him described as a “nightmare.”
The dark-skinned Limon's teeth and lips below a combed moustache formed into a smile as he strolled into a hangar. He even waved at relatives, including his 33-year-old wife Cristina and their two-month-old son Gabriel Arturo, who were sitting and waiting for him at the back row of plastic chairs.“I didn't want to go back [to the Philippines] yet,” Efren told reporters Sunday afternoon here, the second day of a wet weekend.
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