A safe and resilient livelihood bridging culture


    While the Philippine economy reels from the negative impact of the new coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic with the easing of quarantine restrictions, the months-long quarantine created a chain reaction that led to many Filipinos losing their jobs and livelihood.

    As the onsite or office-based jobs and opportunities dwindled, home-based, online jobs and livelihoods flourished as a safe and resilient way to conduct business and continue earning.

    The Philippines, as among the most populous English-speaking nations, has long been a destination for top business process outsourcing firms and call centers.

    In recent years, online English teaching has become a very popular career choice, which turned out to be one of the least affected jobs amid the pandemic. Most online teachers in the Philippines typically work from home, which insulated them from the quarantine measures that have devastated other businesses.

    Online English platform 51Talk, which has been around since 2011, has been promoting home-based online English teaching opportunity. The online English platform connects its 20,000 English teachers to Chinese students using its proprietary technology called Air Class to deliver live, one-on-one, interactive, and fun lessons.

    Zeeryl Vivi, a licensed professional teacher from Bacolod City, has been teaching with the online English platform for two years now. Vivi said that her earnings have increased during the pandemic because her students are mostly staying at home.

    “I continued to earn from home despite the quarantine restrictions. I actually realized that I was earning more than usual and I was able to provide for my family’s needs. This home-based opportunity really helped us a lot,” she added.

    In China, all children from age seven are required by law to learn English and most parents enroll their children earlier than this, even as young as two years old because they want their children to gain an advantage in a highly competitive environment. This means there is a very bright future for the online ESL industry in the Philippines to meet this increasing demand from China.

    According to its founder and chief executive officer Jack Huang, beyond the livelihood opportunity and English language education his platform provides, the online English platform has long been a bridge that promotes cooperation and understanding between the Philippines and China with its thousands of Filipino teachers interacting with and educating Chinese children daily.