This not a typical OFW story.
I have no first-hand experience to share in regards on how life is with an OFW parent, brother or sister.
Both of my parents are here in the Philippines, still working for the good of the family. All of my siblings are also here, with no concrete plans of going abroad. I grew up in a complete family and I can say that my loved ones never missed any milestone of my life. I have spent my whole life with them.
I’d admit that I have been so much blessed.
But there was a time that my parents have thought of working abroad. My dad and his close friend/cousin were planning back then to work in Australia with TNT (tago-ng-tago) status. His cousin’s wife has a lot of relatives there with the same status. During that time, I wasn’t born yet. 🙂
But my dad had no money to buy plane tickets and all. His cousin decided to push through with the plan even without him.
After 25 plus years, both families are fine except that my cousins in Australia are raised in a different culture and environment. They are well-off there and successful. One time, I even envied my “kababata” or my second-cousin who I played with during my childhood days, he had a blonde girlfriend with blue eyes. cool! 🙂
If my father went abroad, I wouldn’t be here writing all of these. It would require him to stay there for a long time for sure. He would sacrifice a lot.
I am not saying he did not sacrifice here, of course he did. He worked very hard every single day to earn for us and have a good life. He earned every peso here with blood, sweat and tears. In this country, it is never easy to earn a sinlge peso. I remember him preaching to us the value of being prudent and being thrifty. He said that you can walk from Bulacan to Manila and can’t pick up a single peso on the road.
But working abroad is also hard, if not harder. You’ll endure the hardships, loneliness and all the perils of working in a foreign land in exchange of a good life for you and your family. I remember my aunt who is living in London talking (and crying) to my dad through the phone late in the evening or early in the morning just to have someone to talk to. She needs it badly because she has lots of problems there. Also I have an uncle who’s a seaman. One time, I imagined how my uncle reacted when my dad informed him that my grandfather died. These situations are saddening but we have to endure all of these because of love, the bittersweet reality of life.
This post is for all of those OFWs who are true testaments of love, for of those who are selfless and giving, courageous and caring, and most especially, loving. I want to recognize their pains, suffering, hard work, dreams, love and happiness. I wish that all of their hardships will be fruitful in the end, like an Engineer son or a Doctor daughter. When big economies like America, Japan and countries in Europe are crumbling down, Philippine economy is still stable because of it has an army of OFWs to save the day and remit love to their loved ones.
Indeed, they are the modern-day heroes of our time.
Let’s support them. “Walang Iwanan.” They may have left the country for greener pastures but their hearts are still with us, serving the country in their own ways. OFWs are no traitors of our homeland, instead they are victims and heroes created by this struggling society.
I am still wishing, hoping against hope, that a day would come that Filipinos would no longer need to leave their families to work abroad.
This post is all about love, of which all OFWs are essentially all about.
The above post is an entry in support for PEBA 2011.
Let’s support our OFWs!