Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dan of Ireland: The OFW Story

Another OFW story of a man who once work as high school teacher and a college instructor back home, working like a horse to support his family but yet the hard-work was still not enough to sufficiently earn thus decided to head on for a roller-coaster-ride of working abroad.

Read the rest of the story of Dan from Ireland.

Filipinos walk a different path in this earth. Our race had left a significant mark in this tumultuous world. We the Filipino overseas worker, the new breed of modern nomads that seek greener pastures elsewhere to escape the clinch of poverty. Our life story, our struggle has always been told. Every day throngs of Filipinos board that one way ticket plane ride. With a pocket of a few borrowed dollars and a lot of prayers. We surrender ourselves to fate and luck, that we may find the promise land. A land far away from home, glittering with better paying jobs and endless prospects.

When I look back years ago when I braced myself to board my first international flight. Mixed emotions was triggered when I looked back to see what I was leaving behind. The land of my birth, my family and my friends that for years I will be parted. I indeed sacrificed all just to alleviate myself from penury. When I was young I never dreamed of life away from home. I dreamed of becoming a lawyer, a doctor, or a senator just like any other kid in our class. But the more you grow up the smaller your dreams become. The more you grow up the more you realize how cruel and unfair life was. From a young age I learned to work hard to continue on with my studies to get a degree. Due to hard work I even got a master’s degree. Even after all that hard work you still haven’t got a sense of security. My earnings still wasn’t enough for a better future for my son and my life still going nowhere. Years of hard labour bring little fruition. Even if I work myself to death the money I earn won’t even be enough for a decent funeral.

In 2005 my wife got a job here in the Republic of Ireland. I was so exuberant upon hearing the news for the first time. It was our way out of from poverty. At last destiny was shining upon us. I was so na├»ve then. I thought that being abroad was the answer to all my troubles. I also succumbed to the mindset that being abroad was a sign of success. Most Filipinos back home treated other countries outside our own as those whose streets are painted of gold and people lucky enough to go abroad will bring back tons of unimaginable wealth. Reality was far too different. The streets outside the country are not painted of gold but stained by the sweat and tears of OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Workers). Outside our country most of us live to work. To earn enough only to pay the bills and send some money back home. Having two jobs was often the way to get by. I was once a high school teacher and college instructor back home but here I started off as someone who cleans rooms and toilets for a living. I totally have no shame about my job and did it with dignity. We Filipinos are a resilient race as they say and I just proven that to myself over and over again.

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