Tuesday, November 18, 2008

OFW Story: Hopes, Dreams Outweigh Fears

Hello everyone, after a few days of no posts, I am now back into digging and finding interesting ofw stories to share with you. I recently just contracted this illness called love-sickness, yeah no kidding, don't say crap please.. :), so that's the reason why I was not able to update this blog. We have just some misunderstandings with my fiancee back home but we're all right now and continue fighting the challenges of being miles apart. Geez, I may sound already corny just now but that's what happened. It was just a failure of a network service provider to deliver the sms, hehe.. Petty things right? But sms is a crucial part for me to communicate with my loved ones back home, so that was it. :)

Alright, time for a more exciting OFW Story.. Here's a story from GENER MARCELO, an OFW from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who took the risk of leaving his family just to find that big shot of opportunity from working abroad. Another interesting points to keep us always reminded to hold on the vows that we have with our loved ones back home. Enjoy reading..

After reading Randy David’s column “Love in the time of migration” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 6/14/08), I couldn’t help but admit that my life at this point fits into the scenario he painted. In fact, I was watching a delayed telecast of a nightly news program of a TV station in the Philippines when I received two text messages from my wife. I looked at my watch to check the time—it was half past 1 a.m. from where the message came. So, I thought, my wife was still awake.
I texted back with my own message, which I ended with “Good night.” After a few minutes, I got another message from her. She bade me “Good night” in turn, but I could sense some despair in her message.
The following morning, in the office, I sent her and my kids—as my usual way of keeping in touch with them—a message. She replied, and her messages this time clearly exposed her desolation.
I empathize with her. Barely eight months have passed since I left her and our four kids to work here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, tucking in my suitcase a few pictures of them to remind me of our hopes and dreams. It would be my first time to be away from my family that long. Before we decided to take this “big leap” that could make or break our lives, we spent countless hours in prayers, asking for God’s guidance.
Our story is not uncommon. Millions of Filipinos have gone abroad, leaving their country, families and loved ones in pursuit of a better life. The stories of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) don’t necessarily yield to happy endings: philandering husbands, unfaithful wives, errant children longing to feel the warmth of the love of absent parents have become ordinary fare. Yet, these stories are not enough to stop a large number of Filipinos from leaving their families to work abroad.
The lack of opportunities back home is what pushes people like me to leave home for greener pastures; our hopes and dreams of giving our families a better future outweigh our fears of the risks we might have to face in strange lands.
Going back to my wife’s pained text messages, I would always reply to them with words of assurance, though I know that these would never offer enough comfort under our present circumstances. But better that the words are said than allow yourself to wallow in fear.
What you think and what you do is what you will become; that’s life’s predisposition. If we think life has been very cruel to us, it is not so much because such is our destiny but because we have predisposed ourselves to those “cruelties” by our thoughts and actions. Professor David is right: It has been very easy to measure the economic benefits of overseas work. But it is doubtful if one can ever quantify what the Filipino family has given up in terms of love, or what it is doing to recover it.
I just wish though to find ways to recover what I have given up in my pursuit of a decent life for my family. But until I see a better option than going abroad, I’ll just have to keep my hopes and dreams alive.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:13:00 06/24/2008