According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, “The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2014 was estimated at 2.3 million. Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract comprised 96.0 percent (2.2 million) of the total OFWs. The rest (4.0% or 92 thousand) worked overseas without contract ” I’m not good with numbers, but that’s definitely A LOT. I’m sure you know someone, either friend or relative who currently works abroad as an OFW or such. Fact is, a lot of Filipinos opt to go abroad because our country does not offer enough opportunities that will ensure a healthy and happy life for our families.
My whole family, including a majority of my aunts/uncles and cousins live or work abroad, 3/4 of our barkada works in Singapore.. and it sucks being far from people you love. There’s no way to describe it. You understand that it’s necessary but you wish it weren’t so. Just yesterday, Martin Dideles witnessed a bitter farewell among husband and wife as one had to leave the country yet again to support the family.
“Habang pauwi ako papunta Davao, napaupo ako sa tabi ng upuan ng pilahan sa naia3.. at ang katabi ko ay isang pamilya, rinig na rinig ko ang pagiyak ng nanay, at ni tatay ng musmos na bata…
Malayo man pero naririnig ko ang iyakan nila dalawa, yung nanay sabi bantayn mo palagi si jr ko.. habang paiyak na tumatango din ang tatay…
Ilang minuto pumila na rin ang babae, habang bitbit ng tatay ang anak nila na natutulog.. isang huling yakap sa dalawang taon na naman pagkikita…o kung ilang taon naman kaya ang pagbabalik ng nanay..
Napakalungkot ng sitwasyon ng pamilya Pinoy, kelangan maghiwalay para maiangat at mapa aral mga anak.. masakit man pero bilib ako sa mga Filipino OFW.. ramdam ko kayo, at yung ginawa nyo, ay di ko kayang tularan..
Sa mga ofw dito, my salute.. and God Bless ur Families..
Share if you salute the OFW and their Families..”
Rough English Translation:
“I sat by a chair near the line going into NAIA3 on my way home to Davao… beside me was a family, I could hear the mom, dad and their little kid crying loudly.
Though I was seated a little bit far from them, I could very much hear their cries between conversations. The mom told her husband to take good care of their little boy.. as the husband tearfully nodded his head…
After a few minutes, the mom stood up to line up as the dad carried their sleeping child… one last hug until the 2 years they finally met again… or the many years of waiting for the mom to return.
The situation of Filipino families really saddens me, the need to part ways from our loved ones to support them and to ensure a proper education for the children…as painful as it is, I am amazed with our OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers).. I feel for you. The things you do for your family, I can never match.
To all the OFWs here, my salute… and God Bless your Families.
Do you have a loved one that lives or works overseas? How does this story make you feel?