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Hi everyone, allow me to write something about our modern day heroes, and those people I am referring to are our Overseas Filipino Workers. Many among you here I guess, has relatives parents most probably, brothers and sisters or friends who have been working outside the country or working abroad. If you are to ask them why would they work that is too far from their family? Basically they would say, "for greener pasture", means they want their family to have good and comfortable life, to have their children study on some private and prestigious schools in the country. Obviously, working abroad has a bigger opportunity and bigger salary. I think the Philippines has the largest overseas workers in every part of the world as we always saw it in the news or at any social media forum. Mostly were seafarers, health workers, construction workers and domestic helpers and many others. Every overseas filipino workers has its own story to tell, and have different experiences as well. Let's start it with our seafarers.
I have some cousins and relatives who's work is a seafarer. And they've once told me that being a seafarer is not an easy job, especially if you are still in a low rank. Before you can on board the ship, you will undergo a lot of trainings too and that means lots of expenses to begin your journey. The very first person to feel lonely is of course the wife of a seafarer, because of the long beliefs and saying that since they traverse on many places, there is a saying about a seafarer which says "Every port report, every place replace". Trust has been a very essential matter if you have been married to a seafarer. Stories been told that because they earn a lot, thay are more capable to have some good times in a bar or anywhere they are comfortable with. Another thing about them, if you have already onboarded a ship, a lot of relatives are expecting something from you the moment you of off board.Some are requesting for a branded Nike shoes, a Blue label Johnnie Walker and many other branded things. Eventhough I have some cousins and relatives who were a seafarer never did I requested for some material things, because I understand how hard their job is. They are risking they're life traversing and facing typhoon and storms. They're immediate family, the wife, their parents and their children were living everyday worrying and without peace of mind thinking about their family member who is onboard a ship. Yes it's true they are well compensated compare to any other job but the risk their taking is unfathomable.
Have you experienced seeing a scenario at the airport of a family hugging while crying hard because someone in the family will be leaving to work as a domestic helper in some part of Asia and in any other foreign land. That was so heartbreaking to witnessed. I think the child was about seven years old, she really cried hard because her mom is leaving. We have a neighbor before,when we are still in Bulacan, she worked as a DH too, she told us of her very sad experience, like her boss would always tell her what to eat oftentimes she ate only the leftovers. When they went to a grocery store to buy the stuff needed from where she worked, her boss told her that they will drop by at a Mc Donald's fast food. She was a bit excited that for the first time since she arrived on that foreign land, she wasn't able to eat a single burger. But to her dismay, her boss told her to just stay on a different table while she was eating. She told us, she wanted to breakdown at that very moment.While some domestic helpers are lucky to have a very compassionate boss, some are also struggling for some rude and harsh employer. The bad thing that adds to the demoralization of our domestic helpers and construction workers is that they've been looked down by the society. It cannot be denied that there are really those who felt happy and satisfied when they belittle somebody. If only they knew of the battle that our overseas workers keep on coping day by day maybe they would have a heart to be kind. Many of them experienced anxiety attacks or even depression because they failed to overcome the feeling of being lonely brought about by homesickness. And think about those caregivers who took care about elders but were not able to see their parents who were sick. Those helpers who took care of other kids but left their own just to earn a living. It really angers me at times seeing some news about our overseas workers being maltreated by their employers, others were even raped. Life has been sometimes unfair, but every person has his own battle, a battle to win and conquer.
If you have a family who's working abroad or an Overseas worker, please take time to express your gratitude towards them. Take time to call them, leave them messages that you missed them and that you loved them. Do not just call because you wanted to borrow money or you call because you are asking for some brand new clothes and shoes etc. Take time to realize and think that while you are eating sumptuous meal and drink that expensive milktea or coffee, your relatives abroad might be eating some leftovers only. Value their hardwork and sacrifices instead by doing good on your studies, and by not spending too much of the money they sent. And for us relatives or friends, let's not expect something from them. Let's avoid expecting some chocolates, soap and many other things because they never have it for free. The money they have is an exchanged for their sacrifices and tears of being away from their family and yet you want it for free. Not all Overseas workers are rich and have lots of money. Many went home with nothing too mostly during this time of pandemic. Some lost their job also while some weren't able to return because of the restrictions given by other country from those coming from the Philippines. Many of them have been knocked down and even attempted ending their life because of anxiety and depression because they're now jobless. Now is the perfect time to show to our modern day heroes our love and appreciation for all the help they have given and to their big share in improving our country's economy because of their remittances.
To our modern day heroes, "Mabuhay kayong lahat."
Hope you enjoyed reading this article, this is my way of saying thank you to our Overseas Filipino Workers.