Image by KarlMarx via Flickr
There are more than eight millions Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) also called Over Financially Worried scattered around the world seeking for greener pastures.
Working abroad is an ally for those who are fortunate enough to have good jobs and considerable employers. Through their earnings, they were able to build a house and able to send their children to school. However, it becomes a foe for the sexually abused and maltreated domestic helpers. But despite all this, the overseas contract workers are patiently working hard because it is for love for their families and country.
Nguni’t napakasakit isipin at mahirap tanggapin sa kalooban na ang isang OFW ay malalagutan ng kaniyang hininga sa malayong karagatan at uuwi lulan sa isang kahon na isa nang malamig na bangkay. Katulad sa mahal kong tiyuhin - he died 6 days before Valentine’s day.
His name was Victor Lizardo – married with two loving children. He has been working for more than 20 years as an accountant. He was the person I admired most. I even considered him as my own father. He was the one who helped me got the job as an account analyst with the same company he was working.
But last year, on February 8, 2010, he died by heart stroke in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Pakiramdam ko po that time may nakakalso sa aking lalamunan dahil sa sobrang pagkabigla sa natanggap kong text messages from my wife na nagsasabing “Dido na si Uncle Vic”. Ang daming maibabalita bakit patungkol pa sa kamatayan ng isang taong nagmahal, nagpahalaga sa buhay at kinabukasan ko. Unfair yata si Cupid. Maaga niyang pinana ang tiyo ko.
This is one of the many faces of being an OFW. When Uncle Vic left his family and country, he departed with tears falling down from his eyes. And when he went back to his family and to his beloved country – he was already a frozen dead man – na sinalubong ng katakot-takot na luha ng kaniyang pamilya.
How many more OFWs will die in foreign lands in exchange of good life and a prosperous future for their extended families?