Let’s admit it, many Filipinos work abroad because they want greener pastures. But the story doesn’t end there. Let us not forget that working overseas is not just about “I, me and myself.” The truth is we are all involved.
Life is difficult. It’s a fact. But there is such thing as "more difficult life." My father, for example, has been an OFW for more than half of his life. He is successful. But like everybody else he wouldn’t be in his present position without struggles, without tons of sacrifices. My dad’s life is about enduring gigantic waves, facing fear in the midst of great storms and erratic weather condition, and bearing extreme heat inside the engine room. Along with the physical agony he seldom sees his family, his loved ones. For me, that's the meaning of "more difficult life"
I consider myself an independent person armed with good amount of confidence but I am not as brave as OFWs. It is no joke to be in a foreign land specially if your only armor is a braveheart. Working abroad maybe synonymous to higher income and perhaps better living, however it also involves great risk. As a daughter of an OFW, I know. When I was a lot younger, there were times that I was telling myself “I wish daddy is here.” I could have hated him but I felt I have no right to have grudges because daddy isn’t playing. He’s working hard not for personal prosperity but to be able to give me a better life; to give us, his family, a life he didn't experience when he was young. He is working abroad in pursuit of a selfless dream regardless if his life is at stake.
My dad’s tale is just one of the many OFW stories. Each has different story to tell. Some are exciting; others are so complicated. There are stories of victory but there are also stories of great misery. But no matter how different they are, they have one common denominator - they embody the true meaning of sacrificial love. They are the people who have chosen a "more difficult life."
Today, the Overseas Filipino Workers are called “Bagong Bayani (modern-day heroes)." Various reports prove that their high remittances play vital role in economic sustainability - a clear evidence that their sacrifices are not just for a purpose of having a stronger home but for a stronger nation as well. To be called “Bagong Bayani” is perhaps a great honor for the OFWs, but at the end of the day a title is just a title. I believe the essence of being an OFW is not primarily about increasing one'swealth but for having the opportunity to bless others even more. And their true reward is to see small or marvelous progress in the lives of others specially their loved ones. They are happiest if they see someone become a person with big dreams and concern for his neighbors. It only means they have successfully passed the torch and enlightened others.
Photo grabbed @ pinkandteal.blogspot.com