in cooperation with

and

 

PEBA 2012 INTERNATIONAL BLOG and PHOTO AWARDS is brought to you by:

SSS PHILIPPINES, Smart IDD by Smart Communications, The Manny and Cynthia Villar Foundation


 

For married OFWs



For married couples, communication is the key.

I don’t see any possible solution for an Overseas Filipino Worker and for his/her family back home to maintain a strong relationship of love and trust than to communicate in any possible means, constantly reassuring each other of the promises they made before the eyes of man, and the eyes of God, and that they will be together till death, and beyond.

Every OFW, regardless of background, class or status, needs three things in order to survive: a friend and/or community to belong to, a job/work where they can immerse themselves, and a nourishing love from the family at home.

A family back home can make a life of an OFW easier by subscribing to any networks' unlimited text and sending a lot of SMS to their loved one's roaming number. Kahit minsan, the text messages are wala dito, wala doon (haha, is this a plug-in for a telecommunication network?), by spending time chatting with him through any other means, by sending email pictures of links and by a constant assurance of faith, of love, and unwavering trust. [I'm confused with this sentence. What does it mean to say?]

Based on my experiences and the people I know, OFWs and their families back home who spend time communicating through mobile phones, through internet, and even the outdated snail mail, have stronger, healthier and happier relationships. I know there are some surveys to support this claim, and I’ll try to post an entry about that later.

This theme is not an easy one for all of us at the Pinoy EBA. The “Strengthening the OFW Families: Stronger Homes for a Stronger Nation” is a bold and truthful admission of an OFW problem that has been for decades. Every OFW knew it. But we were mum because we are simply letting them live their lives, or don’t care at all, because it’s their choices anyway. Believe me, that was what I was thinking for the past few years. But I began to feel bad when a series of events happened. These are events that I will share today.

First, when a ‘Kabayan’ approach me and my wife (I petitioned my wife, Mrs. Thoughtskoto, a couple of months after we were married so she can join me here in Saudi) somewhere in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia and asked us “Saan kayo nakabili ng papel?” I have no idea what he was talking about. Really. I found out later from someone who was engaged in an illicit relationship that you can buy a document with fake (or legal?) DFA red ribbon and seal and a fake marriage certificate with you and a partner’s name on it. I hope that the embassies and consulates will look into this matter and should find ways and means to prevent documents like these to be faked. I don’t know. What can you suggest?

The second incident was when my family and I came home last December 2009. I met Ate Gia, a mother of three teenagers in her late 40s and currently working at the NAIA OFW Lounge. It broke my heart listening to her story. Her husband works in the US. He found an attractive Filipina lady there who also works as an OFW. A first, Ate Gia thoguht that her husband was probably busy at work because there was no call or SMS from him for a week. A month passed and the sustaining support for the kids on college were cut into half, and a year later, there were no calls, SMS, internet chatting, and even remittance. She was forced to find work to support the kids. She just found out 3 years after, her husband is already living in with someone else. It was a devastating experience. It broke my heart hearing it. Today, every time she sees at the NAIA airport the thousands of OFW who come and go, she wondered how many families have had the same experience like hers. I know the answer. I won’t tell her. She will break into tears again.

The third incident was when I was home last May for an interview. I came to know that our neighbor was also an OFW for more than 5 years. Mang Pedring and Aling Zenaida have two boys and a girl. Mang Pedring was a carpenter, and Aling Zenaida ventured as a domestic helper in Singapore to alleviate them from poverty. The first two years were wonderful. But Mang Pedring who was left to take care of the kids began drinking, gambling and womanizing. Aling Zenaida was so frustrated, that she too was engaged in an illicit relationship with a fellow OFW. Last May, I spoke to the two boys who are now 15 and 13 years of age. Their mother sent money for them, but their dad will hurt them if they won’t give him some money too. The kids are smokers and drinking alcohol too. I do not know how to make things right for them.

The stories above make way for the PEBA theme now. Unless we stop and do something about the disintegration of families, we are heading towards a gloomy future. If the basic unit of a society is broken, if every homes, and every young people are not being taken cared of, we are not going anywhere.

I don’t see any possible solution for an Overseas Filipino Worker and for his/her family back home to maintain a strong relationship of love and trust than to communicate in any possible means, constantly reassuring each other of the promises they made before the eyes of man, and the eyes of God, and that they will be together till death, and beyond.



My wife and I were taught when we were young of the “chastity before marriage and fidelity after marriage.” Our vows are not just to last till death, but for all time and all eternity. Knowing that, even if we are physically separated for now, we are doing every possible means to be together, even in prayer, in the voices of our heart, and the thoughts in our minds.

For true love is never waning and never failing, even a thousand miles apart.

► Read Kenjie's previous articles here.

0 Reactions:

Post a Comment