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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Parentless Parenting

With me in the photo is Ate Mary & she has been an Overseas Filipino Worker(OFW) probably almost 20 years or more. She does look younger than her age which was 55 last 2006. I met her during our 3.5 years of stay in Malaysia. She got 3 grown-up children who grew up without her. Her husband had been unfaithful to her & thus her kids had been cared for by her siblings. The last time i spoke with her she told me that she had a problem with her youngest daughter who got pregnant & thus had stop schooling. Hence,Ate Mary got desperate because her efforts abroad seemed worthless.

The other photo with me is Ate Judith,in her 40's. I met her in Sabah & she had been working to & fro Brunei & Labuan. Like Ate Mary, she's also separated from her unfaithful husband. They got 2 kids who are being taken cared for by Ate Judith's mother back home in Zamboanga.

How many of our countrymen are going overseas to work & find the so-called greener pastures? How many families had been broken because of the thousand miles that can't be coped up or can't be strengthened with even the latest technology? Is the money worth than the time we hadn't spent with our kids whom we hadn't witnessed some of their milestones in younger life? On the other hand, what shall we spent if we stay in our country being overworked & underpaid?
Yes,family bond may be threathened but the growing pressure to provide for a family is the main reason why there are OFWs. Skyrocketing prices---from tuition fees & groceries to housing & utilities---have put too much strain on breadwinners.

It had beeen pointed out in a paper read at the Filipino Migrant Conference in Athens,Greece last 1997 that among the children of migrant wokers,incidents of drug abuse,deliquency,early pregnancies or marriages, & child abuse are increasing. Children also manifest strong materialistic values & they become overly dependent on money & gifts from overseas.All these point to a weaker thread in the fiber holding the OFW together.

This is a great challenge of every OFW family: making the family intact despite the distance. COMMITMENT is very,very important. Nowadays,one way of strengthening the family bond is through the use of technology---webcams,e-mails & cellphones.Making use of these modern gadgets may somehow alleviate the boredom & the desperation of being afar.

Working abroad is really a matter of choice. It really depends on each family how will they work out to build a strong home.After-all family is a basic institution that determines the strength of a nation.At the end of the day,it is the family that we look forward in coming home.

7 comments:

-Wendy- said...

Its really sad that many Filipino families of OFWS are having problems. Have you seen the movie "Anak" with Vilma Santos and Claudine Barretto? So sad. What we can do though is take advatage of technology like what you said =) I have a sister in the US. We chat and do webcam sessions regularly so I am always updated with her life and we support her.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Prily,
This is a poignant post that tugs at the heart. Yes, there are so many Filipinos who brave the unknown working in foreign countries just to be able to support their families back home. There is no choice for most breadwinners. It's either face the unknown in a foreign land or face starvation and deprivation in your own land. Modern gadgets like the web cam and cell phones can help alleviate homesickness and loneliness but the best remedy would still be dedicating our lives to Jesus Christ. Even if a couple are miles apart if their hearts are bonded together in love and servitude for the Lord, nothing amiss will come to their family. Jesus must be at the center of the relationship in a family so that they will all survive all kinds of trials. Thanks for the poignant post. God bless you all.

doorlight said...

If you are going to ask me, I don't like having an OFW parent. Iba pa rin kung kumpleto ang lahat at ayokong nagkikita every once a year lang tapos 30 days lang ang stay.

Look: 26 times ko lang nakita ang Father ko sa 26 years. So bali: 780 days in total. lol.

I'm not against with OFW or anything, just wanna share the experience. Sana kung hindi naging ganun ang set up. We've become closer siguro, as close as my mom.

Kendi said...

hmm first of all sorry sa akong cbox. maong di ko mo entertain ug ex links sa cbox kay sa kadaghan mo leave ug message di nko mabasa ang uban. mao gusto nko e email lng. i don't mean to be rude. hehe bitaw te, tanan bisdak welcome kaau sa akong site. ^_^ thanks for visiting diay te.. wala nko ni basa sa entry te kay gaapas ko ug explain nimo hehehe.. after this, mao pa nko basahon. anyway, take care and God bless! Have a nice day

Babette said...

This is true Prily, a lot of families have been broken and the kids are affected the most. Parents had to make the choice of going abroad to give their family a better quality of life or stay put but live day to day. Couples need to have a strong relationship and commitment to survive a long distance relationship.

BERNADETH said...

hi prily,
yes its true.i´ve been working in spore for 5.5 years in order to support my sisters in their schooling. praise God naging teacher din yong isa.shes working permanent sa govt skul and licensed midwife naman yong isa.talagang mahirap ang buhay sa abroad.lalo na pag di alam pano i budget nong pinapadalhan mo.Imagine in my 5.5 years na malayo 1 time lang akong umuwi sa pinas.pro masaya naman ako kc nakatulong ako sa family ko.Its better to give than to recieved wika nga. mahal na mahal ko sila.

Shiela said...

It is a very difficult situition especially to the ofw whom the family are left behind. I'm lucky to have my family with me but i still want to be in Phil. But the problem is...How can i support my kids properly if i'm in Phil? Even if i was earning a descent amount before it wasn't enough.
So to all the family of OFW...be considerate. Life abroad is not easy. We work very hard for every cents that we earn. Try to understand that we are doing it for your own sake.