Like Father Like Son: OFWs

Ang Tatay Kong OFW

Many OFWs say that our government is incapable of giving or providing decent compensation to its workforce. Having this in mind, our generation has continued the cycle of migration and working abroad as gateway from poverty to better their living conditions.  The lure of having a high paycheck is hard to ignore especially if you are the breadwinner in the family, you have children to get to school, wanting to give your family a better life or you  just want to earn big so you can save more and eventually have a business or investments of your own someday. It is for these reasons why more and more Filipinos even newly graduates prefer working abroad instead of staying and working in the Philippines.

Nevertheless, OFW’s noble cause in uplifting their families from dire poverty is still unattainable as the years go by in spite of the opportunity it presents. Earning big seem to be not only the solution. Many have become, “tabla-tabla lang”  others even losers.

Some say, “Ayos na. May engineer na ako!” referring to his newly graduate son who took an engineering degree.

We should all be jubilant and proud for this kind of achievement, not just for the son who finished his degree in engineering but for the OFW father who sacrificed and exhausted most of his youthful years working abroad so his son could finish college. However, after having done all these, the OFW father will soon retire having less if not nothing for his personal retirement. The son who graduates continues the cycle his father left in the OFW jungle zone and that is to work abroad too. A new breed of “Bagong Bayani” we call OFW emerges.

This time, mga anak na ang lumalabas ng bansa upang magtrabaho para kahit papaano ay masuportahan at makatulong sa mga magulang na nagpakasakit sa lupang malayo upang maitawid ang kanilang pag-aaral. Kapagka malaki ang pamilya, suporta sa mga kapatid na nag-aaral pa ang priyoridad. Pagtulong sa mga magulang ay di kailanman maaaring kalimutan.

The son who now works as an OFW will soon realize as the years pass by, “Ala na pala sa kalendaryo ang edad ko. Ang bilis talaga ng panahon.”  Given this kind of situation, a lot of yuppies end up “solteros” and “solteras” abroad. Attending to the immediate needs of the family is the first priority. Time fly so fast, you have forgotten you have personal things to attend too. Once you get the chance to set your own personal life’s priorities, like getting married, having your own family or just setting aside from your family home, you’ll find yourself in bewilderment. Maybe, this is a stage in life where a deeper transformation manifest and bring you to the next level… Having your own family. And when you do, a personal discernment will unravel asking yourself, “Am I repeating the same cycle my father did?”

Work hard. Send the kids to school. Buy a house. Buy a car. While you busy yourself working away from your family to be a responsible father or parent, you find yourself in the same situation just like the days your father did before. You’re missing the first birthday of your kid, you’re missing the days your kids grow and play, you’re missing their  first communion, you’re missing the day they graduate (in elementary, high school or even college) and a lot more. You let your partner or your wife take charge and be responsible to be the mother and father of your kids while you are away.  It is hard but we just accept it and let the way it is (I hope for now). Time will fly fast. Soon you’ll be home as you always say.

It’s a kind of cycle that repeats itself. You may ask yourself, “How can I get out of this cycle? ” It is also of high value and good to ask, “Am I ready for the future passing the same torch to my children and be another OFW?”

We better ask ourselves. We may just be circling around.

While we aspire to better our lives and secure a brighter future for our family, we must be focused with our goals. So we could make the improvement we really need in our lives, to better not just our lifetime but our family’s next generation. Let not the voices of the world dictate us. The good life which most of us desire is a life that should be warmed by passion and touched with great determination to succeed that even the impossible will be possible.

I will borrow a quote that says, “Many have tried but few succeeded”  as a reminder to all.

Hence, let not the world fail us instead inspire us to succeed.

Happy reading and God bless! 🙂