Sunday, January 23, 2011

When Do You Know That Enough is Enough?

Thought I'll post this letter from an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). The writer shares her thoughts as she discovers what's more important in her life and for the family she left behind in the Philippines. God meant families to stay together. But in the Philippines where majority of citizens consider themselves as God-fearing, separated families due to overseas employment are very common. It makes you wonder if the sacrifices of these parents to give up their influence to their children in exchange for affluence are all worth it.  God bless the OFWs and their families. You can read the complete version of the letter here.

OFW's leave our country for their loved ones. Once they bid goodbye and ride the airplane, people think of dollars.

But not all OFW's become rich and successful. There are many of us who are struggling because they took the risks of going abroad with no assurance that they can find a job and they barely know anyone from that country to support them. As a result most of them end up going back to their home. Another reason of failure is the lack of vision, or plan.

They go, they earn, they send everything to their family, they are so generous to lend their money to friends or relatives in need, they often send big kabayan boxes full of chocolates and imported goods. As a consolation, they just tell themselves, "ok lang’ yan, ngayon lang ‘yan, kinikita ang pera." or "we cannot buy happiness".  
Yes, it's true. There's nothing wrong with being selfless and besides, our major reason for coming here is to provide the needs and wants of our family and see them happy. But I think it’s just fair to set limits and not to forget to SAVE or invest.

I often hear other OFW’s saying, “Ganyan talaga.’ Yan talaga ang papel natin" or “Gustuhin ko man na umuwi, may magagawa ba 'ko?" Someone who habitually help his family cannot call himself 'helpless'. He always has a choice. We have a choice.

I’m 24 years old and it’s my 2nd year in Dubai. The longer I stay here, the more I become eager to set my goals as earliest. I don't want to work for my entire life and I don’t want to waste my youth being away from my family and friends. I'm afraid I might break my good relationship with them because of my obsession to earn, or shift my sweet jolly Tita Mahal image to my nieces and nephews into a cash machine or Sta. Clause. I want to stick to my plans and I really do have a desire to achieve my dreams.

I've met a lot of Kabayan who've been working here for more than a decade or two, who are good providers to their family, giving them comfort and wealth and yet they are still unhappy. And worse, there are some who ended up having a broken family. Rebel on the part of their children for having their parents away from them while they are growing up or the parents committed adultery while they are away. 

I thought scenes like these are just in movies, but after living the life of an OFW, nakakaiyak. Totoo pala. Iba pa rin ang buo ang pamilya at magkakasama. May pera ka nga, kulang ka naman sa pagmamahal. May pera ka nga, may sakit ka naman.

At present, aside from my own job, I and my partner is also active in a multilevel marketing. It’s not only an extra income but also a kind of investment.

Someone asked me, "when do you know that enough is enough?" I don't know exactly when, (but) I’m sure it would be very soon.

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