I have to admit I am often quick to shoot down people who attack OFW’s for the simple reason is I understand what the OFW’s go through. They are often in very poor conditions living in countries they don’t want to be, doing jobs they don’t want to do. For what? my wife was talking to me from an OFW’s point of view yesterday explaining how they felt and that more often than not OFW’s send 2/3rds of their salary home to help support relatives but at the same time I often wonder why many of these relatives don’t support themselves. I live here! We have lived on a very tight budget before and presently I know how hard things can be but at the same time I would never ask for a bailout from a relative.
I think my biggest problem is that so many people do not appreciate the sacrifices OFW’s make and I read an article yesterday regarding a Balikbayan box someone was receiving. The words were about the gifts “they wanted” and things they couldn’t find locally. Not once did the words “thank you” or “its greatly appreciated you don’t know how much this means to me” appear only text of literally I expect and I demand. If not they would be disappointed. Disappointed? I have done things in my life time that would break many other people, I have seen things that can and do give nightmares. What do I expect when I send Balikbayan boxes home ? the same thing I get when I do.. Thank you! It was a surprise and more importantly “you shouldn’t have!”. A gift is a gift.. and people shouldn’t forget or disrespect that, your brother,sister,uncle,aunt,parent are working hard out there somewhere in the world to make sure YOU have a better future than they did. RESPECT it!
Some of you will be thinking how dare you as a Foreigner!! I will ask you this am I really a foreigner? I work in the UK to help support my wife, my children and develop a retirement plan for my father and mother in-law. Aren’t I more of an OFW than you would like to give credit for? I spent 8 months of last year away from home working from 6-7am until 8-9pm 5 days a week before commuting on a Friday to see my daughter in Worcester for 5hrs that gives me Saturday off! as I drive back to work on Sunday. At the same time I am living in a small apartment to keep costs down so I can come home aswell as send money home to support my family. I may not be Filipino but much of my life overlaps and here I am living in the Philippines, here I am as a resident and in 5 years time a Citizen.
I support OFW’s because many don’t have a voice because they worry about offending relatives, I support OFW’s because I have worked as hard as they do, I support OFW’s because they are not only hard working but the light for many, I support OFW’s because they are the backbone of my home. But what is more important is that YOU support the OFW’s strive for independence and the ability to stand on your own two feet. Remittances are easy to receive but hard to earn make anything you do receive count. Build a future in the Philippines or get out, either way don’t waste peoples money that is earned by hard work, tears and suffering.. you owe it to them.