Thursday, January 3, 2013

The OFW Life

The very bright outlook of the Philippine's economomy can be attributed to two things: 1) The remittance from OFWs and 2) The BPO sector. The latter has been from the longest time the source of many families income. When I was a kid, I often hear a parent of a cousin or a playmate working in Saudi or Abu Dhabi. I don't even have an idea where the hell in the map thouse countries are and in Abu Dhabi's case it's not even a country.

Here I am working as an OFW and from my early experience, I have nothing but the utmost respect to all my countrymen who worked or still working abroad. OFW's are a "different breed of animals" and to get a deeper understanding of this you need to go through the process yourself. I liken an OFW's life to a soldier that has been sent to war. Like a soldier, you get sent to the "enemy's" terrritory. You only hoped that your life experiences have prepared or trained you to face all the obstacles along the way.

You fight the "war" for 1 or 2 years depending your employment contract. Then you get to go home but at the back of your mind nothing will ever be the same. You're not the same person who left the country for the first time. You came back hardened by the tough experiences you went through abroad. Along the way, you meet people who will try to break your will and people who's will have already broken. You keep yourself sane and balance by thinking about the people you left behind. I see myself as a ranking officer of the platoon, who needs to be strong-minded to lead the other soldiers to war and keeep them safe so they can come back to their families.

Like a soldier, you fight for the "cause" -- to liberate your family from proverty or secure them a brighter future.

We often hear that the OFWs are our modern day heroes. People don't know how much of an understatement this is and why I think like soldiers who fought the war, they are not given enough credit due to them. While the Philippines' economy enjoy the fruits of our labor, we OFWs continue to fight everyday to provide food on the table and roof to shelter our families. Maybe it's about time the government do something more for us.

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