Note: The below narrative has been culled from an email sent to one of the Yahoo Groups in the late 2008. It is being reproduced to give light to the importance of Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs in propping up the economy of the Philippines. Hailed as “economic saviours” the OFWs continue to infuse billions and billions of dollars every year to the country and will continue to do so until Kingdom come.
THE millions of OFWs scattered in more than 200 countries all over the world are doing a lot of good to our birth country, the Philippines. They are the saviors who have been keeping our economy afloat.
It is, of course, a given that each OFW provides for his/her family left behind. It is, after all, the very reason why one goes out of the country and venture into the unknown. Before, there were only two classes in our Philippine society – the rich and the poor. When OFWs became a “fad” in the early 1970s, in a term Marcos referred to then as human exports, the poor family of these OFWs occupied a third class, which is now, the middle class. They are the real ones who have been helping the poor – their own kind – rise from poverty. I set myself as one example. And having spent 26 years of my fruitful life in Kuwait, now as an ex-OFW (since 2002), I have continued to adopt the habit of saving the poorest of my relatives and neighbors in my local community and thus contribute to keeping our economy afloat.
Now, I am sure you are aware that majority of these OFWs are spoiling their family and for this reason that the malls are proliferating non-stop all over the country. [Our 5th class province of Antique is soon getting a Robinson’s, a few years after the people tasted a real mall for the first time through the Gaisano chains of grand mall, as named] and this is because the Antiquenos are now gradually and steadily becoming OFWs; no longer sacadas, as they have been known in the past.
You would know an OFW child by looking at what he/she wears or carries. Or you can easily see the improvements in the barrio through these big and concrete houses which only an OFW, mostly seamen, can build. While before children go to public schools, an increasing number of them are now going to private schools. So you also see private institutions sprouting. I can go on citing a lot of examples which I know you are also aware of.
What I am advocating for is for these OFWs to go out from the immediate family setting and spread his/her arms to the extensions. A cousin perhaps whose child is unable to finish college because of lack of money? Or a sister or brother who could hardly make both ends meet? And maybe a neighbor who has been jobless because of a disability?
Not all can become successful on their own. And, of course, it is impossible that everybody gets to be rich or life will really be boring.
I ask only for just ONE poor to be saved, someone who is out of the immediate family radar.
Thanks for listening,