IN early 2013, I was approached to write for a magazine designed for OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) in Kuwait. I was given a few OFW-related subjects to write about and edited quite a number of already finished articles for publication. When the magazine (maiden issue) was finally out for free circulation, the Editorial I was requested, last minute to write, did not see print. I was never given an explanation by the Executive Editor. And as per verbal agreement, I was supposed to be given a title as Editorial Consultant. My name ended up among the newbie writers and I remember getting mad and insulted! I am already a veteran writer and I should have been given the top billing. And to think that I edited majority of the stories and I even rewrote some.
Well, anyway, it’s all in the past now and presently am having my own place where I can freely publish any story. I will no longer entertain offers to write for a magazine or newspaper. It’s more rewarding to be on your on, a freelance writer, so to speak.
Here’s now the Editorial:
Whenever a Filipino leaves his country to venture into foreign land for a better paying job, the first thing which strikes him upon reaching his destination is homesickness. Some will even start feeling “homesick” while still on board the plane especially if he is leaving behind a wife and children. This homesickness is aggravated by the unfamiliarity with the foreign country’s norms and practices which are completely a turn-around from what he has been accustomed to in his home country. Most often than not, an overseas Filipino worker, is likely to feel lost and confused and will focus all his time and energy at work, his way of somehow coping with his momentary difficulty.
Lucky he is, indeed, when he encounters fellow Filipinos at his place of work and luckier even when he discovers that many more are working in his adopted country. This will then allow him to soon foster camaraderie among his compatriots, thus lessening the homesickness which he intermittently experiences.
Most foreign countries are abound with Filipinos and their numbers increase by leaps and bounds each year. In Kuwait alone, there is now this bigger Filipino community as compared to what there was 10 years or so ago. The presence of fellow Filipinos who represent various regions and provinces in the Philippines is actually the one making each Filipino worker able to overcome his homesickness. Sooner or later he will feel as if he is just living in his own country.