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Why OFWs stay abroad

05:02 AM November 12, 2018

As a wife of an overseas Filipino worker, I can relate fully well to “Why OFWs find it hard to return” (Letters, 10/30/18). My husband has been away from my three girls and myself for more than a decade now.

With his absence, I attend to the gigantic dual role of being a mother and father to my girls on top of keeping a full- time job. Except for my husband’s presence, everything runs smoothly in our family.

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He left for the United States driven by both economic necessity and the desire to give a better future to our family. There was never any written pact between us, but our promise remains strong as we look forward to the day when he would finally be home.

My girls, in tune with the supreme sacrifice that their father does for them, are all doing well, with one professional, and another one about to graduate from college.

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My husband’s dream of sending our children to the best schools, and letting them attend trainings and exposure abroad, have become an easy feat with the remittance that keeps our family afloat.

My husband is still hesitant to come home. At his age now, his fear of not being able to provide for his family seems to stop him from coming home. He also dreams of finally bringing his family to the “land of milk and honey,” never mind if that would take an eternity.

The wide gap in salary abroad, plus the favorable working conditions, ample work benefits, readily available jobs without bias on age, gender and educational attainment, and many more factors, entice many OFWs to stay abroad indefinitely. Can we blame them why they stay put?

However, working miles away from one’s loved ones should just be a transitory phase. Working abroad should not take a lifetime. I look forward to the day when such transition would be over in my family. And each OFW family, with us included, would finally triumph against all forms of struggle, be it finances or otherwise.

BELEN DOCENA-ASUELO,
[email protected]

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TAGS: Belen Docena-Asuelo, Inquirer letters, ofws
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