They say that age is just a number. Just ask these overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who never let their age prevent them from hustling abroad and achieving the goals that drew them there in the first place.
Saved by the amnesty
Overseas Filipino worker Lola Angela Cayan pledged that she would not return to the Philippines until her youngest has finished school. To accomplish this, she had to break the law in the UAE and overstay.
After three decades, Lola Angela was finally allowed to return to the Philippines under the amnesty program. On August 26, she was among the second batch of amnesty grantees to arrive in the Philippines.
Lola Angela may not have brought many gifts for her family, but she did bring a piece of success: she could send all of her children to school, all of whom have since graduated, and her youngest child is now working in Dubai.
Editha, one of her children, stated that her mother left abroad when she was not even in school. She went on to say how proud she is of her mother for sacrificing a large portion of her life to work overseas so that her siblings could finish their studies and live a more comfortable life.
Age is just a number
Due to her age – a grandma is hustling in Jollibee Hong Kong Central – a Jollibee service crew in Hong Kong casually serving food to customers made the rounds on social media.
Cassey Angela Guilermo-Garganta Idica-Marcelino, a Facebook user, posted a photo of a Filipina older woman working as a crew member at one of Jollibee’s Hong Kong locations.
She told TFT that the elderly, whom they affectionately refer to as nanay, have been working for the fast-food chain for nearly 15 years.
“If you go to Hong Kong, you will see Filipino oldies working as a crew. Try to observe and ask how their companies provide them with benefits. Even if they are Pinoys, the Hong Kong government gives them the right treatment, and we are equals when it comes to rights and laws.” Cassey said.
Working two jobs
Meet 62-year-old Antonio Espia, aka Lolo Tony, from one Jollibee crew to another.
Despite his age, Lolo Tony works two jobs: from Sunday to Thursday, he is a crew member of the fast-food chain in one of its Hong Kong branches, and on Fridays and Saturdays, he is a musician in a restaurant, according to the Inquirer.
Lolo Tony moved to Hong Kong in 1989 and has worked in various hotels and restaurants since then. The older man explained that he needed to work hard because he had children to send to school.
Lolo Tony is fortunate in that the Hong Kong government has granted him a permanent residency permit. As a result, he will be entitled to medical care and other benefits for all Hong Kong residents.
“We do everything to give our families something better. We don’t think of ourselves anymore because our families’ needs come first,” Lolo Tony said.