Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) significantly contribute to the Philippines’ continuous economic progress through billions of dollars worth of remittances each year. However, not everyone truly understands the selfless sacrifices of OFWs who only want to support the daily needs of their families or perhaps, provide them a bright future. The sad reality is, the migrant workers and their families are the ones bearing the social consequences of migration.
A daughter of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) recently shared a group of family photos that captured the hearts of millions of OFWs across the globe. Bhea taught everyone how to appreciate the great sacrifices of all OFW parents who were working very hard and enduring the burden of homesickness on a far distant location. Through her posted pictures on social media, Bhea clearly expressed her gratitude and appreciation for all the efforts made by her father.
On several photos, Bhea’s family appears celebrating the birthday of her father along with close relatives and friends in their home back in the Philippines. They prepared a lot of sumptuous dishes and items including a birthday cake for her dad, which seemingly filled the entire dining table. But her dad was not there to celebrate his birthday.
However, on another picture, Bhea’s father seemed to have prepared for a birthday party of his own. The loving OFW father prepared a cup of instant noodles and a small loaf of bread with a lit candle, representing his birthday cake. Bhea described the pictures, indicating what her family had prepared for her dad against what her dad had prepared for himself while being away. This definitely touched the emotions of many Filipinos particularly those who have family members working as OFWs.
After her post goes viral on social media, Bhea then shared her father’s touching message for her. The OFW birthday celebrator continuously encourages her daughter to remain strong despite the distance that separates them apart. He also noted that the whole family would get through all these challenges and hardships as long as they stay together. He asked her to stay cool and be patient as all these sacrifices would only become meaningful if he would provide his family a great future.
Every year, thousands of aspiring Filipinos decide to go on a difficult journey outside of the Philippines in search of better opportunities to earn more. But before they can do it, OFWs have to go through a hard decision of leaving their families behind and bearing not to see the children grow up by their side. According to the 2016 survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority on OFWs, there are approximately 2.3 million Filipinos working in the international soil. And Bhea’s father is just one of the hardworking Filipinos who has made a heartbreaking decision of leaving her son and explore the world for greener pastures.