The OFW Christmas list
A technician in Dubai wishes he could go home instead of just sending presents to his loved ones. A nurse in the US wishes that when she does go home, her job will still be waiting for her when she gets back.
They both wish a trip home didn't cost so much money or take so much time. It wouldn't be so difficult to rationalize a trip instead of again participating in the holidays via webcam.
They wish their flights won't be canceled or delayed. They've saved through the year to be able to pay for their trip. In their jobs as nannies, engineers, and factory workers, it's all they've been thinking about. After the balikbayan boxes these workers send through the years, they don't keep much of their wages for themselves other than putting away for airfare in case they do get the chance.
A mother wishes that when her children see her again, they'll recognize her. At the very least she'll hope that someone teaches them to fake it and run to her for a rehearsed hug. A father will want them to laugh and smile with him and tell him they love him, but even if they don't say thank you, their health and happiness will be enough.
Wishes for family
Even if he's arrived with presents for each one of them, what he really wishes for his family are good health and ease of life. He doesn't want his children to worry about their tuition, books, or having something nice to wear for a family reunion. He wants them to stand tall among their friends knowing that they are well-dressed and well-fed because they are loved.
Maybe if they are proud of themselves they will forget that in order to do that, he had to leave them behind.
She wishes her children are making the most of their education. She hopes they realize the edge they have over their peers in going to a better school and having access to better jobs when they're done. She hopes they don't waste their opportunities by starting families too early or deciding that school is not for them, when she would have done anything for that chance.
Regardless of how hard she works, she doesn't wish for much for herself other than that her sacrifices won't be for naught. Maybe with their level of education they won't have to leave their own families to feed them when it's their turn. For her, that will be enough.
A husband hopes the spouse he left has not strayed from him, although he's quite aware of the necessity of intimacy in married life. A wife hopes her husband has not started another family in her absence, though she knows very well what it's like to be lonely and long for a loving pair of arms.
He hopes his wife has put their hard-earned money to good use and saved some for emergencies. She longs to tell him she depends on him as much as he depends on her. He wants to tell her that despite the distance, he still considers her his home.
Lack of choice
Instead of resenting them for being away, OFWs hope their families realize their lack of choice. That as sad and difficult it is to leave them, it is necessary to earn a better wage to address the needs that a local job cannot.
That daughter in Rome hopes her family knows the bitterness in her chest when she is alone and away from them, the hardships she stomachs but never mentions, and the loneliness she constantly tries to fight. An auntie in Australia wishes her nieces and nephews would make the most of their lives while she sacrifices hers so they might have a better chance.
A longtime seaman hopes to get some rest from my work when he visits. He hopes that when his relatives come, they sincerely want to see him instead of asking for help to fix their houses. He's used to being approached to address health issues or to pay for schooling, but he's hoping for a break this time.
For once, a lifelong domestic helper in Hong Kong wishes nobody would need anything from her for just a few days. They all wish their families recognize that working abroad doesn't mean that money is in endless supply.
A housekeeper wishes she could let her family know of her struggles, but she doesn't want to burden them with her difficulties because they might feel guilty and think she resents supporting their lives.
As a mother, she hopes they instead appreciate the advice she gives from a distance – reminders to do well in school and stay away from vices – because more often than not it's the only thing she can do from afar.
As we send our gift requests and lists of holiday wants to our relatives abroad this year, have we ever wondered what would be on their own lists? What would they say if they're actually asked what they would want for Christmas?
Unlike requests for clothes, toys, gadgets, and cash, OFWs ask for nothing material. Aside from more health and strength to work some more for their family's survival, what do our beloved overseas workers really want for themselves this Christmas? Have we even asked them what they want in their own lives?
More importantly, what could we do to return the favor of our OFW relative's sacrifice? – Rappler.com