OFW's Stories

In my nearly a month of staying here in Saudi Arabia I have encountered some fellow Filipino workers and heard some of their stories. Some are a kind of reality check for me and some are a sign of enlightenment. I am learning from their stories that serve also as my guide as I enter into this new chapter of my life as an OFW.

I have two classmates here. One is exiting this Kingdom maybe next month and will return to our native land after almost seven years of work here. He has a family and he desperately want children and how can they have children if he is always here. So he decided to go back and stay for good in the Philippines. Another classmate of mine works here and for four straight years he does not return to the Philippines and no sign of coming back in this year. He is happy here. He has more freedom here. He has a decent job here and tries to save for his future. Though he turned into a Born-Again Christian I am very happy for him that he is doing good in this land of basically "suppressed freedom" as we ideally see it.

I have encountered also a fellow Batangueno while looking for a house. He spend almost all his life here. He even got his wife here but now she is in our country for a vacation. He is so contented here because he has a stable job and somehow get used to the everyday routine and culture of the Arab world. He is an aircon maintenance servicing most of the government offices in different cities around Dammam. He has another old buddy in his house and I guess the man is in his retirement age but still working despite his condition. He said that maybe he will be here for the rest of his life since his body and soul embraced the enchanting life of a Saudi metropolis.

One of my office-mate is an ex-Saudi and he narrates how he is sacrificing for his children even in this far-away land that he continues to work. He got a lot of experience overseas just like in Afghanistan, in South Korea, and other Middle East countries just to have a high paying job that our country cannot give.

In one of the broasted house we have encountered a man in his 50's and he was eager to go home that December since it was his two-year straight here without returning home because of the demand of his work in the city.

Life here as an OFW is greatly a sacrifice and for some, a freedom and an adventure. Some just want to try what it is like to work abroad. But the fact remains; we missed the Philippines so much though we do not regret working here but in the back of our mind we know we will come back to our most beautiful country to get that embrace and laughter from our family and loved ones.

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