This blog contains opinions, experiences, thoughts and observations of the author from his day to day living.
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There is no intention to offend, discriminate nor degrade anybody or anything for that matter, only shared feelings, emotions and angsts at the moment.
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Balikbayan Boxes, Hopes, Dreams and Changes

I've always wanted to work in another country, for a lot of reasons, and like everyone else the main reason is to provide a better life for my family. Who doesn't dream of giving our loved ones everything they need?
There's this thought I always have that working abroad would be the only solution. The dreams of plenty pushes me to look for a better future in another land. Hope sparks in my soul and together with my Dreams, I hopped on the first opportunity I got, and flew to Saudi Arabia.
I could still remember the desert heat that welcomed me when I alighted from the airplane after a grueling 15 hour flight. But I just closed my eyes, say a little prayer, thought about my family and breathe deeply. This is it, I whispered silently, dreams will start to come true.
After a week of excitement and discovery, suddenly it hit me, missing home; my mother, my brothers and sisters, the naughtiness of my nephews and nieces, the noise, friends, food, even the "smell" of my neighborhood. I had sleepless nights and sometimes found myself crying out of melancholy. New found friends would always say I'll get by and I did try.
Hours turn into days, to weeks, to months and after four years of working, I did get by. But nothing beats going home, to see them once again, nothing can replace that feeling of great joy, so much that my heart would seem to leap out of my chest upon seeing my loved ones waving at me at the airport lounge, me drenched in sweat and sticky already which is a welcome home treat from my beloved country.
Coming home, there's a song like sound in it, I remember Gary V.'s "Babalik Ka Rin" song that become our OFW theme for a while which really emcompasses the true feeling that we have, us, working far from our family, with the sacrifices and hardships amidst everything else.
Returning home, bringing with us not only "Balikbayan" boxes of suprises but that "Hopes and Dreams"  we brought with us the first time and "Changes," that each time we return home, we are a different person, stronger, wiser and proud; each time our family's life is a little better; friends will hear our stories of successes and failures, and they get inspired and maybe they themselves change; that society will look at us, "new heroes" and say wish these heroes would come home and stay. We bring home Change that somehow our country's leaders would look upon us and provide a better opportunity and reason in staying home. We, OFWs are also delegates of good example to those who suffered the stigma of being lower than others by changing our host country's view of us and that we are at par and as skilled and hardworking as them.
Me, I will always come home, for there is no place like it, sounds a cliche' but as Paulo Coehlo wrote in his book The Alchemist, "Your treasure is where your heart is," and changes occur each time I see the people I care about smiling, my friends being inspired, my neighbors in a festive mood, and watching television and hearing news about how my country's leaders are working for the betterment of my homeland.
In retrospective, no matter where in the world we are, from Alaska to Zimbabwe, my fellow Filipino expats will always come home, for we are sentimental, strong and resilient people who welcome changes each time.


  1. Nice post. As OFWs, people do look up to us as bringing positive changes. Hopefully, they would have a better understanding of the lives of OFWs as a whole, as you said the successes and failures..

    Good luck po sa PEBA.

  2. Another great ofw story I've read.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Truly we Filipinos are very resilient and hardworking. Only sad to find that when we come home, everybody expect that we have brought home a pot of gold and share, without thinking that it's all more than just hardwork and also holding on despite of all the pressures and struggles.

  4. Like your story!!

    Good Luck!!

    God Bless OFW!!


  5. congratulations on your entry :) mabuhay ang lahat ng ofws!

  6. thank you Mc Rich and kayni! yes, mabuhay tayong lahat!

  7. I am exploring this subject as part of a report I need to do on possible careers I might choose. Thank you for your post it has valuable information on this topic.
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