OFWs: The Unsung Philippine Heroes

The photo shows me with German language students of mine, who, with God’s help, might be able to stay in Germany or Switzerland and Austria - more Philippine heroes.

Klaus Doring

During my last stay in Cebu, I met an expatriate in a hotel lobby who was reading Rizal’s “Noli Mi Tangere”. The expat was really fascinated with Rizal.

Do you believe me? My favorite Philippine hero is, of course, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. But there are many more! I am talking about the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Sure, I have already written about this topic several times during the past years. But since we are celebrating the Philippine National Heroes’ Day on August 30, I decided to write about this topic again.

The fact is, the beneficiaries of those Filipinos are deciding to open up savings accounts and investments in this country. The families of OFWs can feel and experience the importance of savings and investments in the Philippines.

Here is the other side of the coin: I learned that OFW households utilize their remittances primarily for food, education, medical expenses, debt payments, and savings.

Of course, we all know that much has been written about all the wonderful places worldwide. A lifetime is never enough to discover the world. But the migrant Filipinos are so occupied and so overloaded with work, that on their day off, many of them even don’t have the energy to go out any more.

Everybody is free to pick flowers, but surely everybody will not find that easy because the roses are on top of the thorns. Being abroad is even more complicated than that. It’s really not heaven on earth. And then, suddenly “your people abroad” receive unpleasant notes from home, as many say, “May problema, magpadala ka ng pera”.

The beloved ones overseas even try to save a little amount for airfare – just in case they need to come to their loved ones here.

But Philippine heroes aren’t just those abroad. We also have to acknowledge those Filipinos here who worked hard even for a very minimal wage – just to allow their families three warm meals daily.

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