We’ve heard a lot of OFW stories from our relatives who work abroad, from our friends, from periodicals, from the movies, from any form of social media, from the news and basically from anywhere, too many stories that we thought we’ve had enough and that we no longer need to hear another one. But we are mistaken to think that we’ve heard all of their stories, every person has a story to tell and every individual has his own past, trials and tribulations, failures, success and unique experiences just waiting to be told. Let me share to you, on a two-part article, some short stories of some OFWs and like many other stories, it is not always perfect and happy, only the truth.
Andrew had been working abroad for two years now, he had paid all his debts and had given his family a comfortable life. He had bought smartphones and other gadgets for his siblings and his parents so he could communicate with them more often. He was doing a full-time job and didn’t have much of a social life. He seldom spoke to his family for they were occupied with school and other things. One exhausting day he came home from work, his cellphone rang and was excited to answer, it’s his family. He answered the call, feeling ecstatic, his mother spoke first, he can hear his brothers in the background, his mother asked “When are you going to send us our monthly allowance? Have you got your salary for this month already?”
Bob met his wife. Three months in their relationship he got her knocked-up, their parents wanted them to get married and they did. Less than a year after they got married Bob went abroad. There he met another girl, he got infatuated, then he fell in love. He got her pregnant too. He cannot annul his marriage and his wife couldn’t know. The other girl accepted the situation. Bob went home once a year. His wife was clueless. He had been living a double life for three years now. He felt guilty sometimes.
Cathy came from a poor family. With the help of a scholarship and her natural wit she was able to finished college. She had three younger siblings. She promised herself that she will work hard so that her younger siblings could have a better life and can finish school. Education was important for her. Her father died from an accident ten years ago and her mother got depressed and wasn’t able to find a job. Everyone depended on her and she didn’t mind. She was doing a full-time job as a caregiver and two part-time jobs on the side. She was happy, two of her siblings are about to finish college, someone can finally help her. Her younger brother was on his fourth year in Engineering, the other one, a younger sister, was a sophomore taking up accountancy. One day on her meal break at work she received a message, the message came from her younger brother and it read “Ate (older sister), I got my girlfriend pregnant, I am so sorry.” Six months after, she received a call, on the other line was her younger sister, telling her she’s sorry because she’s pregnant. Cathy was speechless. “Who would help me now?”, she thought. Everything went blurred.
Dina was relieved to find her flight ticket from her e-mail, she had been waiting for a month now. She left the Philippines filled with hope. She was not alone, together with more than ten people they’ve stayed in one small apartment. Their friend who recruited them arranged the accommodation for them and the jobs they knew they finally have as well. They paid a large sum of money. Dina’s placement fee was from a lending company after she pawned their family house. The day after they all arrived they asked their friend when are they going to start working, they were told, “After a couple of days, just waiting for the government permit.” They all believed their friend. Two days after, their friend was nowhere to be found, bringing with him all their money and dreams. Dina was so ashamed she was fooled that she never told anyone back home. She chose to overstay and find part-time jobs. She still hasn’t fully paid her debts, the house was almost to be repossessed. She didn’t know what to do.
Ester worked as a domestic helper and had been away for seven years. She left at home her two children, both still in elementary school and her husband, a factory worker. Ester had an affair with a married man while abroad and she got pregnant. Her boyfriend didn’t want to take any responsibility, hence, she faced it alone. She didn’t want to have the baby aborted and decided to keep it. Few months after she gave birth, her employer decided not to renew her contract, leaving her with no choice but to come home. She fabricated a story that the baby wasn’t hers but her friend’s, everybody bought it but one person, her husband.
Fred was working for two years where the gambling business are booming. He was tempted to try gambling, only once he told himself. Once became twice, it became thrice, up to the point that he no longer resisted to the temptation. He won sometimes and he lost oftentimes. He was desperate to get his money back, thus, he kept gambling. He borrowed money from everyone he knew, he kept his addiction secret. Every end of the month he went straight to casino to gamble hoping that for once he win again. But luck was not on his side, he kept losing until his debts were insurmountable and his family back home was starving, for he hadn’t sent money for months. Everyone he owed was hunting him. His debts haunted him. He decided to go home.
Greg was a very hardworking man, an excellent husband and a loving father. He was promoted in his job but the catch was that he will be relocated abroad. They both agreed even if it was the first time they would have to be apart after five years. Everything was okay, or so he taught. After three years, he went home just for a month for he hasn’t finished his contract yet. He felt something has changed but he ignored it. Two months after he came back to work, it had been three months since his vacation, he received a message from his wife. His wife said she was pregnant on their second baby. He was overjoyed. Only his wife was four months pregnant. He had no idea.
These stories were all true and based on real people. Only the names of the characters were changed. More other short stories on the second part of this article.