Hope is a funny word for OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) like me. We are told that being breadwinners of our family and sending back money to the Philippines, we are literally the country’s saviours because of our economic situation. The poor man of Asia has many children abroad keeping him alive, it is true in a figurative and literal sense.
Working abroad is never easy. Homesickness, loneliness and cultural adjustment are just few of the challenges an OFW can encounter. But despite these challenges, many of us still chose to leave the country and make these sacrifices.
Why? Because we dream and hope for a better life.
For us. Our families.
For our present. Our future.
Sadly, because of the struggles some of us had in the past, having a better present and an improved future meant that we have to make sacrifices and work away from our family. To put it simply, we just cannot make a decent living in our own nation, the Philippines.
Just like many OFWs, this is also my story. I came from a family who was struggling to make ends meet. So, I moved overseas to support them. My original plan was to work hard abroad and eventually return home enjoying a better life with my family. But all these seem to be just a lucid dream.
Living and working in the UK have awakened my senses and opened my eyes to both the harsh realities of what our home country is facing and the possibilities of what we can be.
Poverty, corruption, traffic congestion, biased justice—these are some of the issues we have been facing for decades. They remained constant in our country that some of us even think these are the norm. The system has distorted our perception of what’s decent, what’s normal, what’s right and what’s not.
Accessible healthcare for all, effective transport links, better wages are present in British society and other countries too. Why can’t the Philippines have these too?
Living overseas made me hope for a better Philippines. Our lives as Filipinos abroad are directly connected to what happens in the mother land. The current state of the Philippines is directed by its politicians and how the country is run reflects on its people. Leadership and good governance matters because policies and laws enacted can mean life or death for the ordinary Filipino which would be the OFW’s family. And so this election on the 9th of May 2022 is again another crossroad for all Filipinos in the Philippines and OFWs around the world.
As we celebrate Labor day and approach election day this May, Hope is once again ripe but it can only translate into real tangible fruits of improvement for Filipinos if we vote for true leaders that are honest, strong willed and truly capable. Vote wisely.
Remember tables turn on election day, the power is in the hands of the people but be reminded that the one day you vote will dictate what our next six years would become for better or for worse. Hope may be the last bastion of light that keeps our country afloat. All of us hold on to the possibility of improvement, to the promise of progress. But we should all remember that come election day, hope becomes a verb as it requires action.
We have to make the right choice because if we don’t, would hope be enough again to sustain the Philippines and its children abroad for the next 6 years?