How Are You, Our Dear OFWS?

How Are You, Our Dear OFWS?
Goshen Land CEO Alexander Bangsoy was the guest of honor and speaker during the International Igorot Consultation (IIC) conference in August this year in Vienna, Austria. He encouraged Igorots from all over the world that they can be the head and not the tail. ***

It was a cold and damp British winter in December 2013 when the Goshen Land CEO, Alexander Bangsoy was invited to share his free entrepreneurship seminar in the UK to OFWs. It was held in London and Wimbledon, in the presence of mostly Cordillerans who took a chance at supposedly having a better life after working in Britain.
Most of the ones present have manual jobs of cleaning up homes, but they are renting in cramped apartments with only one or two comfort rooms servicing all occupants. With the recent recession that caused the slide in First World economies, some of them lost their jobs and survive only through the kindness of others till they could find another job. “If only I could bring my family here so they will see how hard my life here is, so they will not keep on asking for money always,” Shirley (not her real name), an OFW who is a house cleaner, confessed while eating during the seminar dinner. It was Christmas in Britain but she and her friends just came from their house cleaning duties that night. The cold outside was unbearable.
The Christmas experiences of OFWs are varied, but are mostly dotted with that earnestness of the desire to be home, while others desperately fight against loneliness and the emptiness of being alone. Worry and anxiety fill their consciousness as they live apart from their families. It is understandable then that an OFW who works in Qatar says her Christmas wish is to have “peace of mind.”
The hardship an OFW goes through cannot even be put to words as the OFW landscape is wrought with tragedies and sad stories. It may be blunt to say it but the call of money brought many OFWs abroad. As one OFW said, “kaya nga tayo andito di ba?”
But is there an alternative so that they don’t have to enslave themselves again to grueling work under foreign masters?
Many OFWS say they would rather stay in the Philippines and not leave their families for work abroad if they have income alternatives. But the lack of opportunities and creative means to afford their families’ needs in the country ushers them again to work abroad.
But maybe not all hope is lost. Maybe they can still reconsider coming home and staying for good when they have invested their earnings well. With its increasing value, a Goshen Land investment property can be a good start because it is easy to understand and it is a hard and solid investment one can touch, a fitting tribute to the hard working hands of an OFW.***/JD

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