“Miss ka na namin Mommy, umuwi ka na.” These are the words often heard by nurse Maribel Agpaoa, an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from her two kids which makes her excited to come home during work breaks.
With the dreaded social cost of family separation due to distance from work like in the case of OFWs, some cope well, some don’t. Those who overcame the social cost had strong, positive family support from grandparents and loving family members. However, others were not as fortunate as the others who left their kids under the care of relatives. In her case, Agpaoa said her parents acted as the “present parents” of her two boys as she worked abroad for 18 years now. “They guided my boys to the greatest possible way they could and I am thankful for it,” Agpaoa said.
Stories of young kids being left behind by their parents to work abroad are numerous. What they go through is another story though. Without their parents who could nurture them, some stopped school, fell into bad peer influence, destructive, bright future -negating decisions and worst, hated their parents. A couple of years ago, a graduating college student in a big university here stabbed her OFW mother many times as they were inside a taxi cab since the mother just came home from abroad.
When one is keen to read the “stories” posted by people on Facebook, numerous OFWS who left their kids to earn abroad often express their sadness and homesickness by posting the pictures of their kids especially during their kids’ milestones in school and in their extra-curricular activities. These pictures are often punctuated by a sad statement of “even if I’m not there anak.”
With the separation anxiety notwithstanding, most OFWs whose kids are left in the country motivate themselves by thinking that their toil overseas is for their kids’ bright future. ***JD/HSalenga&LMPader