The term “hero” often evokes a variety of images, from cloaked characters flying through the sky and fighting crime to passionate individuals beating their breasts and crying out for freedom. But in this day and age, I would like to call attention to a lone figure, walking slowly away from his family and towards a plane, bound for lands far and unknown. Our Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs are today’s unsung heroes; the men and women who tear themselves away from their families each year to work abroad and provide a better future for their children, all the while dreaming of the day they’ll eventually earn enough money to be able to come back home.
It’s been said that people are in fact, one of the Philippines’ greatest exports and the Philippines has remained dependent on OFW remittances through the years. It’s been discussed in our classes, the help they’ve contributed to our country and our economy; their contributions described in terms of ‘net factor income from abroad’ and ‘annual GNP’. But what is the true price of the money they send home from abroad? Is it in the sweat dripping down their backs as they scrub dirt off foreign floors? Is it in the tears they cry as they sleep in lonely beds? Sacrifice is the first thing on the minds of these workers and it’s something they live with everyday. They clean houses that aren’t theirs and take care of children they wish were their own instead. And I salute them for their bravery, their compassion, their resilience and their strength. They are true heroes.
– Flora Anne R. Palabrica