I was outside of the Departure Area (NAIA) yesterday and witnessed the closeness of family members among the Filipinos. There was this family who came all the way from La Union just to drive their son to the airport. The OFW’s mother, father, wife and two small kids were there. The husband and wife were obviously holding back their tears while the two small kids were busy playing hide and seek. The parents of the husband (OFW) were quiet and gave those precious moments to the couple who would be separating (physically) 30 minutes later.
There was this young couple who were hugging each other tightly while planting kisses occassionally. The wife (or girlfriend?) and the husband (or boyfriend?) were both crying. The husband (?) assured the wife (?) that he would be back soon as if two years of separation and waiting is not forever to those who pine for their loved ones. I turned my back from this young couple; they affected me so much and I needed some space to breath, too.
Then I saw a middle-aged couple hugging each other while praying. Both were strong in their faith that their separation would bring good for the family. If one is not blessed with a good job or career here, then perhaps, an overseas employment is the best option.
I thought I saw a young actor but the young guy was simply goodlooking and could be mistaken for an actor. His family (parents and sisters) were with him and they seemed to be quite excited for his flight. They were even taking pictures of him while entering the Departure Area.
Babalik at babalik ka rin, as the song (by Gary V) says. I wonder, how many of these people will be back as a whole person after their contract expires. Some of them come home with an empty pocket. Some of them come home with an empty mind (insane). Some of them come home in a casket. Some women come home pregnant; intentional or not. Some men come back to the Philippines but go straight to their new “wife.” The life of an OFW is not charmed; it’s a challenge.