Value the presence of the OFW, not their presents

My recent vacation in my home country was totally not in my plan.

I was not supposed to go for a vacation due to some reasons.

  • Not financially ready
  • Didn’t meet yet our company rules in terms of length of service before going for vacation

Though I have a restricted budget I still pursue my vacation. Being with my families is something that shouldn’t be missed.

I was really eager to go home, my 2 brothers who are working abroad too are going for a vacation. I want my parents to be happy seeing their kids all together.

As far as I remember the last time we are complete was 2012, we need to catch those wasted moments.

My youngest brother who is living with me in Dubai knew about my surprise arrival. While my parents and older brother are totally clueless.

I had to think a good plan how they will be surprised.

So this is what we did since my youngest brother arrived Manila 5 days ahead of me, he pretended that he has excess baggage that needs to be collected at the airport after 5 days one of his friends will bring it.

So Dad and Mom accompanied him, the two are so shocked and emotional when they saw me. Especially my father who is speechless that time as he is not really expecting that we will be complete. Because of this, we are all excited for the homecoming of my eldest brother as he doesn’t have any idea I am in town.

I only have few gifts for my family and some special friends and relatives, for sure it is not enough. But, I don’t care I went home for my parents and siblings, not for anyone

Everything is fine and super fun, we visited our relatives both side. Nonstop bonding with childhood friends and cousins catching up all the good old memories.

I had the chance to meet few of my long time friends for sure this would be fun. I didn’t expect that I will feel irritated that day, it is because about a friend whom I didn’t see for long but still have a communication through social media.

She supposed to attend our friend’s reunion but she didn’t show up. She confirmed that she will be coming, so we waited for an hour.  We are hopeful that she will arrive maybe a bit late, anyway, we knew her that always wanted a VIP treatment.

Then one of my friends calls her to verify whether she will come as it is getting too late and my flight would be the following day, aside from that I need to drive back home for about 2 hours from their place.

Unexpectedly she asked my friend if I have any gifts for her, sadly, I don’t have. I already distributed all the stuff I brought to my family and relatives and besides, it is already my last day.

She said ” If she has a gift for me I will come but if nothing I wouldn’t go”

I felt embarrassed but don’t want to ruin the fun night just because of her. I am not sure what to feel towards her, I just try my best to understand her like,

“Hello why she will be wasting her time and effort to meet me if I don’t have something to give her, what is my sense of showing up with them”.

Good thing my real friends for decade comforted me, and assure me that they don’t care for those “Gifts” what matters for them, despite the distance and of my hectic schedule I still put an effort to meet them, the gift is just a bonus.

I felt relieved and just continued our short bonding and catching up, then I left. I promised them that every time I’m in the Philippines I will be visiting them.

That moment makes me remember this,  “we should prioritize those people that valuing our presence not presents” that what matters for them is a simple thing to see us and be with us just a little while.

That’s why for our next vacation;

Stick to the plan
Let’s stick to the plan of spending a quality time with our families.
Schedule a meet up with our real friends after satisfying our families happiness of being with us.
Use this chance to finally do our general health check up. Most of OFW doesn’t have a good habit of maintaining a general health check up so do it now! remember health is wealth.

Stick to the budget
Don’t stress our self too much worrying that our gifts are not enough.
Let people say whatever they want, do not worry too much about their comments if they don’t receive their expectations. (you know what I mean “gifts”)

Don’t be shy to say “I don’t have 
Pinoy always think that OFW has a lot of money when on vacation. So some mentality is to ask the OFW to treat them and obliged them to give something it is good if that person can give, but if she/he cannot that’s the time one feels pressure and feeling shy to say “I don’t have” So guys if you really don’t have any budget on that just say it anyways it is not an obligation of the OFW to satisfy someone aside from his/her families.

Don’t be shy to say NO

You cannot avoid those people who will offer different products, they are hoping that you will buy as most of them expect you have a lot of money. If you can afford it go for it, it is nice at least you help someone by supporting their business, but if it’s really out of the budget, don’t be shy to reject it in a nice way. It is up to them how to take it.

Our vacation is so short, we have to spend it rightly, and use it wisely.


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