Value the presence of the OFW, not their presents
Sadly, most of the time Overseas Filipino Worker presents are more important than their presence.
My recent vacation in my home country was not in the plan at all for various reasons.
- Not financially ready
- No free ticket yet from my company
- Not yet entitle for a vacation as I am a new joiner, less than a year.
Thankfully my boss was understanding and appreciate my reason why I want to take a short break. I explained that this will be our family reunion after a few long years, and I couldn’t miss the chance as my 2 brothers working abroad are going home as well.
Though I have a restricted budget I still pursue my vacation, I was eager to be with my family. I want my parents to be happy seeing their children completely.
“We need to catch the wasted years not being together” a lot of catching up must be done. This will be fun, as far as I remember 2012 was our last complete get together.
This trip is so exciting as I am looking forward to seeing the happy faces of not just one but 3 people dear to my heart.
My parents are not aware of my vacation and as well my older brother working in Hongkong.
I already plan my surprise arrival with my youngest brother living with me here in Dubai. Since he will be reaching Manila 5 days ahead of me, he will be pretending that he has excess baggage left in Dubai. Which he needs to collect in the airport from a friend on my arrival day.
Wow! I need to think of a good plan so my parents will not suspect anything.
Papa and Mama so emotional
So Papa and Mama accompanied my brother on my arrival day, they are thinking they will be meeting my brother’s friend. When my mom saw me she was really shock and emotional, with teary eyes and seems confused. But I can see that she was very happy.
The best part is Papa’s reaction. He was waiting at the parking in front of the arrival area. I just suddenly open the door beside the driver’s seat, sat down quickly, hardly closed the door and telling in a highly aggressive tone, “let’s go, let’s go”. He was a bit irritated and thinking, who is this unmannered lady?! I was wearing hut so he didn’t easily recognize me. When he finally saw my face, he was speechless, surprise and don’t know what reaction he needs to do. Anyways it was a really fun and emotional moment for all of us.
Because of that, we are all excited for the homecoming of my eldest brother 7 days more, he doesn’t have any idea I am in town.
Activities we’ve done with our relatives
Since this trip is on a budget, I only have a few gifts with me for my family and relatives. For sure it wouldn’t be enough. But it’s fine as I’ve done my purpose in surprising my parents and sibling, that was my priority more than anything else.
We are so busy at that time as we are synchronizing all the activities we will do base on each availability and plan. Let’s say my older brother will go to this specific place, my youngest brother and I need to think if we have some productive things we can do in that place at the same time.
Everything was fine and fun, we visited our relatives both sides. Nonstop bonding with our cousins, catching up all the good old memories that nice to look back on.
The most irritating moment of my vacation
Reuniting with your long time high school or college friends is really fun, as you will have the chance to reminisce together those happy moments during the younger year. I didn’t expect that my high school mini-reunion will be the irritating part of this vacation.
It is because about a friend whom I didn’t see for long but still have communication through social media.
She supposed to attend our friend’s mini-reunion but didn’t show up. It was fine if she can’t make it, but the disappointing part is she commit to us that she will be coming. We even reconfirmed the same day, we waited for an hour and hoping that she will arrive thinking she might be late a while as that is normal with her. (entitling herself for the VIP treatment)
Few hours pass by she was still not around, one of my friends call her to check if she will be coming as it is getting late. They are considering me as the following day will be my flight back to Dubai, and I need to drive back home from their place for 2 hours.
Unexpectedly she asked my friend if I have any gifts for her, sadly, I don’t have. All the few stuff I had for this trip was over especially that is already my last night
She said ” If she has a gift for me I will come but if nothing I wouldn’t go”
My reaction was
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 are, 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 trying my best to visit 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 quality time with our families.
Schedule a meet up with our real friends after satisfying our Family’s happiness of being with us.
Use this chance to finally do our general health checkup. Most OFW doesn’t have a good habit of maintaining a general health checkup so do it now! remember health is wealth.
Stick to the budget
Don’t stress ourselves 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”
Some Filipinos always think that OFW has a lot of money when on vacation. So few of them 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”. 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 OFW has 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 nicely. It is up to them how to take it.
Our vacation is so short, we have to spend it rightly, and use it wisely.