-Marami sa ating mga kababayang OFW ang madalas na mag-celebrate ng Pasko sa dayuhang bayan at hindi ito madali para sa kanila
-Lalo pa nga at ang mga Pinoy ang may pinaka-mahabang pagdiriwang ng Pasko at isa itong okasyon kung saan nagsasama-sama ang pamilya
-Ngunit para sa kanila, kailangang tiisin ang pangungulila para matupad ang mga pangarap para sa pamilya
Ang mga Pinoy ang may pinaka-mahabang pagdiriwang ng Pasko sa buong mundo. At para sa marami, ito ay isang okasyon kung saan nagsasama-sama ang pamilya.
Kaya naman hind birong sakripisyo ang tinitiis ng ating mga kababayang overseas Filipino worker (OFW).
Hindi lang pangungulila sa pamilya kundi pagtitiis na hindi malungkot sa mga ganitong panahon ang iniinda nila para lang matupad ang bawat pangarap.
Katulad na lamang ng ating kababayang si Teresita Lauang na 36 taon nang naninilbihan sa Hong Kong.
“I was from a very simple family, a poor family,” kwento nito. “We didn’t have lights or lanterns or other decorations growing up – we were too poor.”
Mula noong lumipad siya patungong Hong Kong noong 1983, tatlong beses pa lang nakakauwi ito sa kanilang bayan.
“I left my parents, my husband and my son, aged 11, and my daughter, aged nine, [to come to Hong Kong],” ani Lauang. “I really sacrificed a lot for a better future for my children and grandchildren, a better education for my family.”
Sinabi rin nito na maswerte siya sa kanyang mga amo. At paano nga ba nito ipagdiriwang ang Pasko?
“I have family in Hong Kong – a daughter, a sister and a cousin. So we will celebrate together,” anito
“I’ll go to the Universal Church [of the Kingdom of God] in Central on December 25. We talk about God and faith. The pastor is Brazilian and I feel very connected there. The next day I’ll go to Malaysia with my Hong Kong family – Mr and Mrs Cheung treat me very well.”
Katulad ni Lauang, isa ring domestic helper na ipagdiriwang ang Pasko sa Hong Kong si Melani Repollo. Siyam na taon itong nanilbihan sa dati niyang amo at ngayon ay may bago na itong pinapasukan.
“My previous employers were away from Hong Kong over Christmas, so I would stay home and relax and enjoy Christmas with friends,” kwento nito.
"My son was 12 and my daughter was seven when I left Quezon for Hong Kong,” kwento nito. “My mother looked after my children, but she has since passed away.”
Ang 58-anyos naman na si Dolly Britos ay may naiwang limang anak sa Davao upang mamasukang DH sa Hong Kong.
“My daughter was only one when I left,” kwento ni Britos. “Erika was two, Gigi, who now lives in Hong Kong, was two, Emma was five. RJ, who also now lives in Hong Kong, was seven, and the eldest, Rafy, was nine.
“We were poor and rented a small place. I had to sacrifice a lot so my children got an education. The first few years away from my children were very tough
“The second year I went home, my children were upset with me and asked me who I was. It was very hard. We didn’t have a telephone so I was only writing letters. They could not see me. It was tough. I did not get to take them to school or attend their graduation. I get very teary talking about it.
“Sending five children to college and school is not easy. But I’m proud of them. My son is a nurse in the UK. I cry when I tell my story.”
Ngayong Pasko, ipagdiriwang niya ang Pasko kasama ang pamilyang pinagsisilbihan sa Hong Kong.
“We will eat at midnight on December 24. We have socks on the door and presents under a tree, much like Westerners celebrate Christmas. We have a ‘Merry Christmas’ banner hanging in the house.
“Of course I miss celebrating Christmas in the Philippines – it’s such a happy time. You must visit at that time and feel the spirit.” ani Britos.
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Guess what, it's our special edition of the tricky questions challenge, in which you will find lots of Christmas songs and joyous laughter! Merry Christmas everyone from the whole HumanMeter team – on KAMI HumanMeter YouTube channel!