a call to arms

6:57 PM Monday, August 20, 2007

I am guilty of not having the best of attitudes... I once had the shameful experience of being scared to be mistaken as a domestic helper when I went to Hongkong several years ago... I make the usual jokes about dads coming home from Saudi with 'hepatitis' (because of being laden with gold jewelries), etc.

I am still a work in progress... I know.

But I am a product of an OFW father... and part of my perpetual issues with them (my parents) now is a childhood deprived of their company. Which is why I think I also grew up with a certain amount of respect for OFWs in general, and seamen in particular. I simply cannot deny the sacrifice they make, having suffered from it, and having enjoyed its rewards.

And so, when Wowowee shot an episode in the US, where OFW contestants shared their stories and appealed to their families to spend the money they send wisely... I cried. I cried for the old mothers still slaving in nursing homes just to help their grown-up children support their families (their grandchildren). I cried for those who haven't gone home for years to save the money instead, and send it back here to support hospitalization, education, housing, etc of various family members.

My parents have migrated in the U.S. and constantly share with me the many hardships they've had to deal with there... just to support Py's hospitalization before, my sister's education, and save for their own home and car there in preparation for my sister settling there, and my brother being petitioned too...

And so I feel for OFWs... and I constantly pray that those left behind will practice much prudence in spending the hard-earned money sent their way...

The government has said it again and again... OFWs are our modern heroes. Without them, the Philippine economy will be no more.

Which brings me to Malu Fernandez, her articles written in very poor taste, and bloggers everywhere uniting to get Manila Standard and People Asia Magazine to issue apologies for publishing her articles and fire her.

Just follow the links... and if you have the time, e-mail the many addresses provided for various people/media to appeal this cause. This is but just a very little thing to do for our OFWs, who deserve our gratitude and protection, in exchange for the dollar remittances that essentially keep our economy alive. No one, not even the rich, should be allowed to malign these people...

(Oh, you'd also find that this Malu Fernandez has had to suffer from weight-related problems all her life... a pity really that I couldn't feel sorry for her after finding out about it, because it seems she never learned compassion, humility and humanity)


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