Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sacrifice spending time with their families just to provide them a better life, hoping to ensure their better future. While many OFWs get to see their families after a 2-year contract, many actually have to spend much more time than that – and some don’t even get to see their families for a decade!
OFW mom Sheryl Palacios-Manalo has been working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 12 years. She shared that being separated from her kids is one of the hardest things she had to deal with, admitting that she missed all her children’s ‘first’ milestones.
“Ipinanganak ko lang sila dito sa Abu Dhabi at kinailangan nang ibalik sa Pilipinas matapos ng isang buwan. Napakahirap para sa akin na mawalay sa aking mga anak habang sila ay lumalaki,” the OFW revealed.
“Ang pinakamahirap sa kalooban ko bilang isang ina ay kapag may sakit ang mga anak ko at wala ako sa tabi nila para maalagaan sila. Gusto kong umuwi sa pagkakataong iyon, pero hindi ko kaya. Isinasa-Diyos ko na lang at ipinagdarasal para bigyan sila ng proteksyon laban sa anumang makakasakit sa kanila at patnubayan sila sa lahat ng oras.”
Sheryl has two kids; one is 9 years old and the other is 7 years old.
Photo credit: Filipino Times
After spending most of her time away from her children, the OFW was ecstatic that she was given the chance to bring her kids to the UAE so they could be with her even for just a short time. They spent most of their time apart, but Sheryl is hoping that she could make use of this time to bond with her kids who were, quite understandably, not as close to their mother as the OFW hoped.
With this experience in mind, Sheryl has an advice for other OFW moms.
“We should have an attitude of persistence and faces life’s demands without fussing, nagging, groaning, or comparing our situation with others’ circumstances. We should love all our children unconditionally and demonstrate to our children how they too can love at all times. We should recognize that our [patience] will be tried by disobedience but it will never cause our love to regress in anger,” she shared.