The traffic was terrible. Cars flooded the streets and the construction of the new skyway greatly contributed to the congestion. The noise of the busy city that clouded our ears is the same noise that drowned the strong heartbeat that my Tito must’ve felt as we neared the airport. I can only imagine…
Some time a few years back, we were already used to him leaving. A thousand miles away from home didn’t matter much to him or even to us at all. It meant chocolates, pasalubongs, and that genuine feeling of happiness my Tito gets everytime he sees his nephews, all 10 of us, eagerly waiting for his arrival at the airport. It wasn’t much of a deal, if we bring the years back; but now, the story has changed. My tito, a seafarer who dedicates his life to his job in the middle of the vast blue nowhere is now a family man. Gifted with 2 beautiful angels, Ethan, who just turned 3, and Gael, who’s turning 1 in April this year. This is what he has to deal with now; it’s more than just chocolates and pasalubongs, but a whole day of sweat and blood just to provide everything for his growing family. It’s not an easy sacrifice and there will never be a getting-used-to anymore everytime he departs. I know. I’ve seen it firsthand and it crumbled my heart to pieces.
2.32 million in 2015 alone and still growing; that’s how many Filipinos chose to sacrifice their precious time with family in order to earn a living. More than 400,000 of them are seafarers who makes up almost 30% of the total population of the 1.2 million mariners in the world. As a matter of fact, the Philippines is known as the manning capital because of the demands for highly competent seafarers from us. My Tito is part of that statistics. (source: BW Online; Philippine Daily Inquirer).
We finally got to the ramp to the departure area; the tension inside the van was not getting any better as we prepared ourselves for what we will about to witness eventhough we totally have no idea of how awfully painful the sight’s gonna be. My Tita held on tight to Ethan; I saw with my own eyes how she embraced my 3 year old cousin in her arms. The van finally went on a full stop. Ethan is a curious kid, he knows where we are and he knows exactly what we were doing there. He immediately removed his mother’s arms coiled around him in a tight hug and quickly launched himself to my Tito’s comforting embrace. My Tito caught him and kissed his forehead. “Daddy sama po ako?” he asked. He may just be 3 years old, but he definitely feels the pain, the same pain that all other children of the millions of Filipinos abroad feels everytime their parents leave them for greener pasture. It was finally time to say goodbye. We all did everything we can to make it less painful. We talked Ethan out of it; bribing him with lollipops and a quick trip to the mall to his favorite toy store. It worked for a while. He cooperated, but when the door was already shut close and the only thing that kept him and my Tito together was the open window of the van; his tears started falling. He shouted, cried, and forced his way out just to be with my Tito. “Daddy, sama po ako. Sama po ako Daddy” is the most painful thing we’ve heard that day. It crushed us. We couldn’t help it. It came from a 3 year old kid whom we thought we can talk out of reality; that his dad is leaving and it’s gonna be long time before they’ll see each other again. It is us who truly doesn’t understand what’s happening; it is us who’s caught off guard. We will never be used to the heart wrenching sight of Ethan and my Tito saying goodbye to one another. We will never understand their pain.
The life of an OFW is a true testament to the Filipino value of putting the family first before self. There are countless challenges being faced by our kababayans abroad; more than just leaving their family, they also have to deal with the emotional, mental, and physical stress of working in a totally foreign land. Unfortunately, their sacrifices sometimes are not valued as much and are taken for granted by some people. It’s not news, it’s not exaggeration nor blasphemy, it’s truth and it’s definitely happening to a lot of our kababayans. But let’s not look at it at this light for there are a lot more inspiring stories that can move us forward. musicians friend location
FOOD ON THE TABLE
I’m very honored and privileged to share with you one company that helps our fellow kakabyans bring food on the table to their families; the experience allows us to feel their presence as if they’re just beside us and not a thousand miles away. Beam and Go is a start-up company that promises to build a better way to build a better a future for our loved ones abroad; not for themselves, but for their family.
Its goal is to enable you to buy food, medicine, health care, insurance, education and other essentials for your family in a way that is affordable, convenient, transparent and sustainable. With their current technology, our loved ones abroad can now purchase digital gift certificates for supermarkets and pharmacies that will be sent to the mobile phones of their loved ones back home. These digital gift certificates can be immediately redeemed at the participating stores. They can also directly pay for insurance, healthcare, airtime load, mobile devices and bills thru the Beam And Go dashboard.
It’s super fast and easy to use! I’ve tried it myself just so I can experience the power of their technology!
This is what I received on my registered mobile phone. I got a Super 8 GC which I can immediately redeem at their branch nearest me.
I immediately headed out upon receiving this and visited a Super 8 store. I was scared at first that it wouldn’t be honored, but all their staff are already aware of this kind of purchase. I went around the grocery and got whatever I needed and checked out at the available counter. Their POS is integrated and the transaction was seamless! They requested for my phone (to check the SMS from Beam and Go) and asked for my ID for verification. Afterwhich, they inputted the GC/SN number I received into their machine and WOOLAH! my purchase is done!!! CASHLESS! (I exceeded my GC amount so I had to pay the remainder in cash).
The experience from using this technology is amazing! I can’t believe how many millions of Filipinos would benefit from this. Truly, for our OFW kababayans; no matter where in the world they are, Beam and Go will help them take care of their families back home by enabling them to provide the necessities of their family without the risk of spending their hard earned money elsewhere less important.
I have shared this with my Tito who’s currently somewhere in Europe right now and he is very happy to know that there is something like this in our country today! I’m sure if only a lot more of our kababayans and relatives abroad knows that there’s such technology that exists to bring the experience of togetherness back home; they would also enjoy this and find it very relevant to sustain their family’s need!
I hope you all take a look at what Beam and Go has to offer. You can visit their website at www.beamandgo.com. Share the good news now to everyone and help our kababayans abroad bring food on the table of their loved ones here in the Philippines!
Mabuhay ang mga OFWs! Kayo ay tunay na mga bayani ng ating inang bayan!
Tito, please send me more GCs! HAHAHA! Thank you in advance! 😛