By Ria Fernandez
A complete and happy family is the only Christmas wish of a former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) whose relationship with her children has been strained.
Eunor Samuray worked abroad for more than 20 years to support the financial needs of her family.
But along the way, she lost her children.
“Hanggang ngayon, yung anak kong lalaki medyo malayo pa rin loob niya sa akin. Kasi ang nasa isip niya wala ako sa tabi niya [nung mga panahong kailangan niya ako] (Until now, my son is somehow distant to me. What is on his mind is that I was not beside him at times when he needed me),” Samuray said as her eyes clouded with tears and her voice cracked with sadness.
Even her husband, who was supposed to be her partner and strength in this battle, left her.
“May sarili na siyang pamilya (He already has his own family),” Samuray said.
“Tinanggap ko na lang kasi naiintindihan ko siya. Wala ako. Yung needs niya hindi ko maibigay (I just accepted it because I understand him. I wasn’t here. I couldn’t give his needs),” she added.
But despite everything that happened, Samuray said that she does not regret her decision to work in other countries.
“Di ko rin masisi kasi yung mga time na ‘yun walang-wala kami (I cannot blame anyone because at that time we didn’t really have money),” she said, referring to the time when their tricycle driver met an accident and they had to shoulder the costs as operator sometime in the 1990s.
And now that she is back in the Philippines, she wants to make up and reunite with her children especially this Christmas season.
“[Sana] magsama-sama kami ng mga anak ko kasi yung anak kong babae may sarili nang pamilya (I hope my children and I will reunite because my daughter already has her own family),” she said.
Emilia Gonzales, wife of a former construction worker in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is lucky to have not experienced what Samuray has gone through. But still, their children disapprove her husband’s plan to work abroad again.
Their eldest child, a daughter, is graduating next year from college and has promised to help in providing for their family so their father will no longer entertain thoughts of working overseas again.
“Di po mahalaga sa kanila ang [pera], mahalaga sa kanila makasama tatay nila (Money is not important to them, what’s important to them is to be with their father),” she said.