To the women of this world       

Published March 20, 2021, 12:12 AM

by Alex M. Eduque


Alex Eduque
Alex Eduque

Last week, I wrote a tribute of sorts to the women of my world – they who have nurtured, reared, strengthened and raised me all these years. These are the women who amidst challenging times are a constant reminder to me to always look at my glass as half full rather than half empty. That at the end of the day, being in a state of peace, grace and gratefulness is what really matters. It is because of their presence in my life that I have always looked to my fellow women with utmost admiration, and the reason why I have always had faith in the ability and greatness of women.

When I was back in college, I completed a research project on the plight of the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). In the course of the project, I interviewed a number of them, each with a heart warming (at times heart wrenching) and compelling story that has really convinced me that they are some of the most under recognized and unsung heroes of society. Beyond their contribution to our economy via remittances, it is the pride they bring to the Filipino nation because of their unparalleled skillset and service they lend abroad. Whatever their journey is though, all of them I interviewed had one thing in common – the longing for family back here at home.

You see, a lot of them – and so the typical story goes along the lines of – leave their loved ones here and their own children to care for others abroad. It is a double-edged sword if you will in that while they are breaking their backs working multiple shifts abroad to send money back home and secure a future for their families, they become emotionally distant because of the physical distance. Thank goodness for technology these days it is much easier to bridge that gap, but in this pandemic ridden world, I can imagine that it is much more difficult to even plan a trip back home to see their loved ones.

In a world ridden with so much uncertainty these days, and where life can literally change overnight, I have an even greater amount of respect for not only our OFW’s, but even for a lot of household staff and domestic helpers who because of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions have not been able to go off to their provinces as regularly as normal situations would permit. Our lives, and that of other households they are serving are drastically better and easier because of them, and for that, their hard work does not go unnoticed. At a time where even one’s next reunion, vacation or day off cannot be scheduled with certainty, I laud you for powering through and carrying on despite the difficulties the situation brings about. You are the women of this world that truly make it a better, and more pleasant place for so many.