By Justine Felizarta (2020 Binibining Pilipinas Candidate representing Davao del Sur)
“Your sacrifice and love are what motivate us to turn our dreams into a reality. You are truly appreciated and have inspired many!”
I grew up surrounded by strong OFW men and women, paving the way to provide for their family and children’s education.
Our family’s journey abroad started 18 years ago. Uncertain but hopeful for what life overseas had for us. My parents decided to migrate to Canada and we were the new kids on the block. Being so young, I thought it was a mini vacation.
The first few years were challenging, but we had each other, which made it easier and worthwhile. My parents worked extremely HARD for my siblings and to study there and build a life for us. Despite the hardships, they made sure we enjoyed our childhood by taking us on fun excursions like we used to in the Philippines.
Most memorable childhood moment—our first family trip to Grouse Mountain for the Christmas season. We saw “reindeers” and rode on Santa’s sleigh on piles of soft, fluffy, white snow. Then my siblings and I spent hours sledding down a steep hill and making snow angels. It was like a page taken from a Christmas storybook. At the end of this unforgettable day, I couldn’t feel my toes anymore. (We weren’t used to this cold temperature, coming from the tropical weather of the Philippines). Nevertheless, as all four of us and my pregnant mom rode the bus back home, I just remember being so thankful for my family and a sense of ease, knowing that everything will be okay.
As I look back at our 18 remarkable years living in Canada, all the challenges, experiences, and growth we went through as a family brought us closer together.
That being said, to my parents and all our OFW’s abroad working hard for their family’s livelihood and children’s future. THANK YOU. Your sacrifice and love are what motivate us to turn our dreams into a reality. You are truly appreciated and have inspired many!
Lastly, I never thought I’d experience a long distance quarantine with the family but life is full of uncertainties. We have to make the most out of it, look out for one another, and stay hopeful that everything will work out for the best!
Kapit lang everyone. We will get through this together and be able to hug our loved ones again!