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Overseas Filipino Workers

Today’s topic is all about our Filipino heroes. Since I’m trying to overcome writer’s block for me to be able to finish my book, I’ll just take simple inspirations from people I’ve sat next to or incidently began spying about for practice on the use of words and sentences to build a certain imaginary kind of — err, thought?

Anyway, I’ve sat next to this girl whom I thought was just chatting with her boyfriend on the phone. She had the usual traits of someone who might be chatting away with a boyfriend —- twirling of some strands of hair, laughing erroneously at something he or she must’ve said, touching herself (it may be by touching somewhere not private, or otherwise. In this case, she was touching her ear a lot.[???]), and the best trait of it all, blushing although there really isn’t anything to blush about.

And so, as I sat next to her today at some coffee shop, I began munching away at my oatmeal cookie while reading a very interesting book about Traveling one’s own paths. The book was a good read, especially about the parts where the authors (there’s three of them) begin their travel and interview all these famous, and not so famous but incredibly successful people in this materialistic and complex world. I actually saw it in a bookstore while paying my fees to laminate my IDs and was proud to have found it in a pleasant state: still sealed in plastic, no scratch marks, still bearing the original price tag next to the locally priced one, and the best part of it is that it costs only 99 pesos. Ah what a great find indeed. As I tread on to page 36, I suddenly hear the girl talking out loud.

“Niloloko mo ba ako? Hindi kaya!” (Are you kidding me? No it isn’t!)

Ooohh, I can’t believe I’m hearing a break-up in the works from some stranger. I promised I won’t even glance at her but still my peripheral vision is as clear as water. She doesn’t freak out that much. But she seems a bit mad. Go for it girl. Kill him with your words.

“Nakay Allan na ang mga dokumento.”

Or maybe not. But this can be a start of a spy novel or something… If only I had enough eye strength to watch those early Bernardo Bertolucci films for me to get enough style to create a spy novel that’s far worth reading than Harriet the Spy.

“Ay gano’n. Osige. Sana lang talaga ay makarating sya sa Airport bukas. Ayoko na’ng umuwi sa bahay. Alam mo na, mahirap mag-salita.”

Geeezers. That’s a lot of tagalog words to translate, dude. Can’t you just get someone to translate that for you? Well, if that’s gonna make you read this then, okay.

(“Oh is that so? Alright. I just wish that he/she would arrive at the airport tomorrow. I don’t want to go back at home. Uhuh. Well you know, it’s just hard to say something.”)

Okay. I think it was a bad idea to listen to this girl.. and why the heck have I been listening? Oh yeah, ’cause the sound system seems to be lacking more Louis Armstrong than it used to have and I think they need to check who bumped into the stereo and nudged the volume to a 1; because I ran out of batteries on my MP3 phone; and well you just can’t help it when you’r sitting next to someone who’s talking to someone on the phone which is actually switched to speaker phone but is placed on that person’s ear. Hence, limiting their senses to hear correctly and thus they tend to answer by shouting hoping that the loudness that they can hear on their phones would be equalled by the amount of voice they can produce. Now isn’t that just right.

Anyway, the point is I’ve never really sat next to someone who might be on the news next week due to illegal trafficking of themselves to another country. The common problem is that us Filipinos dream of going to another country such as the US to find their dream jobs or at least get one that can give them the dream life. We Filipinos have heard so much about successful people who start so low (or so high) and in the height of their careers they become incredibly successful: due to hardwork, perseverance, and patience. Hence, even if they end up working in the Middle East under a smelly employer who only goes to the public bath on weekends, or on Saturdays which is the only weekends they ever get, our OFWs work hard to pay the bills, bring their kids to school, get them their children some dream toys and put them to good school.

I’ve never had a parent who did that. Although our former maid had been said to have gone to Dubai a few years after she ran away from us, she isn’t my direct relative so I don’t really know the details. I’ve never been to anywhere that needs a Visa or a Passport so this to me seems like a new thing.

Well the end of this is that she was NOT speaking to her boyfriend, although it was a dude but I don’t really know. And I do hope that she could get out of the country for all sense and purposes. It’s a hard day’s life in this country but at least we all still come back here and continue living life. As it is and should be.

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