There are a lot of videos uploaded in different social media sites, most specifically in youtube.com about OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers). There are some that even left me teary-eyed after watching them. One of the most touching videos that I watched is the video entitled Google PH – Miss Nothing. I’ve never loved the song You (which is a Filipino artist original, Basil Valdez), the way I love it after seeing this video.
By the way for those who are asking what is an OFW, according to Wikipedia, are Filipinos working abroad that are expected to return permanently either upon the expiration of a work contract or upon retirement.
I am not exactly an OFW when I left the Philippines, let’s say, I knew exactly that as soon as I board the plane that will bring me to Vancouver, I am already leaving my life behind. So technically, I am (and my husband and 2 kids) will become overseas Filipino (or a Filipino living overseas) once we set foot to our destination.
I have a few posts wherein I enumerated the things that I love about living in Canada, I have also narrated to my readers the reasons why I am choosing to stay in Winnipeg or why I choose to be a Manitoban and I have also celebrated in my blog when I officially became a Canadian.
But I will never lie that even if I have lived abroad for a few years already, there are still times that I still think about Philippines and I still have moments that I allow this feeling called “homesickness” to visit me. To see even a picture of the food in Instagram, see the local celebrities everywhere in Twitter or watch the latest MTV of a local artist from your home country can already overwhelm you with homesickness… you realize that you are missing those things that you never thought you’d miss. Fact — you wouldn’t know that your hometown is much closer to your heart than you ever thought until you live away from “home.”
The truth is, even though, I refuse to watch Filipino news program, deep in my heart, I still get affected whenever I hear news about the Philippines. Thanks to Facebook (FB), Twitter and Instagram (IG), the word “trending” is now a part of any person’s life (who is into social media)… and more often than not, Filipino news are trending worldwide and whenever there are great or sad news about the country, about the the president or other prominent people or whenever there’s a calamity that strikes the country, I AM ALL OVER IT! I will be in FB, Twitter and IG or other sites, until I am updated with what really happened or what is really happening.
When you live abroad, you will also realize that time is really gold and even little moments and simple things now matter to you. A simple comment in your FB or IG post from your family or friends back home makes you smile. A short email or message in your messenger makes you feel excited and a FaceTime or Skype video call with your family back home makes your day. Things that doesn’t really matter to me before, now means a lot to me. Simple things like a greeting card, a box of local chocolate from your hometown, a DVD of a local movie or anything that you don’t get to see or buy to the country that you are in and a friend or a relative sends it to you for no reason or without even asking for it, it is so precious! Can’t explain the happiness I feel whenever I receive something from back home… some people may say that I am very sentimental or emotional, but, yes, these things that my family and friends send to me makes me really happy and gives me the feeling of assurance that I am (we) are loved and remembered… and that we will always have a “home” to go home to because I (we) still have them to welcome me (us).
After staying in Canada, for a few years, it feels like when you’ve been away from home for many years, life passes by at full speed. “What am I missing?” will always be your question, because whenever you look back, you’ll realize that so much had happened in your absence, you realize that life back home went on without you. Some people that you know have grown up or have changed, then you’ll just learned you missed an 18th or 50th birthday, a college graduation, a wedding, an anniversary, a reunion or worse you failed to say goodbye to someone who is already gone… I’ve experienced missing a lot of special occasions, I failed to bid my last farewell to my Lolo and Lola (grandparents), uncles, friends and two cousins who I grew up with…
As you settle into your new life in another country, life back home still goes on and the occasions and events that you missed will just pile up until one day you will just look back and realize that a lot of events already happened and a lot of things is no longer the same. It’s hard to deny that whatever life you left back home, you can no longer pick up where you left of, you’ve missed what you’ve missed because you have chosen a different life… It’ll even make you feel sad because you know that you are now an outsider to an environment where you were once a part of – there are things that they do that you now do not understand, there are inside jokes that you now cannot relate with and there are events that you will not know, which will make you think that maybe, you have changed.
Yes, living in another country, speaking their language and being surrounded by people from different race(s), fundamentally changes you and even your views in life. The experiences and the difficulties that I have to face in adjusting here in Canada have changed me, but no matter where you are, no matter how long you’ve been away, there will still be instances that you will catch yourself looking afar and thinking of the people and the things that you miss from that place where you grew up… from that place you called “home.”