I have been caught up with school work and good thing I can still engage with other extracurricular activities which we volunteers fondly call our real major and minor – that of writing for Sulyapinoy, the Filipino migrant workers (EPS – Employment Permit System) newsletter and as elected officer of the newly formed FILIPOS – Filipino Photographers in South Korea, our foto club which have been very active and even a chapter now established in the city of Busan.
So after several months of no blog post and what I have been doing the past of cutting and pasting from emails, today finaly, I have a new blog post.
This year’s nomination for the 2010 Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Award (PEBA) is coming to an end. Only 14 days left as of writing and posting (16 October 2010). I have been wanting to post earlier having been requested to help advertise the event. It took me minutes to locate a previous draft now I can’t find it so I have to start from scratch.
I was definitely part of the first year when the blog award was started in 2008 by Kenji. I gave an all out support given that I am an advocate of blogging and wanting to listen and read to the voices of OFW and expat through their blogs. But I never imagined that it will be this big having a real physical awarding for the second time this year. We had the awarding online the first time.
Lot’s of people being involved. Sponsors requested to support it. I myself have to drag family members to mobilize for the award night last year. My sister and her friends are asking when will be the next. Since it is for them an opportunity and occasion to dress nicely, enjoy their fun pictorials, learn about OFWs life and also win raffle prizes from the generous supporters and sponsors of PEBA.
This year the theme is "Strengthening the OFW Families: Stronger Homes for a Stronger Nation" or in Filipino "Pagtibayin ang Pamilyang OFW: Mas Matibay na Tahanan Para sa Mas Matibay na Bayan".
The nominees entry for this year are very insightful, a lot very practical and realistic. Aided by technological advancement in the Information and Communications Technology there’s not much reason not to be in constant communication with family members. It is communication that keeps OFW family closer and stronger.
Almost gone are snail mails, today it is faster to email or send text message, post cards are now transformed as e-cards. Gone are the voice tapes recorded and played in cassettes/stereo recorders, today voice and video can be heard and seen through email or you tube. Gone are the long distance calls, these days it is a lot cheaper to chat by yahoo messenger, or call by mobile phones, even a roaming system for some other countries. And it seems for PEBA folks Nokia is the choice for mobile phone, for my parents as well they find NOKIA the most user-friendly mobile phone (indeed that’s plugging for one of our sponsors who have been supporting us two year in a row).
Tatay used to be a seaman. In the late 70’s we do not have such technology and devices then. But tatay was a constant letter writer. Through the years Nanay have collected all those letters and cards he would send us from different ports and cities around the globe. Aside from admiring the stamps in those envelopes, tatay’s message and constant advise continue to be a guiding principle for us children. One of those messages is “Matutong Makisama” or learn how to get along well and live well with others.
Indeed a maxim that prove very beneficial for me with work and living or sharing house with others as an expat or OFW myself or as a student now. A reason why former officemate would still want me to work with them. Or maintaining friendship with former colleagues and co-workers. But in the process you get to learn that it is not is easy to have “pakikisama”, it should be reinforced by other virtues and qualities such as humility, understanding, appreciation of common good, compassion, etc.
Indeed we siblings managed to have our own career and continue to explore and play those great role in life. A happiness that we gave back to our parents. Tatay although absent most of the time as migrant worker, we have uncles, aunties and other relative that help nanay to raise us five naughty and stubborn boys and a sister. Not a perfect family that have its own ups and downs but can be considered a regular and happy one blessed by eleven apos (grandchildren).
This year, nanay and tatay were blessed by another gift. In our town they were selected as OFW Model Family for sea-based worker category. Then they were again chosen in the provincial level (Ilocos Norte) and then again won the regional level (Ilocos Region). I am so happy for both of them. So my parents effort and sacrifices for keeping the family intact and having their children realized their dreams is also recognized by the government organized by OWWA. Indeed it is an honor and privilege for our family to be considered an OFW Model Family. Our family far from perfect, indeed, nanay and tatay made it happen to make the family one and strong and so doing contributing to making the nation stronger.
Nanay and Tatay after the ceremony for the Town (Municipality of Pinili, Ilocos Norte) Awarding of 2010 Model OFW Family Award.
This year the MOFYA 2010 is joint project of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and OWWA sponsored by SM Supermalls, Banco De Oro and Globe with the theme “Para sa Matatag na Pamilyang OFW.” It is very closely related to PEBA's theme this year.
Support PEBA, and nominate Expat/OFW Bloggers for 2010 PEBA. Few more days left.