Friday, July 24, 2009

Dead Heroes

I am setting aside my self nepotism to devote a piece of my time and blog space to honor the Filipino Overseas Workers who have lost their lives while trying to make a difference in the lives of their loved ones and our beloved nation in general. I am feel sorry for their ill fated journey and tragic loss and now I am raising a hundred and one reasons why they deserved to be called heroes, but not when they are dead.

"pinoy care, handog natin sa mundo.."

Leaving loved ones behind is a painful thing to do – but they did.
Abandoning their jobs back home is a silly idea – but they did.
Facing a new culture is a wall difficult to infiltrate – but they did.
Searching for a job without assurance is a costly gamble – but they did.
Heading for a future so vague and blurry – But they did.

New house can be built ….
Bills can be paid…..
School can be pursued…..
Occasions can be celebrated…..
Illness can be cured…..
Life can be saved…..
Dreams can be achieved…
Economy can be revived….
Progress can be fueled….

He who works is bothered…..
He who cares is ignored….
He who sees is overlooked…..
He who sacrifices is redeemed….
He who loves is taken away…..

He who only hope for the welfare of his loved ones….
He who only wish for the best for his kids…..
He who only think about the safety of his parents….
He who doesn’t think only about himself…..
Is murdered, terminated, evicted and gone…..
Without warning, without sign, without goodbye...


Same month last year, a road mishap in Dubai has claimed the lives of three Filipinas working for a coffee shop. The freak accident, whose cause was attributed mainly to reckless driving, has ranked among the most tragic in Dubai. Recently, ten Filipinos were among the civilians killed in a helicopter crash in a NATO base in Afghanistan. Their unwanted death came at a time when there's an imposed labor ban on that country. As such, they would not be entitled to full benefits from the government for being undocumented workers. Their hard works as an OFW have long benefited the country, but now it has ended up in a tragic loss, their suffering was theirs and theirs alone.

But why? Simply because they sneaked out of the country illegally to work on these places makes them less of an "OFW"? Aren't we all out here sacrificing basically for the same reason? When we send money back home, it is received without even care if it is coming from someone documented or not. We all help in our own capacities. The government benefits from the risk that these people have taken into themselves so that a better future awaits their family. The same risk that's helping the economy up is now the same risk that putting their names and bereaved down. That oversight is just not fair.

When someone left home to work abroad, that’s already a huge sacrifice, not being able to see your loved ones for some time. When you accept a job which is quite different from what you professionally can do, your sacrificing your pride and honor. When you try to fight the homesickness and boredom every time you lay yourself in bed, that’s a sacrifice. When you get our salary, you try to limit your personal spending so that you can send more to your loved ones back home., that’s sacrifice. All for the sake of our families and our nations.

When accidents that claim lives of OFW happen, the sacrifices end, together with the prospects of a brighter future for their family. There would be some media coverage and some financial assistance from the government. After that, the sacrifices of the people who once left their homeland to fulfill an unselfish dreams in the most noble way they can will be forgotten. The modern heroism of the people who left their country alive and with high hopes will be forsaken just as their lifeless body is buried six feet below the ground, silently and forever.

That’s the tale of our present day heroes. Heroes only when they are dead. Never accorded the respect, honor and benefits they deserve when they living and sending billions in annual remittance. Currently, there are over 12 million Overseas Filipino Workers around the globe mostly setting aside their lives to fulfill a greater good for their respective families and country.


  1. right chico, nagisip tuloy ako, baka pwede second entry sa PEBA.

    Ang galing mong magsulat, pakitago nga nito, pwede ko dagdag sa book compilations ng PEBA ha. if pwede sau, hehe

  2. isang katibayan na hanggang kamatayan, bayani ang mga OFW's. I liked the article.

    add kita sa list ng mga mahuhusay kong bloggers ah. salamat!

  3. Lives of OFW's are full of uncertainties.

    I am saddened for the death of the 10 OFW's in Afghanistan. You're right, Chico, kakambal ng OFW ang sakripisyo. And if one day we die here in abroad, wag naman sana(knock on the wood)this is because we sacrifice for our family back home.

    Have a great day, dude!

  4. Nakikidalamhati sa mga naulilang pamilya ng ating mga nasawing OFW.

    Maraming salamat sa isang makabuluhang panulat kaibigan.

  5. Kung pwede lang multiple entry sa PEBA 2009, pasok na naman ulit ito. Galing ng mga ideas, matalino ka talaga Chico Kunejo.

    I don't know. Pero talagang kapag 'bayani' ang isang tao, nasa isip ko kaagad na wala na siya sa mundong ito. Ganyan kasi ang trend na nakagisnan ko sa Pilipinas simula pa kay Jose Rizal hanggang kay Ninoy Aquino. Kaya nga siguro meron talaga tayong 'Libingan ng mga Bayani' sa bansa.

    Teka, ang mga modern day heroes ba kapag sumakabilang-buhay, pwede rin bang sa 'Libingan ng mga Bayani' ang kanilang ang kanilang huling hantungan?