Taking care of other people while being away from your family is just one of the many sacrifices that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) had to endure just to provide the needs of their family.
Just like this OFW who got separated from her children for 10 years because she needs to work in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
“Ipinanganak ko lang sila dito sa Abu Dhabi at kinailangan nang ibalik sa Pilipinas matapos ng isangbuwan. Napakahirap para sa akin namawalay sa aking mga anak habang sila ay lumalaki,” says Sheryl Palacios-Manalo who works at the healthcare sector of UAE for 12 years.
Sheryl has two daughters, 9-years old and 7-years old, whom she had to send back to the Philippines after giving birth in Abu Dhabi.
Just like any other Filipino mother, Sheryl struggled to see her children growing up without her care and guidance. She had to endure seeing her kids getting sick without her taking care of them.
“Ang pinakamahirap sa kalooban ko bilang isang ina ay kapag may sakit ang mga anak ko at wala ako sa tabi nila para maalagaan sila. Gusto kong umuwi sapagkakataong iyon, pero hindi ko kaya. Isinasa-Diyos konalang at ipinagdarasal para bigyan sila ng proteksyon laban sa anumang makakasakit sa kanila at patunbayan sila sa lahat ng oras,” says Sheryl.
Finally, after 10 years of being away from each other, Sheryl and her kids got to reunite even just for a while as she brought them in UAE to bond with each other. She also sent her advice to other fellow OFW moms to remain strong for their children.
“We should have an attitude of persistence and faces life’s demands without fussing, nagging, groaning, or comparing our situation with others’ circumstances. We should love all our children unconditionally and demonstrates to our children how they too can love at all times. We should recognize that our patients will be tried by disobedience but it will never cause our love to regress in anger,” says Sheryl.