She yanked the wheel so tight and swerved to her right in a sudden reflex rush, to avoid the speeding car that tried to overtake her. It was a split-second miss, and death was staring at her face. She thought they would die together with her passengers. This is a true story.
Call her Elena. She is a single mom of a 4-year-old boy. The father of her child abandoned them. Years ago, she was a bubbly, young woman who set foot in the Middle East shores. She started as a simple clerk in a consultancy firm. She worked hard to help her family and make her dreams come true–to give them a much better life. Until love knocked at her door.
Her world changed. Her priorities changed. Her family was not happy to see her in a relationship that was not good to her. The man was demanding much of her time, and even her money. Unexpectedly, she got pregnant and had to exit briefly. Without a marriage contract, pregnancy out of wedlock has incriminating consequences for an expatriate. She could go to jail. Her dreams were shattered when she started to lose her grip of her fiancé. He promised to marry her but suddenly he was gone. She did not know where to find him.
A few months later, she came back with her child. She raised him alone. For years, she worked in the same company in the morning, and worked as a “colorum” driver in the afternoons and evenings. She has been driving for other expatriate workers.
Elena’s life is not easy. She had a son to raise and a family to feed. She stood as a father and mother to her boy. Her life is a whirlwind of tasks she had to supernaturally perform. Early morning she readies her child for school; then she drops him, picks up her passengers, drop them at work; then she goes straight for duty. After work, she collects her passengers, drop them home, picks up her child from the nanny after school, then home. There she prepares their dinner, checks his assignments, teaches him his lessons, cleans the house, and finally, her time to rest. That’s how her day starts and ends.
When asked, Elena says she doesn’t have time for love. She’d been badly burned. Her world is turning only for her child. Elena preferred to remain anonymous. She wants to live a simple life.
There are many “Elenas” all over the world. Their sacrifice and passion are highly remarkable. They don’t think of their own interests. They think of others first. Some “Elenas” are separated from their children. Both mother and children endure the estrangement between them.
This is a true story of an OFW single mother’s heroic life. This kind of people are nameless faces we might be bumping into the street some days. We do not know them but their lives are sacrificial, their hands marred by hard work. Elena struggles to work eight hours a day and works as a driver extra hours daily; aside from fulfilling her mother duties, and being a breadwinner for her family. She chose to work hard than grab indecent opportunities that will sell her soul. Her smile will always reflect a heart full of love that is ready to sacrifice her own convenience. Indeed, they are exemplary Filipino overseas workers that deserve our admiration.
May God bless these noteworthy OFWs.