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Welcome to Korea Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong

Welcome to Korea Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong
Fr. Cedric replaces Fr. Dong Marcaida. Have a happy, fruitful and blessed days with us all!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Coping with Life with OFW Parents (3)

By Melane Manalo

I am blessed on the other hand with parents who allowed me to achieve a greater sense of self by giving me the freedom to choose my ways and be responsible for such: from study and career track to take, to friends, down to such things as hobbies. As we in the family always refer to, one simply has to trust another. Trust now proves to be a good control mechanism for the self: nobody would like, as I do, to lose somebody’s trust, which has made your personal growth possible.

Our parents also consult us when they make significant decisions, such a whether to acquire / sell this property; when we had our house built, how we liked it to look like. Handling our finances while they are not here is also on us: my sister and I are the ones who account for the amounts that come in and out, for which we were already warned by my parents for “over-accounting.” Never was there a time when they checked on where all the money has gone (which is no excuse on the other hand for us to use them just for anything), as we on our own get the amounts we need for personal things, school expenses, clothes or other goods sometimes. We only “report” (actually, tell) to them if there is this much or that much, and whether there is some unusual or unexpected expenses or inflow.

With Sustenance
Some tell me I am also that free in apportioning and spending the money our parents send us because there is more than enough for the needs. I disagree; this actually stems from my parents’ notion that they work to make life more comfortable for all of us, and there is no point in keeping so much money in the bank and wondering what could have been if such amount is used for needs and some luxury.

My mother has spent more than half of her life working overseas (not accounting for vacations in the Philippines) while my father, who is older than her, has been there for a period shorter. Since they married, they were able to get for the family agricultural and residential lands, four-door apartment which we lease, a jeepney, a house for us, educational and pension plans and a condominium unit in Mandaluyong for which we are still paying). My parents’ way was to acquire this property and resell it later for some items, after 20 years) and profit from the appreciation of the price: sometimes, we borrow money to finance a new investment, so that we gain from the investment while we amortize the borrowed amount.

Yes we can get luxurious and / or extravagant at times, but my parents’ just say it is “ok.” I would have to admit that I myself am guilty of spending much for consumer goods, which studies show is the main class of expenditure of overseas workers’ families. I think that can be allowed once in a while: my parents also do. Everyone deserves a splurge: we are sometimes led by our parents into it as a reward.

I used to and still have this belief that my family spends the most in a year compared to all families in our barangay in Batangas, although I have not known their cases. More property means more maintenance expenses, and this applies to both earning and not earning items. We got to school, and make sure we get all resources and enhancements needed in studying. We have helpers at home, especially with my sister today. We have to pay taxes. The question of sustainability of course constantly bothers me. My parents cannot work abroad forever; they also do not think they would and should.
...to be continued

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