As for now, they intend to pay off all our debts from relatives and financial institutions in the soonest possible time, while still sustaining our daily expenses, and then have that money to put up a business and stay in the country for good. But this may still take quite a long time.
Extensive networking and making friends, as I see it, sometimes also put a strain on our resources. Our parents would be sponsors in baptisms, matrimonies, among others, once in a while. This would also translate into more expenses during the holidays and other occasions.
But our family is more than thankful for such. We see these instance as recognition of our ability to reach out to others, help them and be models (especially for those who ask my mother and father to be their “parents” in weddings). As my father puts it: that you are chosen from among a hundred of other people they know is a blessing.
Being abroad obviously gave our parents opportunities to know more Filipinos than they would have done here in the Philippines, as I observed in a number of my visits to Italy since I was first left here to study. They are off from work on Thursdays and Sundays. On these days, they gather and spend the day socializing with relatives also working there, and even other Filipinos whom they met there. Through this, our parents grew closer to them, as they usually share the same experiences and are able to help each other. My mother especially has been working there for so long, they sometimes solicit her advice and / or help in dealing with matters relating to their work, travel documents and even families in the Philippines.
To Bloom and Finally Find Home
In the years to come, every one of us expects our parents will be staying home, finally. As we wait for such time, the thing left to do is simply make the most out of, That is, learn from, every challenge we face while we are apart from each other.
I am hopefully completing my Public Administration course by next year, and intend to enter the academe afterwards. My father asked me lately if I would like to work abroad, join the Foreign Service maybe. I have not actually though of it that much until now, especially since I have made some plans already. Besides, I want to stay near home (maybe a result of missing my parents and home at times even when I am here in the Philippines). I felt I will be needed here more than in any place in the world.
But nothing can be finally decided upon yet: I have many years on, and the rest are still coming. I may later be pressured by need to work overseas, as most of our fellow Filipinos now do. At least I already had some 20 years of experience of dealing with being away from family of my own, my parents’ way may also be the best to emulate.
Parents will be calling us again within the day, or these two days, to check on how we are going. From there, we move on to talk about our future plans of being together at home, each doing one’s stuff but not really alone. Then, our short-term plans, like thinking about what to do within the week. Then, a joke. It actually does not matter what we discuss. These short moments of talk and senseless talk make these days seem shorter. It cannot be long until we meet again.