“O tukso, layuan mo ako!”
Much like the lyrics of Eva Eugenio’s song “Tukso”, overseas Filipino workers need to pray hard in order to fight loneliness — and temptation — while away from their families.
Overseas work, apparently, has become a way of life for many of our fellowmen.
While many have already attained their goals of giving a better life to their family, some are still struggling to fulfill their loved ones’ wishes and provide them security for the future. Others, sadly, have been weak in fighting off temptation and boredom.
It would usually take many years, even decades, before the dream of having their own house, own business, and a more secure financial status could be achieved. It’s never that easy to be an overseas worker; away from your family. Homesickness and temptations are just two of the challenges that OFWs face miles away from home — and some give in to these.
But not Kuya Vin, a 43-year-old OFW from Batangas, who earned our deep respect and admiration.
You see, he has been an overseas worker for ten years. He left his wife and three sons to have a better chance for a better life — by working in South Korea as a fruit box assembler.
Before going abroad, he and his wife of 22 years became factory workers, fish vendors, and anything else that would fetch money. They don’t have a college degree but they were armed with determination and faith in God.
Kuya Vin poured his energy on different skills like carpentry and even learned to be a computer technician with the help of a few friends despite having no formal schooling about computers.
And as an OFW, he learned that life could be really lonely without a family to go home to after work, especially when you’re sick. You also have to fight boredom and temptation. To steer clear of temptation, he decided not to join his friends/workmates on their days off as they paint the town red, so to speak.
“Tipid sa pera, iwas pa sa tukso,” were his exact words; sharing also that he preferred to repair computers to earn extra and to focus on his hobbies and cycling as diversion from work.
That way time seems to be flying, he said, and he wouldn’t even notice that a week, a month, or a year has passed by. Boredom is one word he has learned to remove from his dictionary.
What He Does on His Free Time/Days Off
During his free time before sleeping and on his days off, Kuya Vin busies himself by doing artwork with any material he could get his hands on. You’d be amazed at his handiwork.
Take a look at these wonders:
See those tools?
By the way, we also learned he’s a boatmaker’s son. No wonder he likes making miniatures of boats and ships.
His first passenger if he has his own boat perhaps? Of course, his partner for life!
Have a used light bulb? Kuya Vin has some use for it!
Want a closer look?
And who said doll-making is only for girls?
Perhaps he was thinking of having a daughter or granddaughters in the future? Sure enough, these would delight his wife! Take note that he used children’s socks.
How about this? I doubt if his wife would part with any of Kuya Vin’s doll family!
Because he also needs some fresh air, Kuya Vin roams the area using his bike.
It’s important to be physically fit, he said, and enjoying some scenery with some cycling buddies is fun for him, too.
According to Kuya Vin, aside from chatting with his family from time to time, his hobbies kept him busy and fulfilled. And at age 43, he is now looking forward to happily spending his life with his wife and sons.
Ten years of thrift, careful planning and hard work as an OFW is enough, he said. Now it’s time to be with his family — for good!
You see, in ten years he and his wife already have their own humble home, a car, complete appliances and his two sons are graduating this year. His wife and sons have contributed to making life better by making good use of his remittances through a small business and by studying well, too.
Everytime he goes home for a vacation, they spend much quality family time; knowing that time flies and he’ll have to leave again.
His Advice to Fellow OFWs
Do not aspire to be an OFW forever. Set a timeline with your family so that you won’t have to be away from your family for a lifetime. Make goals together. Dream together. Catch up on each other regularly even through long distance communication to keep the fire burning in your circle. Do not aspire to remain a stranger to your own kids by working away from home for many decades.
We worked overseas for our family. Make sure to come back home to the same family you left behind.
That’s true love.