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Of ofws and teachers


Mothers always want their children to be proud of them...

Since I was in grade school, students who are sons or daughters of doctors, lawyers, engineers and businessmen were given high regards in class. Even in the society, if you came from a family of doctors or lawyers, people look up to you in a different perspective.

Because we are bombarded with so many fantasy shows, both young and adult consider these professionals as heroes of the country that is why their children consider them as the heroes of their life.

I was once a child who never appreciates the worth of a mother because I grew up with my grandmother. Whenever people asked me what is the work of my mother, I used to asked 鍍eacher lang po・ I did not know how I grew that way; what I know is that I get envy to my classmates who have big allowances, who always have new dresses or bags and have lunchbox full of chocolates or food because their parents are either businessmen, doctor, engineer, lawyers who earn big salaries; unlike me - a teacher who works all day in school but earns just enough or sometimes even short to what we need.

Actually our family is really big. I have three younger siblings that is why before, if you were to asked me how our life goes, I would definitely say: Mahirap pa siguro sa daga. One thing that added burden to the family is that my parents separated when I was in high school. Because of that, I used to ask myself: can I still pursue to college? What will happen to our family with a single mother who serves as the head of the family - a teacher who earns four to five thousand per month? I had so many complain in my life. I never had been even proud of my mother because during that time we were really poor. As the eldest, I have no choice but to make so many sacrifices just to continue studying.

I enrolled in college because of my aunties. I was able to study in an exclusive school which later on, it becomes harder for the family. I even planned to transfer in a state university to lessen the burden of my mother but she did not allow me to do so; so I stayed and continue studying in that exclusive school. Until one day, my mother decided to resign as a teacher and take risks and find her fate in abroad.

Of course, our life becomes better. We get what we want now. Just like my classmates who came from well-off family, I can also buy new clothes and accessories. I then became proud of my mother because our life becomes easier.

One of the most unforgettable assignments I had in college was to make an article about an OFW and a teacher. I got to choose one who must be regarded as a hero of our country. I had a sleepless night choosing between the two because both played a significant part in my life.

Teaching is the noblest profession that is why only those who have true passion to teaching stayed in this job. Without teachers there could be no doctors, lawyers, engineers, pilot and all the professionals in the country. They are the second parents of the students because they made the students rich not only intellectually and socially but also mentally and emotionally. On the other hand, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) contributed a lot in our economy because of the remittances that they sent for their families. Of course, we cannot disregard the fact that they are sacrificing not to be with their families just to give them a better future. They took risks in the foreign land and at the same time show to the world how great Filipinos are.

Morning comes, I had none. I was asking myself why I can't answer such easy question; until I felt there is something missing. I was in front of the computer the next day browsing my 242 unread mails when I glance at the open-letter of a mother to her child. It stated:

When I was a teacher, I tried to become a role model for my students so that you will be proud of me. But you are not...

One of the hardest decisions that I made in my entire life is to leave and go abroad because it is more painful for a mother like me to see that my children are not being proud of me especially the efforts that I am doing

Now, I am making night like a day to earn money just to give you the things that you want.

I hope you are now proud of me.

While I was reading the message, I can't help but cry. I remember why mother. The mother in the letter is as if my mother talking to me. Mothers always want their children to be proud of them that is why they make tough decisions for their children even if they get hurt because of love. The words in the open letter go through my mind up to my smallest veins. My conscience spoke to me with a resounding voice showing how rude I was to my mother - that I am not worthy of this life she had given me.

That led me to answer the question that we must not weigh up every profession in the country because they have roles in our lives that is different from the others. OFW and teachers both deserve to be regarded as hero because both aim for the better future of the Filipino families, both has their own sacrifices and both give us inspiration. Teachers are the unsung heroes and OFW are the heroes of our country that saves our economy: two Filipino characters that must be proud of.

Hence, if you were to asked me who my true hero is? I will be proud to say, it is my mother. I am proud of her not because of the material things that she had given me but because of her loveI realize that we must be proud of our parents especially of our mothers whether they are a teacher, an OFW, or a housekeeper because they are the ones who gave us life and carry us for nine months - a precious gift from God that we must be proud of.
Published: 2007-04-20
Author: Lovely Jane D. Atienza

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