Due to lack of job opportunities in the Philippines, I was easily persuaded by my amazing mother to come to Saudi Arabia and toil so that my husband and I would be able to start saving for our future. Unfortunately, my first few months in the Kingdom weren’t that pleasant. My mom and I had misunderstandings almost everyday. Disagreements occurred frequently. Hurtful words were said and cold-shoulder displayed. I almost gave up! However, during my time of solitude and meditation, it came to my senses  that she has been away from home for how many years and we’ve never experienced being physically together this long. Having her around was new to me. I had always done things according to my own freewill, but with the physical guidance of my good father. On the other hand, I supposed that dealing with me was also unfamiliar to her. Why? I practically did not grow up before her very eyes. These reasons actually fostered me to take a chance to build a better relationship with my mother while we’re both here. After all, it might be one of the reasons why God has brought me in this part of the world – not merely for money!

I started off by grasping the true sense of the words “listen” and “understand.” It was only when I hearkened to my mom’s explanation and heeded her counsels that I began to comprehend her intention. She was just showing a motherly care that I’d been deprived for years. Since that realization, we’re able to develop not only a strong mother-daughter bond, but also a wonderful friendship that will remain here and beyond.

I’ve learned the struggles that she had to go through just to give us the kind of life that we are enjoying now. Also, I’ve witnessed her determination to become triumphant in life for the people she dearly loves. Seeing the wrinkled and veiny hands – a physical evidence of sacrifice and hard work for over a decade as an OFW – of this noble woman who has brought an enormous change to our family’s status in life truly pierces my heart. Those beautiful but sorrowful eyes that seem to express yearning for home, even behind that happy and contagious smile, are unmistakable and poignant. She used to be young and vigorous. She had labored industriously so that we would live life comfortably. Now that she’s old and weary, she still continues to work diligently –in this place called the K.S.A. – because she doesn’t want to become a burden to us in any way. This heartbreaking situation of hers has really brought me into tears. 😦

During one of our conversations; she asked me, “How about if I would just end my contract and go home for good?” When she indirectly conveyed her desire to retire and go back to the Philippines, my heart would like to scream because of happiness. It’s about time because she’s already in her 60’s.

The Overseas Filipino Workers are regarded as the modern heroes of our country, the Philippines. Indeed, my mom is a hero not only to my family, but also to our community and our country.

A Hero to Our Family: For every riyal that my mother puts aside to be sent home monthly, it is equal to shedding ocean of tears (for longing to see her family) and producing a bucket of sweats (for working hard like a slave)! I should know because I am an OFW myself. Earning a decent amount of money overseas is not like picking bucks from a GOLD-bearing tree. You have to combat not only nostalgia but also stress – from work and other environmental factors. I really admire her because she has survived in this foreign land with nothing but perseverance, resilience and faith that she could bring change to our family’s social standing. She is truly a woman of strength and valor! It really hurts me when she pities herself and thinks that she’s nobody and her effort and sacrifices are not appreciated! Mom, please know that we are grateful for everything that you have done just to give us a good life and do not forget that you are valued and loved! Indeed; you are our hero mom, because you did not allow homesickness and sufferings to defeat your dream to save us from poverty and bring a tremendous change to our family. I am proud that you are my mother!

A Hero to Our Community: Before my mother left the Philippines, she worked as a government employee – under the Agriculture Department – in our small municipality. She trained a considerable number of individuals, mostly in the remote areas, about provident living. Aside from serving in the community, she also generously shared her skills and talents to the members of our faith. That’s why, when she left the country to work overseas, there were some people who were asking me if where my mom was. They relayed to me how thankful they were to my mother for the service that she rendered and the lessons that she taught them. I know that she was like a hero to the community because through sharing her talents and skills, other people’s lives were touched and perhaps positively changed. With enthusiasm and open arms, it is my hope that they will welcome again this woman – who has proven her worth in bringing change to the society.

A Hero to Our Country: When the Overseas Filipino Workers send money to their families in the Philippines, they are actually killing two birds with one stone – save their families from financial struggle and help the country’s economy to be in a hopeful condition. Each remittance may appear small or insignificant but collectively, it plays a critical financial stabilizing tool for our country. Hence, each OFW – including my mother – is indeed a “modern hero!”It is my wish that they will be treated like one; regardless if they’re abroad or they’re home for pleasure or for good!

 We cannot deny the fact that many of the citizens in our country have believed that the Philippines is doomed to failure. Sadly, this reason compelled “some”  (especially OFW’s) to give up on patriotism.  They mocked our beloved country; shrugged off anything related to their heritage; lost their desire to retire or spend their well-deserved vacation in the Philippines; and tossed away their pride of  being a Filipino. If all of us, Filipinos, will despise our country, who else will love and give hope to Juan Dela Cruz? Who else will make the Philippines a promising place? The Americans? Japanese? Chinese? Arabs?  Oh modern heroes, please let us not forsake our country!

 At least one OFW – who has an aim to “see the change” that she has done and an aspiration to become an instrument to “make a difference” in the land – just returned home!

My mother is a hero indeed.


    • As you know, I was crying while writing this!!!!

      This entry isn’t good enough.. She deserves more credit than this! 🙂 I love mama!

      Next time, I will write something about dad… I want you to know him too ate france! he’s cool! 🙂

  1. Thank you for the support to PEBA!We have the honor to met and befriend both an awesome mother and daughter when we were in Khobar, what an inspiring story of hardships, struggles, faith, perseverance and success!

    • Thank you Mr. President! 🙂 Your cause is praiseworthy and it’s my pleasure to support it.

      Thanks for the friendship… My mom always sites you as an example to us especially when we discuss about sacrifice and success! It’s for real!

      • your welcome. I can relate to some of the words you wrote here, because my parents too are former OFWs but are now back in the Phil.

    • I’m sure, you likewise have lots of inspiring stories to tell…

      By the way, I visited your site and it looked interesting… I think i will visit it often once i have my own DSLR Camera. I believe you are into photography? 🙂

      • thank you for visiting my site, and yes,i’m a photography enthusiast, but my site is not much on “how to” on photography. Anyway, if you have your own dslr, just give me a comment on my page and i’ll try to give you links on learning photography. 🙂

  2. This is such an inspiring story and it really touched me.I began to know more about your mom and her traits. Yeah she is indeed a hero and should be treated with much respect love and admiration. Thanks for your blog, it somehow reminds me that i too am a Filipino and i should be proud of it.

  3. amazing…serendipity, while most of us ofw search for greener pasture else where you found greater things..maybe a reminder for everyone that material things may not be the only reason to be happy..and coming home fulfilled is just as priceless as we all have dreamed off.congrats to your mom she has her trophy in you already.pang PEBA ENTRY! 😀

  4. I must confess that i was deeply touched by your article (my mom is a hero)I was wondering how eloquent you are when you shared this fascinating story to uplift others, but what is more amazing to me was when i learned that you’re a member of the church,I can sympathize with you and i truly understand how you feel because i’m also an ofw, It takes not only courage but pure love to go to strange land to provide the needs of our family,what can i say more…keep on writing uplifting stories cause you might uplift someone who are despondent and those who have feeble knees…keep it up and God bless..

    • I don’t know what to say…but thank you!

      I love how you emphasized the words ‘pure love’ You are right, everything boils down to these two powerful words!

      We are of the same faith? 🙂 An OFW too? Nice to meet you here!!!! Thanks for dropping by to read my post and leave me stunned because of your uplifting words! Thank you again!!!!

  5. Chang ,
    How happy am I to read what you have written about your mother.I’m so happy that you finally say and revealed to everyone how lucky you are to have a mom like her.How i wish I could also do this during those time while my mom still alive.But unfortunately she passed by and I could not tell her how happy am I for having her in my life.Its too late for me.I’m so proud of you my friend just because you are doing your part as a daughter.Thanks for sharing for everything.I love you and hope you will always be happy together with your new family now.
    I’m always here,

  6. as i begun to read and met the climax of your blog…tears wet my cheeks.crossing the country to seek job to feed her family is not easy…for a true Filipino mother,Anything is possible!like a bird to leave her nest,they take their lives at risk just for the sake of their family.your mother’s love is instinctual,unconditional,and forever., like yours,mine also is my inspiration,hero.CONGRATZ chang;-)This one is……Definitely.amazing!

  7. @Berlay: A friend of mine said that while we still have our moms in the flesh, we have to hug them everyday… It moved me! Thanks Berlay for sharing your thoughts! I love you friend! I#ll see you soon!!!!

    @NIZY: When I was writing this, I was crying…. However, I didn’t really expect that my readers would also feel the emotions i felt! I so agree with everything you said! THanks Nizy!!!! You are as amazing! mwah

    • yes chang !its because you wrote this article with so full of love..that’s why the readers as well felt the same way.cant wait to read more from you!this is really great!Promise!

  8. I agree . I myself can’t stop thinking until now even I’m 43, to go and seek for a greener pasture abroad coz, I can see a brighter future and “quick” way to save for the future.. what I mean is… high paying jobs, and a lot more opportunites as I hear from OFW. But on the other hand, I still am optimistic that at the end of the day, my family and I still hope that one day our country will be a place of haven for job seekers for Filipinos like us…… And for the Filipinos who work abroad…. my salute to them… they sacrifice a lot for their love ones and though they suffer a lot in physically, mentally and socially still they always have the SMILE and the STRONG SPIRIT to go on and live for everyone they love…..

  9. naiyak ako ah…we can therefore conclude that all moms desire what’s best for their children even if it means leaving them behind to give them a better future. We, as their children must be grateful for all the things they are doing for us. And one thing that could make all moms happy is to see their children walk in the ways of the Lord. Kudos to all moms! Chang, your Mom did a great job in shaping you to be a good daughter of God.

  10. @Ate Fe: “…country will be a place of haven for job seekers, for Filipinos like us…” I have the same hope for our country that one day even if we’ll work like horses but not compensated like beggars! 🙂 Thanks for highly regarding the OFWs.

    @MICH: I may not be able to comprehend or measure the love of a mother, but i know it is pure and Christlike! Thanks Mich! Your last statement made me cry!

  11. i can relate with this situation as i know a lot of people here personally in kuwait,20,30 years or more as an ofw i really admire their hardworking attitude,the way they talk about their family and how hopeful they are to see their families in good situation even if it means to work forever,i salute them,i can understand as a father i would do the same..great article just reminded me”that hey your in the next line”,the question now is are you ready?(for 20,30 years)..hehe hope it wont be that long..but guess what i did 6 years to all ofw’s in the world Kudos to you..especially to your mom chang..:-)

    • Bro Mckest: WHAT A QUESTION!!!! 20 or 30 years???????????????????? whew!!!! that sounds forever to me… I don’t know! 😀 When i become a parent, I might have the guts to work that long here… hehehehe

      KUDOS to you too!!!! You’re an OFW; therefore, you are a modern hero! 🙂 thanks for reading this post bro!!!!

  12. I can’t hold back my tears as i go on reading my dear cousin.I do remember the time she left our place for this usual yet fulfilling dreams of her as a Mother.As an OFW,i myself can relate,that being away physically will initiate tremendous changes to us who left and to the family we left behind.But,the good thing is the dreams we dreamed is constant and thats “to give them the best life”.

    • My cousin An: I know you’re doing the same sacrifices just to fulfill that dream for your own family! As an OFW, we all aspire to lift our status in life a little higher. We all want that positive change… We hope that someday, when we’re ready to go back home, we will see the change in our family’s social standing and enjoy the fruits of our sacrifices! 😀

  13. Bilang anak ng isang OFW,napakasakit isiping kailangan naming mgkalayo ng mama ko pra matustusan ang aking study.ngayong nabasa ko po itong blog niyo,naenlighten po ako sa pwede pong maging outcome ng aming pagkakalayo.salamat po at sisikapin ko pong maibalik sa mama ko ang karangalan ng kanyang mga sakripisyo thru my grades.isang tunay na bayani ang mama nyo po at ang mama ko at lahat ng OFW sa buong mundo.Welcome na welcome po kau sa inyong pag uwi!

    • @Roanne: Alam mo? Nung nag-aaral palang ako, aaminin ko na hindi ko masyadong napahalagahan ang sakripisyo ng mama ko dahil parang ang dali lang mamuhay na hindi ikaw ang nagsisikap. Gastos dito gastos doon! Pero nung naging OFW na ako, doon ko mas lalong naappreciate ang ginawang sacrifices ng mama ko… Mahirap pala ang magpakaalila sa hindi mo bayan at malayo sa pamilya para lang maisakatuparan ang mga simpleng pangarap sa buhay!

      Sana tulad mo, maaga din akong na-enlighten para mas napabuti ko ang pag-aaral ko and mas naging masinop ako… 🙂 I’m sure magiging proud mama mo sa’yo if mag-aaral ka ng mabuti… kase prang prize yon sa kanila… 🙂 Thank you sa pagbasa ng post na ito!

  14. Your blog reflects how hardworking and loving filipinos are…Very well said and I’m proud of you mahal. I love you mwah!

  15. I have read several articles and I must say that this is one of those which melts my heart that much, i love the way you narrate on how you both struggle the differences you’ve got from the very start you’ve decided to work abroad and be part of the OFW family considering that both of you were separated for a couple of years,(gosh!) the revelations where I find myself there, hahahaha, the exchanging of hurtful words (ouch!)in particular! wow chang, nice one! you hit me by words I couldn’t imagine I will be into. I may not have the idea on how hard it is to be in a certain foreign land, working for their benefits in exchange for a sum of penny but believe me I really feel the thought of the story, what it implies, the impact of it to everyone’s heart … we, Filipinos are too emotional, that’s for a fact but we’re great survivor! A daughter-like hug to your mother for the greatest accomplishment she did, and a friend-hug to you for bein’ a wonderful daughter despite of all the odds in life. Keep it up, i’m pretty sure, your mother will deeply appreciate this one!

    Keep on writing, more power, and God bless you.

  16. great article! very inspiring..while reading this, i cried as i thought of my mother a lot..this article touches everyone’s heart, very true and honest!

  17. Hello Chang, I`m getting so emottional now (stirred me emotionally), can feel the moist of tears in the corners of my eyes…and my heart aches yet rejoice with your article. I am an OFW myself; so, while reading it, there were some lines that awakened my senses (like it never occured to me that OFW are heroes in their own country. When I go back to the Philippines, I hope I would be able to bless other people`s lives (in some way or another).

    Overall, I am deeply touched with your article. Mothers are great and heroes in our lives, be they OFWs or not. They are instruments to keep life going…My mother had been an instrument in bringing me in this life…and see how God`s creations are amazingly wonderful. Indeed, with you I shout *Alleluiah* to our mothers. They are our heroes!!! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing…

    • I could still clearly remember when we were still in Hawaii (HALE 1), you told me a bit of your parents especially your mom. Showed me her picture and all. We have the same love for our parents… our family as a whole!

      Thanks for dropping a comment ATE LAARNI! Thanks also for sharing your thoughts about being a daughter and being an OFW! Mahalo Nui Loa and Aloha!!!! mwah

  18. hi charisse…thank you for this write up…it is not only beautifully said but spiritually touching. The great thing i loved with filipinos are their unfearful expression of what they feel not to gain sympathy but to share lessons learned personally and at the same time influence others by touching not only their hearts but their spirits…and moved them to take the same path of understanding and renewal.

  19. You’re truly lucky ate chang to have her as your mother and
    OFW are today’s modern heroes. I’m looking forward to know her in personal, she’s beautiful.
    nice blog…

    • JOI: You haven’t seen my mom in person yet????? If you weren’t born yet, I think you were still an infant when my mom left to work abroad… 🙂 You will see her soon!

      Thanks Joi! mwah

  20. I agree with you chang,our mother is a hero. Many times I misunderstood mama yet, behind all those, I am very grateful for all the wonderful things that she has done to us.

  21. waaaaaaaaaaahhhh so guilty while reading this^^
    i love mama too…it’s just sometimes i dont listen and understand….omigosh, should i go to saudi din? huhuhu
    i know i can’t be much like mama and you…pero you know im proud of you and mama and all the OFWs! alam mo naman “i love my own my native land” hehe…love you payat…so happy and proud of you…i miss writing^^see you soon…love you tons^^

  22. Ate Darl and Christine: I know we are all guilty pagdating kay Mama. She’s always misunderstood! Anyhow, we still have time to show our love and appreciation to her. I love you both! I will see you really soon! mwah

  23. im sure many mothers in the world are happy coz u give them remarkable recognition in ur article..we’re proud of you!

  24. Congrats Chang for coming up with this nice and very touchy article! i’m so proud of you cuz and am pretty sure auntie will surely be happy and proud too if she reads this… at least, it’s not too late yet for you to realize and acknowledge the sacrifices she had gone through… pinaiyak mo talaga ako chang!

    hope to see you soon! mwaaahhhhhh

  25. Ate chang..I may not be very empathic about the struggles of OFWs but through this article, I appreciate the sacrifices of OFWs.

  26. Thanks Charise for those heartwarming and very touching message for your mother.I’m not your mother but your message… I felt was also meant for me because I’m also a mother and I’m one of those who have witness the efforts, diligence, hard work, patience and willingness of Sister Zeny to serve others. Yes indeed she is Hero. She deserve all the love that you her children can give . I wish her happiness , good health and more blessings.

  27. Its like you read my thoughts! You seem to grasp so much about this, such as you wrote the book in it or something. This is a wonderful blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

  28. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  29. Pingback: #RememberDad | chazsm

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