Search This Blog

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Meeting Pinoys in Daegu, SK

(Dong Daegu Station, SK)

One aspect of my job that I truly enjoy is meeting Pinoy workers in the various countries I visit. While some “expats” try hard to disassociate themselves from OFWs (ooops!), I on the other hand, always look forward to mingling with them. Such is partly work, of course. But most importantly, I seek them because I easily bond with them. With them I feel at ease; through them I get to vicariously live other challenging lives.











Theirs is one large cache of life stories and I must have heard just about a handful. Usually, every OFW lives his own heart-tugging plot, from the teary drama type to the spirit-lifting success stories. All those I want to hear and hopefully one day, those materials I’d be able to write about in a befitting medium.

(Basketball: the Pinoys' most common pastime) (Daegu Industrial Park)

In my recently-concluded visit to Korea, I was able to visit a group of OFWs in one of the factories at the Daegu Industrial Park (two hours by express train from Seoul). My contact, an inaanak from way back our Taiwan days, brought me to their spartan dormitory where kalderetang kambing and papaitan was served for lunch (the first I devoured, but I still have to acquire the taste for the latter).

Immediately thereafter, I was brought to their tambayan for the reglementary bottle-downing ceremony (he he. Inuman lang po yun). Needless to say, I had fun. And at the end of the day, I was a few stories richer.

(tropang Ilocano)

Every rendezvous with overseas Pinoys leaves me with a commitment to spreading the word: that the life of our OFWs is not as easy and as glamorous as perceived. While many envy the fact that they work abroad and earned bigger bucks than their home-based counterparts, it is easily forgotten that the life they live is far from ideal; that while they maintain a happy and prosperous countenance, truth is, a battered soul lurks beneath each one of them.

I have always expressed hope that the families they left back home would realize that every centavo they send is a product of long hours of toil and even abuse. Similarly, I hope it is realized by the government that they still need help and support (their common dream is that jobs are made available in the Philippines so that could stay home), as it seems content with simply patting their egos by calling them modern-day heroes. (rice cakes being sold in downtown Daegu)

15 comments:

jed said...

kuya reo, bigat naman sa dibdib nito...hehehe...

KRIS JASPER VAN DYKE said...

those rice cakes? i think they are nice...

well, all's nice to me anyway.. lol.

except for tinned tomatoes which i cudnt take...

The Gasoline Dude said...

Huwaw! Buti naman may San Miguel Beer dyan sa Korea. Wala n'yan dito sa Singapore, Tiger at Heineken ang naiinom at nagpapaligaya. Hehe.

Ely said...

I've heard from one Korean student before, may restaurant daw sa Seoul na may nakalagay na sign na "no Filipinos allowed". Kasi they call Pinoys "dog eaters".

Gina said...

It is really sad thing that our country doesn't have enough jobs /means of livelihood for most people/kababayans and that they're forced to look for a living overseas. Being an expat, I somehow know of the sadnesses of living abroad, altho' I'm sure it is so much different for ofws who are apart from all their loved ones. Nakakalungkot. God bless all our modern day heroes. I always pray for them that God will keep them safe and strong.

the donG said...

saya talaga ng mga pinoy pag nagkasama sama.

Abaniko said...

So, gamit-gamit mo na ang Canon 40D mo? Galing naman. :)

Rochelle said...

Om man... masarap!! My mouth is watering!! Mmmmm... And you have the BEST job!! :)

R-yo said...

jed: minsan naman, serious tayo, heheh.

kris: the rice cakes really got my attention. napakacolorful ng packaging!

R-yo said...

Gasdude: Nagulat nga ako e. Pati red horse meron. At di masyadong mahal.

Ely; hmmm. Parang wala naman akong narinig na ganun.

R-yo said...

Gina: You're right. Expat life is way better than those of the OFWs. It's the toil, more than the homesickness, that breaks them.

Dong: Yup. Lalo na pag me San Mig. (me bayad ang ad na to heheh)

R-yo said...

abaniko: actually, di ko pa alam kung paano siya gamitin. mamaya, iroroadtest ko. :-)

rochelle: best job? he he. not really. it's not as glamourous as you think.

BlogusVox said...

I can relate to this. Not because I experienced it (worried about my family, yes, but felt homesick, no) but saw it from our kabayans. At least dyan sa Korea they live like they are in pinas (minus the family). Eh dito? Mas lalo kang mangungulila because of all the restrictions.

dazedblu* said...

Oh tht's wht yew call inuman session, second to the last photo.

Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

agree ako kay blogusvox,pareho kasi kami na nasa lupang buhangin...pero ang pinoy kahit saan mo dalhin,mabubuhay..magaling daw kasi makisama.:)