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The Parable of an Overseas Worker
As most people say, overseas worker is a hero…especially in the pocket of their family, friends and relatives because of the homecoming treat or a souvenir. Most of the people I know is excited and more happier of the homecoming gift from an overseas worker, even some asked about it from them.
Some countries is like this, for them, the most important thing is about their loved one who returned home safely for months and years working overseas is expecting a monetary gift or souvenir but not in some other foreign countries that I’ve been.

 One day, I received a call from a close friend who worked abroad to meet him. He is returning home at the date he gave me, even asked me if I can fetch him at the airport. I hesitant at first because I don’t want to gall his time with his family. He explained that it’s okay, since he told his family that no need for him to pick up at the airport and just wait for him at home.

I was thinking "why hasn’t his family had time to fetch him up (not even one of them) especially his being away for long? Or do they even care? Does his family wasn’t excited about his homecoming?”. My mind’s question was answered later as we continue along.
It was 3:45pm when he arrived. He doesn’t have much baggage since he doesn’t have much homecoming gifts for his family and friends since it’s not important to them. I was thinking that good for him. As I drive along the road, we chit chat about all the childhood experience that we had and how time flies so fast.
We arrived at exactly 5:28pm as I glanced at my watch. His hometown is just 25 minutes away from the airport, but due to traffic, it took us almost two hours to reach. To my surprise it was like there’s a festival!
I asked my friend if there is any festival today or a birthday. He smiled and said no. It’s just that every time he comes back from overseas, his family always has this celebration for him.
My mind’s question earlier was answered now because my friend knows all of his family are busy preparing for his arrival at home and he don’t want them to put more effort fetching him at the airport.
I was surprised and very happy for his homecoming. He received all the warmest welcome from them. They all hugged and kissed him, showing him how they’ve missed him so much. How much they’ve loved him.
I seated beside him at the table with full of feasts. I can see that all of his relatives and friends are very happy to see him. All of them are wishing him, all telling him they’ve always prayed for him while he’s away and praying his safe and healthy return. None of them is asking for a home coming gift, a monetary sponsor nor offered him an investment, etc. Instead, all of them is telling him to take care of himself especially abroad as no one is taking care of him away.
As the night goes along, I am with his friends, cousins and siblings drinking the night away as my friend is busy roaming around and talking to his relatives with his wife on his side. As I chatted along with them at the table, one of his cousin asked me how long that I’ve know my friend and I told him since high school.
His siblings told me that they are very happy for his safe return and that’s why they’ve always had this festive for him. They said that my friend already sacrificed to be away from them, from his friends, from his family and children. Just to give them a good future and if financial emergency is needed urgently. But they never asked my friend any single cent ever since cause they know it’s not easy to work overseas and just wait if my friend will give them financial support or not, it doesn’t matter to them. My friend’s sacrificed for the family is already enough.
When my friend came back at our table, he told me to stay a night at his place since it’s already late for me to go home and drive. I nodded and said goodbye’s to his relatives and friends at his brother’s place (on where the festive gathering is). Thanked them for their food, booze and hospitality.
I stayed in the guest room his wife fortified for me. I went outside the room and saw his wife unpacking my friend’s luggage (My friend is already asleep with their daughter in their room). I told her I couldn’t sleep nor sleepy yet. She gave me a tea as we prattle along. I told her I’ll be happy to drive them tomorrow if they’ve plans to go out anywhere but she said it’s up to her husband and she doesn’t want to oblige him to do something nor going out.
If my friend wants to spend his vacation at home only and sleep most of his time, then she is in a full support for him as she also wanted him to rest as she knows how tired her husband working overseas. She then tells me that she told her own family, relatives, friends and siblings not to offer his husband any investment nor financial help. If her husband asked about any investments or support for her family that is only the time she will tell him so.
The next morning I woke up early and my friend’s wife is already preparing his favorite meal, washed and ironed his clothes. After I finished my coffee, my friend woke up and I said my goodbyes to him and thanked him for the hospitality and I am very happy that I’ve stayed and know his family very well. I told him to see him soon and to take care of himself and he did offered me an investment as he wants to have a business soon to be his family all the time. I gave him my contacts and told him we can talk about it next time and spend his time with his family first.
My friend’s family doesn’t have any money nor not even in the middle class family. His wife organized everything. Talked to my friend’s family and relative and my friends’ friends if they want to contribute whatever they can for them to have a welcome celebration for my friend’s return every time.
As I was driving along, I couldn’t help thinking how lucky my friend is to have a warm hearted family like that and how happy my friend every time he went home from overseas.
I do have lots of friends and relatives who worked abroad. Every time they’ve come back from overseas, most of their family, friends and relatives think they are the walking money and an answer to their financial needs and it’s a sad story to see that most of them thinks of money from an overseas returnee rather than the returnee. After the warm welcome it is either the question of “do you have anything for me from abroad?” Or “where are my homecoming gifts” followed by investment offerings.
My friend’s story returning from overseas is the story I wanted to hear and see and I know there are only a few of them to have such a wonderful homecoming. A homecoming of every overseas worker not to think of them as a milk and honey, instead a lost loved one who sacrificed abroad for the sake of their family. Just like the story of the “The Parable of the Lost Son” in Luke 15:11-32. Even though the father’s son sinned against him for running away, but his father still welcomes him and celebrated for his son’s come back.
I wished every overseas worker to have the same story as my friend’s one. The family’s safe return and  “Family” are far more important than anything about in this world.

Has anyone of you thought that if someone we love returned home not because of the things they have for us, nor the financial support we expected from them but returning home safely and healthy? Was it their presence coming home is far more important than anything else?

Have you ever thought about it?
This is a good read.

Madalas talaga sa atin ganun ang thinking kaya nakakalungkot madalas kapag uuwi ka sa pinas. Ang iba di ka man lang matanong kung kumusta ka or kumusta pakiramdam mo or kung ok ka lang ba. Nung di pa ako nag aabroad dati lahat ng kaibigan ko or kamag anak na dumadating galing abroad mas excited ako sa uwi nila dahil makakasama at makaka bonding ko ulit sila at hindi kung anong dala nila sa akin na pasalubong.
Marami din sa atin na paguwi sa atin nagiging one day millionaire dahil sa libre dito libre doon at pakitang gilas sa kinitang pera sa abroad, minsan buong barangay pa imbitahin pero ibang usapan yan sa mga OFW na kapag umuuwi maramdaman ang pag welcome at saya ng pag uwi mo dahil miss ka na nila at hindi dahil sa kinita mo or sagot ka sa kahirapan nila. Di naman mawala talaga sa atin ang manglibre or may pasalubong pero sana man lang ipadama natin sa mga umuuwing OFW ang importansya at presence nila bago ang mga pasalubong na dala nila. sad but true ika nga dahil hindi mababayaran ng kahit anong kita ang lungkot at sakripisyo ng mga OFW.

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