OFW Story: Things We Miss From “Pinas”

2015 June: It’s already a month since I started my journey to a foreign land. Looking back, I never thought I’d ever feel this kind of thing you always hear from people, that feeling they call, “homesickness.” It never occurred to me that I’ve been feeling this sort of thing a few nights now. Before, I love putting myself to a restful sleep after a long and stressful day, but now, I’m already having difficulty sleeping at night. Maybe because I’m already homesick.

I’ve talked to some colleagues about this and true enough, they also feel this way. We ended up talking about what we miss being home.

FAMILY & FRIENDS

The only substantial reason why we chose to work a thousand miles away from our motherland is because of our family. Yet, they are also the ones who make us want to go back home as much as we could. However, when the waiting gets too long, all you have are your computer-printed photos of them which you tried arranging in front of your desk. There is no substitute to seeing your family and friends in flesh like you could do back home. No hours of doing/using Skype or Viber can replace the fact that you are living away from them, and you can’t do away from thinking they might have their own sphere without you in it.
 However, thinking negatively won’t help you achieve your goals while you’re in a foreign land. Remember, you are your family’s hope and as much as you miss them, they miss you, too—so much that they get misty eyes when they talk about you. Remember, keep your faith with you and call unto Him, whenever, wherever. He will come to your rescue, no fail.

 

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FOOD

No amount of authentic ramen or swiss chocolate can substitute to the taste we’ve accustomed to long before the age we started talking. Months before going to Japan, my friends and I used to visit some Japanese restaurants to try their cuisine with the goal of getting used to its taste. We were all excited when we had our first Ramen sided with Karaage and Tempura. Yes, we admit we devoured every piece of it at first but when days were passing, and all we can see is the same thing served on the table, we cannot do away from missing the native dish we got used to, growing up.
 For Filipinos like me, who doesn’t miss Adobo, Menudo, Sinigang, Tinola, Pinakbet, Pinikpikan, Dinakdakan, Lechon, Bistek, Chicharon, Dried Mango, Sampaloc, Malagkit, Sisig, Bopis, Empanada, Miki, Champorado at Tuyo, Papaitan, anyone?

FEELING OF BELONGINGNESS

I had this one experience with my friend while we were in a coffee shop. We were talking about how good the coffee was, meanwhile, a group of adults dashed passed us, just as we started speaking in Tagalog. I know, some locals do not want to be asked or to be disturbed, however, we felt like we were so gruesome that time that they really need to run as fast as they could from where we were standing. 
People living in a foreign country right now, will agree to me that there is this some kind of “awkwardness” every time you go to pubic places or even in a small get-together. When you are the “foreigner” in that place, there is this kind of feeling you encounter every time you mingle with the locals. It is not because they are not approachable or kind to you but they are not just “the same” people you know. Being in a foreign land entails that you need to act and think the same way they do. Don’t get me wrong when I say “the locals,” what I mean is the people originally living/residing in that place.
 Sometimes, you miss being carefree. Free from thinking you might get caught by the police without your Residence Card or passport with you. Free from thinking you might get summoned by someone because you might have spoken too loud or you might have used your camera in places you are not supposed to. It is just so different when you are in your own country where you can always ask people anything you want, or you can just be yourself without a bit of hesitation.

Read More: 5 Problems OFWs Hide Their Families

TRANSPORTATION

I know, majority of us opted to work abroad to seek for greener pasture. This means, we moved to a place where technical advancement is not a buzz, but just par for the course. However, when you get accustomed to high-technology transpo, you always miss this somehow-stressful, back-to-basic kind of ride back in your own country.
 For Filipinos like me, still, nothing beats the morning rush in the Metro, or the TryBike or Tricycles in the provinces, and of course, the famous Jeepney—who wouldn’t miss the moment when you pass your fare one passenger to another until it reaches the collector or the driver? True enough, the Philippines is still in her developing phase but this “Bayanihan” (cooperative endeavor, Google) all over the country is but unveiling.

 

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THE PLACE ITSELF

Sometimes, during an ordinary day, when you’re at work, you plan your way home with the thoughts of common streets leading to your house, and all of a sudden, you get back to your consciousness remembering that you are a thousand miles away from home! This makes you think more about things and places you miss about your own country.

Read More: 10+ Things OFWs Won’t Tell Their Loved Ones

YOUR HOBBIES

When you’re in a different country, although you can still pursue your hobbies, there is still some hindrances you will encounter like time, budget, etc. Like for me, what makes me happy is making pastries, while for my other colleagues, they love cooking native dishes. Although we have available ingredients here, it is still not the same taste like what we make back home, when we make it for our families to partake and when a simple cuisine means a special banquet to them.

FINAL THOUGHTS: There might be things we miss about home but looking back to our failures and successes, we should always be grateful about what we have right now–being in a “greener” pasture. We might miss home from time to time, but we should remember to be grateful at once because we have the opportunity to change our family’s future to a better and more convenient one. Kudos to all OFWs all over the globe!


Above photo from Nicole Lawvia pexels.com

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