Often times, people have misconceptions about the lives of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). One of them is thinking that just because they live abroad, they have a comfortable life. Yes, for some, this statement is true, but for others, even after decades of working overseas, they still can’t get to where they dreamed to be. Luckily, for a 47-year-old Filipina domestic helper, her employer was generous enough to reward her loyalty and decades of service.
Dina Tenerife Celo has been working abroad for two decades, mostly for a family in Abu Dhabi. Due to her many years of service, her employer, Melissa McPike, recently gave her a secondhand car to be able to visit her son.
In an article by Khaleej Times, Celo shared that she used to take public buses to go visit her son who lives on the other side of U.A.E. During her interview, Celo said:
She (Ms. McPike) always sees me chasing after the bus to visit my son who lives in another part of the country. It normally takes me two bus rides to pay him a visit which can prove to be tiresome. I am very thankful for this present.
She also added how just last December, a bus re-routing took place which made her two bus rides, five in total. Because of this, Melissa decided to give her a car so that she would no longer have to experience the hassle of transferring from one bus to another just to see her child.
The article also featured that in 2017, Melissa gave her money to buy a lot in Camarines Sur. She also funded the construction of her two-bedroom house. Clearly, Celo and Melissa have created a bond filled with trust after all the years they got to know each other. During Melissa’s interview, she expressed:
It was the least we could do for Celo by helping her own her dream home. We do not consider her as an employee. She is one of our family. She has done so much for me and my children when they were young. I wanted to give back something to her.
It’s true not all OFWs get rich working abroad. Some even go home feeling like they’ve wasted their time working far away from their family. However, there are stories like this that makes us hopeful that with a good attitude and spirit, our hard work would someday pay off.
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