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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

History and Events : May 1 - International Workers' Day

Today is May 1 : International Workers' Day. I would like to dedicate this post to all OFWs and Filipino Migrant Workers. Ang mga bagong bayani. Mabuhay po kayo!

Overseas Filipino Workers in Qatar
Among the nations of the world, the Filipino is one of the most scattered people in this planet. They are second only to the Chinese or  the Indians. The "diaspora" of Filipinos to the different parts of the world is more of labor related reasons than intentional emigration. A big portion of this diaspora left during the Marcos regime when jobs were offered to Filipinos in the Middle East and Africa through government-to-government labor contracts. 

The OFWs or Filipino migrant workers is not a recent phenomenon. Earlier groups of Filipino migrant workers composed of farm workers, sailors, doctors and nurses left for the US decades earlier. But the earliest recorded migration of Filipino workers were those of Filipino sailors and laborers of Spanish galleons going to Mexico and the Americas during the "galleon trade"centuries earlier. Another group of early migrant workers during the period of the galleon trade were the Filipino Catholic evangelists helping Spain propagate Christianity in other parts of the world. To this day, Filipino sailors and workers are manning the hundreds of commercial and cruise ships plying the high seas of the world.

The Overseas Filipino Workers(OFWs) are called the new heroes or "bagong bayani" of the Philippines. Many OFWs endure hardships, discrimination and loneliness in foreign countries where they work, and sacrifice a lot of things in life for the future and betterment of their families. Most of these migrant workers have success and good stories to tell, but there were also some tragic stories about them.

The best compliment ever said about the Filipino migrant workers is : "If you would take away all the Filipino workers around the world, the world economy would stop." But whatever is said about the Filipino migrant workers, the Filipino nation will always be grateful to them and will acknowledge them as the real "saviour of the Philippine economy."The billions of dollars of OFW remittances was the reason why the Philippines survived all its economic problems in the past. The OFWs will always be the main pillar of the Philippine economy.

Indeed, the OFWs are the true heroes of the Philippines and the world at that. 

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