BAGUIO CITY – It was a day of fun, entertainment, raffles and kid games for families of Overseas Filipino Workers and OFW returnees last Saturday (Dec. 12) in the e Overseas Workers Welfare Administration(OWWA)-led OFW Family Day 2015.
Around 1,500 OFWs and balik-mangagawa from various Overseas Family Circles (OFCs) in Baguio and the province of Benguet, along with their children enjoyed the fun-filled OWWA Christmas treat at the covered court of Barangay Padre Burgos here.
Well known Baguio Tenor Glenn Gaerlan and the Baguio City National High School Theater Arts group provided entertainment, while OWWA partners like Philhealth, Pagibig Fund, Banco De Oro, Smart Telecoms and other private donors also shared food and raffle prizes.
OWWA distributed starter kits for Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program – livelihood assistance to OFW returnees who opt to start or expand a business, as well as notices of award for the various scholarship programs of OWWA such as the Congressional Migrant Workers, the Education for Development, Skills for Employment and OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (CMWSP, EDSP, SESP and ODSP).
OWWA administrator Rebecca Calzado, in a message read by OWWA Cordillera OIC Regional Director Evelyn Laranang, said this year’s OFW Family Day theme of “Ang Diwa ng Pasko sa Puso ng OFW Nananatili, Nasaan pa Man (the spirit of Christmas, remains at the heart of OFWs, whenever they may be)”, connotes the feeling of eagerness of OFWs to be with their families this Christmas even if they are out of the country.
OFW Family Day, Calzado said, is OWWA’s way of sharing the spirit of Christmas to the OFW families, whether their loved ones are currently here or are abroad. She also called for a unified effort in providing continuing support and guidance to OFWs and their families, for them to gain strength and remain strong given the social cost of migration.
“Turuan natin ang kanilang pamilya na rnaging masinop sa pinaghirapan ng kanilang mahal sa buhay, at pa-alalahan na hindi panghabangbuhay ang pagtatrabaho sa ibang bayan, at higit sa lahat mahalin at gawin nilang inspirasyon ang kanilang pamilya upang matimo sa kanilang kamalayan na ang tunay na kahulugan sa desisyon nilang malayo sa isa’t isa, ay ang hangaring magtagumpay sa buhay”.(Let us teach them to value the things that their love ones work hard for and remind them that working abroad is not a lifetime work and more importantly to continue loving and having their family as inspiration, so that the true meaning of why they are away from each other, which is achieve a better life, will remain in their will and hearts).
Each family participant went home with pack of groceries as Christmas gift. (JDP/CCD – PIA CAR)