TAKE NOTE (IN TAGALOG LANGUAGE) An OFW Story


A day without laughter is a day wasted

 

This quote stuck in my head as I was walking along Padre Faura, Yes I’m in my usual careless walks with my head stuck in a thought, with the music of Creed banging in my ears. This is a usual image of me whenever I go out. Anyhow the words of Chaplin stuck in my head as my memory rewind everything that has happened this morning.

I just had my pre-departure orientation seminar and my head was still reeling on the fact that for the last 2 hours during the seminar, I was laughing so hard due to the painfully, honest jokes about how life will be when living abroad.

This is not the first time I’ve undergone that seminar, it’ll be my third actually but the group I was with had so much heart, mixed with matter-of-fact observation that might distraught the first timers.

They are the ex-abroads, most have been working for more than 10 years, each has their own unedited stories that was made into a joke. You know the proverbial smiling beyond the pain or perhaps its the silver lining in every cloud thing.  Anyway when asked what is your main concern someone answered, “baka sumakabilam-bahay si misis” ( my wife might take our neighbor as a lover) then laughs afterwards.

When asked ano ang naipundar mo? (what have you accomplished?) the answer we got “2 families ma’am”

And when asked what can you advice to the first timers on how to battle homesickness, the answer was “get a new textmate”

Hahaha I was having so much fun it’s almost criminal (throwback to Sims)

It was a crazy question and answer portion that sent us all laughing. Actually its the most fun I had for months, but in the midst of it all, you can actually see the truth within the joke. It’s so palpable that you can sense the tension when they were talking about their lovelife (chismis muna) and the horror it sends to the first timers.

There is one expat who said to us, “Yes its all funny now.. but later on you will know how it feels, and you will tell yourselves that I am not joking and all of these are facts. It’s what most of us go through, 80% of long distance relationship will have a third-party, it might not be serious, but it will happen. WHY? because, 1. you are lonely, and your partner is also lonely, 2. you are tired and maybe she just got tired ;), and  is there such a thing as having a family here and a family there? YES! because no man is an island.”  

Then a rousing laughter after the pin-drop silence.

I think most were struck with the painful truth between the jokes. I for one knows it’s all true, heck it’s in your face real, I know people who did it, who is still into it, and I think will be stuck in it unless they would permanently leave the host country; And No I’m not one of them, but for something so hurtful and complicated you cant seem to fathom how come it became a norm.

Hmm because no man is an island? 😀

The discussion shifted to goals and opportunities, I can see that most have regrets. It was nice to hear them tell how it was before, when there was no cellphone and no internet, when they would send letters and record a voice tape to be sent to their loved ones. The How to’s on saving, and prioritizing, but the best lesson I heard on that day was when we were chatting in our group.

“Wag nyo ko gayahin, sinayang ko ang kabataan ko, nagpakasaya lang ako at di ko iniisip ang para sa bukas. Pinagdaanan ko na yan lahat, alam ko kung pano yan. Sinasabi ko sa inyo ang pinaka masakit ay yung babalikan mo ang nakaraan at makikita mo na hindi ka naman talaga naging masaya, na wala kang naipundar, na di mo mahal ang kayakap mo, na marami kang pinakawalan. matanda na ako, wag nyo ko gagayahin”

Another pindrop silence.. ARAY! (ouch) ang nega ni kuya 😦

I was  looking at him intently and feeling everything he said when my classmate grinned and told me “I want to  settle down na.” Shocked, I smiled eerily while my mind shoots into a facepalm and asked quietly ” bat sinasabi mo sakin yan!?”  Then the one next to us said, ” ikaw single, sya single uyy may nagkakilala sa PDOS”

nakow! **scratches head* I thought his gonna sing K-I-S-S-I-N-G with all that teasing.

hmm  “wag kang ganyan baka di kita pakawalan” my goofy self wants to answer back but heck we just met. 🙂 pakipot mode* hahah

Going back, we all just applauded him, he had that all-knowing smile, like a father giving sermon to his kids. Honestly  it was the best advice I had in years, nothing beats seeing the pain and misfortune of another to make you stray away from the down trodden path.

Hmm I think I’m ready, bring it on LIFE!

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