We’re always inspired by hearing and reading news about OFWs finding greener pastures and turned their lives from rags to riches.
However, you cannot say that you’re always on top or always below. As the old saying goes, ‘ life is a wheel. You either on top yesterday and today, your down’. This is what people, rich people, in particular, are being afraid of.
Read the story of an OFW mother named Joh Bagundol Sese, from Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur that shows how her life turned from riches to rags.
According to Hottest Online Trends, she was living a comfortable life after she married into a family with a good export business in Hagonoy, Bulacan. She has her own sari-sari store, a poultry farm, and even had household helpers.
But after few years, their business faced a financial problem that causes terrible loss which ended up in declaring bankruptcy. Living their life with so many debts, that she was being threatened with cases and imprisonment. It also came to the point that even her cousin posted her on social media, shaming her about her debts to them. Despite the shame, she chose to be silent.
“Dalawa lang pagpipilian ko, mag-abroad para makabayad o makulong,” said Joh in a letter to KAMI
”Pinsan ko nga pinapahiya ako. Pinopost ako sa FB, kesyo daw hindi ko siya nabayaran. Pero hindi naman talaga siya kasosyo ko noon, yung live-in niya nag-supply sakin ng bigas,” explained Joh.
“Kahit anong panlalait nila sa’kin nanahimik ako alang-alang sa pamilya ko,” said Joh.
The shame that she got gives her the courage to work hard and use it as a stepping stone.
The source said that Joh applied as a domestic worker abroad as she wanted to go to Singapore. Unfortunately, she couldn’t get a job after three months of trying.
One of her neighbors suggested if she could try applying through her agency for Saudi Arabia but doubt at first because of the stories she heard about OFWs being maltreated in the Middle East. Having no choice, Joh turned over her passport to the agency as collateral. In just two weeks, the agency finally found her an employer in Saudi.
It was Joh’s first time to go in a foreign country and have no idea about the language. But her dreams gave her hope and strength so that she’ll earn enough money to get her family out of debt and bring back the life they used to have.
”Baon ko pangarap na maiahon sa hirap buhay namin. Ayaw ko matigil sa pag-aaral anak ko. Hindi man ako nagtapos, anak ko man lang makatapos,” said Joh.
The source also added that Joh’s eldest daughter is in college while her youngest is in high school. She became more inspired as she doesn’t want her kids to quit schooling.
Just like other OFW, she doesn’t want to stay longer and fortunately, in two years, she was able to pay most of her debts.
Thanks to her husband who was very supportive and handling her salary well. Now, they put up a sari-sari store again but there are still more debts to pay off.
“Inuna ko muna store para yung kikitain diyan, pambaon ng 2 anak ko, pambayad sa bills tsaka food nila.”
“Pero marami din naman ang nabayaran,” said Joh.
In October 2017, Joh was able to have a quick vacation but still afraid to get out the house because she still owes a lot of people money.
“Nahihiya ako magpakita sa lugar namin. Nasa loob ng bahay lang ako,” said Joh.
After a month, she went back to Saudi to continue earning money to pay off her debts.
“Kung hindi ako namasukan katulong dito sa Saudi, makapag-aral kaya anak ko? Hindi ko maibigay buhay na meron sila ngayon,” said Joh.
Joh gave advice to her fellow OFWs saying:
“Hindi tayo habang buhay dito sa abroad, kaya now pa lang, isipin niyo na kung saan ilalagay pinaghirapan niyo.”
”Mahirap uuwi ka wala pang one-month nagmamadali ka na bumalik, ubos na pera mo,” said Joh.
We hope that Joh’s story will become an inspiration to all OFWs and their families also.
What can you say about the story? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below