Monday, 8 February 2010

PHILIPPINES: The price of working abroad

MANILA, Philippines--I believe there is another kind of calamity that has been causing more havoc upon the lives of millions of Filipinos both here and abroad than the natural calamities that visit the Philippines regularly. It has been going on for four decades starting in the early '70s when our countrymen started to leave their land, their homes, and loved ones for greener pastures overseas.

It has made millions of children virtually orphans as they are left by one or both of their parents for jobs abroad; and spouses virtually widows or widowers. This different kind of calamity has a name: The Filipino diaspora. It has put to naught the biblical fiat that no one should put asunder the marriage of man and woman inasmuch as overseas employment has been relentlessly causing the erosion and break-up of thousands of marriages and families.

Absence, it is said, makes one's heart grow fonder. But more often, insofar as innumerable OFWs are concerned, absence makes their heart grow fonder for fellow OFWs. The same is true of hundreds of spouses left in the home front who, out of sheer loneliness for their absent spouses, become vulnerable to temptations.

Hence marriages, treated by our Civil Code as an “inviolable institution” and by the Catholic Church and other religions as a “sacrament,” have been crumbling continually for decades now and there's no sign of its letting up. Read more

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