10 Children of OFWs Feted for Making Parents’ Sacrifices Worth it

Invest in your dreams and make them come true.

This was the advice given, by guest speaker Dr. Maynoll Montalbo, to the 10 high-achieving children of overseas Filipino workers feted Monday by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).

“I added action, because your dreams are useless. They’re only good when you’re sleeping,” said Montalbo, who heads Mont Albo Wellness Corp. and himself the son of an OFW.

List of awardees

Ibang Klaseng Community Leader
– Paul John C. Legaspi
Fourth year BSBA major in Business Management
Ateneo de Naga University Ibang

Klaseng Artist
– Vianca J. Dela Cruz
Second Year Bachelor Of Fine Arts – Painting
University of the Philippines

Ibang Klaseng Talino
– Sushmita Mae Rose R. Contreras
Third year BS Medical Technology University of Sto. Tomas

– Michael John M. Dacuray
Third year BS Maritime Transportation Lyceum of the Philippines University – Batangas Lyceum International Maritime Academy

– Bryan Neil C. Corrales
Third Year Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science
Adventist University of the Philippines

– Jasmine Joey Marie M. San Miguel Fourth Year BS Tourism Management
Far Eastern University

– Alexa Louise D. Mendoza
Fourth Year BS Accountancy
Global City Innovative College

– Francheezca Mae D. Nono
Fifth Year BS Civil Engineering
Malayan Colleges Laguna

– Guillian M. Mecate
Third Year AB Foreign Service Diplomacy Lyceum of the Philippines University

– Joyce Lyn L. Garcia
Fourth Year BS Chemistry
University of the Philippines Diliman

The recipients of the Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children for 2014 awards couldn’t help but agree.

“Children of OFW’s can help their parents by setting their dreams into motion,” said Michael John M. Dacuray, a maritime transportation student at the Lyceum of the Philippines University – Batangas Lyceum International Maritime Academy.

Paul John C. Legaspi, a business management student at Ateneo de Naga University, said children of OFWs should view their situation as a source of strength instead of limitations.

“Hindi naman kasalanan ng magulang na maging OFW sila. Hindi rin kasalanan ng magulang na ‘di sila magabayan. Nasa bata pa rin ‘yan, nasa estudyante ‘yan, kung pano niya ite-take-in yung situation niya sa buhay,” he said.

Avoid “luho”

Another awardee, Sushmita Mae Rose R. Contreras, a med-tech student at the University of Sto. Tomas, said children of OFWs, aside from studying hard, must also make sure “all their expenses are worth it.”

“It is not that easy, it is not that simple… [make] sure that the money is really worth it. You don’t just think for the short term, think for the long term,” she said.

Montalbo said concentrating on his studies and avoiding extravagant purchases helped him develop a mindset that proved useful when his family was recovering from a bad investment.

“I got it from copying my parents. Both of them kasi, ‘di sila maluho talaga. In the first two years, nakabili sila ng lupa, nakapagpatayo ng lupa. Until recently, ‘di kami nag-travel for leisure,” he said.

Only temporary

Despite admitting that growing up with absent parents is difficult, Montalbo said OFW children must keep in mind that their parent’s stay abroad was only temporary.

“Pwedeng mawala lahat. When that happens, dapat prepared sila. ‘Yun yung dapat ilalagay nila sa isip nila,” he said.

And while OFW children may want to make their parent’s sacrifices work, snooping relatives may put a damper on their plans.

However, instead of yielding, Montalbo said they must do their best to make their relatives understand their needs, however difficult it may be.

“Better na masabihan nila yung relatives na kung pwede, maghanap muna ng work. I think yun yung pinakadirect-to-the-point na solution,” he said.

Montalbo recognized that not everyone in the clan may have the capability to seek out work. He said too may be immersed in the Filipino mindset of “pakikisama.”

Dedicated to parents

More than a reward for their scholarly and holistic efforts, the awardees said being recognized as an outstanding OFW child was more than an achievement for their hardworking parents.

“Through your hard work, parang pati yung parents mo, ito yung avenue na both kayo nare-recognize as outstanding,” Legaspi said.

“This award is a testimony that all the suffering, the hard work, the pain that an OFW parent feels, that they are worth it ‘cause he or she sees their child achieving,” Dacuray said.

Contreras said the award was not something she did for herself, but an offering for her OFW father.

Don’t feel, just do

Though it took him months of selling soap in the streets, having a clear goal in mind helped Montalbo remember that it was all for his parents.

Having this mindset and enduring the pain that comes with pursuing one’s passion would go a long way to honoring the efforts of one’s parents, he said.

Sources of inspiration

He hopes that the 10 awardees will inspire other OFW kids to do better with their lot in life.

“Gusto ko sana for the awardees for us to be the models sa ibang OFW children. Let us be your platform or the frame where they can look up to. Let’s start this mold that they can copy or they can even surpass,” said Montalbo.

All of the awardees will receive P50,000 in BPI Savings Account and a plaque. They were selected from hundreds of applicants who were all enrolled in a 4-year course with a general weighted average of at least 85% of 2013-2014 school year.

(Source: KBK, GMA News)

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