Sunday, April 7, 2013

CH160: Open Letter

I'm sure most Filipinos and their family will be familiar with OFWs. Maybe nobody in the Philippines can go over a second degree of separation from OFWs. This entry is in part written to address and highlight a situation that any OFW families have to live and struggle with - to openly address and bring the "skeletons out of the closet." That a disconnect and void develop within OFW families.

I think in an OFW family, each distant family member experiences a void. Some fill that void in with finding a partner and husband/wife. Some fill that void with preoccupying themselves with a sport or two. Some fill that void by getting comfort from other OFWs and having groups and get together-s. Some fill that void with travel. Some fill that void material things. I filled mine with a sense of independence - that I can do anything I want, go anywhere I want, live how I want because it is in my power (and spending means too) to do so.

Filipinos are mostly non-confrontational I think. We'd rather keep issues to ourselves rather than cause a burden or problem to others. Or at least, that's the kind of thought and influence my upbringing had on me.

Apologies for obscuring the obvious, but I intended to just put a veil of privacy on the identity of people concerned and addressed. But it's should be easy enough to figure out.


Dear ________,

You can be overbearing sometimes with attention. and you should tone it down. [...] although im sure he appreciates like we all did how you spent for us [...] - it's a bit off putting when you keep saying, oh theres a cheaper one here or there or whatnot. like when we got you a Michael Kors bag as a gift, you go and say, oh im sure we can get this cheaper in an outlet store but thank i guess in a way, you are becoming or had become what [...] being an OFW for so long is - in the sense that you are disconnected and not sensitive to the right things but more sensitive emotionally elsewhere... except you've got longer to live.
[...] is perhaps nit picking on those details because he's in a bad mood right now - depress that might have been a thorn he had been keeping all along. [...] may not have expressed his thoughts because after bearing a weight on his shoulder for so long - he didnt want to rain on your parade and as he said suffer in silence. and only through his blog can he express those feelings. blood is thicker than water so it should pass.
im sure he appreciates you calling [...], but theres a point when it becomes too much? like you say you're concerned about him and like he said, he's old and independent enough. too much concern on somebody may make that somebody feel like you think they're helpless and in need - and nobody at all especially people who have pride would want to be made to feel that way. and i think everyone in the family knows that [...] is a proud person.
and i think you missed the point of [...] (the) entry. it wasnt an attack on you per as he never mentioned or singled you out per se so dont make it seem like it's about you with how much you used "I" in your message . he didnt say anything about him wanting you to spend for him. so this really shouldnt be purely about you but more of [...] his thoughts. if anything, it should be an awakening that perhaps you should assess how youve been and see that perhaps although you mean well - it might pass off as trying too hard and it can be irritating.
on that note, [...] im sure like everyone else wants to experience luxury and comfort. he's only airing out that the opportunity for him to do so when he was in the US was not fulfilled because you wanted to go cheap. despite you suggesting he can get better value for his money elsewhere - the suggestion in itself has a psychological burden. if he doesnt listen to you - then it will/might offend you. so he listened to you - but the suggestion/subtle promise of better value elsewhere was not fulfilled. so in that case - assess then for yourself why you suggested it in the first place without being able to guarantee the suggestion. maybe nobody has told you this before because the thought in itself is offensive...that perhaps, you don't appreciate what luxury is about've gone for quantity over quality.
we go back again to luxury. like anybody who has been working for so long, [...] would like to live the life of luxury - if not comfort. the luxury/comfort to travel, the luxury/comfort to live in one's own home. the luxury/comfort to eat and drink whatever. the luxury and comfort to be secure. [...] can afford those and go even further with our contributions. so, instead of talking this out, id suggest putting the talk into action and allow [...] to have that experience. that way, the genie as [...] personified himself, can come out again and see that his wishes come true. surprise [...] with action rather than doting him with words. provide [...] an experience rather than words and promises. instead of crying and feeling offended about it, just think of the blog entry as an old man's rant. im sure [...] had no intent on attacking just so happened that like i said you're probably disconnected and felt it appropriate to accept that the fault was all with you. and let's face it, the isolation and being an OFW for so long did not do much good on [...] emotional structure and how he interacts....the best analogy i can think of is US war veterans. they cant go back to normal life as easily...the strain of the war - in [...] case - being gone for so long, has put unnecessary stress on him.
lastly, we have to consider the fact WHY [...] had to put those entries in a blog as an anonymous user/under a pseudonym. the only reason i can think of is the disconnect within the family and how he'd feel it better to write it in a blog than say it to any of us.

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