Happiness where are you?
by Rosita Madrid Sanchez
At the age of 16 I am already a mother
People said I was too young to handle
I didn’t experience teenage life
To be free as a bird and to be as me.
Poverty has led me in this situation, one of the reasons I can blame on
I thought at an early age, getting married to the older man would show me direction
But I was wrong, its all my fault, I’ve been used and abused.
I have decided to work as a domestic helper
To the place far away from my nightmare
Leaving behind my kids in the care of my mother
It felt like I was dying a million times when I stepped in an airplane
Tears flowing, running nose dripping
Heaven showered me with thunderstorms and lightning.
Days, months, even a year moved
Time flew so fast like running
Now my contract is ending
What should I do? I kept thinking.
In the foreign land, I felt love, I felt that I am important and great
I had the freedom that I kept looking for
To gain myself and to be the real me.
Even if I have all of this, why do I still feel incomplete?
Some parts of my body are missing
All I want is to be happy
Why happiness is so hard to get?
Now I need to wake up to reality.
To face my family, to see my own kids
The life that I keep hiding on
Am I scared? I’m scared of my shadow that doesn’t want to leave
All I need is to be happy to find the real me.
What lies beneath is unknown.
Nobody can see you, you are on your own.
Worries and fear will surface without realizing it,
No matter how you pretend that you are not beat
Life is hard for some of us here.
Difficulties to others, abuse that is severe.
Forbidden to communicate with the people we love
I feel like a prisoner, photos are all I have.
I start before sunrise, end before midnight
Long hours of work, it does not seems right.
There are times that I wake up in my sleep in pain
Leg cramps that are unbearable are acting up again.
The food they give is not enough for me.
Leftover in a week, they give for free
But if there is nothing, I need to sit and wait
For them to finish dinner, I can have something on my plate.
I tried to reach out to others to let them know,
But their blank stares tell me, just go with the flow.
They listen with their eyes, not with their ears
Words they tell me, they bring me to tears
Life is hard for some of us here
Difficulties to others, some live in fear
We need a heart that listens and empathises
To feel our woes and hear our cries.
By Bhing Navato
My Life in a Foreign Land
By Rea Maac
It’s midnight and yet I’m still awake
It will be my last night in my own bed
We will not be together for 2 years
As I have a journey to seek.
I know in the days ahead
Everything will really change
Just hoping I can overcome
And always stay calm.
While my mind can’t rest, my eyes have given up
Until my alarm clock sounds so loud
Time to wake up and get ready
For my first flight to a foreign country.
I head to the airport with my family
I smile at them as if I’m fine
Just wave my hand as a sign of goodbye
Coz I don’t like to show them that I cry.
Inside the airplane I let it go
I cry as if there is no tomorrow
My family I will truly miss
Coz they are my life and my happiness.
After a few hours, the airplane lands
My heart is trembling like an earthquake
Honestly I am totally scared
“Oh God help me,” I pray.
My new life is about to begin
Not sure what will happen
A life so different from what it used to be
I have to accept it will never be easy.
Yes it’s tough from the very start
A big adjustment on my part
To be able to adopt their ways of living
Totally different in everything.
Every night, pain moves into my eyes
I don’t even know how I can survive
It’s so hard to set aside
The loneliness I feel inside.
I know I shouldn’t be in depression
Because it may destroy my ambition
Thinking of my family as inspiration
To be strong is a good decision.
As the days pass, I’m slowly getting used to it
Though sometimes sadness still comes
I just keep reminding myself to be strong
Soon I’ll go back to the place where I belong.
Being in a foreign land is a big risk
You will encounter a lot of hindrances
But don’t give up, keep moving instead
You must be a fighter if you want to succeed.
Never involve yourself in any trouble
Remember to be kind and humble
Respect all the people around you
So in return, they will respect you too.
And now it’s been 7 years
I’m fully adjusted and there’s no more fear
There are times sadness is still a trigger
But that is normal, it won’t last longer.
Let me give you some advice
Just always pray and do your best
God is watching, he will do the rest.
MY HERO (Migrants)
She has a beautiful smile
And she takes care of an old man who is senile
No one knows how hard she works
At night she wakes and talks
She cries, when she is tired and lonely
Her hand phone is her company
She prays when she is weary
Hoping to have energy
To continue her journey.
When she does things and her bosses are not happy
They will start insulting & shouting till noon day
And off day during Sunday.
Life is not fair as they always say
Working hard but no money
Because my salary is not enough for my family,
To rest, eat, play and pray.
But some are working during Sunday
Cleaning, cooking and taking care of the whole family
I feel so sad to learned about their plight
Working whole day until night.
When the day is done
Her tiredness will be gone.
Oh what a life I should say
Working very hard for my family
I sometimes no time to eat
Because I rush my work and have time to meet,
Migrants or Domestic Worker shall I say
All is work everyday and even then they bully.
By: Miss Saturnina De Los Santos Rotelo (Cute)
By Bhing Navato
This is our life as a migrant. You can stay or leave. There are no promises, but many surprises. Uncertainty, not being sure of the future. We just have to be ready for everything. Be mindful of every circumstance. This is us. The migrants.
Happiness that we want, will happen, but briefly. There is a limitation in everything. I keep trying to evaluate every situation, but it’s not us. Because our fate is in your hands. That is the reality. That’s how we are. The migrants.
When you look around, it’s all beautiful tall buildings. Houses are clean..sidewalks are litter free.Your children are well fed, sent to school, safely brought back home. Dinner is served. You have nothing to worry, because we don’t want you to worry. We build relationships, we want a happy working environment. Not because we are migrants, but because we are human beings too.
I know, you can feel the love and respect we show you.We are happy if we see how you appreciate us. That stingy smile you will show means a lot to us; at least you smiled. Lines are drawn between us, we cannot mingle too much. It is okay, because we are migrants.
But uncertainty is constant to us. We have to accept that. We need to get used to it.Emotional feelings will not matter. It will change. We came here alone, we managed to survive, but still at the end, we are alone. That is our life. As a migrant.
By Ma. Jasmin Tingala
The Second Home
The day I left
The place where I lived
All love of mine
In search of earning a good living
For a family that was waiting
However tough I may seem
As long as it is for them
Homesickness was the first thing to encounter
Once we separated from each other
Though it’s so painful to be away
We remain connected every day
The second home
Where I am now
Is not what I want
But it is in demand
Life’s hard undeniably
Being far from where we used to be
The only thing that makes us stay
Is a kind of living we can earn fairly
The second place we work today
Is different from our own country
We went from simple to difficult
And let them know we’re able to flaunt
Not all were lucky
To have a good employer’s family
But we do our best
To show our kindest
And promise to do what we signed
Till we finish our contract that they designed
So I’m telling you all
Being an OFW sounds cool
But it’s like trying to break out of a maze wall
Finding a way to be out and free
All we do is work and pray!