Thursday, June 4, 2009

Honest OFW

Just a few days ago, I read in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a Philippine newspaper, how a jobless and nearly destitute female overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in HongKong had found a cache of money and checks near a trashbin where she had been looking for things to sell. She had resorted to scavenging after filing a case against her former employer who allegedly sexually assaulted her. From what I remember reading, she couldn't look for another job because HK law doesn't allow work for foreigners like her who have pending suits against former employers (I wonder if the dude she sued is also prevented from working). Since she has to have money for her daily living, her legal expenses, her documents as an OFW in HK, AND her family back home in the Philippines, including children who have to go to school, scavenging has been her last resort to earn some HK dollars.

This lady OFW has a golden heart. She didn't allow her financial burdens and other problems to impede her naturally good nature. Even if the money and checks were worth more than a million Philippine pesos, more than enough to make her life much better. She did the only thing that mattered to her then--to trace the company whose name was on the envelope that held the money. And so the money's owner and the OFW met quickly afterwards, and the money--full, intact--was returned. The grateful owner gifted the honest OFW with a can of biscuits. The OFW was soon back to her "normal" routine of scavenging and sending a few pesos to her family in Bambang town in Nueva Vizcaya province, which is in Luzon island, Philippines.

Blessings for her
But things are turning up a little better for the hero OFW. After the Inquirer's article on her honesty and her plight, Philippine politicians in Congress and in her hometown have begun to raise funds to help her and her family. Her hometown is beaming with pride at the heroism of one of their own. Her townmates say that honesty really comes naturally to the locals.

Indeed, as it turns out, I read in a follow-up article today in the Inquirer about the honest OFW that her husband is also a honest fellow, too. The article related how the mister had returned to a passenger of his tricycle (a motorbike with a side car) money that the passenger left behind in his tricycle. The money was noticed by the husband when it scattered on the tricycle after he hit a hump.

So, now, hopefully, with the way things are going back home for the honest OFW, her troubles will be greatly eased, and she can worry a little less on how her children can go on with their schooling.

By the way, the OFW's name is Ms Mildred Perez, 38 years old.

P.S. As I checked now the Inquirer's online site to get the OFW's name, I see that more blessings are forthcoming to Mildred as I read that Philippine Senator Chiz Escudero's office had already coordinated with Mildred for her plane ticket home, a start-up capital for a small business, and scholarship for her kids. Thanks, Chiz! :)

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