WE'VE all heard of stories about Pinoys abroad going about their own lives and not at all concerned about their fellow kababayans. In some cases, they pull them down like a crab would to keep them from reaching the top.
This is the kind of stigma that many of our OFWs have to live with in a foreign soil - that we are insouciant and envious - despite our reputation of being skilled and industrious, and always willing to leave behind loved ones to pursue a dream thousands of miles away from home.
But this Dabawenya OFW by the name of Leah discovered something that is truly inconsistent with a perceived norm: that not all Pinoys are selfish and bitter.
In fact, she would find out a year later since she set foot in Abu Dhabi that some of the best people that she has ever known are - whad'ya know - Filipinos!
For instance a bunch of Pinoys would take good care of her when things were going sideways during her first few months in the UAE. This includes being given bus fare, free food, toiletries and all the other stuff and TLC in between.
Generosity & kindness
"Grabe ilang tabang sa ako. Gi-alagaan ko nila'g maayo, sa sugod ug hantod karon. Karon pa ko ka-encounter ug ingon ani ka buotan nga mga tawo. I am forever grateful for their support and kindness," Leah said.
One proof of this generosity is the surprise birthday party her apartment buddies threw for her last January 18. Leah said she couldn't believe her eyes when she got home to the sight of a table filled with delicious food and a wall with balloons and pictures of her emblazoned on it. Whoever thought about this must have memorized her birthday on Facebook, she mused, and there was nothing she could do but to indulge in such act of thoughtfulness and immerse herself in the feeling of simply being loved.
In her neck of the woods today, Leah takes pride in the care and pampering of a newfound family she once thought of as strangers.
Away from home, she relishes in the comfort of a wonderful bond with friends she once thought only happens in fairy tales.
Pinoy nga naman eh. (Jet Encila)