By ANNALYN S. JUSAY
January 11, 2010, 1:50pm
It goes without saying that homesickness is the number one problem of the Overseas Filipino Worker. I should know because I was an OFW myself. Back in the mid-90s when I was still toiling in Europe, technology - unfortunately - wasn't yet at its peak. The email may already have had its beginnings then, but we still resorted to snail mail where letters took weeks to arrive. Definitely no webcam, instant messenger and internet.
So I guess present OFWs are lucky. The wonders of technology bridge people into a case of "so near, and yet so far." There's 3G, VOIP, Skype and the whole works. Everything helps to ease the pain of separation and loneliness. The only thing missing is the warm body of the loved one.
Thankfully too, there is blogging. The fact that blogging demands so much from an individual in terms of time, energy and commitment makes it ideal for someone who has to kill the hours just to fight off the bitterness of being away from one's friends and family. Now I wish blogging was present during my days as an OFW. Am sure I'd have a grand time writing about the places I've seen and the different cultures I absorbed.
This article about blogging and the OFW wouldn't have been made possible if I wasn't chosen as a judge of the recent 2009 2nd International Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards by PEBA Inc. Aside from bloggers and their families, also present were such personalities as senatoriable Toots Ople, Rep. Risa Hontiveros and Dinky Soliman. I wasn't able to attend the event due to an out-of-town engagement but I join everyone in congratulating the winners for a job well-done. Thank you as well to PEBA for giving me the privilege of representing MB Technews. The bloggers represented a diversity of countries scattered as far wide as the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Reading them has opened my eyes to the wide range of OFW experiences, and there's a lesson to be learned from all of them.
Here's the Top 3 winners and the special awardees. Congratulations again!
1. ISLA DE NEBZ (Al Khobar, SAUDI ARABIA)
2. PINK TARHA GIRLS (Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA)
3. WITS AND SPIRITS (Bangkok, THAILAND)
1. Smart Blog Award – The Chook-Minders Quill, Port Wakefield, South Australia
2. Nokia Best Blog Entry Awards – Isla de Nebz, Al Khobar Saudi Arabia
3. Nokia Best Photo Entry Award – Floyd Amor, Singapore
4. Blas Ople Policy Center Best Video Award – Utak ni Drake, Riyadh Saudi Arabia
5. Friendster Award, Best Blog Theme: The Desert Dude, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
6. Western Union Award, Best Blog Lay-out: Kablogie, Doha, Qatar
7. Sen. Manny Villar Award, Most Popular Blog – Wits Expression , Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Best Blog by Region:
Middle East and Africa – Isla de Nebz, Al Khobar Saudi Arabia
North America and Canada- Top Express, Nova Scotia, Canada
Europe – Francesca in France, Nice,France
Asia and the Pacific - Wits and Spirits, Bangkok, Thailand
©2009 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards