Reflections by the Migrant

REFLECTIONS
(by: GEMMA G. COMISO)
Taipei, Taiwan


Hindi ako dalawin ng antok. Sa kalaliman ng gabi, naglalakbay ang aking diwa. Samut-saring pangyayari ang naglalaro sa aking imahinasyon. Kanina, nabasa ko sa pahayagan na may Essay Writing Contest ang Pinoy Express. Sasali ba ako sa paghahangad na manalo o bukal sa puso kong ihahayag ang pakikibaka ko bilang isang OFW? Huhubarin ko ba ang maskarang humihila sa akin sa kumunoy ng pagkukunwari? Madaming agam-agam at pag-aatubili subalit may maliit na tinig na tuluyang pumukaw sa aking kamalayan. Gusto kong balewalain at isantabi subalit sa pagdapyo ng malamig na simoy ng hangin na nanggagaling sa bintana, nagpagunita sa akin na ilang araw lang at Kapaskuhan na.

Deep in the night, my mind was on overdrive mode. Earlier in the day, I read a newspaper announcement concerning Pinoy Express essay writing contest. I had thought of joining the competition but what were my motives? Was i after the prize or the oppurtunity to share my personal struggle with my fellow migrants? Did i have the guts to take off my mask and reveal my true self? I was filled with doubt & uncertainty. A small voice however was insistently telling me to do it. I felt the cold night caressing my face. It's nearly Christmas.

Ang pasko sa Taiwan ay pagsasalamin sa iba't-ibang hamon sa buhay, pakikibakang hindi natutuldukan bagkus lalong sumasangang pakikipagsapalaran. Nasanay akong ipinagdiriwang ang Pasko sa piling ng aking mga mahal sa buhay--- magulang, kamag-anak & kaibigan. Kahit gaano kahirap ang buhay sa atin sa araw na ito buong pagmamahal na pinagsasaluhan ang handa na nakayanan. Sa musmos kong isipan, nakakaakit ang pagiging buo ng aming pamilya. Tila ba sa araw na ito lahat nagsasaya. Naririnig ko ang mga halakhak, awitan, tunog ng kampana, mga paputok, ingay ng kwitis at nakikita ko ang mga ngiti sa labi ng mga batang lansangan. Natatalos ko sa kanila ang walang hanggang kasiyahan.

To Migrants like me, Christmas in Taiwan is just another string of many. I was used to celebrating the holidays sorrounded by my loved one--- parents, relatives & friends. Despite of our finacial difficulties, we still managed to have a Christmas feast. You could hear Christmas in the air. The ring of laughter, music being played in the radio,bells ringing, firecrackers exploding. There was a smile in everyone's face.

Pansamantalang kinakalimutan ang hidwaan, pagkakaiba at samaan ng loob. Napapiyak ako sa tuwing naaalala ko kung paano ko pinahahalagahan ang kapanganakan ni Hesus & kung gaano kasimple ang pananaw ko. Habang tumatagal kinain na ako ng paghahangad at ambisyong magkaroon ng magandang buhay. Wala na sa isip ko ang payak & may dignidad na pamumuhay. Natuto na akong lakaran ang landas na hindi naaayon sa turo ng Simbahan at benalewala di lang ang kahalagahan ng Pasko pati na rin ang tunay na pakikipagkapwa tao. Pinagtitibay ako ng pagsubok ngunit mahirap aminin na ibinabaon din ako ng pansarili kong interes. Pikit mata kong ipinagwalang bahala ang kagandahang asal & daing ng kapwa. Maligaya nga ba ako? O sadyang nakikipaglaro lang sa agos ng panahon?

I could not help but cry whenever I remember the Christmas of my youth. Life was simpler then, Jesus was the focal point of the season. As I grow older, I changed. I grew selfish ang I got caught in my own needs ang desires. I was not content with my life. I wanted more. I veered away from the teachings of the church and threw aside not just Christmas but Christian values. I shunned my neighbors ang turned the deaf ear to their cries. Am i happy? Or am i simply coasting along?

Sa aking pagbabalik tanaw, marami akong nadiskubre. Mga nakaligtaan kong gawin, maling desisyon, at kung paano ko inapura ang bawat pahina ng aking buhay. Bigla akong nagulantang sa malakas na buhos ng ulan at sumagi sa aking isipan kung ano ang hirap na pinagdaanan ni Joseph & Maria at ang hiwaga kung bakit si Hesus ipinanganak sa sabsaban. Tiniis nila lahat, nagpakaaba samantalang ako, gusto ko laging nasa taas. Nahihiya akong angkinin at matawag na anak Niya. Hindi ko naisakatuparan ang totoong diwa ng Pasko.

Looking back at all things that I have done, I come to realized that I have messed up with my life. Wrong decisions, missed oppurtunities. I was rushing through life that I missed out on the things that were truly important. The rain woke me from my reverie. Thats's when I remembered Joseph & Mary and the baby thatwho was born in the manger. They were humble of heart & spirit. Me? I always wanted to be number one, to be ahead of the pack. I felt ashemed, I have no right to called as His daugther for I have failed Him. I have never lived the true meaning of Christmas.

The joy of giving. Have I ever given something without waiting for anything in return? How about those peolpe who are in deathbeds? Have I ever uttered a prayer for them while i was having fun in the dancefloor? When a fellow migrant sought financial help, did I lend a money without charging any interest?
Forgiveness. Have I forgiven those who have wrong me? Am I willing to give someone a second chance? Or i am too busy cooking up vicious schemes that would hurt those who have hurt me? Have I ever swallowed my pride?

Pagmamahal. Nagmahal na ba ako ng walang sini-sino, walang inuuri? Ipinadama ko na ba ang busilak na pang-unawa & pag aaruga sa pasyenteng inaalagaan ko? May katapatan ba ako sa aking amo & aking trabaho? Inisip ko na ba na ang kaakiabat ng pagmamahal ay sakripisyo at pagpaparaya? Nagawa ko na bang mahalin ang sarili na may respeto at pagpapahalaga sa dignidad ko? Ipinadama ko na ba ang pagmamahal at paggalang sa magulang ng hindi nagdadabog o kaya'y nagmamarunong?

Love. Do i choose the people whom I think are deserving for my attention & love? Or I am too busy judging people? Have i really felt true compassion for my patient? Or i consider it as just a chore, a paycheck? Am i fulfilling my duties to the best of my ability? Have I ever love myself? Do I value my dignity as a person? Have I been a good daughter? Or have i become too proud that I treat them with derision?
Mag-uumaga na pala. Sa aking pagmumunimuni, ang dami kong natututnan. Nakakahiya pala ako. Lagi ko na lang nakikita ang mali ng iba, mga kapintasan at kahinaan nila. Nakalimutan ko na ako din ay may sariling hangganan. Marami akong pagkukulang sa aking magulang, kapatid, kaibigan at Inang Bayan. Nawa'y sa pagsikat ng umaga, matuto akong tumanaw ng utang na loob at makipagkapwa tao.

Nagpapasalamat ako sa Pinoy express dahil sa pakulo ninyo natauhan ako.Sinalamin ko ang aking pagkatao.Totoo nga siguro ang kasabihang hindi natin alam kong kailan & saan tayo magigising sa katotohanan. Sa magandang serbisyo & accomodating na staff salamat. Malayo man tayo sa ating pamilya kung may gumagabay sa atin smaliit mn o malaking paraan makakatulong ito upang maibsan ang bigat ng dinadala. Sa Kapaskuhang ito pagsisikapan kong maisagawa ang diwa nito.


It's nearly dawn. I have learned so musch about myself in those last few hours. I ought to be ashamed of myself. I am quick to point out the shortcomings ang weaknesses of other people & i judge them at the drop of a hat. I have been blin to my own faults. I am the one ought tto be judged. I have failed my parents, siblings, friends & country. I pray that as the sun rises on the horizon, I would rediscover & rekindle the spirit of Christmas within me. Thank you Pinoy Express for launching this contest. This is my wake up-call.


Honorable mention in Pinoy Essay Writing Contest 2006 (Taipei, Taiwan)
Published in Taiwan News (Kabayan Section)
Photo grabbed from google

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1 Share your thoughts :

This is nice! Wow! move on my friend, you can do it, and actually youre doing great. There is no greater joy and no greater happiness than to spend life the way God wants us to...

THanks for sharing this to us.