I am the son of an overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). In 1984, the year I was born, my family was whisked away to live in Kuwait where my father worked as an engineer. In the context of growing unrest and the economic downturn of the Marcos Era, it was a decision of desperation and survival.
Eventually, our family had to leave again in the same circumstances, desperation and survival. Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait, and our family’s choice was either biological weapons or the desert. We struck out for the border in the desert, only to be halted by Iraqi troops. My father was separated from us. The rest of the family was turned over to the Red Crescent, and was eventually repatriated back to the Philippines. By her generosity, we settled into our aunt’s home in Pangasinan in 1990.