“We all want one thing in the end, a good life for our children, and rest down in a home that we can call ours after all the hard work. ,” Lourdes Eberle, a former OFW shared.
All the hardships and constant work, all melts down to one point by the end of the day – rest. We all want a certain place to just sit or lie down and enjoy life as we see it in a larger perspective.
For former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Lourdes Eberle, owning a home she can call her own is one thing that she is most proud of- one of the sweetest fruits of her hard work.
Lourdes, a single mother of three at that time, flew to Switzerland in 1996 to visit her sister who was living and working there. After three months, she went back to the Philippines, but decided to go back there again and look for better opportunities. She then worked for a company that provides cleaners for closed-up industries. She thought at first that it mustn’t be that hard, until she experienced it firsthand. She experienced long hours of scrubbing industrial walls and loud yells from foreign bosses and peers. For years, Lourdes jumped through different jobs just to provide for her family and kids whom she brought with her to Switzerland later on.
“Living abroad is really hard because you have to do everything for yourself. After a long day of work, you’ll have to cook and wash the dishes, because no one’s going to do it for you,” the mother of four recounted.
But despite all the hardships, she has always known what was coming, and she had prepared for it. But no matter how ready you might think you are, nothing really prepares you for the challenges of being an OFW, and at the same time, a mother. Being an OFW not only means working miles away from your loved ones, but also going through challenges alone. Still, she managed to work there for several years with the man who captured her heart. And somehow, he made it easier for her. His love for her made her stay.
Lourdes met her husband in Switzerland. The two connected, dated, and bore a beautiful child. Soon, she flew her kids from the Philippines to the country where they all lived, starting life anew. After years, all her four children have finished school and have started their career, building their own lives. Now left with only her husband, Lourdes thought that it would be the best time for her to pursue her dream of settling in the peacefulness of home, and for her, home is in the Philippines.
So she flew back and decided to fulfill her life-long dream. She first rented a home at Suntrust Governor’s Hills, a house and lot subdivision in General Trias, Cavite. But after some time of renting, she fell in love with the community and decided to purchase a home where she can finally settle with her husband. Every six months, her husband goes home from Switzerland, and it makes her feel relaxed and at ease thinking that her husband has a specific place where they can both wind down and enjoy life.
“When you’re renting a home, it just feels cramped. However big your house may be, your movements will always feel limited. But when you have your own home, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and however you want it,” the 53-year-old mom shared.
Lourdes loves not only the design of her home, but also the neighborhood itself. The sun rises beautifully every morning and they match it with morning conversations over a cup of coffee under the shade of their lustrous garden. The neighbors who pass by never fail to greet them, and that’s something that Lourdes truly treasures.
“Until now, everytime I look at my home, I can’t help but think how worth it all my hardships in the past are. When you respect your hard-earned money and put it to good use such as this, you’ll realize it is indeed worth it,” concluded Lourdes. Being relaxed at home, not worrying about renting another day in her life, and enjoying it in the comfort of something she can call her own, are the thoughts that make her finally #HappyAtHome.
Her advice to her fellow OFWs, “Irespeto mo yung pinaghirapan mo, kagaya ng pera pinaghirapan at pinagtrabahuhan mo yan, ingatan mo siya, para later makukuha mo na yung dream mo (Respect what you worked hard for, like your hard-earned money. Take care of it so that later on, you’ll achieve your dreams).”