What is an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker)?
A person of Filipino origin who lives outside of the Philippines. This applies to Filipino who are abroad indefinitely as citizen or as permanent residents of a different country and to those Filipino citizens abroad for a limited, definite period, such as on a work contract as students (Source: Wikipedia).
Most Filipino dream to work overseas. It is every Filipino dream…to dream of a better life. To give their family a better and comfortable life, to give their children the best education, to build their dream house, to support their siblings education all the way to college, to support their ailing parents and family members. These are just few of the many reasons why many Filipino choose to leave their family and work abroad.
Leaving a family behind is a sacrifice that every Filipino Overseas Workers must face in search of a better opportunities. A bitter pill that no one would swallow if they would be given a choice. Working in a foreign land is very rewarding. They are able to give all the needs of their family back home. However there are also several disadvantages. Some of these are homesickness a feeling of emptiness and longings of being away from their family. Discrimination from foreign employers. Some are lucky to find an employer who treat them with respect and dignity. Some ended to be mistreated by heartless employers.
Living and working abroad is a bittersweet. They face insurmountable challenges with only their faith, courage, hope and determination to carry them through. They even go beyond their call of duty to help their families even to the extend of sacrificing their own needs and even if it means of putting themselves in danger.
Being away from family for a long period of time can turn ones life upside down. It is very depressing. To cope up the loneliness of Filipino overseas worker in Singapore, a group of young and active Filipino volleyball enthusiasts organized an event called SportsatSG. Their aim is to help their fellow Filipino Overseas Workers mostly domestic helpers to stay productive and healthy. They are actively supporting them to be physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally fit. They prepare them to adapt and keep up a healthy lifestyle to cope up stress and loneliness. Putting them to stay happy and positive all the times.
Every Sunday the open field and parks in Singapore transformed into a volleyball field. Crowds are cheering and chanting to their favorite team. Some crave for the competition, others enjoy the camaraderie and others are just happy to stay active. They gather together to create a positive experience.
SportsatSG changes strangers into neighbours, bringing them together in settings where friendships and abilities can grow into a positive environment. They believe that sport and recreation can be a vehicle for positive social change in the life of Overseas Filipino Workers in Singapore.
McGettigan’s Clarke Quay is the only place in Singapore to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. McGettigan’s is an Irish Pub and Restaurant known for bringing the best Irish music, comedy and entertainment acts. Located in the vibrant, nightlife hotspot of Clarke Quay. The place is open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, providing a lively nightlife and entertainment hub where guests can enjoy their award winning Irish cuisine while enjoying the live music acts performing on various nights throughout the week.
Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
- St. Patrick was a patron of Ireland.
- St. Patrick was born in Bannavem Taberniae England around 386AD.
- He died on March 17th 460 AD
- St. Patrick’s Day or also known as St. Patrick Feast Day is celebrated on March 17th in honour of the anniversary of his death.
- St. Patrick’s Feast Day become an office celebration in the 17th century. The celebration observed by the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church.
- At the age of 16 St. Patrick sold into slavery. He brought to Ireland and worked as a shepherd.
- At the age of 22 he escaped slavery.
- He dedicated himself to the Christian religion. He studied in a monastery of Learns off the coast of France and in France with Saint Germanius a French Bishop.
- St. Patrick returned to Ireland in his 30’s.
- He is credited for bringing Christianity to Ireland
- Legend says that St. Patrick used shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish. He used the clover to represent three separate parts ( 3 leaves of the clover) of the same being. The first leaf was God the Father, second leaf the Son and the third leaf the Holy Spirit.
- The shamrock is now the official flower of Ireland.
- The highest number of leaves around on a shamrock clover was 14, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
- Legend says that finding a four-leaf clover on St. Patrick’s Day will bring you luck. Each clover leaf represents something different. First leaf represents hope, second leaf represents faith, third leaf represents love and the fourth leaf represents luck.
- There are many legends about St. Patrick. One story states that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. He didn’t really drive snakes out of Ireland. The snakes represent the pagans he converted to Christianity.
- The original color of St. Patrick was blue. In Irish legends and stories green worn by fairies and immortals. It was also believed that wearing green would help make a good growing season for their crops in Ireland. Green became the color for St. Patrick’s Day in the early 19th century.
- The harp is the symbol of Ireland.
- The color green represents Ireland. Ireland is called “The Emerald Isle”.
- The Irish flag is green, white and orange. Green represents the people of the South, Orange represents the people of the North and White represents the peace that brings the North and South together.
- Dublin is the capital of Ireland.
- In Dublin they celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day Festival March 15th-19th.
- During the St. Patrick’s Day Festival there is a parade, carnival, treasure hunt and dances.
- In Ireland people wear shamrocks on their jackets and hats. Children wear green, white and orange (colors of their flag) and girls wear green ribbons in their hair.
- Leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore.
- leprechaun’s are part of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Tuatara De Danann are a race of people of Irish Mythology.
- Legend says that leprechaun’s spend all their time making shoes. They store their coins in a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If a leprechaun caught by a human they have special powers to grant that human three wishes. Once those wishes granted the human has to let the leprechaun go.
- St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are held not only in Ireland but around the world in countries such as Canada, Japan, Montserrat (an island in the Caribbean), New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Great Britain, Argentina, Switzerland, South Korea and United States.
- 34 million American are part Irish. That is more than in the amount of people living in the country of Ireland!
- Boston Massachusetts has the highest population of Irish people in the United States.
- There are many St.Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States.
- Many states have parades. The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was not in Ireland but in Boston. The Boston parade started in 1737!
- In Chicago the Chicago River is temporarily dyed green in honour of St. Patrick’s Day.
- Corned beef and cabbage is an Irish American dish.
- 41.4 billion pounds of beef produced each year for St. Patrick’s Day. Most of the beef comes from Texas.
- 2.5 billion pounds of cabbage is grown for St. Patrick’s Day. The cabbage mostly comes from California.