Father’s Day in Isolation: Celebrating Filipino Heroes Overseas

Spending Father’s Day alone as he stays quarantined in the Sultanate of Oman, First-time father and lead passenger service agent Darwin Pamintuan drafted a heartfelt message to his 1 year-old son.

Dear Miggy,

 

You came to us as a blessing and surprise. We are delighted as we welcomed you to the world, our dear child. 

 

Though we have our own cross to carry and even I am not exempted. Daddy found a job wherein conditions such as not being with you needs to be dealt with. 

 

I am asking your understanding by the time that you will be able to read this. I am sorry for my absence, for the time that I should be with you. I admit the mistakes and my shortcomings, and I’m still on track to correct my actions the best way I could.

 

For a more sustainable future, I and your mommy are working things out. We can’t wait to finally experience being together in one roof and not worrying about time, to share meals in one table and retire from the digital aid of video calls.

 

I would also want to say sorry for the postponed vacations. Believe me, I have been excited to bond with you and go to places together. It was really hard and challenging, but there is no other way but to fight the odds, and pray for our good health and guidance.

 

I am greatly hoping that the challenging times will end, of course, not only for us but also for all the families with the same situation. We do hope that they may be able to reunite with their families as well.

 

I will do my best to fulfill quality time with you and mommy. I love you, anak.

 

Daddy

Darwin is an overseas Filipino worker in Oman is stuck in Muscat for three months now because of the pandemic.

Indeed, these are trying times. Imagine a life out of the comfort zone with very limited resources and freedom can really add stress and worry. Darwin has been staying in their company villa for the last 3 months, bothered with the fear of losing his job due to restrictions and flight cancellations. 

“As a parent and an OFW, my main goal is to provide [for family], and I should never fail my son for his future,” Darwin tells.

As a first-timer father, he cannot consider himself a full-time dad at the moment. Darwin considers himself a “mere provider” and not yet the typical father, as he could only offer his humble sacrifices, as he sets aside physical duties and guidance with his boy. 

“Thanks to technology, it helps us in easing the gap,” Darwin says.

Unique Father’s Day

Not being with his family was never easy. Darwin had always longed for a complete #fambam and his yearly visit back to his home in the Philippines was also hampered due to the hazardous spikes and spread of the COVID-19 cases. 

What’s more unfortunate is that while Darwin is stuck in Muscat, his wife is in Riyadh, and their son lives with his grandfather here in the Philippines.

“Until we succeed on the fight against the virus then, I think that will be the perfect time to celebrate, for now the best we can do is survive the current battle,” Darwin says. 

To him, this Father’s Day is a reminder that things may not favor us sometimes, but Darwin is a firm believer that the sun will always shine. 

Fathers have been dubbed as strong foundation in the family home and they should be able to channel their strength in keeping their family safe, stable and full of hope. 

Like Father, Like Son

Darwin recalls that as a child he was also put in a similar situation as his son right now.  His dad was always away working as an OFW as well.  He hated bidding goodbyes to his father back then, yet he now fully understands the sacrifices that his father and all the fathers endure when they had to be away from their loved ones.

Early on, Darwin already knew that he can only have so much time with his father working overseas. He had looked forward to toy treats and duty-free goods until he felt at one point that he was a little bit away from his dad.

He surely missed him on special occasions and he was even worried more when they encountered extraordinary situations like calamities and rifts. 

Growing up, things in Darwin’s house always felt gloomy when his father was not around. He now understands his father—the pain magnified triple when he goes abroad to earn a living for his family.

New Father

Being a new father who is in constant search of ways on how to provide for his family, no matter how hard a day was or how rough the ride is, Darwin says, “we should always give thanks for the blessings that we receive, Darwin shares. 

To him, modern-day fathers should have greater courage and a more open mind for them to welcome and embrace what fate brings on. “I’m enduring this today so I can be with my family tomorrow,” Darwin says.

Surely it is but a heavy burden to work far from home or family, even if everyone’s mindset was “okay sa abroad”. The real investment that fathers should take in consideration is “quality time”. 

“We will get through this,” Darwin exclaims. He is one with all the fathers whose foremost priority has been the welfare of their family. 

To those dads who are away from family and home, hang in there! Salute to all the noble fathers of today! Thank you for being brave and enduring. Thank you for everything.

[Entry 326, The SubSelfie Blog]

About the Author and Photographer:

Gerald Gloton is a Crisis Team Officer and visual story teller. Gerald is impassioned in capturing moments from field assignments and framing portraits of his subjects who have various messages for the world to witness.

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Latest Posts

Filipino outside PH?

Share with us your stories about the “New Normal” in your country of residence. How are you adapting to the new social distancing measures in your country?

Email our Global Editor Sophia Balod at sophia.balod@gmail.com if you’re interested in contributing to this SubSelfie.com Series.

Got SubSelfies to share?

SubSelfie.com is calling on Millennials and Generation Z Filipinos to share their SubSelfies.

It could be personal essays, stories, opinions, photos, illustrations, and points of views . 

Reach out to us through email subselfie@gmail.com

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