Beyond providing me with the latest cellular phones, my own ATM account and other gadgets, my father [an OFW in Saudi Arabia] is instilling in me the value of sacrifice that has kept our family surviving to this point. Like other millions of Filipinos who endure both physical and emotional pain just to keep their families alive, my father is inspiring me to give my all in the name of love for our family. He never lets us down, and as homage to all his sacrifices, I too will give my best for him.
Those words were written by a young Jovan Cerda in 2008, reflecting on the sacrifices overseas Filipino workers in general — and his father in particular — have made for their respective families.
In 2009, Jovan’s father came home, but the reunion was bittersweet: he had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was obliged to retire from work to get healthy.
It’s been three years since then, and Jovan’s dad – or “Dada” as he’s called – is still battling the disease.
You will find that Jovan is making good on his word by paying, and recently attempting to raise money, for his father’s treatments. So far Jovan has only raised $420 of the $10,000 he has targeted, but he and his family continue to hope.
If you would be so kind as to read Jovan’s petition for help (http://igg.me/p/248479), perhaps contribute what you can, or share his story with others who may be able to contribute, it would be a great kindness.
… It must have been in 2010 when I met Jovan. At the time, we were both working for the same newspaper. He’s a likeable fellow, a little earnest, but quick to smile.
Given the nature of the job (literature in a hurry?), and perhaps because he was younger than I (he was 20 to my seemingly ancient 29), we hardly had a chance to bond and swap life stories when we were coworkers.
I do remember thinking it was a loss to the company for such a decent, hardworking kid to transfer elsewhere. However, I also noticed then that he seemed to be under tremendous pressure, and later learned that it was because his father was ill.
It was not without relief when I heard that Jovan had joined the online component of another publication; it meant that he could earn more money to foot the bills.
Again, if you can help in any way, it would be much appreciated.