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Overseas Filipino Workers get media ups with a little help from Thecommich

Posted by on Nov 11, 2011 in BLOG | 10 Comments

Movie Poster for A Mother's Story

OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Workers) have been a  part of  the Filipino working population since the early 1900’s, and now play a huge role in Philippine economy – bringing millions of dollars each year to their family members in the Philippines and enabling their children to go to school and receive birthday presents. But what of the workers themselves – how do they feel about leaving their own families to take care of other people’s children and parents? What happens to families that receive their sustenance from an invisible “guardian angel” who can never come home to them?

These questions and more have been tackled by The Filipino Channel’s first feature film, A Mother’s Story. It’s the typical tale of a Filipino woman (in this case a makeup artist portrayed by Filipino comedienne Pokwang) who becomes an illegal worker in the US in order to earn enough money to treat her daughter’s chronic illness. She is hired by an American family who uses her illegal status as an excuse for all kinds of abuse, knowing that reporting their behavior will get her sent home. I won’t spoil the ending, but if you’re planning to watch the movie, bring copious amounts of tissue.

Pokwang’s first dramatic acting gig was a very personal experience for her – as an OFW in the mid-90’s, she was in Japan and unable to come home to Manila even when her eldest son died of a brain tumor at the age of 6. “It took time for me to get over it. I had this guilty feeling for a long time.” Channeling all that grief and guilt was a gift for both her and the viewers of this movie, who have to be made of glacial ice not to be moved by her performance.

A Mother’s Story premiered in the US on Nov.6 and has fast become a hit among the Filipino community. Thecommich is proud to say she played a small role in the movie (a fun cameo as the bitchy singer who invites Pokwang on her world tour, thus giving her an unwitting opportunity to stay in the US). Here’s a peek at A Mother’s Story full length trailer.

In other OFW news, thecommich also had a great opportunity to write an article for this month’s issue of Meg Magazine Philippines. Superstar TV host Bianca Gonzalez invited me to write an article about keeping in touch with my family in Manila. Like Pokwang, I decided to make it a very honest and emotional piece, explaining the dynamic of calling home to my lola (grandmother) – and maybe trying to explain why I don’t do it as much as I should. It was a fun and thought provoking experience for me and I hope it resonates with everyone out there who left their family for greener (but probably lonelier) pastures abroad.

Do you have family abroad? If so, how do you reach out to them? And what do you think about media’s portrayal of families separated by the need to find work? Weigh in below!!

 

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