Arts & Culture

Tears and joys of overseas life in OFW blogs


BLOGGER Danilo Garcia Jacob had lived the most part of his growing up years without a mother who had to leave them when he was young to work abroad as caregiver. The cycle is being repeated today: He works in Kuwait, his younger sister  in Dubai and his elder brother in Saudi Arabia.

At ngayon ngang kami naman ang lumayo sa kanyang piling, nagtagumpay siyang pagtibayin ang aming luob na anumang hirap sa ibang bansa ang pinakamahalaga ay ang dahilan kung bakit kailangang magsakripisyo at makipagsapalaran (And now that it is our turn to leave her, my mother has succeeded in preparing us for the hardships of a life overseas and accepting why we must make the sacrifice),” he wrote in “Ang bakal na ibon sa himpapawid,” on his blog Animus  (

Jacob’s heart-tugging story won the first prize in this year’s Pinay Expats/Overseas Workers Blog Awards (PEBA). His tearful mother, Rubi Garcia, received the award for him during the awarding held Thursday at Teatrino in Greenhills, San Juan.

A parallel category was created this year for Philippine-based blogs that also deal with overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). The winner for the best blog award was “Fil-Am” by Davao-based Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD, posted in his blog, Felmar’s Missionary Journey (

“Fil-Am” relates the culture shock of children of Fiel’s balikbayan relatives from the United States on their first visit to the Philippines.The experience made the balikbayans realize the need to come home more often.

One outstanding entry that won the Nokia award together with “A one less generation” by Deconstructing Dubai” was Niña Simon’s “My mom’s quasi-orphanage.”

Simon’s entry, posted in her blog Pinaywriter’s Oral Diarrhea 2 (, describes her mother who has become a surrogate mother to so many children of OFW relatives “that it seems her burden has been heavier than those who have left their kids.”

The complete list of winners of the third PEBA Awards:

Top 10 Outstanding OFW Blogs: (1)  Animus, Kuwait; (2)  Gremlines,Dubai, UAE; (3) Kayni’s Corner Café, U.S.A; (4) Baul ni Noel, Saudi Arabia; (5) ¡Soy Negrense!, Saudi  Arabia (6) Journey of a Prodigal  Daughter, Macau; (7) Gumamela sa Paraiso, Taiwan; (8) Deconstructing Dubai, UAE; (9) The Journey of my Life, Saudi Arabia; Stay at Home Blessings, Saudi Arabia; and (10) Batang Gala, Canada

Top 10 Outstanding OFW Supporters Blogs: (1) Felmar’s Missionary Journey; (2)  On This Side of Town; (3) Kayumangging Damdamin (4) Tuyong Tinta ng Bollpen (5) M(.)(.)D Swings; (6) Pinay Writer’s Oral Diarrhea 2; (7) Panay Mud Pie; (8) Siyetehan; (9) Batang Mangyan; and (10) Anak ng Tokwa

Outstanding Blogs by region, OFW Blogs: (1)Central America and Canada–Kayni’s Corner Café, U.S.A;  (2)Asia and Pacific–Journey of a Prodigal Daughter, Macau; (3)Middle East and Africa–Animus,Kuwait

Outstanding Blog by region, OFW Supporters Blogs: (1) Metro Manila–Kayumangging Damdamin, Manila; (2) Luzon–Tuyong Tinta ng Bolpen,Batangas; (3)Visayas–Panay Mud Pie, Iloilo City; (4) Mindanao–Felmar’s Missionary Journey, Davao

Most Popular Blogs: Michael Shades of Blue, Saudi Arabia and Xprosaic’s World, Davao.

Nokia Best Blog Entry: “A one less generation” by Deconstructing Dubai, UAE and “My mom’s quasi-orphanage” by Pinaywriter’s Oral Diarrhea2, Los Baños, Laguna

Friendster Blog Award: Mizpah, Kuwait

Most Visible Blog by Metrics: The Journey of My Life, Saudi Arabia and On this Side of Town, Davao

Most Commented Blog Entry: Michael Shades of Blue, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia and Kayumangging Damdamin, Manila.

Nokia Connecting OFW Families Best Entry: Wala kasing celpon si Lola by Mga Kathang Isip ni Kiko, Qatar

Most Commented in Facebook: Michael Shades of Blue, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia and Mazeplace, Davao

Most ‘Liked’ in Facebook: Michael Shades of Blue, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia and Mazeplace, Davao

Most Commented in Friendster: Michael Shades of Blue, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia and Felmar’s Missionary Journey, Davao.

A nonprofit, nonstock organization of about 300 Filipino bloggers around the world, PEBA was founded in 2008 by OFW bloggers Ion Gonzaga (Dubai), Pete Rahon (South Korea), Kenji Solis (Saudi Arabia) and Nereus Abad (Saudi Arabia) to harness the talents of Filipino expats and overseas workers through blogging, update them on issues affecting them, and help them adapt to life as migrant worker.

“Blogging is no longer a past time; it has become a driving force to make a statement, a platform to help others realize the importance of telling our stories abroad, a way to communicate our feelings and a channel to create a binding force in helping each other,” PEBA said.

Aside from the annual blog awards, PEBA has set up a scholarship fund for children of OFWs.

Photos by Antonio Magno Carranza Jr. of