OFW jobs feed families, send children to school, build houses, help relatives, improve lives; but sometimes, they kill children emotionally and literally.
This morning, our neighborhood was stirred up by the sudden piercing cries and screams of a 10-year-old girl inside a long vacant unit beside her family’s house. “Kuya! kuya! kuya!…”
Neighbors ran to see what happened, and they were shocked to see her 13-year-old brother hanging from a rope tied to one of the exposed beams.
It appeared that the boy has been dead for hours. He must have died during the night.
The immediate conclusion was that he killed himself. According to most of the stories that soon circulated, the boy has just gone home after running away for a few days, and must have been punished severely.
Several in the neighborhood say that the boy was always being scolded and was always ordered to do chores, barring him from playing.
What must have worsened the situation was that the boy was naturally quiet. He may have not spoken about what he’s going through with his friends.
The mother of the boy is working abroad, earning for this boy and his two younger sisters. She left the children with her parents because her husband was apparently irresponsible.
I came to know later that these three kids at one time were taken by the DSW from the husband because he neglected them when they were living with him in the province.
OFw parents are heroes. They sacrifice. They bear hours and hours of lonely work in foreign lands… for their children.
But they should ensure that their children are in good hands. They should instruct their children how they can be contacted directly and easily in case there are problems.
Texting, calling and emailing are now affordable. Even financially struggling neighbors are willing to lend their cell phone loads, especially if children are involved. They should talk to their children directly and not always through certain people.
Who am I to judge the people who took charge of the boy? They are good people too. The boy is their own flesh and blood.
But why did the boy kill himself?