We’ve shared time and time again how the life of an OFW is full of challenges and sacrifices. But sometimes, challenges happen to bring out something better in us and in others – we just need to have the right attitude and perspective to see the bigger picture and understand how all things work out together for your good.
Such was the story of this OFW, who was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection that had affected up to 80% of her lungs and threatened to end her 20 years of work as a domestic helper.
OFW with Rare Bacterial Infection Sent Off by Employers With a Big Surprise
Despite this shock of a health challenge, 55-year-old Corazon Madayag chose not to feel hopeless.
In an exclusive interview with the Sun HK, she shared that instead of feeling sad or depressed by the news, she looked at the brighter side of things, including what an amazed doctor had told her – that the bacteria had affected only her lungs and liver, but did not spread throughout her body, which could have put her life at grave risk.
Madayag, who regularly attends the Jesus the Living God Church, also turned to prayer, not just for herself but also for the people she cares about, including her elderly employers.
But her positive attitude has not only helped her spirit amid the challenges that were thrown her way, but it also reaped unexpected blessings that were much more than what she had hoped for.
After she was discharged from the hospital, her kind elderly employers, aged 84 and 79, booked her in a hotel for ten days so she could recuperate fully before her scheduled flight home last April 5.
Days before she was set to fly back home to the Philippines and return to her family based in Quezon City to take the six months’ rest prescribed by her doctor, she received a most unexpected blessing.
Her employers, whom she had taken care of for four years and five months, surprised her with a most generous send-off gift of roughly $70,000 (Php434,000), which was far more than she could expect from the service she’s provided them.
Moreover, they promised to re-hire her if she’s given a clean bill of health after her six-month rest in the Philippines.
In a conversation at the airport with her spiritual advisor, Bishop Gerry T. Vallo, just before catching her flight back to Manila, Madayag knew she could not claim the long service fee by law, as she had not served her employers for a minimum of five years, as required by law.
But what she had received was not just the payment for her long service, but also her salary for a whole year. On top of these, she received generous pay for her unclaimed annual leave. Then, during her last conversation with her employers, she said they gave her another $10,000 for her 16-year-old daughter.
For all the blessings she received, Madayag had a simple explanation: “God touched my employers’ hearts. Ginamit ng Diyos ang aking mga amo para mabiyayaan ako (God used my employers to bless me).”
The Give-and-Take Principle
Though overwhelmed by their generosity, Madayag said she always had a good relationship with her employers, who treated her like family. She responded kindly, always praying for them and anticipating their needs.
“Give and take lang yan. Kapag sinabi ng amo mo na hindi ka muna lalabas, pagbigyan mo kasi lahat ng hinihiling mo ay binibigay (din) nila (It’s all a matter of give and take. If your employer asks you not to take your day off, give way because they also grant your requests),” she said.
“At saka lagi-lagi ko silang pinapanalangin kasi iyon ang nararapat, iyon ang importante (Also, I always pray for them because that’s just right, that’s what is important),” she added.
To those who are not blessed with employers who are as kind and generous, Madayag shares this simple advice: “Panalangin lang, madadala yan sa panalangin (Just pray, everything could be achieved with prayer),” she said.
For his part, Bishop Vallo explained why Madayag was moved to share her story.
“Hindi natin ito ginawa para ipagpunyagi kung ano man ang natanggap niya kundi nais nating ibahagi na kung tama ang iyong ginagawang pagtatrabaho ng iyong employer na walang kapalit na hangad, ang Diyos na ang kumikilos. Hinihipo ng Panginoon ang puso ng amo.”
(We are not doing this to boast about what she had received but to share with others that if you work properly in your employer’s house without waiting for anything in return, God will take action. Our Lord will touch the employer’s heart).
Bishop Vallo also said the story comes with a message that there are still many good-hearted employers out there, so migrant workers should be encouraged. Doing good and being good will always pay off.
Indeed, it was a heart-warming story from one of our kababayans in Hong Kong. Faith and hard work are two things that will only do great things for a person, whether you’re an OFW or a worker based in the Philippines.
On days, when hard work isn’t working hard enough, your prayers and faith will always carry you through.
Just keep your focus on your purpose and why you do the things that you are doing. Coupled with faith and prayer, just like in Madayag’s experience, God will touch the hearts of other people and your employers, as well – to surprise you with big things. Things that you thought were impossible to achieve on your own, and things that you know in your heart, you do not deserve. And what’s most interesting here is just like in Corazon’s story, the blessing came during at a time that no one would think something good can happen.
This leaves us a message of hope that despite the challenges we may be facing for a time, there will always be better days and that God’s blessings are beyond what our human minds can comprehend or expect for the efforts and good things that we do to other people.