OFW mom back home for good after Asia tour with 'bunso'

Report by Ernie Manio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2017 11:45 AM

MANILA - After 20 years of working as a domestic helper in Hong Kong, Teresita Alcanzare, 62, is finally back with her family in the Philippines for good.

The minute Aling Teresita arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 arrival area Monday, her children and grandchildren rushed towards her to give her a long embrace.

Her youngest son, Hans, flew to Hong Kong and personally fetched her from the household she served for 18 years.

Hans brought with him a surprise for her retiring mom -- a trip to several Asian countries. He and his 6 siblings chipped in to make the trip possible.

For the first time, the retiring OFW was able to travel to Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Macao and Taiwan with her "bunso."

She was even able to roam around Hong Kong as a tourist, as she barely had time before when she was working as a domestic helper.

Hans and Teresita tour several Asian countries.

Photo used with permission from the owner

Hans and Teresita tour several Asian countries.

Photo used with permission from the owner

Hans and Teresita tour several Asian countries.

Photo used with permission from the owner

Hans and Teresita tour several Asian countries.

Photo used with permission from the owner

Hans and Teresita tour several Asian countries.

Photo used with permission from the owner

Hans and Teresita tour several Asian countries.

Photo used with permission from the owner

Hans and Teresita tour several Asian countries.

Photo used with permission from the owner

Hans and Teresita tour several Asian countries.

Photo used with permission from the owner

Hans and Teresita tour several Asian countries.

Photo used with permission from the owner

Hans and Teresita tour several Asian countries.

Photo used with permission from the owner

According to Aling Teresita, a single mother, working away from her children was a big sacrifice on her part.

She recalled the feeling of seeing her children grow into teenagers, and eventually men and women, every year she goes home for a short break.

"Napakahirap. 'Yung homesick. Lahat-lahat na. Kailangan mo tiisin, mag-sacrifice ka para sa pamilya para sa future nila," she said.

The Alcanzare family, circa 1998. Photo used with permission from the owner

Aling Teresita arrived in Hong Kong in 1998. Her first employer terminated her contract after two weeks due to financial problems.

She had seven mouths to feed at that time so returning to the Philippines was not an option.

The determined mom stayed in Hong Kong to look for another employer and eventually found Mr. Lee, her employer for the next 18 years.

Hans admitted that when he was a kid, he felt a little envious of his classmates who had parents to fetch them from school.

"Mahirap kasi bata. Makikita mo, sinusundo at hinahatid ng parents. Kapag nakikita ko, may insecurities na buti pa sila may parents," he said.

Hans was only six years old when Alcanzare first left the Philippines. Now, he's a grown man with a stable job.

He was the one who shared the family's story on Facebook. The post has gone viral with over 28,000 shares.

The OFW's daughter, Beverly, agreed with Hans, adding that it was their aunties and uncles who went onstage with them during recognition and graduation days.

Both Beverly and Hans said they eventually understood what their mother had to do in order for them to live good lives.

For the family, their mom's retirement is her own "graduation" from all the sacrifices she made for them.

Upon returning home, the single mom also received gifts including a roundtrip ticket to different tourist destinations in the Philippines.

They were also given free hotel accommodation before they go home to Pangasinan.

Despite these, Aling Teresita said the best gift she received is the fact there will be no more heartbreaking airport goodbyes for her and her family.