Biogesic has taken care of us for decades and this year, Biogesic would want to take care of a special breed of heroes, our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). They work hard, battle loneliness and even miss family occasions like Christmas. Biogesic comes up with a Banig-bayan, where you can accumulate special items meant to bring the feel of home to your love ones abroad. This can add warmth in their hearts and will surely give them a merrier Christmas even while they are away from home.
Almost all Filipino household would have an OFW as part of the family. We have the notion that they are living a grander life abroad from the balikbayan box we receive to their post on on social media. Not all OFWs get to live a good life abroad. They work extra hours and at times, take in extra jobs. This is their way to make both ends meet and at the same time to battle one of the hardest part of being an OFW, loneliness. A lot of people don’t see the side of their life.
I got to meet several OFWs in Hong Kong and I was surprised that a lot weren’t able to visit the top tourist attractions there. They would just rather include the budget in their remittances they send to their families. Their reason is understandable. They naturally display strength because most of the time, they are all their families have. They expect themselves to be the strong-willed ones because they have to in order to provide their family the best life. Their hopes and dreams are for those they left behind. They sacrifice a lot to save and be the breadwinner in their household. They are, in fact, the prime epitome of a caregiver.
But even carers need caring. And honestly, they are the ones who need it most. They need the warmth of family as they get to feel the pangs of loneliness, the stress of work overload and the need to live on a meager budget.
While there are Skype, Viber and other messaging apps to make them feel in the loop. This does not substitute the physical longing they have to see their love ones especially during the Christmas season. Home is something they miss entirely. There is no substitute for missing out on the life of your love ones while you toil on foreign shore. There’s no warmth like a hug from your family. There’s no better story than getting to hear them up from your family close as they tell the details of their day, their latest adventure or achievement. Each homecoming is a much anticipated event because there’s no place like home. I do remember a time when I was on my way back to the Philippines at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Filipinos were flocking the airport more than 12 hours to their flight because that’s how much they miss their family and their home. It doesn’t make their flight earlier but it gets them a step closer to home. I felt that deep longing coming from years away from their family. Not even the grandeur of a foreign land can replace the comfort and warmth of family and Home.
If Home would make their Christmas, yet they could not come home for it, let us send home to them. So in the spirit of giving, Biogesic wanted to move families to care for their ultimate providers, the givers of care who are thousands of kilometers away. And we did this through the very first Biogesic Banig-bayan program. Inspired by the balik-bayan box, Biogesic created a special package for families here to carry items they would want to send. It could hold anything from items they miss from home to symbols of life events OFWs would wish they were a part of––truly pieces of home that would make their Christmas whole.
The Banig-bayan carries the message that Ingat and care would still be felt even if they are apart. Biogesic inspired families to make their OFWs feel they are loved, remembered, and missed. And by the deep expressions of gratitude, heart-tugging stories, and tears of joy, the Banig-bayans would make all the difference for their Christmas to be truly merry and immensely felt.