Two short films released by Camella recently sparked mixed reactions and created a buzz in the online community. As tribute to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), Camella put to the center stage real, unfiltered stories of OFWs and how, in their own way, started their life anew after overcoming difficult and challenging circumstances.
A father’s painful sacrifice
The first video, titled “Carding”, tells the story of a father who worked as a technician somewhere in the Middle East. With only a photo of his wife and son to comfort him, he endured all the struggles, the loneliness and pain of working in a different country to provide for his family. He held on to his job despite the risk, humiliation and inhuman treatment, at times from his employer, which he kept all to himself so as not to burden his family.
But when, finally, he returned home, he discovered that someone else took his place – his wife has been living with another man and his only son does not even recognize him. He has lost his family, the reason of his sacrifices and toiling.
Despite the gut-wrenching situation, he managed to pick himself up, moved on and victoriously turned his life around to a new future with his new home.
A mother’s selfless love
The second video, “Norma”, chronicles the hardships of a mother who works as caregiver in a home-for-the-aged facility in London. Forced to leave her children in the Philippines to earn a living – all on her own – and to be able to send them to school, Norma worked day in and day out taking care of other people: feeding and cleaning up after them, bathing and taking care of their needs.
With only phone calls as a form of communication with her children, she regularly checks on them during her break time. However, her children, it seems, have grown unappreciative of her sacrifices, take her for granted – do not even ask how she is doing – and look to her as a mere provider of their needs.
Norma’s daughter finally graduated from College, and it was time for her to retire from work and go home. She surprised her children with her biggest “pasalubong” – a new house. But no amount of “pasalubong” can compare to a mother’s love, as her daughter uttered, “Mas gusto naming nandito ka, Ma.” And just a hug from her children washed away all the pain and brought Norma so much joy.
Mixed reactions and comments
Ending on a positive tone, the protagonists in the two short films were pictured moving on with their lives. Carding, albeit alone, has started a new chapter in his life and is ready to take on new challenges; and Norma, finally reunited with her two children in their new house, takes on the role she misses the most.
The two short films, which have gone viral with over 16 million views to date, generated mixed reactions and comments from netizens, and stirred genuine conversations not only about the beautiful things about the OFWs, but also the painful and ugly truths, and the sad realities of some:
“Really touching ‘coz it is real. Indeed, going home to spend time with your children is what makes that house of Camella a perfect home…salute to OFW and Camella for being a part of their story.” – Michelle Barion
“Finally, so far, best video ng Camella. Tagos sa puso. Nangyayari sa totoong buhay. Nakakaawa ‘yung mga OFW na niloloko lang ng mga asawa nila. Kawawa din ‘yung mga naiwan sa Pinas na niloloko ng asawa nila na nasa ibang bansa. But this video gives hope for everyone, na kahit anong dapa o gaano ka kadapa, still pwede kang bumangon.” – Eigle Anim