They might be far from home but the Filipino community in Samoa under the umbrella of the Pilipino in Samoa Organization (P.I.S.O.) made sure the fathers felt right at home when the nation paused to honour fathers last weekend.
P.I.S.O. organised a gathering for the Filipino community at Siva Afi, Matautu-tai, under the theme “Hats off to you.”
P.I.S.O. President, Ma. Bella A. Guinto, emphasized that fathers are considered the pillars of every Filipino household.
“In the traditional Filipino society, fathers play a valuable role in the lives of the children,” said the President.
“While it is highly proven that a father’s direct involvement in raising their children can contribute significantly to better outcomes in terms of good sibling relationships and moral uprightness, overseas Filipino workers are not quite privileged to fulfil this obligation.”
“They are left with no option but to leave their children behind and work doubly hard somewhere else to provide for the financial needs of the family.”
“It is, indeed, a great sacrifice not to be there during the growing years of their children.”
Financial circumstances force these fathers to make a choice between being physically present with the family and working overseas to guarantee a better future for the children.
“Most fathers in this situation regret the missed opportunity to play sports, sing, watch movies and hang out together with their children … at times even missing important milestones like 7th, 18th or 21st birthdays, or graduations.
“So on Father’s Day, the Filipino community through the Pilipino in Samoa Organisation (P.I.S.O.) honors our dear fathers, for all the hard work and sacrifice they endured for the sake of their family.
Thus, the theme for this year’s celebration is “HATS OFF TO YOU!”
According to Ma. Bella, some Filipino fathers have been working in Samoa for more than 12 years.
“For most of them, they consider their fellow Filipinos as family so the emotions of being away from their real families have mellowed down especially when they have already integrated into the Samoan community through associates at work.”
“For the more recent additions to the Filipino community, the emotions are still high but support is given by the Pilipino in Samoa Organisation with acquaintances made through organised events bringing Filipinos and, at times, even Samoan friends, together.”
As for P.I.S.O, it was formed in 2015. The Father’s Day gathering has become an annual event they intend to continue.