As Filipinos living abroad know, it is common practice to send money to family back home. Economic conditions in the Philippines can be challenging, so it’s nice to extend a helping hand to those we love.
We’ve been sending money back home to my wife’s family for several years now. Unfortunately, for the past three years it has placed a bit of a strain on us, mostly due to her cousin’s repeated expensive medical emergencies. It’ s fortunate that we have been able to find the money to help patch her back together again, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that the amount of money we’ve been sending has hammered us financially, and kept us from doing many of the things we had planned.
Such is life, and I’m sure many, (if not most), of y’all can relate your own stories of financial hardship, but what had been putting the sand in the lotion for us was the behavior of this cousin’s husband. He is lazy. “Hari sa mga tapulan! (The King of all laziness!)”, as my wife’s Mama says. While the cousin and her sisters would work, he would stay home and watch TV, or lay about at the neighbor’s house, taking to their unwed daughters. (Hmmm……)
Papa was beyond fed up with him, and time and time again scolded him to, “Get a job!” But the King would refuse to disturb his repose.
And on and on this went for month after month, year after year, until one day something happened. (I have no idea what, but I bet Papa was involved!) We received a text, asking us for money to help send the husband to Taiwan, where he would get a job. We really didn’t have the money available for this at the time, but after a plea from Papa himself, (who had never before asked us for money), we begged and borrowed the money to send the King to Taiwan, where we all hoped he would find a job and become a productive, supportive husband.
After only a week I was already discouraged. It seems that the King had decided to take an airplane to Manila rather than the much cheaper inter-island ferries, and had already spent all the money we had sent him. Grudgingly we sent some more, but now I feared the worse.
A friend’s husband took him to the airport in Manila, helped him get his ticket to Taiwan, and that was the last we heard of the King for several months. He was supposed to stay with an Aunt in Taiwan while he looked for a job, and then once he got one start sending money home to his wife, who was now in considerable debt because of the expenses associated with sending someone overseas, (passport, visa, etc.).
All seemed well, until we got another text about a month ago. It appears that the husband was back in the Philippines. His Aunt had gotten tired of his laziness, and kicked him out! With no where to stay, he had no choice but to come home.
No one had the courage to tell this to Papa. So imagine Papa’s surprise when one night there was a knock on the door, and when he answered it, there standing before him, grinning somewhat sheepishly, was the King!
Papa was furious! “Oh,” he said, in ENGLISH, (and Papa doesn’t like to speak English!), “Return to sender!”
Everyone was in a foul mood after that.
The King has been sent to live with his family. We are working with my wife’s Mama to try to figure out how to turn her cousin’s life around. She now owes at least $3,000.00 USD, and can barely even pay the interest. We will probably get stuck paying off this mess, but my wife wants her cousin to promise that the King won’t ever be allowed to put her in debt again.
*** January 2016 Update *** I am elated to report that “The King” has amended his ways, and is now an exemplary husband and father. He took an odd route to get to there, but all’s well that ends well. God works in wondrous ways!