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  • After 20 Years, OFW Dad Gets Dream Family Home As Kids Finish School

    The OFW dad worked in Saipan for 20 years.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
After 20 Years, OFW Dad Gets Dream Family Home As Kids Finish School
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ces Fernandez
  • Every family aspires to have their dream house, even if it takes them years to achieve it.

    In the case of the Fernandez family in Bulacan, 20 years proved to be just the right time. All those years, dad Alex worked as a merchandiser in Saipan as his wife Cecil looked after their two kids, Ces and Jed, while also earning a living. Ces and Jed eventually finished their studies and established their careers.

    "Priority nila Mommy 'yung education namin," Ces tells SmartParenting.com.ph in an interview. She's a graduate of Bachelor of Fine Arts – Industrial Design at UP Diliman, while her younger brother earned his Bachelor of Electronics Engineering degree at the Mapua.

    Ces recalls, "Nakitira lang kami sa lot nila Lola noon. Simula noong 1987 na kinasal ang mom at dad ko, doon na sila nag-stay at nagpalaki ng pamilya."

    In 2008, Ces's parents decided to buy their own house through a Pag-IBIG housing loan, which would have been payable until 2022.

    "Pero ito 'yung hindi pa renovated," Alex and Cecil's eldest child points out. "Binili lang nila, pero wala pa silang budget para ipagawa kasi inuuna muna nila 'yung studies naming magkapatid."

    Alex Fernandez (in shades) inspects the house he and his wife Cecil (in animal prints) bought in 2008. They would have this property extended and renovated in 2021 with the help of their kids.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ces Fernandez
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    Says Ces, "Matagal nang pangarap ng Mom and Dad ko na tumira sa dream house nila. They’re apart for almost 20 years kasi nga nag-OFW pa 'yung Dad ko para mapagtapos kami. Na-miss man nila yung 20 years na 'yun, they’re looking forward to spend their retirement years together sa dream house nila."

    By 2019, Alex and Cecil, along with Ces and Jed, felt ready to start saving up for the extension and renovation of their house. They set a budget of Php2.5 million for the construction work, which began in January 2021.

    Nine months later, in October, the family, including Ces's son Dakila and their helper Nanay Erma, moved into their renovated and refurbished home. The two-storey, three-bedroom structure now sports a modern design but still with a cozy ambiance. It also has a garage for the car they bought in 2020.

    On October 16 2021, the Fernandez family moved into their newly renovated home. Ces (in black and white) says: "When you work together toward your dreams as a family, you’ll not see it as toxic. May mga cases na magulang na ginagawang retirement plan ang anak—na aasa na lang sa anak pagtanda nila. May mga cases na mga anak na walang utang na loob sa magulang—na hindi man lang tumulong sa magulang nung bumukod na. In reality, may mga families din naman talaga na may ganyang sumbatan. Pero if you can see na every generation can contribute sa ikakagaan ng buhay ng susunod na generation somehow, the practical thing to do is to work together."
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ces Fernandez
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    Ces happily reports, "Effort ng buong family ito. Lahat nag-chip in." She adds, "Nagkusa kaming magkapatid na mag-chip in para sa dream house ng magulang namin kasi we know all too well kung ano 'yung sakripisyo na ginawa nila for us.

    "Kaya kahit di nila kami ni-require na tumulong, ginawa na namin. Mas mabilis at mas malayo kasi mararating kapag sama-sama eh kesa kung nagsarili kami kagad ng kapatid ko."

    She also pays tribute to her parents' resilience and perseverance, as she looks back on their struggling years.

    "There was a time na naging evacuee pa ang Dad ko sa Saipan," she says. "Kasi natangay ng Super Typhoon 'yung bahay na nire-rent n'ya doon noong 2018. Kaya very meaningful ito for the whole family, lalo na sa Dad ko na naranasan mawala ang lahat at nakatira lang sa evacuation center.

    "Sa Mom ko naman it would mean a fulfilment of promise n'ya na makapagpagawa ng bahay bilang retirement home ng parents nya pagtanda nila sana."

    She adds, "My parents might have fulfilled their dreams in their 60s. Pero because of their sacrifices, it allowed us, their children, to fulfill our dreams in our early 30s and mid 20s. And now it granted not only a beautiful childhood for their grandson but also a brighter future. Kumbaga sabi nga nila, they walked so that we can run."

    Read here for more home inspo.

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