“Christmas is the most important celebration of the year for many Filipinos and its essence lies in precious moments shared with the family. In this project, we provide the opportunity for families to come together in one hub, regardless of their actual location, and share memories seamlessly, like they’re never apart.” – Ryan Morales, Google Philippines Country Marketing Manager
Over 13 million Filipinos live abroad, away from their families including my daughter and three siblings. This will be my second Christmas without my daughter at our home in the Philippines. It is lonely without her. My family is not complete. I console myself by thinking that Home is where the heart is. Your home is whatever place you long to be. I use Viber to chat with my daughter, though . Sometimes, it is better to use email so it does not get lost in the clutter of the chat box. My daughter uses WhatsApp to communicate with her sister. There are countless ways to connect with our loved ones abroad. This Christmas, +Google Philippines pays tribute to them through a video.It is so touching. Initial feedback from friends in my facebook wall is positive and uplifting
The message of the video is one can share the everyday no matter the distance. Google does this by having a balikbayan website at g.co/balikbayan.. At the Balikbayan website, “users can learn how to use Google tools like Hangouts, Search, and Maps can help them adjust to their new lives and countries, while still keeping in touch with their loved ones still in the Philippines. OFWs can also visit the Google+ Community called OFW Circle to connect with other OFWs around the world.”
My sister found the video so touching “I can really feel for our overseas Filipinos (because I am one of them).” The pangs of loneliness are just more pronounced on Christmas because most associate it with family.
Like I said, I console myself. Truly our home is where the heart is. My heart will always be with my two girls and my siblings. They will forever be my home. My brother is in Abu Dahbi which is another home, and my two other sisters are in California, another home to me. Europe is now one of my homes. My home is dear to me. My home is where my family is at this very moment wherever they may be, even if they are now are scattered all over the world.