Each year, the Filipino Community in Vietnam (Samahang Pinoy Sa Vietnam) holds a Christmas party in Ho Chi Minh City that brings together Filipinos to celebrate the festive season.
Paskulitan is an opportunity for them to let their hair down and put aside the difficulties in their lives for an afternoon.
In 2019, there were approximately 2.2 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) dispersed throughout the world working in industries as wide-ranging as entertainment, health, engineering, education, hospitality and caregiving (just to name a few).
Their remittances back to the Philippines totalled at least US$4.4 billion, providing much needed income and support for their families, many of whom live precariously close to the poverty line.
The majority of OFWs are women who make enormous sacrifices to provide for their children and grandchildren. Many of these women go years without seeing their families and miss out on the precious joy of seeing their kids grow up and become adults.
In this video, we speak to some of these women and capture a sense of the daily struggle they experience just to provide for their families, something many of us take for granted and enjoy as a basic human right.
But, as we discover, it’s not all sadness and despair, there is, indeed, great happiness as well.
Lifelong friendships are forged amidst the adversity and parties like Paskulitan provide a renewed sense of faith in multiple ways and give OFWs the strength to continue on for as long as it takes to give their loved ones back home the opportunity for the best possible start in life.
Video by Matthew Cowan & Melanie Casul for The Bureau Asia at https://thebureauasia.com/
Follow Matt on Instagram @mattcowansaigon
Follow Mel on Instagram @melaniecasul