I never dreamed in my early life to work far away from home, but there’s a saying that goes “life is worth living” and the only way to get out of the wilderness once I was into is to say goodbye to my Motherland. And it’s true, life has a purpose. As a human being, I have my own problems and difficulties in life. But as an OFW, virtual reality is a medium to share ideas, experiences and in some ways to lend a hand to others; and in the process forgetting who I am and become who I am really am. – BongA
Acceptance Speech – Outstanding Balikbayan and OFW Reputation Award
(December 10, 2013, Mall of Asia/SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, Philippines)
This coming 13 December 2013, the OFW Empowerment blog will be celebrating its 8 years anniversary.
When I found out that I will be receiving this award today it gave me time to ruminate on the period of time I have spent on my laptop, day and night just to pleased my fellow OFWs in search of answers to their woes and grievances working in the foreign land.
First and foremost I would like to thank them for their trust in me and the ofwempowerment blog for all these years.
Last year, OFWempowerment Blog review of the WordPress 2012 Annual Report stated that “about 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 340,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 6 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!”
As of today, the blog has 1,104,931 visitors and No. 8 in the list of Philippine top blogs under the community category. We have 2,341 followers, 1,679 emails only followers, 1009 Facebook followers, 19,045 comments, all answered and as of to date 263 comments unanswered yet, because I am here with you today.
What I achieve is just like a drop in a bucket; yet I owe it from my fellow OFWs who made the OFWempowerment blog stronger as ever that even a mightiest storm surge cannot weaken the foundation that this blog has been molded for the past years. And to receive an award for something I love doing is a true reward for which I am very grateful.
I would like to express my heartfelt and sincere appreciation to Exlinkevents the creator of OBRA (pang lima na PO ngayon) more particularly to Ms. Mitch Ballesteros, the woman behind this big curtain and the awards WE are reaping today; and to Orly Ballesteros as well, the COO of Exlink Corporation.
There is only one thing we can do as a gesture of gratitude to the organizer, to all the AWARDEES WE CAN DO MORE by supporting EXLINK recent events that are just around the corner, the 10th Megabalikbayan OFW Expo, the OFW Business Summit, the International Beauty, Health and Wellness Expo, the International Travel Expo and many more.
I want to finish up by once again thanking everyone for giving me this beautiful Christmas, this wonderful award. Your guidance, your warm camaraderie, and my personal special thanks to Lyza and Sarah of Exlinks.
To my wife-Minda and my brother-Daniel, Jr. and his wife Lorna, who are here today to witness this once and a lifetime occasion. To each and every one of us who are here today- thank you for sharing with me this glorious memory of a very proud and happy time in my life, a memory I am sure to reflect upon for years to come.
I am truly honored to receive Exlink events OBRA’s Outstanding Filipino Blogger Advocate Award.
LASTLY, To the seven Filipino health workers died just recently in Yemen blast along with the Eleven other Filipinos wounded in the attack – THIS AWARD IS FOR ALL OF YOU!