She is a mother who never imagined to be away from home and be a teacher in a foreign land. She never even thought of teaching for it was never her profession. But because she wants to give her children a better life, she took that risk.
Estrella Fernandez, 39, a single parent from Quezon City, needs to work extra hard so that she could provide for her three children – Elaiza Marie (19), Jaren Marie (14), and Jazrell (5) . She and her husband got separated almost three years ago.
Instead of staying with her kids, Estrella decided to go abroad to fulfill her responsibility as a parent. She worked in Japan for 12 years and decided to transfer in South Korea.
“Nung 1996, nagtrabaho ako sa Japan. After 12 years, lumipat naman ako dito sa Korea. Bale almost three years na ako nagtatrabaho dito,” -(In 1996, I worked in Japan. After 12 years, I transferred here in Korea. I am working here for almost three years already,) Estrella said.
She decided to work in South Korea as a teacher. Even though she didn’t have much experience in teaching, she pursued it in a foreign land and applied in Iksan International College a year ago to teach English to children in pre-school.
The hardworking mom was once a factory supervisor in Korea for two years before she became a teacher. She transferred to a different job so that she could have higher salary.
“Mas mataas din kasi ang sinasahod ko dito kaya ito na rin ang napili kong trabaho,” (The salary here is higher that is why I chose to work here,) she shared.
During weekdays, she goes to school early in the morning, not missing a single day of teaching little children to speak English fluently. Being a kind-hearted and a sweet teacher, she treats her Korean students as her own.
Estrella said she always misses her children especially when she sees the pre-school students playing in the park with their parents. To overcome her homesickness, she’s always online 24 hours a day and seven days a week to make sure she could talk to them as much as she can.
“Nahihirapan ako magtrabaho in a way na I am away from my kids. Alam naman ng mga anak ko na ang ginagawa ko para sa kanila is for their best,” -(I find it hard to work in a way that I am away from my kids. I know that my daughters understand that what I am doing is for their best,) she said.
Same goes with her daughters, the eldest, Elaiza shared the moment when she misses her mom so much that she cried the whole day. She said that it was hard for them to be separated from their parents but they understand it completely. When she is online, she always find time to chat with her mom and share her problems and other sentiments that happened in school.
“There are times when I misses my mother so much. That is why I always open my Facebook account to chat with her. I admit that it is really hard to be away from our mom especially that she is the only parent we have. But I know it’s for our good,” Elaiza shared.
Estrella’s passion for her work as a teacher has helped a lot to support her family. She now earns enough to provide her children their needs and wants. But Estrella admits she still does not want to go back to the Philippines until they are not done yet with their studies.
Truly a mother at its best! Despite having to deal with life the hard way, Estrella said she will continue to persevere to become the best mother as well as a father. Teaching may not be her dream job, but for her, it is an opportunity to impart knowledge to her Korean students as well as to provide a brighter future to her young daughters.