A foreign father´s wish


I was supposed to interview my uncle in his home for our Father's day article, but at the time of the interview, I visited him at the Malmi Hospital, lying on the hospital bed. He has fallen once again in his home.


My uncle's name is Bill and he loved to dance the cha-cha. He would dance with all his sisters in different events. He also makes the most delicious pandesals and siopaos and other favorite Filipino dishes. He is a gentleman, obedient, good-mannered, and a humble worker, who always says 'Yes Ma'm' and 'Yes Sir'.


Bill is one of the millions of Filipinos who sacrificed the welfare of their family and marriage to work abroad. They work hard to send money back home to provide a decent income for the family they left behind or to reunite the family again and migrate to the country as citizens. Bill's family chose to be left behind while he stayed in Finland for nearly 30 years.


Bill is one of the many pensioners who will rather stay in Finland instead of going back to his country of origin. The longer you live in a particular country, the more it becomes your home. You might have earned benefits such as pension that will cease when you do not live in Finland anymore and miss the healthcare services because they're not available in your country. You're not familiar or used to the weather or environment in your country because you have become accustomed to the weather and other conditions here.

Why are you here in Finland for a long time?

I have lived in Finland since October 10, 1989. I was then 46 years old. My sister, Lydia, invited me here, but it was hard to find work at first because I could not speak Swedish or Finnish. Eventually, I got a job from the Brazilian Embassy, where I worked for 10 months and in the Catholic Church as a cook and cleaner for four years. I became a sole trader and operated my cleaning business for five years. My clients were known names such as Ahlström, Truman, and Ahlbergs and mostly doctors and ambassadors.


I have a lot of friends and acquaintances in Finland. All in all, I've lived here for more than 25 years. I could not continue my business after the accident and I had operation when I was 63 years old. I will be 75 years old on November 28 and pr