It should have been a joyous homecoming this Christmas for Marites Seraspe Agbu, an Overseas Filipino Worker based in Hong Kong. However, shortly before her arrival, her father passed away.
Agbu was grateful she was with the family in their hour of grief. She counts it among the blessings that have sustained her through the 20 years she has been working abroad, since she was barely out of her teens, to support her parents and sisters, and now her own family.
As though to ease the somber mood of her homecoming, her arrival coincided with the launch of the PLDT-Smart #OFWins Christmas Grand Salubong project at the NAIA Terminal 3.
Marites was an instant raffle prize winner, a balikbayan on the receiving end of the customary pasalubong.
For Agbu, the unexpected happy circumstance was yet another testament to the importance of staying positive.
“If God sends trials, it is to strengthen our trust in Him…All things work together for good,” she said.
“You will make many OFWs happy with this project,” Agbu told PLDT-Smart officials as she received her prize, a basket of goodies from Duty Free Philippines.
Alex O. Caeg, PLDT SVP & Head of Consumer Business, said OFWs have been an important sector of the firm’s market because of their need to stay connected to loved ones back home, initially through calls, and now through the internet.
“We relay their joys, sorrows, everyday experiences so that they don’t feel so far away – until they are able to make their way back home, such as at Christmas,” he said.
To join the Grand Salubong pick-a-prize raffle project, returning OFWs just present proof of their overseas employment, then pluck an ornament from the Christmas Tree of prizes at NAIA 1 or 3. Each ornament contains a raffle stub with corresponding prizes that can be won on the spot.
Over a hundred OFWs won in the first week of December. Daily draws will continue till Dec. 20, and for a limited time at the Mactan International Airport.
The project is conducted in partnership with the Manila International Airport Authority and Duty Free Philippines.
Prizes include smartphones, gift baskets, a staycation experience, and franchise packages from sponsors such as Happy Skin, Golden ABC, Reyes Haircutters, Zoomanity Group, Wilcon Depot, Lamoiyan Corp., RFM Corp., Potato Corner, R. Lapids, Baliwag Lechon Manok, SilverWorks, Kimstore, Kkday and more.
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