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Wabe: A Seafarer’s Wife: Sailing a Long Distance RelationSHIP

Wabe: A Seafarer’s Wife: Sailing a Long Distance RelationSHIP
Hannah Victoria Wabe February 28, 2018

RELATIONSHIPS need nurturing! They can even be complicated with both parties present working hard to make their imperfect selves learn to accept flaws and differences. Add distance into the mix, along with children, and things become doubly hard. This is the case of a family whose ‘captain’ or head is a seafarer. Charish Bitaizar has been living this life for 15 years with her husband, Antonio. What makes it even more difficult—there are days when he is out on international waters and there is just no means of communication because there’s no signal in the ocean.

Ching, as she is fondly called by friends, shared: “Ganun talaga. I’ve gotten used to just being with my 2 daughters (Shaina and Antonette) because my husband is away for months. Half the year, at times even more, he is gone. And we will only see each other for a short time. In-accept ko na! Being a seafarer’s wife is really difficult because most of the time ‘Inatay’ jud ka... Ina-Tatay from doing all the household chores as maid, yaya, driver, gwardiya, and mama...doing all the budgeting, groceries, paying bills, and everything. At times, I want to cry because I’m tired. Parang ‘pinatay’ sa pagod na rin ang peg, but I still manage to say I am blessed because I am alive and kicking!”

Even if her husband earns good money, Charish still works hard to cultivate her own career. In fact, she recently won the “Apat Dapat Qualifier 2018 Award” from AXA insurance, which shows that she has touched many lives. She claimed it at the company’s annual awarding ceremony in Boracay. This is no mean feat considering she has to juggle many things by her lonesome. She said, “I’ve always wanted to have my own income. In the past, I’ve done a lot of things from direct-sales and opening up small businesses like a computer shop, small boutique, and salon. Currently, I am super proud of my work as a financial consultant for AXA. And, really, it helps me to keep busy, so I won’t miss him too much.”

Ching noted that she takes after her mom who has good business acumen. She said: “My mom and dad are really hard working. We don’t come from a rich family. But they showed me that if you set goals and don’t give up on dreams, things will be done by God’s grace. My mom died last November and the legacy that she left me is to never lose hope, always work hard, pray to God, give thanks, and stay humble no matter what. And the reason I push myself to work hard is so that I can also inspire my own children.”

She admitted one of the hardest lessons she learned was biting more than she can chew. There was a time wherein she struggled handling all the small businesses on her plate, along with mommy obligations, because she lacked the time and the reliable man power. She mentioned: “I don’t even have a housekeeper so di ko na-manage lahat. In the end, I had to learn to let go and quit while I was still ahead no matter how much it hurt. I learned money becomes worthless if you don’t have financial knowledge and you don’t know how to manage or balance all the other aspects of life because things become an un-enjoyable, uphill struggle.”

Ching said that she and her daughters appreciate the sacrifices Antonio makes for their family. Actually, he is one of her inspirations why she continues push-on—“As a seafarer, he earns a steady income at the expense of family time. Just like many OFWs, he misses important occasions. So it came to a point wherein I realized that the money he sends, they all go to payables. Of course, the tuition of our girls, our house, these are all sound investments. But I wanted to see more concrete stuff to show that his sacrifices have not gone to waste. We are not getting any younger/ healthier. We don’t want to work into our old age. And I don’t want him to come home with nothing to show for.”

She narrated that she prayed to God, and He answered her through AXA. This company is one of the largest life insurance companies in the country, offering financial security to more than one million individuals through their group and individual life insurance products. Ching said—“I found AXA through my business partner before. This company has become my tool to help me save more. I set aside money for our children’s education, our retirement, and our short/long term goals. The company has really helped me to be disciplined.”

She wants all moms like her to know—“Mommies this is the thing, if you are thinking that you’re a dead weight, you’re unable to help your husband, and you’re on full-blown self-pity mode; please stop. Setting aside part of your family’s income religiously is the best thing you can possibly do. The little things you do now will grow and work for you and your family in the future. It’s also important to take care of yourself, so you can best serve your family.”

Charish noted that her side hustle in AXA has become a passion—“I want everyone to start the habit of saving because the earlier you start, the more funds you will have for your future goals. Everyone needs to get into the habit of setting aside a portion of their income for retirement funds, health funds and emergency funds. Even if I get rejected, I still want to share to other’s Financial Needs Analysis because it makes me feel happy and fulfilled.” If you’re inclined to seek her help, please feel free to contact 0915-720-0507. Remember, it only takes a small leak to sink a giant ship. And life is like a giant ship with you as its captain! Take the wheel and choose to invest for yourself and family.