Two Filipino migrant workers and their families were awarded the 2018 Model OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) Family of the Year Award by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in the Cordillera region in the Philippines.

Conrado Sevilleja, who received the land-based category of the award with his family, started working as an electrician in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s before moving to Australia and New Zealand to work as a lineman. In 2017, he returned to the Philippines and now manages an 18-hectare eco-farm in Abra, Philippine News Agency reported.

The other awardee, Bernardo Salib-o, who received the sea-based category of the award, worked as a waiter at the Baguio Country Club in the Philippines for two years before beginning work for a cruise line. Salib-o has now been working for the cruise line for 10 years.

Manuela Peña, chief of the OWWA – Cordillera, said that the awards were given not only for their financial success, but for their close family ties.

“It is quite easy to become a successful overseas Filipino worker in terms of economic achievement, but we found out it is difficult to maintain family relations and turn (the life of a migrant worker) into success,” Peña said.

The two men and their families were presented with their awards on Friday at the Paragon Hotel in Baguio City in Cordillera Region, Philippines.