This overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Puerto Princesa City, Palawan pretended to be a stranger when she approached her family at a beach in Dec. 2021.
In a video posted on social media, uploader Manilyn Cortez is seen asking her unsuspecting family if it would be okay to eat with them.
The clip then proceeds to show the awkward moment between Cortez and her family as she attempts to get some food.
After a few minutes, her niece finally recognizes her and shouts her name. Cortez’s sister immediately hugs her while her mom Nanay Margarita also reaches out to embrace her.
Cortez said she came up with the surprise before leaving Kuwait for her planned vacation in the Philippines.
According to Cortez, she told her family that she couldn’t go home for the holidays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cortez said that only her sister and boyfriend knew the surprise for her family.
“Wala po silang idea na uuwi na ako ng Pinas that time sa Kuwait pa lang po ako nagplano na po ako na I-supresa sila. ‘Yung ate ko po po ang kasabwat ko at siya rin po ang kumuha ng video. Nagplano kami ng ate ko na magbeach at ‘yun nga po ang plano ko na makikain sakanila,” she recalled.
Cortez said that she did not expect the emotional reaction of her mother after seeing her.
“Di ko akalain na ganun magiging reaksyon ni Mama. Di na po na-videohan ‘yung moment namin ni Papa na sobrang hagulgol niya sa iyak habang niyayakap niya ako. Sobrang masaya po ako na nakabalik ako ng Pinas para makapiling sila,” she shared.
To help her family, she decided to work miles away from home. Cortez has been working in Kuwait for 3 years.
“Sobrang masaya po ako na nakabalik ako ng Pinas para makapiling sila. Pero malungkot kasi babalik naanman ako para matulungan ang pamilya. Sobrang mahirap na malayo sa pamilya pero kinakaya para sakanila,” she said.
“Lahat gagawin ko para sa kanila. Para mapasaya at masuklian lahat ng paghihirap nila sa akin at sa aming magkakapatid. Kahit mahirap ang buhay ay napagtapos nila ako ng pag-aaral kaya lahat ng pagsisikap na ginagawa ko ay para sa kanila,” she added.
She is scheduled to fly back to Kuwait on March 14, 2022.
The emotional reunion, with more than 5.3 million views, touched the hearts of netizens.