7 Comparative Facts Between Lorenzo Ruiz and Our OFWs

There are 7 Continents and 7 Oceans on the globe. There are 7 Colors in the rainbow and 7 Notes on the musical scale. There is a pattern of 7 Stars which are guiding stars (The Big Dipper) and there are 7 Objects in the solar system that are visible to the naked eye. There are 7 Metals of antiquity upon which civilisation is based, and 7 Levels in the periodic table of elements.

There are many more 7′s in the universe and the world around us if we look hard enough. Interestingly when we look at the Bible we see that the number 7 is God’s divine number. It signifies perfection and completeness in God’s eyes.

So let me use 7 to give interesting notes both religious and factual about this blog post.

People might ask so why compare the Saint Lorenzo Ruiz to OFW, so here are the points:

  • Lorenzo Ruiz was raised in a conventional Filipino lifestyle, brought up by conservative Filipino-Chinese family and coming from a social status considered to be Indio or slave during the Spanish colonization. Amid this situation, he continued serving the Catholic Church. He left for Okinawa, Japan on June 10, 1636 in order avoid issues or a probable case where he was accused of killing a Spaniard. Our OFWs also goes for escape or probably of hoping a better lifestyle for their families by working abroad. The scarcity of opportunities, the political scandals, the apathy from other members of the society convinced them to seek better chances abroad. The aggregate from data of the CFO, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reveals that Japan in the Top 10 OFW destinations.


  • On 27 September 1637, Ruiz and his companions were taken to the Nishizaka Hill, where they were tortured by being hung upside down a pit, a punishment since Christianity was prohibited during that time. For OFWs, according to an article of Inquirer dated July 9, Filipinos are the largest number of foreign nationals detained in Japan for violations of its immigration laws, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The Japanese Catholic Bishops Conference said that as of August 2013, there are still around 5,000 undocumented OFWs staying in Japan, with over 100 of them detained in immigration centers.
  • Lorenzo has strong faith with God.

“Isa akong Katoliko at buong-pusong tinatanggap ang kamatayan para sa Panginoon. Kung ako man ay may isanlibong buhay, lahat ng iyon ay iaalay ko sa Kanya.”
According to Latin missionary accounts sent back to Manila, Ruiz declared these words upon his death:
In English this may be rendered:
“I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for the Lord; If I had a thousand lives, all these I shall offer to Him.”

Our OFWs, wherever they go maintains the same devotion, though at times might be still challenged but to regularly rekindle their faith remains notable.
  • Lorenzo was accused of committing a crime that even up to now is not yet clear. Our OFWs may have an idea of their struggles here in our country but still clueless why their plight has never been better.
  • Lorenzo offended the Spaniards that’s why he sought refuge abroad, our OFWs have offended no one but only the idea that they have to provide means for their families to survive and give them decent lifestyle.
  • Lorenzo was a Martyr, a Saint while our OFWs are considered our today’s hero as credited by providing us remittances that are undeniably helpful in boosting our economy.
  • Lastly, both lives of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and OFWs are very inspiring, worth to be told many times even in various forms like Theater.
The following is the official synopsis:
LORENZO is a contemporary opera about a condemned Filipino awaiting execution in the Middle East for having murdered his employer.
A reporter from Manila is sent there to cover the case. She finds him in prison planning out a theater production based on the life of the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz. The condemned Pinoy, who had once been active in theater groups in Manila, is writing this play to to thank the saint for giving his life a 180-degree turn.
The musical-opera narrates the strange events in the life of Lorenzo Ruiz, a parish assistant in the Church of Binondo. He becomes a fugitive from the law after having killed a Spaniard. The parish priest helps him escape and accidentally joins a group of merchants en route to Japan. But, Lorenzo is pursued by ill fortune. He realizes that he is among a group of missionaries disguised as merchants, who are hoping to enter Okinawa clandestinely. The opera focuses on the physical odyssey to escape the law.
The trip deepens into an inner journey of two Pinoys, one from history, another a contemporary living the life of a vagabond OFW, overcoming mental anguish and spiritual turmoil, as they both help each other question the nature of fate, one’s faith, and the real meaning of love.
The opera is an intense and provocative examination of today’s issue on exile and its myriad consequences, and the deeper questions of what it really takes to BE A FILIPINO.
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