It's fascinating how fast communications technology has developed over the past two decades, which in fact is just about the length of time I've lived on this Earth.
Having a dad who works overseas most of the year is a test of communication. When I was around 5-6 yrs old, the only communication we have are letters sent way ahead of time or received a little too late. Since the letters must be sent through incoming and outgoing crew members of the ship, the opportunity of sending letters are far and too spaced out in between so one cannot miss the chance of sending a letter.
Slowly, calls overseas came trickling like a drizzle during el Nino-- short, sweet, leaving you wanting for more. At least during those times, my dad could call during special occasions like birthdays or Christmas.
During my high school years, calls have become more frequent through radio satellite. The reception was filled with white noise, voices were barely audible, and on top of that you have to keep shouting "over-over" at the close of every line. The benefit when it comes to radio is that even if my dad is way out in the ocean, radio satellite is still available albeit very expensively.
Come college, ships are now upgraded and internet service is available on board. Email then became a staple mode of communication-- snail mail is out of the picture. The only problem we have with internet is that my mom refuses vehemently to learn how to operate a computer!
The solution was smartlink, a telephone especially designed for those out on the sea. It is cheap, fast, and clear. Today whenever my dad is near land, or is near the Philippines, he can call easily because the telephone works pretty much like a cellphone powered by cell sites.
It is an unfortunate fact of Philippine life that parents are forced to leave their children to seek employment abroad; at the very least, advancements in communications technology make it easier to bear.