“Sana makapag-abroad ako”
I have heard this line many times from young graduates to experienced professionals even to school kids.
In fact when you ask young kids what they want to be in life. Some will say, I want to become a doctor, policeman. I heard I want to work abroad just like my tito.
This is not a surprise at all considering that Philippines received $10 billion in the first five months of 2014 according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
I have met many motivated Kababayans who don’t even mind what kind of work they end up doing as long as they are able to get a job abroad and earn Dollars or other foreign currencies.
We have a lot of things that we don’t share. Here are the few things that we don’t tell you about OFW life.
1)Not all OFW’s are living the dream
You might have seen pictures of OFW’s sa labas ng Universal Studios or Disney Land na pino-post sa Facebook or Instagram but they never were inside and after the picture taking they are just having a very simple meal.
Nobody takes pictures of hard work, getting scolded by our employers or even when being cursed by our customers.
Nobody takes pictures when we are having high fever, homesick, crying and when alone and no one to talk to.
Nobody posts status updates when we are racially discriminated.
OFWs are victims of direct and indirect racial discrimination hndi lang nla sinasabi.
Nobody normally posts dramas on Social Media, We normally posts only the good stuffs, the happy stuffs.
Why we only post the good stuffs? Because we don’t want our family and friends to worry.
2) Most of the time, ATM ang tingin sa OFWs
Whenever there’s a financial need at home, the first person in mind is always the one who is abroad, believing that money is easy for OFWs.
As an overseas worker, everyone seems to think you won the lotto simply because you work abroad.
People ask for special favors or to fund their children’s baptisms and birthday parties, or for loans for a new business, just because their perspective is you always have money.
I have a lot of OFW friends having a hard time because of this. They themselves are having a hard time budgeting paying their rent for HDBs, topping up their EasyLink cards and suddenly they will receive a call, a text and now much the more faster – Facebook messages that someone had emergency and needs money.
A friend once told me, “Nagalit sakin friend ko , na-latekasi ako ng reply sa facebook pm kasi nanghihiram sakin ng pera.” Sa totoo lang kahit siya wala ng budget till next sweldo.
“Emergency reason” don’t happen once a year, It happens monthly quarterly for so many reasons and for so many people. Even to people that you really don’t talk to much in Philippines bigla kang uutangan.
3) Lonely life.
During holidays such as Christmas, New year, Birthdays and other occasions, we see our friends and families posts their photos and celebrating the holidays while we are working, Nakaka-homesick.
Imagine the following:
-Your family will have ‘Noche Buena’ and you need to sleep early because you have to go to work early or worst you are working during their Noche Buena.
-Your friends attending reunion with your kababata and your working.
We often imagine ourselves spending time with our families, and imagining going to our favorite places in the Philippines with our Family.
5) OFWs are always one step away from disaster
A lot of OFW’s don’t have insurance. We often hear news regarding accidents of OFWs and needs donation /government assistance to pay for their hospital bills etc.
Pag walang Emergency Funds ang OFW at Insurance, sino lalapitan namin incase of Emergency?
6) OFWs sometimes wants to give it all up and just go home
Every OFW comes to a point where he or she just wants to give up everything and go back home.
Most of the time OFWs feel that the challenges are already just too much already. Most OFW’s made big sacrifices already to be where they are and most have huge debts just to be able to get work abroad.
It is also not unusual for OFWs who has gone back home to be pressured to go back abroad because they are forced by the situation on their family.
“Nasanay na sa mataas na lifestyle ang family ng OFW and worst walang ipon. Kapapag uwi ng OFW, magugulat na lang walang naipundar ang pamilya nya, at sya lang pala ang inaasahan, nasanay sa luho, kaya pa pupuwersa sya ulit mag aborad”
Masaklap, pero ito ang nangyayari sa halos lahat ng OFW, kaya hindi matapos ang cycle ng OFW e.
Many are trapped in this cycle..
7) Iba parin ang Pinas
For those who left their children behind, I believe that no amount of money can replace the lost time, but they do what they can abroad just to feed their families in the Philippines
Are you an OFW? Do you have any experiences to share? Please share it and subscribe to www.nolanlazaro.com