What OFW’s don’t tell you about life abroad?

What OFW’s don’t tell you about life abroad?

“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.

ofws
Image courtesy of Definitely Filipino

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.

ofw

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..

rafel pulmano

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

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28 Comments
  • Reynaldo Reyes, Jr.
    Posted at 21:58h, 27 July Reply

    That was me.

    • Administrator
      Posted at 22:12h, 27 July Reply

      hi Reynaldo! How many years have you been working abroad? Can you share your story?

  • Bentong
    Posted at 23:46h, 27 July Reply

    sa totoo lang habang binabasa ko itong sulat na ito naiiyak na ako kasi totoo lahat ito madami na ako kilala parehas kong OFW 25 years in abroad wala naipundar
    Hirap talaga malayo sa pamilya there are times na umi iyak ako mag isa di ko alam dahilan, pero nilalabanan ko nalang.
    eto ang isa pang katutuhanan pa sa mga OFW pag pinadalhan mo nanay mo nagagalit asawa mo, pero kong pamilya ng asawa mo pinadalhan mo tuwang tuwa sila bakit ganon

    • Administrator
      Posted at 16:43h, 28 July Reply

      Thank you sa pagsulat sir Bentong, Saan po kayong bansa ngayon nag ttrabaho? Nagwork po ako sa alkhobar saudi arabia, tpos nag singapore po ako.
      Thank you at nagustuhan nio po ang sulat ko, nanggaling po kasi ito sa sarili kong experience bilang isang OFW, alam ko po at naranasan ang hirap ng malayo sa sariling bansa, alam ko po mga sakripisyo ng isang OFW, makapag bigay lang ng magandang buhay sa ating minamahal sa Pinas. nanggaling ang isinulat ko sa sariling experience at mga experience at kwento ng kapwa ko OFW

      Sana po makapag pundar na po kayo, para sa ganun, makauwi na kayo sa Pinas ng maayos.

  • john
    Posted at 11:41h, 28 July Reply

    Nakakaiyak nmn. I remember I was suffering from kidney stone. The pain attacked that I couldn’t bear it but to cry, pray, and go to clinic. No one knows about it in the Philippines coz I didn’t want them to worry about me. No one was there when I cried for help…

    • Administrator
      Posted at 17:29h, 28 July Reply

      HI John! Thank you for sharing your story..You are right. Almost all OFWs don’t share with their loved ones whenever they’re sick because they don’t want them to worry about them.
      You are working in which country now?

  • Jho-ni-Mark
    Posted at 12:58h, 28 July Reply

    Tama yan.., ang sabihin mo pa yung iba gusto maging citizen/immigrant ng isang bansa aroad. Butin reality sa puso nila gusto nilang umuwi na sa pinas.

    • Administrator
      Posted at 17:30h, 28 July Reply

      HI Jho Ni Mark! iba pa rin talaga ang nsa sariling bansa 🙂 Thank you for reading my post

  • Adam Pontigon
    Posted at 16:23h, 28 July Reply

    God Bless all OFW , kung wala kayo bagsak na bansa natin

    • Administrator
      Posted at 17:29h, 28 July Reply

      Thank you Adam 🙂 OFWS – The modern day heroes

  • D3s3rt
    Posted at 18:57h, 28 July Reply

    Masakit isipin n nakaka alala lng mga pamilya pag malapit n suweldo. Pag tumawag p unahin p mga bayarin nde k man lng makamusta kung ano kalagayan mo. Nde man lng mgtxt kung nakuha n perang padala. Pag nde p nkpagpdala Panay tawag or txt pag nakuha n perang padala ala n.

    • Administrator
      Posted at 19:42h, 28 July Reply

      HI D3s3rt! Masakit isipin na ang naalala lang ay yun kailangan sayo, pero pag walang kailangan, hndi ka kakamustahin. malayo ka na nga sa pamilya mo, hndi ka pa halos naaalala. Gantong ganto din ang na share sakin ng karamihang OFW na kasama ko at nakakausap ko, nakakalungkot…

  • Yeth
    Posted at 21:22h, 28 July Reply

    Mas lalong masakit yung isinakripisyo monang lahat tpos yung aswang iniwan mo di magawang mging tpat syo,,,hirap tlgang mging OFW iyak nlng mggwa mo kpag nlman mong my gingwan ang aswa

    • Administrator
      Posted at 19:04h, 29 July Reply

      HI Yeth… masakit yan 🙁 nightmare yan ng OFW..

  • Mickey
    Posted at 23:27h, 28 July Reply

    sad but true kasi kasiyahan lang ng ofw ang makapagpadala ng pera na iispin nyang napunan lahat ng pangangailangan ng pamilya kahit katumbas nito pati allowance napasama sa padala, naranasan ko na rin to minsan kalungkot lang isipin awa sa sarili maramdaman kung gutom galing sa trabaho at la ng pera pammerienda.. but all smiles pa rin,,,

    • Administrator
      Posted at 19:06h, 29 July Reply

      we work hard ng sobra just to give or pra mkpg remit ng pera to our loved one… pero sa sarili nating mga ofw, matipid tayo..
      d lang halata kc all smiles and picture sa magagandang lugar… but deep inside, malungkot, nangungulila tayo

  • Duane Ascano
    Posted at 01:45h, 29 July Reply

    I am a seafarer for just two yrs now, i experienced all of this already,what more my other fellow ofw who worked much longer then me… Im crying right now

    • Administrator
      Posted at 19:07h, 29 July Reply

      HI Duane! i salute you for being a modern day hero, by the way, OFW din ako although nkbalik nko sa Pinas for good. I know how hard it is and your hardships, sacrifices pra mkpag provide lng sa family mo gngwa mo lahat for them.. 🙁

  • Julian Sancho
    Posted at 14:05h, 29 July Reply

    Sobrang relate ako kahit na almost 3 years palang dito sa KSA at first time bilang OFW lalo na dun sa “emergency” at “lonely life” issues. Maayos naman ang workplace bilang nagtatrabaho sa isang state university at di hamak na mas mataas ang buwanang sweldo kung ikumpara sa Pinas. Halos 2 beses palaging umuwi kada taon simula noong 2013 at may maayos na accommodation. Pero may mga oras kadalasan bigla nalang ako nakakaramdam ng lungkot dahil malayo sa pamilya at higit sa lahat yung pakiramdam na tinatawag nilang “alienation” sa mga anak. Pakiramdam ko kasi ay unti-unti nang nagiging estranghero ako sa aking 4 na anak at malamang ganun din sila sa akin dahil 1-2 buwan ko lang silang nakakasama kada taon simula noong ako ay nangibang bansa. Mahirap labanan ang lungkot na dito ko lang nararanasan pero kailangang labanan para sa kinabukasan ng pamilya.

    • Administrator
      Posted at 19:10h, 29 July Reply

      HI Julian, i worked sa Alkhobar din dati before ako magwork sa Singapore, madmi ako kabayan na experience na magaganda sa Saudi, mababait ang mga nakasama ko dun at they guided me tlga, bagito at batang bata pa ako that time,. d man lang ako maruning maglaba or magluto nun, Im very thankful sa mga Tga EXTRA khobar mbabait cla, p[g nahohomesick ako, sa pasko or new year, kami lagi magkakasama,. sobrang sacrifice.. ibang iba sa middle east 🙁 swerte nlng ako , lahat ng nakasama ko sa saudi, sobrang bait 🙂

  • Lorellie abella
    Posted at 18:59h, 29 July Reply

    Nakakalungkot ,,iI really feel so sad after reading this kc isa ako sa mga OFW na nakakaranas ng mga ganito ,,

    • Administrator
      Posted at 19:11h, 29 July Reply

      hi Lorellie,, i salute you for being a modern day hero,, i salute you for being brave to work overseas and for all your sacrifices just to provide a good standard of living for your loved ones.. sorry sa article,,, i wrote it from the heart… isa din kasi akong dating OFW – Nolan Lazaro

  • Lorellie abella
    Posted at 19:00h, 29 July Reply

    Nakakalungkot ,,iI really feel so sad after reading this kc isa ako sa mga OFW na nakakaranas ng mga ganito ,,relate much….

  • raymond
    Posted at 12:31h, 30 July Reply

    Thumbs up pra sau sir… Mgandang eye opener ito pra s Mga kmag anak nting Mga ofw n d lhat ng nag aabroad ay Mganda npu2nthan, my Mga friends kc q dto s taiwan n npilitang magTNT dhil s hirap ng Buhay, Kla kc ng ibng relatives ntn s pinas n pinupulot lng ang pera abroad… D nla Alam behind our smiles s Mga post pic, Puro prob Dn… Tz icpin p ng iba s pinas Puro psrap lng dto s abroad…

    • Administrator
      Posted at 14:19h, 03 August Reply

      HI Raymond, Thank you 🙂
      Take care jan sa Taiwan and thakn you for subscribing to my blog 🙂

    • Administrator
      Posted at 08:36h, 26 October Reply

      HI RAYMOND! Thank you for reading my article, normally amng tingin satin sa Pinas e, nagpapakasarap lang at namumulot ng pera. d kasi nila alam ang hiran na dinadanas natin. Feel free to share this article sa fb mo or thru your friends Raymond! Thanks sa supprt at sana mamdami pang makabasa ng blog especially mga ofws

  • Billy
    Posted at 22:53h, 21 July Reply

    Great insights. Saludo kami sa inyong mga OFWs. Mabuhay kayo!

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