Why Do Filipino OFWs Remain Poor?

ofws
Teaching them to save and invest will be the more direct and effective route to stopping Filipino diaspora than Constitutional Reform.

OFWs, are in a way, like sharks.

In a certain ways, they’re on top of the food chain when it comes to the amount of money they earn and in certain instances, in terms of the professional advancement that they achieve abroad.

While it is true that we have teachers who end up as “nannies”, nurses who end up as “caregivers”, and doctors who become nurses, there are also instances where Filipino mechanics become sought after engine specialists or in the case of a friend, a lowly “tubero” who became a major plumbing contractor.  Then there is the case of an accountant in-law who became a top level finance manager for an investment firm in Seattle.

But no matter how it is, a Filipino nanny earns several times more than the yaya and a waitress in the swankiest restaurant here in Manila probably earns a tenth of what a waitress on board a luxury cruise ship.

This is a reason why a great number of our countrymen leave to work in foreign countries.  This is also the reason why OFW remittances account for a huge chunk of our country’s foreign currency earnings.

Just consider that in the first three quarters of 2012, OFWs brought in $17.3 Billion!

But, why is it, that despite all the money that OFWs are earning and despite all the money they are bringing into the economy, a large number of OFWs remain poor and the Philippines continues to be a third world country?

Going back to what I said about OFWs being like sharks, these sea creatures actually stop absorbing oxygen from water when they stop swimming.  This is because, unlike more evolved fish, they cannot pump water over their gills and must keep in constant motion in order to keep oxygenated water running over their gills.

When OFWs come back home to the Philippines, their income stops and without any other source of income, they basically have to live off whatever they have saved up — which may not be much.  Once their savings are gone or just before it’s completely depleted, OFWs sign up for another contract and leave for work again.

Of course, there are other reasons.

In 2010, Fr. Edwin Corros revealed that 60 percent of the OFW families remain poor. (Corros, the executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, a panel of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.)

Among the many reasons Corros cited for OFWs remaining poor were that “wages promised them are lower than promised and they have to pay off debts incurred in preparing for overseas work. Worse, many of them also suffer from abusive employers and/or fall prey to human traffickers—tragedies that entail extra costs for them and their families in terms of hospitalization, loss of wages and legal fees.”

Further into the article, Ferdinand Berba, senior vice president for Business Development of Pioneer Life Insurance, pointed out that Filipino migrant workers have very little savings compared to migrant workers from China and Indonesia.

Berba says 42% of the savings of Filipino migrant workers are usually spent on emergency expenses, children’s education (34%), food (6.6%), marriage or other future plans (5.9 %), business investment (3.4 %), and housing (2.9 %).

But, perhaps, one cliched image of the Pinoy OFW says it all and symbolizes the reason why they remain poor.

balikbayan-cargo

You see a balikbayan box, I see consumption spending and this type of spending doesn’t end at the Duty Free Shop (if at all Filipinos still shop at Duty Free for imported goods).  The spending continues even as they make their way home to their provinces.

There’s the obligatory series of food and alcohol mini-fiestas they sponsor on behalf of their relatives.  Then there’s the frequent trips to the mall where they purchase lots of “aspirational goods and services” — gadgets, internet, cellphone services, cosmetic treatment, etcetera.  Beyond that, there can be gambling and frequent nights out in bars — wholesome and otherwise.

Of course, there are those among the OFW crowd that “intelligently” spend on things of more substantial value like a brand new car or a house and lot, often erroneously referred to as “assets”.

One such case is that of an OFW who worked as low level computer programmer in Singapore who bought a brand new M3 2.0L R 4-DR AT 5-Speed at zero interest.  Being quite proud of this acquisition, he couldn’t help but tell every one who cared and didn’t care about his new car.

To me, however, the purchase was grossly stupid.

For one, and this is a widely known fact that the OFW from Singapore was too lazy and stupid to research on, was that the moment he took the Mazda out of the showroom its value depreciated by at least 10 percent!  An M3 2.0L has a showroom tag price of P1.2 Million and once it is driven out, it’s cost plummets by P120,000 — meaning, if you were to sell the car right after driving it out, it would fetch only around 1.080 Million pesos.  And it gets worse, in three years it will lose a minimum of 42% of its value and on resale, it would be lucky to fetch something like 550,000 pesos.  In five years, the car will probably be worth around 200,000 or less.

Check out the price of these second hand Mazda 3s on Sulit.com

mazda 3 1 mazda 3 2 mazda 3 3

Here’s a bit more to consider about depreciation:

Depreciation is a major factor. Automotive sources use a basic formula that spans an average five-year ownership of a vehicle to determine its depreciation value. According to a recent survey by CarMax, high mileage on a car was the number one factor in its depreciation. Other sources, such as Popular Mechanics, cite poor quality, bad design, the expense of repairs and sometimes just that the general public doesn’t like the car. Do you remember the Edsel? Born from a marketing blitz, the Ford Motor Company created an entire division around the car. It seemed destined for success, but it bombed. Nothing was really wrong with the car. In fact, it had state-of-the-art technology for the era, but consumers hated it.

Ford isn’t the only carmaker that saw the value of one of its models sink like an anchor when it hit the lot. The Mazda RX didn’t live up to its hype, and sales of the car dropped.

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1012/cars-that-depreciate-in-value-the-most.aspx#ixzz2KWE9CMmj

(If you’re thinking of buying a car, this car depreciation infograph from www.edmunds.com is simple and very easy to understand.  If you want the nutshell, it’s at the bottom of the infograph and it says: On average, a new car loses 11 percent of its value the moment youleave the lot… during the first five years the car depreciates by 15% to 25% each year… after five years, teh car is worth 37 percent of what you paid for it at the dealership.)

Compounding this stupidity is that the OFW from Singapore bought the car at installment!!  Even at a zero percent interest rate (which can be misleading), you’d still probably end up paying a higher amount than if you paid for the brand new car in cash — which even then is still pretty stupid.

But what if, for some reason, the OFW from Singapore can’t get another job contract or his contract gets renegotiated to a substantially lower pay? What then?

Oh well, maybe the OFW from Singapore was really saying that he had that much money to burn.  Maybe…

In any case, perhaps the OFW from Singapore will defend his purchase and ability to pay for such a purchase by saying that he’s got a lot of money invested in stocks.  And that really just betrays his lack of understanding of the difference between “investments” and “income”.

Stocks don’t give you an income in the same way as, let’s say, a bond or even money loaned out at interest.  Stocks pay dividends, if at all dividends are declared and that’s the only time the company sends you a check.  The other way to earn money from stocks is to trade it in the market and you basically earn money (or lose money) depending on the price that your stock catches.

If you’ve invested in Philippine stocks, considering how little it moves, I’d say you’d either have to be in for the long haul (years) or anticipating a large flux within the trading day (hours).  In either case, you’re probably not going to earn that much unless you’re talking about big enough volumes and even then, you won’t earn as much as people who trade in Hongkong, the US, etecetera.

Moving on, because I’ve already got a headache just thinking about the OFW from Singapore, perhaps it would be better if we considered the insight of a friend of mine.

One thing that he notice among most OFWs is their tendency to send all if not most of their earnings to the Philippines and don’t save money.  Treating money with a bit more emotion than they should, perhaps thinking that their absence could somehow be made up for with the money sent over, these OFWs often end up coming home to find that all the money had been spent.  And worse, his family has ended up in debt or is about to end up in debt.

What usually happens is that, basically, the OFW’s family back home suddenly experiences a surge in income and begin spending a larger amount of money than when the OFW was hadn’t landed a contract yet.   If the OFW sends the equivalent of P20,000, all of that gets spent and then some.  At some point, usually at the end of the OFW’s contract, the money stops coming and being accustomed to a higher level of spending, the OFW’s family fails to scale down their expenses on the mistaken notion that more money will come.

What my friend thought of as a solution to this would be somewhat viewed as heartless and it basically entails sending over as little as possible back home in order to save money.  The money saved up by the OFW should then be invested and it would be ideal if the OFW can have their investment in the country they are working in.  It could be in a bank with interest rates higher than banks in the Philippines, or in a small business which they can run on their days off.

It doesn’t matter what they eventually do with their savings, so long as they save money and find a way to make it earn more money.  What is even more important is changing the Pinoy OFW practice of sending all their money home where it will just dissipate.

In the end perhaps, just changing this mindset will be a more direct and easier route to solving the Filipino diaspora than, say, changing the form of government or taking out the constitutional provision on foreign capital limits or pushing of a Federated Philippines.

Anyway, I guess this is as much as I can write right now (the post is already nearly 2,000 words long) and if you want to know more about what OFWs should do they ought to read this article in GMA News TV.

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102 Comments on “Why Do Filipino OFWs Remain Poor?”

  1. I’d like to compare notes with my Pinoys’ Poor Money Habits article:

    1. Wasteful habits have been ingrained into Filipino Culture as tradition and custom. Or even just personal bad habits that they refuse to break.

    2. Sense of Entitlement – of the palamunins at home. Give ’em less than they want.

    But this article can also explain why Filipinos are generally poor.

    While I still bat for altering the 1987 Constitution… these personal money habits of Filipinos need much attention.

  2. @Paul Ferol,

    I dont know the actual circumstances of the individual OFW and what part of the her/his income is transmitted back home. Maybe the OFW doesnt need much and therefore can send the bulk of her income back home. But why does she send it back home? Because a) she is married to a man; and b) she has kids; and c) she has a big extended family that needs to be taken care of. (Is this correct?).

    Now if only the system was less focused on the (extended) family then the need to send money back home was less and the guilt would also be less.

    In short: I blame the system that Phili households are very family focused and oriented. If they would be more focused as being individuals then would also be less guilt. Its this emotional blackmail in part that makes OFWs to send such a bulk of money back home. Its not her own family but also the nieces, grannies, uncles, aunts that will benefit from that money. In return there is no counter achievement. So in a way the OFW is sponsoring the system and by doing that will keep the system alive till eternity.

    PS: individualism should not be confused with selfishness.

    1. Hi Robert! Thanks for commenting and I do agree with your comment, particularly when you pointed out “emotional blackmail”.

      However, I differ a bit with your opinion in that I would rather drop “blackmail” and just focus on the “emotionalism” with which most Pinoys treat money.

      Of course, there is a need to take care of our emotional needs but when it comes to money, we should try not to make decisions based on emotions — though we will not be able to completely eliminate this element.

      After all, it’s these emotions that drives Pinoys to excel abroad and when they do make it good, their first impulse is to share as much as they can. I think the same can be said of other nationalities.

      However, I guess, some cultures emphasize saving more over spending and investments over expenditures.

      I think that is they key thing, more than anything.

      1. But Robert is correct about the “emotional blackmail” that many families here enslave their OFWs abroad. No point of reporting what is factual if we can’t face, nor agree, with the truth.

    2. Not in full agreement with the statement, but I’ll put an adjustment. Help those of your family and of the extended family who are ready to help themselves after and then has the common sense to give the proper kind of “utang na loob”. I’m not all for individualism (sometimes even has s**tty aspects and dangerous tendencies), but I do believe that individualism can be compatible to collectivism as long as it is done in freedom and goodwill of all parties.

        1. Indeed it is. I really love to put up something that should likely go to the root of the problem(philosophically). Besides the potential of the OFWs is so immense it would be best to stretch the positive things(OFW’s in particular, can do)both for the nation, for the family and for themselves. I like the post in general as it puts up the basis of what is currently the phenomena in the OFW community. Luckily my aunt in the UK deviated such practices and is now doing something more than most OFWs are doing.

    3. “I blame the system that Phili households are very family focused and oriented.”

      I don’t totally agree with your observation.
      I think it’s the culture of leeching on another family member is the issue. Why can’t the family left at home use the money received as an investment to start a business, instead of leeching those abroad?

      I wouldn’t mind if I send money home, as long as they’ll use it to invest, instead of leeching me.

      1. I dont know what the circumstances are for the OFW in reference to those who stayed at home. Is the OFW the only person who gets an income or are those at home (in PH) also employed? I guess it makes a huge difference for what purpose the money sent back home will be spend on if in case the OFW is the only one who is employed or that the poeple at home are also employed. In the latter case the money can be used on savings and/or investments. On the other hand, not everybody is an expert where and how to invest money: shares, bonds, put-options, real estate, gold, …?

  3. I haven’t read the whole content of your blog yet but I just noticed one thing about your title/subject, you generalized all the OFWs. maybe you can change it to ” why the majority of Filipino OFWs remain poor” 😀

      1. Most of what you have wrote above are precisely correct. I want to share some of my story as an OFW here in KSA, when I decided to work here five (5) years ago, i told to myself maybe 3-5 years are enough for me and then I’ll go back to the Philippines; spend time with my kids and my wife but later I realized that how can I spend my time with my family if I’m broke? If I decided to go back, its mean I’m ‘jobless’ right? my f***ing bills are still there, my expenses are growing and growing, my kids needed more foods, good education, clothes, so how can I save for my rainy days when I’m f****d? I read some article in GMA about OFW suggesting to invest because the peso are currently strong! How can we do that if we need to add more dollars to remit due of the weak dollar exchange rate, you get my point? Saving and investment definetely on our list but the reality this is not easy as 123 or abc. But you know you are right, some of us are very impractical and they don’t want to apply ” kapag maiksi ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot” thing, they want to stretch it without thinking that later they will ripped it apart.

        1. traffice2000,

          You might want to mention your experience to “Trosp.” He insists the strengthening Peso against the US Dollar HAS NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on the capacity of the OFWs or their families to purchase goods and services here in Manila.

      2. @J. Saint

        My previous comment for readers’ information –

        “@J. Saint

        I’m suppose to rest my case but I’ll totally rest it after this one.

        My take two.

        Let us put it this way:

        All my claims and suppositions about peso exchange rate correlation with high unemployment, the crux of my argument against Diokno’s claim, are supported by related data.

        It seems to me that you are misdirecting the comment readers in presenting other factors aside from peso exchange rate vis a vis unemployment rate.

        Again, refute my data with whatever data you have and not by your narration.

        Just show us a data that when peso exchange rate is down, unemployment is down. Peso up, unemployment up.

        Since you mentioned GDP, show us the data that when GDP is down, unemployment is high in Philippines situation.

        If you can’t find any data to support your claim, well, if it’s my case, I don’t go to any argument without any related data to counter argue a point.

        What else, let’s see…

        “A more accurate analysis of the statement is that rising unemployment and a currency devaluation ACCOMPANY a slowdown in the economy.”

        That’s not my argument. My argument is peso exchange rate has no correlation with high unemployment. No more no less.

        Your telling us NOW that the rising unemployment and rising devaluation ACCOMPANY a slowdown in the economy. (Where is the strong peso results to high unemployment now?)

        I suppose even a person with no knowledge in economy will not argue against that. And you’re telling us that it is a more accurate analysis! (Am I an idiot not to even aware of that one.)

        Ugh!

        “You completely ignore the reason WHY OFW families would stop buying. I will reiterate that the rising value (appreciation) of the Peso adversely affects their purchasing power. Its simple — the less money they have from a weaker Dollar means they have less money to spend. This is the point I was making and the same statement Diokno made.”

        You forgot that those OFW’s salary is being increased annually by their employers. It’s simple.

        So, using your data of the peso appreciation against USD from 2006 to 2012, that will be an average PHP1,456 difference/month salary for an OFW earning USD1,000.00 a month.

        A mere 3% factor.

        Do you have any idea of how much an OFW, with the exception of DOH, salary is being increased annually after their performance appraisal? I might be wrong, but last time I checked, it’s about 5%. Bigger than the peso appreciation.

        (OFW who don’t perform to expectation are sent home.)

        Even neglecting their salary increase, can you explain to us the 3% individual is a significant factor…

        Never mind, let’s just stick with me refuting the claim that strong peso results to higher unemployment in the Philippines according to Diokno.

        Well, it’s just me. I don’t have so much knowledge about economy but I can interpret data.”

        Read more in this link –

        http://getrealphilippines.com/2012/11/7-1-growth-is-not-due-to-aquinomics-its-a-continuation-of-gmas-use-of-keynesian-economics/

    1. I don’t know why you need to put the word “Filipinos” before “OFWs” when OFWs already meant Overseas Filipno Workers. Don’t you find any redundancy there? Just asking.

  4. @ traffice

    I agree that @Paul Farols generalization is based on third party info. My friend who was hired by Bechtel in Saudi Arabia in the early 80’s is one not in Paul Farols flawed statistics. My friend who have long become a US citizen as a result of his long employment with the same company owns 3 properties in the western part of America. His company provided educational benefits to his family, they attended high school in the UK and finished college in the US.

    I think it would be encouraging to future OFW’s if @Paul Farol would focus on the positive.

    1. They’re not my statistics, I used the stats published by Inquirer which were in turn based on the statements of other people.

      Going past that, it’s really enough to state that “most Pinoy migrant workers end up still poor”.

  5. Hi Paul. I see many new vehicles being driven here in Dumaguete by Filipinos. New found wealth here or OFW sourcing. Seems more like OFW as you point out. I also know that what you say about OFW having debt to cover their initial expenses of going overseas and paying upwards of 48% on that debt to lending companies. It can be quite hard to control the spending thing as it is so new and exciting to be able to buy things all of a sudden. We hope to take our helper/yaya with us to the states and there she will be paid about 17x what we pay her here. She is 52 and has a couple of children here so I think she will be prudent about the money we pay her and see that it helps them and maybe she will expand a small business she has near her property. I can only hope

    1. There’s a lot of poverty here in the Philippines and with people being quite unaccustomed to handling money, they tend to make all the bad decisions.

      But then again, there are also a lot of well educated people and professionals who come from the upper economic crust who don’t know how to handle money too.

      I think what is lacking is “financial education” or how to handle money wisely.

      The basic thing to learn, really, is how to save and then how to invest.

      Until people learn how to save money, they won’t become richer. Even if you earn 1 million pesos a month, if you spend just 10 percent more than that, you’ll end up in debt.

      But the question is, can the poor Filipino learn to save if what they earn is far less than what they need to survive?

  6. “If you’ve invested in Philippine stocks, considering how little it moves..”

    the past 3-4 years, we’ve been making decent returns in the PSE. 30-40% P.A if you put your money in blue chips.

      1. URC have been a great mover, i think what is essential is beating the inflation rate on whatever investment you are in, longterm horizon and discipline is some of the key to invest in stocks. Have you heard of a maid who invested in PH stock market and now her total equity is 800K which she accumulated by investing 2K monthly for almost 7 years… I think the way you wrote about how stock price move slow is quite narrow, did you study enough information to write such idea about stock market?

  7. i can’t help but react to your bashing of OFW’s in your blog. i am an OFW myself and it is sad to me that people like us who helped this country’s economy afloat amidst all the financial turmoil worldwide, would be described as “sharks”. mr. farol, why don’t you call those people at OWWA as such, being there using there OWWA fund provided mobilephones to download games for their children? why don’t you bash the government’s stupid policies which at all times are at the detriment of the OFW’s? do you even know how much the government earned out of OFW’s contributions each time an OFW landed home? while i see the reality some of your statements here about the spending habits of some OFW’s, i think it is their right how to spend the money they earned while staying alone at their workplaces. ika nga “walang basagan ng trip”. di mo naman pagmamay ari ang perang ginastos nila. you may be on the side of teaching them how to be SMART, like you are, but it would be better for you not to use harsh words to emphasize you point. this country is POOR, IN GENERAL. there is no point for you to single out the OFW’s with your smart description as “sharks”. hope you will be guided next time.

    1. Oh! I am sorry you misunderstood the metaphor.

      I compared OFWs to sharks because they’re on top of the food chain, so to speak. And moreover, like sharks, OFWs can keep financially afloat only if the contracts keep coming — like sharks who must keep in motion in order to keep oxygenate water flowing over their gills.

      That’s the plain and simple truth about OFWs. Ubos-ubos biyaya ang karamihan.

      1. well sir, i perfectly understood your figurative writing brilliance but could you not make it a little more kinder next time. at least OFW’s need not stay with this country’s stupid system while the few and influential are sucking this country’s reserves. (i bet you could not write something about that) at we learn in our own little idiot ways how to stay afloat and get job contracts rather than staying home and seek (or even cheat) elective positions so as to maintain life’s abundance. at least we did not sit at our government offices and wait for amounts of “padulas” before our hands get to work to serve the burdened common tao who are paying their awfully high taxes, without even seeing the returns of the taxes they pay. are you telling me you do not see this? go on and castigate those people.

        1. I understand how calling someone a shark could be offensive, that’s why I explained it rather thoroughly. I do hope people can overlook that and see the point.

          The shark, is in many respects, a king of the sea. Keep that in mind.

      2. Sam Glucksberg also used the shark metaphor: Some lawyers are sharks. He listed nine features of a shark: vicious, predatory, aggressive, tenacious, fast swimmer, fish, sharp teeth, leathery skin, and gills.

        In PH we have loan sharks, too. And it has a negative description of such a person and a profession. The wiki has an entry on loan shark.

        “A loan shark is a person or body that offers loans at extremely high interest rates. The term usually refers to illegal activity, but may also refer to predatory lending with extremely high interest rates such as payday or title loans. Loan sharks sometimes enforce repayment by blackmail or threats of violence. Historically, many moneylenders skirted between legal and extra-legal activity. In the recent western world, loan sharks have been a feature of the criminal underworld.”

        This description of a loan shark is not different from the loan sharks we have in the country.

        This is also no different from “Filipino politicians are crocs or crocodiles.”

        ***

        Your “top-on-the-food-chain” explanation makes me hungry. Well, it is true that some OFWs earned higher income than the local executives in our country. But other OFWs actually earned just a little bit more than the salary of the regular office employees in the top 10,000 corporations.

        Your “floating” explanation is valid to any contractual employees, here and abroad.

        Your “king of the sea” explanation creates a knee-jerk reaction, and wonder why are they poor.

        ***
        Some comments:

        (1) You cited the study of Fr. Corros concerning OFWs who are victims of unfair practices by some recruiting agencies and illegal recruiters. This does not support your thesis that OFWs are sharks yet poor. These problems do not make them shark as on top of the food chain. Before they become sharks, they are already eaten by other predators, the illegal and abusive recruitment agencies.

        (2) You mentioned about poor financial literary among the OFWs. The issue of generalization creeps in. Of course, you recognized its fallacy and hopefully, rectified it.

        You talked about the importance of financial literacy of our OWFs. That’s is good. The shark metaphor does not seem to describe the high income plus poor literacy equals poverty theme. The immediate picture I can think of when you described the OFWs as sharks was their vicious predatory instinct like the loan sharks or the crocs in Congress.

        Good job though.

        1. And some can smell blood and will rush towards it, which is to say, once they find your weakspot, those lawyers will keep hitting on it to break you

  8. I think ofw’s represent the better qualities of filipinos often in difficult circumstances.
    I have employed and known some in different countries, and the real story is how much they are taken advantage of ( especially those from the provinces seeking housekeeping/basic jobs), whether it is the constant clamour for money from lazy family/friends, the ‘fees’ charged by agencies, the abuse of their employer and often non-payment of salary or deductions for’breakages’ etc, the lack of education and support from in country consuls and embassies, and the need to go abroad in the first place rather than the govt consciously trying to create more jobs at home.

  9. I am grateful that my aunt in the UK is NOT doing the same stupid things as the substantial number of the other OFWs are doing with their money. And this article is on the spot to some of the reasons OFW’s remain poor. And I am sad because the OFW can actually be the new middle class and may even be the potential intellectuals(some of them already are) that can change the ridiculous system of society in the Philippines.

  10. On the other note Mr.Farol:

    Your articles point is indeed correct(as a faster means to help the economy of the country) but if you are to ask me, it will still be another “good step” to decentralize the government and say to the Imperialists in Manila that the provincial people had enough of them screwing us up. Just sharing my two cents.

    1. I haven’t discounted the benefits of any change in the constitution. I do think that removing the Constitutional limits on foreign investments may bring opportunities and challenges.

      However, without a culture of saving and larger population of people who know how to invest wisely, all the money pouring in may not really lead to any substantial improvement.

      1. It is possible(actually probable) that such culture can be taught coinciding with opening up the economy. In some respect I would just even prefer a partial opening(given to what you call “challenges”) to some of the key industries(mostly manufacturing) and like other countries (Japan, Korea etc.) conduct studies on what are the approaches being done to solidify(make it competitive) such industries and apply it.

        1. the problem is our leaders. they are not just open to that. why? because everyone of them is a MAFIA. they own (or otherwise) protect the big businesses. makikita mo yan sa mga tumatakbo ngayong eleksiyon. nasa dugo na yata natin yan. puro tayo mga MAFIA. proof, name a conglomerate here in this country that is not connected to monopoly or protectionism? i bet none.

  11. nice article Paul Farol!
    my family is migrate to a foreign country.
    glad thing is we don’t have that big of a family to support back.
    thus we less often send out money/support to our grandparents who are (understandable) need medicines & monthly allowance.

    sadly, we do have titos who rely on us for money. which is sickening.
    but then as thrift as my parents are, they don’t give in on it.

    good thing my parents taught me those.

    sharing this article! more articles for you Paul! 🙂

    1. It’s really a tough situation. Filipinos are very generous with their relatives and always want to help them out. I think that families who have “unproductive members” should exercise some tough love and stop being enablers. But that’s something that each family will have to figure out for themselves.

      1. Paul,

        This “Filipinos are very generous with their relatives and always want to help them out” is exactly what I mean with “emotional blackmail”.

        The day that my rich(er) aunt or sister will stop sending me money, is the day I need to start to become (more) creative to support myself. But as long as my sister/aunt keep sending me money the lazier I MAY become.

        When people should stop sending money, the other party will realize its has to stand on his own 2 feet => survival of the fittest.

  12. This topic actually frustrates me quite a lot in terms of how most, not all, OFWs seem to treat their hardwork.

    I have a few OFWs friends and have 2 siblings who are also OFWs.

    The main difference I see is their lack of foresight as to what the money can be used for or could amount to, both on their part or the relatives that stayed behind.

    A coworker of one of my friends earns more than her. Yet in that country, she hasn’t managed to save anything. She is actually now under credit card debt because of irresponsible purchases of branded items. This shows her inexperience with being able to earn a larger amount of money.

    To compare as well, a friend of mine wanted to give his dad a car for his use so that he didn’t have to commute anymore and he also needed a service vehicle. He wanted a simple Avanza. And I commended him for his smart decision. Now, instead of being just grateful, his brother intervened and guilt-tripped him in to purchasing an Innova which was way over his comfort zone and what he was prepared to cash out from his savings. But he eventually buckled because he ended up falling prey to the guilt cause by his brother. And as a side note, his brother didn’t even volunteer to help with paying for the vehicle, nor sharing a bit of the burden.

    Lastly, the twisted sensed of entitlement by those left behind when the OFW comes back home. They view the OFW as a freaking credit card of Santa’s big red bag. It was so twisted that some of my friends were so used to that idea that they avoided telling our group they were back in town for vacation just because they felt they needed to treat us out whenever we met. I mean, c’mon. I has happened more than once and they are really so accustomed to the idea that they feel it is their responsiblity to treat every tom, dick and harry they meet while they are home.

    Frustrations… hay…

    1. Sphinx,

      There’s good and bad, really.

      A friend who wanted to provide her family comfort in their old age bought them an MB100 van.

      Her parents rent out the van at 3,000 bucks a day. The income is rather substantial because it’s booked at least 20 days in a month. So, that takes care of its maintenance and provides for her parent’s expenses.

      When the van isn’t rented out, it’s used for trips with the many grand children — usually on weekends.

      It kind of like a gift that keeps on giving.

      1. looking at all your examples sir, you seemed despised by OFW’s buying their own cars after working for sometime abroad. why is it so? OFW’s are not are not human enough to drive their own cars along EDSA? do you own a car sir? if you do, then you are just but the same fellows who contributed to the traffic problem in our country. what about those OFW’s victimized by Amalilio? it was good invenstment, right? yet they fall prey to scammers like him. to me i think, investment is a gamble. if i gamble then i loose, i would be happy. but if i let somebody do the gamble for me and loose, i think you have the idea what i will feel. my point is, there are investments and there are investments around. it is not up for someone to see and tell their opinion bashing how other people spend what they worked for. after all it is there own money they are spending. ulitin ko lang “wala lang sana basagan ng trip”. i am an OFW myself, least i am not like those people you pointed out here. i just pity those OFW’s like me who fell in the wrong way, yet some people are fast enough to call them names. i think the positive side will be more useful. what is the positive side, teach them without calling them names.

  13. You can’t change the culture, Paul Farol, with a single blog.

    In actual fact you have a greater chance of changing the Constitution than you have of changing the culture.

    To change the Constitution you only need a few hundred people – or a president who is prepared to use the pork barrel to bribe the decision-makers.

    To change the culture? That’s not going to happen unless there is a major catalyst: like economic liberalisation leading to a massive increase in employment and wealth.

    1. Perhaps we should define terms first.

      There is such a thing as personal culture or individual culture. Then there is group culture.

      An individual’s culture can change and does change when they’re exposed to other cultures or come across information that changes their world view.

      I am not proposing a change of culture at a national level, there are difficulties in doing this that in order to surmount, may entail draconian measures — which has never been proven to work in a good way.

      1. Hi Paul,

        I dont want to make it scientific or empirical but maybe we have to define the term “culture” first.

        And maybe you can help me (I am serious) how to interpret this:
        – High Context Culture versus Low Context Culture

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_context_culture

        Since the 1960s the way people live has changed enermously in the Netherlands. Reasons for that: feminism, invention of the contraceptive pill, raise in wages, more leisure/free/spare time to name just a few.

        1. Trosp,

          that should read “consensual sex between mature adults from one and the same family”.

          I cant help it that there is a law in the Philippines stating that pre-marital sex is prohibited. Your government decides for you what you must do and what is good you.

          And by the way how is your government upholding that stupid law? Is there a police cop in every hotel bedroom? I guess not bec I didnt see one when my Phili partner and I made/make love (before marriage). So uphold such a law or abolish it.

          My government will not interfere in my sex life. Unless of course its with a minor or when its rape.

          Its about Human Rights what mature adults may and can do, whether married or not.

        2. @Robert

          I hope to see the time you use your brain.

          Since when in my country to have this premarital sex being prohibited?

          What we have right now is me paying for their promiscuity.

          Your government has interfered with your sex life. It legalized the “incest”.

          The teens in your country can now openly lust for their mother or father and vice versa without having to feel any remorse.

          No traditional values. No morality issue. Just political correctness. Everyone’s freedom to enjoy happiness and life.

          It’s legal in your country!

        3. Only when that teen is 18 and up. And I dont think that it happens often and happens much. Who wants to fuck his own mother? You really must be sick to have such a desire. But okay, for those who want it, there is no legal objection to it.

          The idea behind it, is very simple: Mature adults will do as they pleases. The government will not stand in their way.

          Whether you like it or not: your Phili way of having sex is also based on lust only. How else can you get an erection, how else can you cum? You think god will make you do that? Pls tell me you didnt pin your hopes on god for this matter solely? God has no hand in this at all.

          Pls re-read your biology books and especially the chapter about the male and female body (sub chapter: reproductive organs and how it works). I bet those chapters were not allowed in your biology books. All is directed from nerve endings, libido & brains. Did your wife ever experienced a orgasm? Pity.

      2. @Robert

        You’ve commented –

        “Only when that teen is 18 and up. And I dont think that it happens often and happens much.”

        As I’ve been imploring you, use your brain. We don’t have any law that you’re spewing. If you know that law, please cite it.

        “Who wants to fuck his own mother?”

        It has been legalized in your country. Are you telling me it was legalized for nothing?

        BTW, last time I check for the erection issue, for traditonally oriented people, it’s private or personal thing. The same with lust.

        One does not have to openly exhibit it nor a law should be enacted to remove the inhibition from persons to openly announce their intention.

        BTW, we’re using the same anatomy books that you have used.

        We’re just more reserved in discussing orgasm etc. specially when there are kids around. Or even me as a teen, when my parents are around.

        1. sex education in holland

          a brother is having sex with his sister
          “you are better than mummy” he tells her.
          “i know”, she says ” thats also what daddy tells me”

        2. Trosp,

          What you call incest is not explicitly mentioned in a law, I think. The government cant simply interfere what mature adults want to do. Otherwise, 2 poeple always need to have their ID with them when they have sex to show the authorities that they are or are not part of one family. The government has better things to do.

          AS far as that PH law stating that it is forbidden to have pre-marital sex: I thought I readf it somewhere. But I try to pls you and do my research again. If it isnt there, I will tell you honestly and then I will apologies. Maybe I confused something else.

          Basically our society is more open. Among best friends (male-male, male-female & female-female) such things are discussed and talked about.
          There are hardly taboos in my country to talk about. Its not our credo to say or think “what is private, should stay private”. It was the credo among my parents’s generation. Different times, different generation. With every younger, newer generation things are more out in the open.

          But all depends how kids are brought up. If their parents taught/tell them that – for instance – sex is dirty, then they will become not open person and it can even lead to relationship problems and physical problems (disorders).

  14. @Ferol

    Have I missed something in your post?

    Where is it that says they remain poor? The data man.

    Comparing them with their counterparts who have not gone abroad to work?

    Otherwise your post is just another anecdote.

      1. @Ferol

        The way I read the link, the more I feel it’s a BS.

        Take for example:

        “He said 42% of the savings of Filipino migrant workers are usually spent on emergency expenses ahead of the allotment for children’s education (34%), food (6.6%), marriage or other future plans (5.9 %), business investment (3.4 %), housing (2.9 %), among others.

        “We can see that they are not saving for the future. The tragic thing is that they go home unsuccessful, and they don’t have any savings. Their life as well as their families is very far from what it used to be when the OFW is abroad,” Berba said.”

        They’re not saving! Jeez…

        What do they call these –

        “…marriage or other future plans (5.9 %), business investment (3.4 %), housing (2.9 %)”

        So, when a Filipino become an OFW, from that data, it is already given that his/her emergency expenses will steeply increase.

        How about the data on local workers with respect to their emergency expenses?

        Jeez…

        1. well the truth is -there is indeed hardship in this country that’s why we can see looooonnnggg lines of people at the DFA on a daily basis, wanting to get their passports so they can get out and go to greener pastures abrosd or become an OFW. going there, they are already eaten by the crocs and sharks at the agency, not withstanding that they had to loan money from loan sharks for the airfare, agency fees and other expenses. indeed, before an OFW can fly, he is already neck tied with debt. first two years of staying there, he still has to bay his loans. next years, housing, because if you rely that matter to our inutile Pag-ibig fund, nothing will happen to your dream house. after that, there goes the kids enrolling in college. in the end, it’s not that an OFW never save something for the future. an OFW saves, only that there are more important and emergency things to consider before that savings. mr. ferol’s data is wrong, or he just did not get the facts straight, or just despised OFW’s coming home and get the courage to acquire a car. it’s not for show-off, but everyone has the right to give the comfort ever possible to be given to their families.

        2. Thanks for taking the time to pore through my post. 😉

          The figurative language I used is really problematic and I now regret having used it. LOL!

          Looking at the ABS-CBN report and other reports in other sites, I guess you guys are right, there is no data supporting the statement that OFWs remain poor.

          I’ll look up NSCB data.

        3. @Paul F

          But then, I noticed that there was a sudden change in your style of posting your blog after this one.

          Kudos again.

  15. I irks me greatly that my Filipina wife sends so much money to her family in the Philippines. We’ve been married 20 years and every time we visit San Diego or southern Cal., she will go to Costco and buy all those Spam, food stuff, oats, tang, etc. etc. etc put them in box and send them off. I won’t mind if I’m not involved in this, but she refuses to drive and I’m the one shuttling her around with out two kids on our vacation time so her folks can have spam. Two days gone on a one week vacation.
    They are not poor in the Phils. They have a house (which my wife paid for half). My father in law asked me for a Rolex on our trip there. WTF!!! I don’t even wear a watch or any jewelry. Did he need an exquisite time piece so he won’t be late for work? Nope, he’s jobless. It was his wife and daughters who work (they have a sari-sari store). Every call to the Phils end with her sending money. Why can’t they call, or better yet, email, and say, “hi Ate, no problem here, we just want to say hi to you because we haven’t heard from you in a long time…”

    Thousands of dollars each year go to them. When we bought a new car for my wife, I ended paying half of the car. I’m the one saving for college for our kids. I’m the one saving for our retirement. My wife believes that the Lord will provide for our retirement. I keep telling her to maximize her 401k contributions and maximize her Roth IRA, THEN, set aside $1k or $2k for her folks every christmas so they won’t starve from Spam (they won’t starve. I’ve been there). I love the phils. but I never want to go back to her folks. I prefer to visit other places away from leeches and smoochers who prey on the good conscience of my wife. Mind you, her family did not send her to school. She was very bright, got a scholarship in high school to attend a boarding school and got a scholarship to attend university as well. So, at the age of 12, she was already sending money back to her mother from her high school stipend.

    Another thing. She sponsored her mother for a green card and I told her she will be lonely here as we’re always at work and our children are at school. A visitors visa will be good enough and she can visit now and then. Nope. Green card and all that crap. $5k later, she’s here. Great. Six months later, she’s back in the Phils. and she said she doesn’t want to go back to the states because “Its very lonely there for old folks like me who can’t speak english and I’m at home all the time.” It did give her a lot of pride in her community to be “petitioned” by her daughter in the States. I told you so, I told you so. Our other Filipina friend, same story. Spent a lot of money for processing papers, getting tickets, etc etc, to end up at the beginning.

    Anyway. Our family is blessed not be penny pinching. My wife and I have graduate degrees (we met in grad school) and I still love my wife and our Filipino friends here in the USA. I have no problem with them whatsoever. They are always fun to be with. Nobody asks for money or anything. We actually call each other during holidays to say “Hi, what’s up. No problem here, just sayin’ hi”. Our friendship is just based on common things we like. We go on vacations with our pinoy friends. We buy them air tickets; they buy my kids gifts; and we meet somewhere in the U.S. Very generous people. They invite us over. We invite them over. Our kids are friends.

    Filipinos are indeed loyal to their family in the Phils to a fault. I keep telling my wife they will not starve, and if they ain’t got Spam and they have plenty of fish and lechon, eat fish and lechon! There is no need for Folgers because they actually have nice coffee. Barako. If they just figure out they can actually hand mill coffee and brew fresh.

      1. Funny, I like the classic Ma-ling recipe much more than Spam.
        Spam’s way too salty for my taste buds. Today’s Ma-ling is starting to taste weird

  16. @dude, you are admirable in presenting other sides of the story. fact is daming magagaling sa pinas. dakdak din nang dakdak, they talk too much. and..might forget to mention, those kinds of spending habits are not just limited to OFWs and their families, even those that are “magagaling” na commentators here may not be exempted. im an ex-ofw. many points presented are kinda far from reality.

  17. Too many children, not enough work, Catholic fecklessness, a culture that encourages “showing off” by OCWs when they are at home, the utterly shameless begging by relatives… These are all bigger factors than the “family values”, I think.

    I don’t have to look far in my own Filipino extended family to find a very fit (hours in the gym) 30 year old who was happy to remain unemployed living in Manila and having affairs whilst his OCW wife supported him and when I gave him a plane ticket back to his province to see his parents he did not even say “thank you”!

    Numerous women happy to dump their kids on their mother because they have met a “new man”.

    Neighbours who invite themselves round to the house as soon as you are back and expect food drink and entertainment…

    “Walang hiya” does not begin to describe these people.

        1. Dude,

          I want to know what is their culture in his country.

          The relevance is alreay spelled out. No more no less. No need to use your “critical thinking”.

          I want to perform a benchmark. Comparing Filipino culture with his.

          Last time there was a commenter here who was making incredulous claim that can only be checked if his true identity is known, and “requesting” from him his identity was an issue for you, heh.

          Is knowing his identity not relevant?

          Seems to me that this identity thing and pseudonyms are anathemas to you benign0.

          Just asking.

        2. No problem; I’m that special category of OCW called “foreign husband” – I’m English, married to a Filipina for 20 years, our three boys are Filipino and I’m posting this from Metro Manila, though at various times we’ve lived in Beijing, Hong Kong and Britain.

        3. @Trosp: Well, if you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve earned a pretty good reputation for myself just using the handle “benign0”. As such, people focus more on the ideas I present than on identity (at least those who are not so small-minded as to continue to speculate on who I “really” am in person) and credentials. So I tend to compare those with people such as yourself who are obssessed about people’s personal circumstances, and I must say, it is the latter who emerge more as a picture of lameness and small-mindedness as you already demonstrate here in the sorts of comment you post.

        4. @ Trosp – I’m stupid and my comments are ridiculous. You are clearly right about everything – what could I, a mere foreigner, possibly hope to know about the Philippines, after a mere forty years experience? Obviously, nothing at all.

          “There”, as my wife would say, “Happy now?”

        5. @Andrew

          I’ll just assume that your claim that you’re an English makes you a Brit.

          To unpack again another of your ridiculous comment:

          “Too many children?”

          4.6 persons average Filipino Family size at present statistics and the British is 4 persons. A really big deal for you?

          “Catholic fecklessness.”

          Just like when you made this ridiculous claims in this blog?

          “The evidence is that the Philippines is the last nation state, other than the Vatican City, with no provision for divorce, and that it took fourteen years to get a very basic public health measure, found in all other civilised nations, onto the statute book, because the Bishops disagreed with it”.

          Because we don’t have provision on divorce, therefore, the bishops are ruling the Philippines.

          (Your other ridiculous claims as an OT-

          “The successful impeachment of a Chief Justice who was clearly a midnight appointment put in post to protect the outgoing administration and the passage of the aforesaid simple public health measure are evidence that the system of government is starting to work. So is the first ever sucessful prosecution for tax evasion.”

          Duh…first ever successful prosecution of tax evasion?)

          And you can’t support your other stupid claims that I’ve refuted in this previous post –

          http://getrealphilippines.com/2013/02/right-to-offend/

          The problem with the way your mind works is that you treat everything as a rule rather than exceptions.

        6. Dude,

          Your comprehension sucks.

          Can you point in any of my comment here my obsession with other commenters’ identity?

          Try harder bro.

        7. Nah. How would someone such as yourself know the difference between good and bad reading comprehension? I don’t try hard because trying hard usually results in mediocre outcomes. You of all people should know. You’re living proof of that simple fact. 😀

      1. Dude,

        Try harder kid.

        You might have talent in blogging but you don’t have any repartee in making counter-comments. You don’t even have a sense of humor!

        Your talent is in rhetoric. Stick with it.

        Case in point (on your claim that your comprehension does not suck) –

        I’ve commented –

        “From where I am, I see these people as those who will not bother with religion. For these people, the above are not twisted logic but rather one’s right to choose. ACLU, NAMBLA, SFC (Sex Freedom Coalition) are their advocates.”

        And your counter-comment using your logic and critical thinking –

        “@Trosp, that’s a PRETTY SWEEPING ARGUMENT OF ‘ATHEIST’ (caps are mine), dude. I wonder though if you might be failing to appreciate that many of the wars, acts of terrorism, and other human atrocities that pockmark such as the Inquisition were perpetrated in the name of one “God” or another.”

        Critical thinking and logic is not for you.

        Hindi bagay. Try some other things. Perhaps checking the commenters grammar and challenging their comments because of their grammatical errors.

        Your counter-comments are DOAs.

        Dead On Arrival. It can’t connect.

        He he he…Here I am again. I really hate kicking a dead a horse. That is, arguing with you is like me kicking a dead horse.

        Up to now, you can’t support your claim that I have obsession in identities of the commenters.

        Bring it on!

        Try harder kid. You might get lucky next time.

        1. Dude, I’m 100% sense of humour. That you don’t recognise that simply illustrates how stunted your own sense of humour is. And of course you’d say that my counter arguments are “DOA”. That’s because delivering a counter-argument to you is like sowing seeds on a slab of concrete. Dead on arrival nga talaga yun.

          You’re not even cluey enough to notice that all this had been brought on to you a long time ago.

          Goes to show a lot of the information flowing through this fine forum simply flies above your pointed head.

          As I said, I don’t try harder (much as you insist that I should). I simply do and the fine prose that are my blogs simply flow like the mountain stream, so fine indeed that poor sods like you find no choice but to grudgingly read them. 😀

        2. And another example (my apology if one can interpret this as me kicking again a dead horse.)-

          My comment –

          “The obsolete tradition-religion complex”

          Is there such a thing for Catholic religion?

          If one believes in moral relativism, I say it might be true. But one pillar of Roman Catholic religion is moral absolutism. A belief that can’t be obsoleted. As applied to the RH Bill, it’s the sanctity of human life.

          Moral relativism = cost and benefit morality.”

          And your counter-comment –

          “A “belief that can’t be obsoleted”? Is there such a thing? See, in case you hadn’t noticed I just played the same game you were playing just then Trosp.

          Why don’t you come up with something of substance from your own mind organically and articulate it coherently instead of lazily lifting quotes to prop up your half-arsed assertions about belief systems.

          And by the way, progress in knowledge necessitates “obsoletion” of some ideas as more sound ones are formulated and flawed ones superseded. Of course a guy like you whose mind is imprisoned by dogma wouldn’t understand that.”

          My counter-commment

          “You even have the gall to distort my comment to prove your idiotic point he he he…

          That is your logical and critical thinking heh.

          My comment is about “Is there such a thing FOR CATHOLIC RELIGION?”

          Don’t make any omission if you want to quote me. Bwa ha ha ha!

          Brush up with your reading comprehension bro.”

          And part of your counter-comment for the above –

          “Even your call for me to “brush up on comprehension” (by the way, people brush up on subjects, not on ‘comprehension’ per se) is ironic (which of course flies way above your head as usual).

          And my rejoinder –

          “What did you say?

          “Even your call for me to “brush up on comprehension” (by the way, people brush up on subjects, not on ‘comprehension’ per se) is ironic (which of course flies way above your head as usual).”

          You can’t fault me for that one bro.

          The online dictionary –

          “brush up – bring to a highly developed, finished, or refined state; “polish your social manners””

          More on them at http://getrealphilippines.com/2013/01/getrealphilippines-com-continues-its-tradition-as-the-only-real-deal-in-philippine-media-in-2013/

        3. Tsk tsk. What a sad descent into utter incoherence. If you can’t make your point in a few concise paragraphs it simply means you do not have one. 😀

        4. Dude,

          Sense of humor?

          Your claim that you’re a 100% sense of humor is the the confirmation that you’re a humor. Though I would not contest that you’re a comedian when it comes to counter-commenting.

          Bwa ha ha ha…

        5. Dude

          Now its “Tsk tsk. What a sad descent into utter incoherence. If you can’t make your point in a few concise paragraphs it simply means you do not have one.”

          My another example is not for you. As I’ve said, which you’ve confirmed from your above comment, your comprehension sucks.

          Try harder kid.

          Can’t still find any gatcha yet?

    1. 1) There must be something about you that makes them want to be around your home. Are you too friendly?

      2) I’ve never had problems with neighbors expecting me to feed them and entertain them. I just to try to look and act as snobby as possible around them.

      1. I have adopted similar measures! But I was thinking of the average returning OCW who finds the neighbours and relatives camped on his/her porch night after night “to welcome them home” by drinking their beer and eating their food.. As my wife says, “You know what it is like in the province – plan to invite five – and be sure to cater for fifty!”

        I don’t think it can be easy for the returning OCW to resist these pressures.

        I used to see the same thing in PNG where whatever a man took back to his village went to his “wontoks” (“wontok” = “one talk” – relatives, members of the same clan).

        I would really like to see an enforced saving system, like Singapore’s CPF, run by the POEA. It seems the only way to get round this problem of the chronically poor OCW.

        But better still would be full employment in the onshore economy – ending the restrictions on FDI would certainly help.

        1. Ahhh, yes. Neighbors can be ignored but it’s harder to do so with relatives.

          I have to admit, I’m quite lucky since my extended family is small in filipino terms (aunts/uncles and 1st cousins only) so it’s not really a big issue. I can get away with spending less than 3K for all of them.

          For others that extend to 3rd cousins or more, it becomes way more expensive.

    2. @andrew,

      I haven’t labeled you as stupid yet.

      As of now, shall I say I’ll just reciprocate you’re “walang-hiya” label to Filipinos you don’t like.

  18. The part where the OFW is advised to invest his earnings wisely in the country he is earning them from is a good idea. It underscores that the person earning should be allowed to decide where he gets to send his money. He gets to maintain control of it. However, this is not possible without amendments to the order of the Secretary of Labor which requires a mandatory remittance to the Philippines of at least 50 percent (some go as high as 80) of earnings. Labor is more concerned with maintaining remittance values than the economic welfare and conditions of the workers.

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  22. What an eye opening article!!!! The author hits the nail right on the head. Mind you, an OFW literally became a milking cow of her/his relatives/dependents back home once he /she starts sending money.

    Try to ask any OFW and seldom you will hear nice words regarding the spending habits of their relatives.

    The money an OFW gets working in a foreign land with different cultures and employers with sorts of temperaments is wasted by buying branded things, here and there. Once money is in their hands they tend to spent extravagantly as if said OFW will not run out of cash.

    Time to change this spending attitude and only you OFWs can do this. Be careful with your money. If you can sense they spend it recklessly, then stop sending money. Ask. Inquire. You have every right to ask them how your money was spent.

    It takes two to tango. If they spend irresponsibly, that’s because you tolerate them.

    Remember YOU CAN NOT WORK FOREVER AND ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST IN A FOREIGN LAND WORKING AS AN OFW.

    Victor Ozarraga Teves
    Iligan City

  23. This is one of the dumbest articles I have ever read about an OFW. And you particularly made someone from Singapore an example.

    Have you ever worked as an OFW? Does your family depend on you because they do not earn a single cent? Have you ever experienced that your family members are sick, need to pay tuition and you dont have enough money all at the same time? Have your parents told you that you need to pay for everything including your sibling’s education because they cannot work anymore?

    From the way you wrote this article (which I read thrice) seems like you envy that OFW from Singapore. Who knows? Maybe this OFW is actually an Singapore PR. Meaning he saves atleast SGD 24,000 to his cpf. That is almost PHP 900,000 a year. Interest for that is about 4-5% per anum.

    I think you can write better than this. And you know the main reason why OFW remains poor is because they support their families in the Philippines. They give everything they earn to them.

    Not all OFW are boastful like what you are citing. Be objected. Dont write trashy articles. Be sensitive enough to understand the situation.

    1. He is just trying to explain that there is a better future with better management….a little of holding of youroney can bring a long way

  24. I don’t understand why he stated that you can’t earned as much as trading in HK, US stocks when you’re trading Phil stocks. And the comparison of stock investments vs bonds/loans is also incomplete/misleading. Are he saying, investing in bonds/loans is better?

  25. This is, in general, true. But it depends on the person. I was an OFW and saved at least $50K USD in a span of 2 years. On the other hand, a lot of my relatives, have nothing saved. This is because they spend so much, send too many balikbayan boxes that the people on the receiving end never appreciated anyway. I never sent any of those back home because my mother never wanted them.

  26. Impediment are objects that develop in your village like Trunk, Tree, Mushroom, Stone and Gems Box.
    Achievements is the goal accomplishment that you need to attain within the sport if you
    wish to get Exp and in addition gems for value-free.

  27. My mom is an ex-OFW. She remained poor at the age of 55. Of course, we siblings are poor also.

    I’ll cite my personal experiences with her.

    She came to Manila from the province to seek employment when she was only 16 then.

    She worked here for 10years straight in 2 different semi-conductor companies.
    * Recently, I overheard a phone conversation with her niece-in-law about her life when she was still a maiden, that she even asked her sister to give her some more money because she needed to buy a designer bag, belt, etc. for her to have a collection.

    She met a “boy” or “utusan” and got her pregnant.

    She went to her sister in the province to tell about her condition (while crying).

    The “boy” doesn’t want to take responsibility of the child.

    But my mom siblings forced him to marry her.

    They got married.

    He didn’t mind to secure a job or at least make ends meet while her wife is still working.

    After 3 years, my mom got preggy again.

    I was born.

    My dad sexually abused his 2nd child who’s only 1yr old.

    I was cross-examined in the court room thoroughly, he was trialed and found guilty.

    My mom became a single parent.

    We still visit our father occassionaly, in prison.

    My mom taught us to lie. Whenever someone asks where’s my dad, we shall only say, he’s in America.
    (we were brought up English-speaking)

    After 6 yrs. Another baby boy was born.

    I admit me and my brother are fed up of our mother’s decisions and ‘above-salary lifestyle’ at the time, we beat her numerous time by failing to take good care of the youngest (several months old only) and feed him. We need to go to school also.
    * Despite of working super duper hard for the last years and were then 3, we’re still poor.

    A DSWD social worker even threatened us that if we beat her again, we’ll be imprisoned.

    My father came back.

    He didn’t support us financially. Only served as cook, laundryman, send/fetch us from school.

    My kuya was a scholar from kinder to 2nd year college, private schooled.

    I was in the same school as his during kinder, public schooled in elementary, private schooled during HS, scholar during college.

    Bunso has been shifting from public to private during grade school. Private H. schooled. Now out-of-school youth.

    Our aguinaldos are untouched. It’s in our mom’s hands. She would always say, she’ll keep it and put it in a bank.

    That’s where I learned how to save.

    My dad has his numerous affairs or maybe prostitutes hit on. Accdg. to our mother.

    I’m not extravagant since I know how to value money. I’m not even stingy, since I wasn’t taught to be greedy. I only know my limit.
    My baon when I was in kinder was snacks. That’s until grade3. When I was in grade4, it’s 5pesos. Then became 10pesos until grade6. Fist year to 4th yr was only 20pesos. 1st to 2nd yr college 30-50 pesos. 3rd yr college 50-100pesos. My baon during college includes transpo, food, misc. (whole day classes and activities since I was a scholar). But I still managed to save. And sometimes my mom would ask me some money. She wouldn’t pay it of course. If she pays though she will ask again until I won’t ask her to give it back because she forgot about it already.

    My mom went abroad to become domestic helper when I was in grade 5. It’s because of our rough attitude.

    Since then, every after 2 years she would come home, with no savings.

    She just came home last Oct. 2014. After an injury happened.

    Of all those years, she would send us balikbayan boxes 4-month interval the most. Call us when we don’t want to talk to her or we find it unnecessary. Send us money in our name when my father is the one who’s budgeting at home and having his affairs.
    * She spent more than P100k for phone cards during her 2yr contract. Tsk

    And now, she’s blaming us because we can’t be counted on.
    I’m unemployed because I’m really planning to put up a business. As I thought she will have a spare money for me to borrow in the meantime. But sheesh, she’s under a huge debt because of her uncontrollable buying habits.

    As I want to employ myself, my goodness, I’ll be joining a caterpillar of applicants for just one vacant position.
    I spent all of my savings during the first year of jobhunting.
    I also plan to learn new skills through TESDA, but damn no money.

    OFWs are not all the same. It’s just the mindset and parents shouldn’t take their children’s future for granted. Not focusing only on education, food, a roof, utility bills and transportation but also a part of nation building.

    She can’t understand simple economics. I don’t know how would I explain it to her that the government don’t provide much jobs unlike before, even the private sector are hesistant and cutting labor costs through contracting. I was called lazy, I don’t want to work, a devil, and even abnormal, gosh!
    All she knows that when you’re a college grad, you’ll be easily accepted. I took exams and interviews that are not related to the position I’m applying for. 2 companies I applied have professional HR specialist who really assessed me on the spot if I really know the job and gave me the result right away. Of course, candidate who has the experience and can deal with bosses who always yell will be preferred not an innocent-looking like me.

    I can’t blame my parents, the government, or other people. Myself is enough. I wasn’t prepared of my future life since day one of my existence. What I have now is my brain and a beating heart. Money unfortunately cannot be eaten but can be used to buy food and water to eat and drink, to live. Thank you.

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