A Lament For OFWs

Just recently, one of my best friends has now moved to Singapore with his wife and hopes to make a decent living there as an engineer. My heart goes out to him and his wife and I hope that they have a prosperous life there together while raising their family. However, with everything that’s happened so far, I can only hope that they will be safe, not from the harshness of Singaporean society mind you, but from the corrupt clutches of our own government who seems hell-bent on financially and spiritually raping our countrymen who are forced to work or live overseas to make a decent living for their families.

Over the years, I have always wondered what it means to be an OFW. Just what is it like to live beyond the safety and familiarity of your homeland in order to eke out a living on foreign soil? Our media likes to claim that OFWs are our modern heroes as it is they and their profits that keep the Philippines afloat. However, all things considered, should we really be calling them “heroes” when it’s more than a little obvious that they are, in fact, “victims”?


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As a side note, in my younger (and dumber) years, I have always been baffled by the necessity of becoming an OFW. Why do so many of us yearn for work beyond our own shores? Why do so many fathers, mothers, big brothers and big sisters want to make a living in foreign lands? What about our own country? Doesn’t the Philippines offer some good opportunities so that our countrymen can live prosperous lives with their families in their own homeland?

It wouldn’t be until recently that I would find out for myself how the government has essentially betrayed their own people through the systems that surround OFWs…

Protectionist Principles

In other cultures such as Sweden or Japan, it is considered honorable to live, work and die in one’s country. However, in the Philippines, it is the opposite with so many people struggling to find a means to leave the country and build a life elsewhere. It’s funny that so many of our countrymen are working so hard just for the chance to find a job in another country where they will more or less be treated like second-class citizens and, at worst, be treated as nothing more than slaves with paperwork that disguises their slavery as legal work.

Ladies and gentlemen, I remember President Aquino (who was probably in a delusional frame of mind) saying that Filipinos work in other countries because they want to not because they have to, similar to the way he said that Manila’s hellish traffic is a sign of a booming economy. However, as President Aquino’s mental state becomes more and more questionable, it becomes apparent that it is the 1986 constitution, postulated by President Aquino’s own mother and her allies that is essentially robbing the people of better opportunities in their own homeland. Indeed, because of the constitution’s protectionist policies, common businessmen have essentially become aristocrats with the common people becoming the peasantry.

At the end of the day, our people have essentially become willing slaves because of a government that allegedly “freed” them from the yoke of tyranny back in 1986. Let me ask, how can we be considered a truly “happy” people when so many of our countrymen have to distance themselves from their parents, siblings and children just to provide their loved ones with a better life? Will the common Filipino ever be granted an opportunity to make something of himself in his own country honestly and safely without having to be tainted by the crime and corruption inherent in Philippine society itself?

The Balikbayan Box Issue

I have to admit, this is probably one of the things that really pissed me off even though I’m not an OFW myself. I mean really?

OFWs are all too often stressed out and lonely Filipinos who long for home and usually think of nothing but their loved ones back home. For some OFWs even, they live as nothing more than slaves in a foreign land that openly despises them. Unfortunately, the allies of the LP (who authored the constitution of slavery for the common Filipino) had to go ruin even the already bleak lives of our OFWs. Not only are our OFWs figuratively raped through heavy taxation, they are now also robbed by ruthless customs agents who sort through their stuff under the pretense of “protecting the people”.

The “Laglag Bala” Scam

This probably ties in with the “Balikbayan Box” mentioned above. In a fit of a “suspiciously specific denial”, Mar Roxas, according to Paul Farol’s latest article on the presidential candidate’s interview, even stressed that the government was not responsible for the scam even though that wasn’t what the question was about.

Slip of the tongue there, eh Mr. Roxas?

Anyway, to justify inspections and in the hope of ripping even more off of our countrymen, it seems the LP and its allies are determined to take their abuse of our OFWs even further.


My countrymen, when will enough be enough for the common Filipino? How much longer must we remain beholden to a government and culture that denies our countrymen of a bright and promising future? Will we allow our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, sons and daughters to work in countries that could threaten their lives while greedy customs agents steal away their hard-earned rewards? Are we really going to let the latest scam ruin not just the livelihoods of our countrymen but also our national image before foreigners?

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it’s high time we put an end to this foolishness. Let’s put an end to the suffering of our OFWs not just by granting them justice and finding thieving customs agents and con artists dropping bullets into their luggage, but eliminating the necessity of forcing them to work overseas in the first place. Let’s bring the better job opportunities here to our own country and give our countrymen a chance to make something of themselves in their own homeland.

8 Replies to “A Lament For OFWs”

  1. I am an OFW. I went to work abroad , in the U.S.; because opportunities in my chosen field is not available in my country. It was also to further my studies; to gain good work experience and for better pay. Better living condition and better opportunities.

    For what are now happening to our country: (1) theft of balikbayan boxes. (2) “Lag Lag Bala ” extortion/scam. I am very glad, that I left. I have no regrets. I don’t want to go back to my country. And , be victimized by the Kamag-Anak, Inc. syndicate, doing “Lag Lag Bala”…

    For fellow OFWs, it is hard to leave love ones. But, the sacrifice is worth doing;”not worth dying for”…

  2. i am an australian who lived in the philippines for 5 years trying to set up a business to employ and grow big there, only to be scammed,ripped off,robbed,lied to,taken advantage of,and to discover there is no justice system,,i now constantly tell people never consider going to philiLIEpines

  3. I worked locally for more than 10 years since graduation. I really believed in the Philippines and worked hard to achieve my goals. Up to the point where I have to start my own family and came to the painful realization that this country cannot accommodate me, professionally and financially. (Philippine politics and administration might have something to do about this) You would think for that length of time I could have established myself, be at the senior level, have my own house, a car or two and kids at good schools, but no I have nothing to show for that decade of work. It seemed that if I wanted to stay in the Philippines then I would have to downgrade that goal for my family. Opportunity to go abroad came even though for just a couple of years, I grabbed it and said to myself, I just need this to jump start my goals. After that stint, went back to the Philippines, with the high hopes that with my local and international experience I could a get a good job to support my goals and have time to be with my family. I applied to several companies, only to be disappointed to find out that either I am asking too much or they preferred fresher people or both. So opportunity came for a senior position abroad so here I am now, still an OFW.

    You ask me if it’s a choice then my answer would be yes. If I wanted a mediocre life style for me and my family then I could have just stayed and worked in the Phils. (Hey, we were not born rich as some) I dream of something bigger for me and my family and the Phils. just cannot cut it for me anymore, hence my choice, my terms. Opportunities (with my standards) for me locally is close to nil. So yes, lack of available jobs for professionals with my age and experience is zero.

    1. about schools, i dream that someday we will have 1 standard education. All schools should be good. Rich or poor, children will have the same quality education.

  4. The Seven Social Sins in the Failippines are:

    1. Wealth without work.
    2. Pleasure without conscience.
    3. Knowledge without character.
    4. Commerce without morality.
    5. Science without humanity.
    6. Worship without sacrifice.
    7. Politics without principle.

  5. The unforseen lament of OFWs is their hard-earned remittance money–aside from keeping their loved ones from falling below poverty level in the Philippines–is doing nothing but fattening the political and business regime’s bank accounts, by buying into their programs, products, and services. OFWs are nothing more than a modern-day serfdom for the Filipino people, since it adds more fire to an already oppressive system.

  6. The OFW is preyed upon by the government. Recently, in 2012, a friend has gone through all of the arduous tasks to getting an exit visa. The final insult was the acquiring of a new ‘stamp’ that needed to be attached to the exit visa, a P500 ‘stamp’, or no entry to the airplane to take my friend away from the hell-hole that will not be returned to until citizenship elsewhere is obtained.
    Fast-forward three years and citizenship for my friend in a different country outside that friends homeland(the FAILS) is close to happening.Would my friend consider going back to the Fail-ippines after taking the oath of allegiance to that new country of citizenship? and emphatic “NO.” is the answer forthcoming from my friend. NEVER going back there is the general plan as it is just a sleazy-ass cesspool with nothing but liars cheats and criminals.
    Hearing this come from a Philippine citizen, who will be a dual-citizen soon, is pretty eye-opening. Outside the country there are no good considerations of the Philippines. It is known as a place to avoid at all costs and to never go back to if you are from there!
    It leaves little to the imagination what needs to happen if the country is to ever shake off the stank of the corruption that has infected every crevice of the society. The ridding of the the conniving scumbags that run the country is called for and if it doesn’t happen, the GRP writers will be penning the same article’s they are penning now, for the next 50-100 years.

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