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OFW LIFE (Expectation vs Reality)

There are so many misconceptions about the life of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). They're thinking that working abroad is like living in a paradise, getting all the luxuries you want and having a lavish lifestyle. How I wish it is true but the reality is NO!

Let us check some of the most common misconceptions of  life as OFWs and get to know the reality behind each of  them.

😱What others expect when you are working abroad is that you are staying in a spacious and comfortable apartment like the one below..



Beautiful room

😞But in reality most OFWs are living in a small 'partition' room just to save some money on the side. Here in Kuwait Accommodation is one of the highest expenses that expats are facing. The prizes is vary depending on the neighborhood and quality of the building and the amenities. In fact an unfurnished one bedroom apartment within the city would cost around KWD300 or PHP53,000 in Philippine currency.

Because of that, here in Kuwait, 8 or more people sharing and living together in one apartment, normally with only one bathroom and a kitchen. Economically, it is a good idea to save more money.


small room for ofw

😱What others expect when you're in abroad you have plenty of money to buy new gadgets. Because you've posted a new top of the line gadget on social media, they are more likely under the impression that you have lots of money.


New gadgets

😞But the reality is that majority of OFWs got a new gadget because of an installment plan that usually takes 2 years to pay before you can really own the gadget. 

In case you don't know, Gadget and internet are mainly the best friend of the OFWs. Without these 2 things, how would they be able to get in touch with their families in the Philippines? It has been very useful to OFWs not only as the means of communication but also a source of entertainment and a way to eliminate homesickness.



😱What others expect when you are working overseas is that you are having your meal more often at expensive restaurants.


Expensive foods

😞But the reality is that majority of OFWs do not have time to cook or prepare a proper meal because of busy work so they are contented with instant food items or ready to eat goods like cup noodles, biscuits, canned goods etc. Even if they want to prepare something delicious before going to bed, they can hardly do it since they are already tired from work.

Another reason also why other OFWs prefer to eat instant food items is because they want to save some money.   


Instant food items
😱What others expect when you're working in a foreign country is that OFWs can easily buy  branded and expensive shoes, clothes, bags etc. As if you could afford all those trendsetting shoes and clothes or even jewelries.


😞While others are spending more money from purchasing brand new clothes and shoes at the shopping malls, many of OFWs are contented enough with those second-hand items.

Exactly! 'Ukay-ukay' is not only in the Philippines, it can be found also in abroad. It is called a flea market or a type of bazaar wherein used items or second-hand goods such as clothes, shoes, bags, furniture's and even accessories are being sold at a very cheap prizes. 

For many OFWs who spend their money wisely, brand new clothes and shoes aren't important, financial savings does.


flea market


😱What others expect is that jobs abroad pay well. Money is the main reason why Filipinos choose to leave their jobs and families in the Philippines in favor of job opportunity in abroad. 

Kuwait is one of the popular working destination for Filipinos. Aside from the fact that Kuwaiti Dinar is the world most expensive currency, it is also a sought- after destination for many expats because there is no income tax to pay on salaries. Private sector wages range from as much as KWD2,500 - KWD3,000 each month for top managers of large companies to between KWD200 - KWD400 for other skilled professionals and no skilled workers.


😞Yes its true that OFws are getting more salary overseas compared in the Philippines but it seems not enough. In reality it is not bad but the cost of living in abroad is somehow expensive. It varies from one country to another but one thing is for sure it is more expensive than in the Philippines. Once you receive your salary, you need to budget it wisely, you need to pay for your apartment, daily transport, phone bills, food and other necessities. 

Due to these personal expenses, there is only little amount of money left to us to send back to our families.


😱What others expect is that whenever someone in need of money you can send back to them right away. The first thing that comes in their minds whenever there is a financial need at home is  always the one who in overseas. They always assume that you can provide money easily, believing that you  have always extra cash on hand.


😞The Filipinos working abroad aren't rich. They are treated as a human ATM machine as if  they are producing money and can send it right away whenever someone need it. Many OFWs go into debt because of familial responsibilities and financial commitments without admitting it to their families.
They will borrow just to send money if needed.

Many OFWs ignore their phone calls or text because they know that most of the time, it's just someone who is asking for money. It may be rude but its really happening. 


Those are the few out of many things that you don't know about OFW life. Those are often kept secret from the people who are left behind.

So for the relatives of OFWs, before you go off asking from them a latest gadget, a brand new shoes or clothes thinking that they will be able to afford it since they're earning dollars, well think again. If it is not necessary then don't ask for it.

And for OFWs and aspiring OFWs, you can't work forever. So SAVE! SAVE! while you are still in Abroad.

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