Why Many Filipinos Are Working Abroad?

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Avatar for Jane
Written by
2 years ago
Topics: OFW, Experiences, Savings, Writing, Blog, ...

March 12, 2021

OFW is the short-term for Overseas Filipino Workers. Wherever you go abroad, you will always encounter Filipinos, either newbies or already have established their lives abroad. Maybe because Filipinos are in-demand abroad because we have admirable qualities which attach us to other races. We can also easily adapt to a different culture, assimilate communities, and get to know people quickly.

Filipinos are also known to be resilient and hardworking. That is because we are born in a not-so-rich country so we need to work hard to survive. Our country also has lots of natural calamities going in and out that made us resilient. We are also known for our hospitality that many foreign people fall in love with that trait. And those are the main reasons why many countries are accepting Filipino workers. We can also speak the English language so we can easily communicate with foreign people anywhere abroad.

But if you will ask why many Filipinos are working abroad, here are the reasons based on my experiences.

  • Dreams and Goals

Five years ago, or should I say, many years ago, I have always wanted to work abroad because I saw how it changed the lives of many Filipinos. They were able to put up their businesses, built their dream houses, bought their fancy cars, and travel to different places. I always told myself, "how I wish to have those things as well. I want to roam around the world. And it would be possible if I will work abroad."

That was my main reason why I have wanted to work abroad, because of my dreams and goals in life. I want to have the life that I dreamed of, with the huge house for my family, huge cars where I and my family can go anywhere we wanted to, a life that most people are aiming for.

I want to travel and see the beauty of the world. And I want to experience things abroad before I get old. I want to have fun while working and visiting different places. I want to help my family get a better life. And those are only possible through working abroad.

  • Higher Salary

Being in a third-world country with a low minimum wage won't help me achieve my dreams in life. How much more if I will work in a province, the provincial rates are much lower. The minimum wage varies from region to region, ranging from P295-500 ($6.09-$10.33) per day. While abroad, the minimum monthly salary for Filipinos is $400. Lucky are those who are working in multimillion corporations, government institutions, and Business Processing Outsourcing companies because their salaries are higher than the minimum wage.

Data from: https://nwpc.dole.gov.ph/

I have worked in a Freight Processing Outsourcing company with a computer-related job, but even if our clients are from abroad, our salary was still based on the provincial rate. So to get additional income, I always did well at work to receive weekly incentives. My salary was still not enough to help my family and buy my needs and wants.

I started to work as a Private Caregiver seven years ago, and my salary was much higher compared to my computer-related job, earning P350-700 ($7.23-$14.46) a day depending on the type of patients I handle. The work was quite tough with a graveyard shift, but for a person with goals and ambition, everything is possible. However, even if I work 24/7, the salary was still not enough to achieve my dreams. I was ambitious back then, but I was and still am hardworking. And once I set to achieve something, I will always do my best to pursue them.

  • Peer Influence

Caregiving wasn't my forte because I love SciTech and business-related stuff. But one day my friend told me that she wants to study a Caregiving course. Her aunt is living in the US and she will help her work in a hospital there. And I might be able to work there too since I am a bachelor's degree holder. With the thought of working in the US, I have also decided to enroll in a Caregiving class and spent more than P50,000 ($1,032+) for six months of studying and training. Our school was private so the tuition was quite expensive. But some schools are offering affordable to free Caregiving training in the Philippines which I did not think of trying.

Successfully passed the NCII examination (My friend is that small lady on my upper-left side, and I am that one kneeling in front πŸ˜…)

After six months of training, everything has changed. She pursued another career after working in a hospital and I pursued to work abroad after getting enough experience from my private caregiving job.

  • Better Career Opportunities

Β©image source: timeshighereducation.com

Another main reason why many Filipinos are working abroad is to grab better opportunities. Our country produces great professionals who can excel in various fields, however, there are limited career opportunities so they seek career development opportunities abroad. Not only they will earn a higher salary, but will also learn new things and develop their skills.

Working abroad will also allow us to explore new career opportunities. For some Filipinos, they will apply for a certain job like Domestic Helper, or any other job with no complex requirements and that is easy to process. Then once they are already working abroad, they will look for another kind of job better than their current job.

In my case, I chose to start here in Hong Kong as many say that, HK is a good stepping stone to Canada, to more and better opportunities. Many Filipinos are working here in HK as it is easier for them to apply for a work bound to Canada such as Caregiving and Nursing, easier to find an employer, and process applications. But that would be a different story now because I want to pursue another career once I finish my contract here. Something that will give me time freedom and will help me recuperate while preparing myself to enter abroad again.

If many Filipinos work abroad to pursue their dreams and get a better career opportunities, many are forced to apply abroad due to these reasons:

  • Poverty

Poverty is on top of the reasons why Filipinos are working abroad. As I have mentioned above, the salary is too low and not enough for some to support their family, especially those who are only working as servants, saleslady/boy, fast food servers, cleaners, construction workers, drivers, farmers, etc. Compared if they will work abroad as cleaners, drivers, construction workers, etc, the salary is three to five times higher than the salary received in the Philippines.

Β©image source: change.org/p/everyone-help-our-filipino-farmers

Just like for example:

  • Farmers in the Philippines get the lowest income that is not even enough to feed their families for the whole month. Meanwhile, Filipino farmers in Japan get up to $1000 monthly salary.

  • Cleaners and servants in the Philippines only receive the minimum wage and some employers even give lower than the minimum wage to their servants. Meanwhile, in Japan, Filipino cleaners and servants earn up to $1500 a month.

Filipinos won't get that huge salary while working as a farmer or servant in the Philippines. Even a manager only gets a salary above the minimum wage but not the same as the servant's salary in Japan. So for many poor Filipinos, their only way to get a twist of fate is to take the risk of working abroad.

  • Application Standards and Discrimination

Β©image source: loquequieroestudiar.es

This is one thing that many Filipinos don't like when it comes to job hunting in the Philippines - discrimination. Our country is becoming more open as a society but there are still sectors that discriminate against workers. Some sectors have high standards that only those board exam passers are accepted, so fresh graduates usually end up working in a job not related to their courses.

Many sectors only accept applicants with pleasing personalities and good communication skills. The pleasing personality should be a positive trait that is important in interacting with other people at work, but in the Philippines, they misunderstood it and base it on the physical appearance instead. But working abroad only requires the skills and credentials alone, no pleasing personality, even poor English communication skills are accepted.

That's the first thing I have noticed when I stepped on this foreign land. People don't care about who you are, your physical appearance, or crooked English. What matters to them are your skills and positive traits. And some Filipinas abroad become confident to wear anything they wanted to. Unlike in the Philippines, people will gonna body-shame or discriminate against your appearance once your not appealing to their eyes. It's embarrassing to say this, but it's true.

  • Contractualization and Slow Regularization Process

Β©image source: feed.change.org

Contractualization is one of the main reasons why many Filipinos are working abroad. Many companies in the Philippines give their workers a temporary job that only lasts less than six months, then terminates their employment shortly before they become regular just to cut out the fees which come on regularization.

And in some government sectors, the regularization process takes a longer time, unless you have connections. Some even wait up to one year or more years before they become regular. So for these reasons, Filipinos prefer to work abroad as the job contracts usually last for two years and can even be extended for as long as the company needed your service, or you are still capable to handle works, which is long enough for them to save money for their families in the Philippines.

Just like in my part, my contract was only two years but my employer requested to extend it to four years. So for many Filipinos, instead of shifting jobs every after six months, they rather work abroad where they can work up to two years of contracts and which can be extended or regularized.

This has been a big issue in the Philippines for many years and different organizations support to end the contractualizations in the country, but I guess the current government is already working on it.

There are many reasons why Filipinos want to risk their lives working abroad for the sake of getting a good life for their families. And if you are a person who wants a more comfortable life and a high-salary job, I would say that the Philippines is not the right place for you. Unless you're a nature lover.

Β©image source: immigration.ca

Many Filipinos want to migrate to places abroad like Canada or New Zealand because it is more comfortable to live there with higher monthly income and better career opportunities.

That is also one of the reasons why I want to work here in Hong Kong because I want to migrate to Canada in the future. Moreover, the migration process in Canada is also easier. And once I'm in Canada already, one of my plans is to get my sisters so they can work there too. Those are part of my goals and my dreams, and I'm hoping to achieve them in the future.

Aside from it, the high taxes in the Philippines robs the 10% or more of their monthly salary. The inflation rate also affects most of the commodity prices. So Filipinos who are earning less than P10,000 ($206) a month, the biggest portion of their salaries only go to paying taxes and monthly necessities.

That is why many Filipinos are struggling to save money from their salaries, so some seek extra income online, just like what Filipinos are doing on this blogging platform. Some will do vlogging on Youtube, get a freelance job, or any side jobs that can help them get an extra income. But for those who want to explore the world while receiving a higher income, working abroad is their best option.

A Chinese kid once asked me why many Filipinas are working as a maid abroad or other lower jobs, the answer that I have told her is,

"Many foreign employers like the service of the Filipino. Many Filipino are working abroad because there are available jobs for us, but if there's none, then we will not risk our lives to work abroad. We are known to be hardworking and hospitable, so we are in-demand abroad."

And I am proud to be an OFW!

Lead image from https://www.imoney.ph/articles/work-abroad-ofw-guide/

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Comments

Looing forward to more OFWs learning the importance of cryptocurrencies and the opportunities presented by the online world such as this Read.Cash projects.

$ 0.03
2 years ago

Exactly

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Gusto ko ring magtrabaho abroad after college pero hindi magiging madali kasi kailangan kong maghanap ng kapilya sa papasukan ko (INC kasi ako eh) then gusto ko magtrabaho sa abroad, unang una yung sahod, opportunities at makaalis sa bansang to.

$ 0.05
2 years ago

Daming INC abroad.. Kaht dto sa HK

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I am hoping for a better Philippines in the future where our kababayans don't need to go abroad just to have a livable wage. Manifesting 🀞🏼🀞🏼🀞🏼

$ 0.03
2 years ago

Hoping.maybe 20yrs after 🀣

$ 0.00
2 years ago

πŸ˜­πŸ˜‚

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Sabi q na nga ba e... push sis, marami na tayong kababayan na naging stepping stone si HK papuntang Canada..

true lahat lalo na at no to less work opportunities dito sa atin kea andaming pinoy ang nadidiscover sa ibang bnsa dhil dun na nila iniaapply ang talino at galing nila sa ibat ibng larangan..

$ 0.05
2 years ago

At daming my profession sa call center ang bagsak dhl english comm lng requirements πŸ˜…

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Many people from Indonesia also work abroad, many of whom have spouses there, it seems that the Philippines and Indonesia are indeed neighbors who have a lot in common.πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡

I am very happy to get to know many friends from the Philippines, in fact I really want to go there and meet all of you.😍😍😍😍

$ 0.05
2 years ago

So you're an indonesian? You can get Filipino friends here 😊

$ 0.00
2 years ago

yes, I am from Indonesian.πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡

$ 0.00
2 years ago

sa akin naman, before sabi ko. sa sarili ko, ayoko mgwork sa ibang bansa especially nung ng aaral ako. sabi ko, gusto ko pag pupunta ako sa ibang bansa for travel or vacation lang pero while getting older and having my current job, napapaisip ako na magwork sa ibang bansa kasi di sapat yung sahod ko para makatulong at nakapagsave

$ 0.05
2 years ago

Yun ang mganda way pra makapunta sa ibang lugar habang nag iipon 😁

$ 0.00
2 years ago

kaya nga eh. sana before ko pa narealize para sana may ipon na.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Thank you @Ellie for the generous upvote 😭

$ 0.00
2 years ago

hindi naman po sa pagmamaliit sa sarili nating bansa pero reality wise po kasi talaga, mahirap or hindi ka talaga uunlad dito sa Pilipinas, kahit pa matiyaga at masipag ka, minsan swertehan lang po talaga ano ate? Kaya wala tayong choice minsan na mga Pilipino kung hindi maghanap ng mas magagandang opportunity outside our country hehe

Anyway katulad mo din po ako ate na gustong-gusto na magtrabaho abroad! Pangarap ko po talaga kasi feeling ko pa diyan talaga ako yayaman hahahhaha (hipokrita na po kung hipokrita HAHAHAHA) Tapos gusto din magtravel travel pag yumaman na hahahaha Amsterdam at Santorini pangarap kong mapuntahan ate skl HAHAHAHAHHAHHHAAHAA NICE CONTENT PO!

$ 0.05
2 years ago

Am actually here abroad already 🀣🀣 Kaya mo yan beh.. Bata kpa naman .ako kc matanda na..haha..

$ 0.00
2 years ago

That's why ofw's deserved to be called heroes. Hirap at tiyaga puhunan pero walang inaatrasan para sa pamilya :)

$ 0.02
2 years ago

Tama

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Some time ago I read on Google that the Philippines is the country with the highest and most Kirpto owners in all of Southeast Asia

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Really? I don't think so

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Just wonder, why OFW less tendency to consider getting enough wealth then go back and enjoy life in Philippines but to emigrate to countries like Canada or NZ? Too powerful local cronies family?

$ 0.02
2 years ago

As i have said above, there are better opportunities in canada an nz compare in the Philippines .. They will become poor again once they go back to the Phil πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I just feel this would be endless cycle... Best will be own place gets developed and talents stay to develop the society..

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Pag nag abroad ako sa japan ako pupunts hehe tapos susunod korea. Then final destination Switzerland 😻

Ang masama lang yung pagiging hospitable ng mga pinoy madalas sa porenjer lang hahaha. Pero siyempre hindi naman lahat ng pinoy ganon.

$ 0.05
2 years ago

Haha.. Oi grabe ka. Ganun dn naman satn πŸ˜… depende sa tao. New Zealand sakn..pra naman malgyan ng tao fun, puro sheep eh πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Hahshaha cute cute ng sheeps😍

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Basta clear ang goal sa pag-abroad okay ito. Meron kasing iba na nagaabroad pero hindi naman nagtitipid. Hehe. Bale gusto ko din magabroad kaso, natatakot pa ko. Gusto ko may kasama. Hindi naman ako madaling maligaw. Pero takot pa ko makisalamuha. Ang pinaka gusto kong country na puntahan ay Australia or Canada. Hehe. Kase minsan nakakabanas na government sa atin. Hindi innovative puro gasta walang road map. Ahhh may road map pero hindi updated. Gaya ng papagawa ng kalsada 1km daw yung haba sa actual 700m lang asan ang hustisya. Mga gahaman. Grrrr. So ako kung sakali na gusto ko talaga mag-abroad dahil yun sa hindi ko mahal ang Philippines kundi dahil sa mga nakakabanas na tao. Hehe

Sakin kase basta magaling ka dumiskarte sa pilipinas at marunong ka maghandle ng pera hindi mo na need magabroad. Hehe. Hindi naman kailangan nakapagtapos ka or what kailangan lakas ng loob at dapat handa ka harapin lahat para sa pangarap. Hehe

$ 0.05
2 years ago

Haha.. Roadmap tlga. Alam mo naman dami corrupt jan. Atleast ngayon ky du30 nabawasan.
Takot dn ako dati, swrte at mabait nagijg employers ko

$ 0.00
2 years ago

On point lahat ng sinabi mo jane, kung dito lang din talaga sa Pinas eh parang walang mangyayari sa buhay mo. Kaya madami ang nag aabroad to seek greener pasture.

Pero minsan paswertehan lang din talaga. Madami ako friends na nag abroad pero minalas sa mga employer nila. Un iba minaltrato pa.

$ 0.05
2 years ago

Yung mga maids ganun.. Pro kung mo other skills naman. Swrte tlga. Sa japan mganda puntahan kung cleaner lng dn ang papasukin.. Wag sa middle east

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Balak ko noon talaga mag japan kasi maganda un benefits nila sa cleaner. Kaso ayaw naman ako payagan ng asawa ko. Free training pa yun noon eh..

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Sayang . laki swldo dun.. Japan or canada balak ko next

$ 0.00
2 years ago

This is so true. Mahirap din kasi na kahit pinakamababang posisyon, ang taas ng qualifications pero ang sahod napakababa. Tama din sa discrimination, mas marami ang natatanggap kung maganda ka o gwapo(kahit medyo tanga), pero yung magagaling na 'di naman kagandahan ang itsura ay na-seset aside. Sana lang din may support ang government, mag-create ng trabaho para sa mga Pilipino hindi para sa mga dayuhan.

$ 0.05
2 years ago

Haha yeeah minsan need pa galing maganda school pero hindi naman magaling. Amp.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

sinabi mo pa.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Haha.. Tanga tlga πŸ˜… Pro true naman. Tapus backer backer dn lalo na sa government sectors

$ 0.00
2 years ago

yes po , 3 days old.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

agree

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Bago ka dto?

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Yes, 3 days old

$ 0.00
2 years ago

From noise? Welcome here

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Yes po, sa noise ko lang nalaman ito haha. Thanks po.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I also want to work abroad kaso mo wala akong lakas ng loob, mas marami nga sanang opportunity dun ee tsk, kaso ml dito nga samin aanga anga na ako pano pa kaya sa abroad. Hahanap nalang nga ako ng porenger para manlang matupad ung wish ko na makaabot ng ibang bansa ,πŸ€§πŸ˜‚. Kung wala kang lakas ng loob jan tapos lagi kaoang na hohome sick di ata babagay ss iba pag ganon. Pero gusto ko din sana talagang etry. Kaso howwww 🀧

$ 0.05
2 years ago

Porenjer naman si ano hahaha si kuya A 🀧😹😹😹

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Haha, di naman sya blue eyes ee 😜

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Oo nga . sya nlng 🀣

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Haha .kya mo yan kung gugustuhin mo.. Pro masasabi ko lng. Ang hirap dto need ng tiyaga at lakas ng loob at katawan..

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Yan na nga, kaso wala ako nyan pareho pano kaya yun ee inuuna lagi ang hiya haha

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Introvert akong tao at sobrang mahiyain.. Pro pra sa pangarap kinakaya 😁

$ 0.00
2 years ago