Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Interview with OFWs: On Working Abroad

I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. In fact, I was raised by a wonderful single parent yet financially-challenged lady, my mom. Ever since then, surviving in this crazy world has always been a challenge. My mom had tried working as a secretary, promo girl, dressmaker, cook and I’ll-ask-her-later-cuz-i-forgot-kind-of jobs. Now that I have come of age and my mom is not getting any younger, I feel like it is now my turn to give her a happy and fulfilling life that she deserves. Don’t ask me about my dad, he has always been out of the picture. He’s like a catch-me-if-you-can type of dad. No, I am not Leonardo DeCaprio’s son. How I wish!

Anyway, I believe that working abroad will not only widen my horizon but will also potentially improve my career life. But just like any first-timers, I have fears on what’s in store for me out there. What will be the challenges that I’m going to encounter? So I made a little interview and my interviewees were the OFW blogger-friends that I met here in the so-called blogosphere. I sincerely thank them for their cooperation. I really am grateful. So read on and learn from the veterans. ;p

Note: You will be seeing cute faces below however please be aware that this is not a dating site.^_-

Click on their names to go to their respective sites. :)

Reesie of Reesie.net, USA

Me: How long have you been working as an OFW?
Reesie: 4 long years.

Me: Wow! That’s quite long already. What’s the biggest challenge that you have encountered as an OFW?

Reesie: Communication and culture gap. Conversational english (US) is way different than the Formal English that was taught to us since kindergarten. It took me a while to learn their slang and colloquial language. Additionally, I had to listen very well to my boss and co-workers when they spoke considering that their accent was difficult to understand, at first. My bisaya accent was so prevalent back then. It took me a year to adjust, adapt, and immerse in their languange.
But one major challenge that is very hard to overcome is the loneliness. Being alone and away from your family and friends is frustrating and unbearable sometimes. The first six months were the worst ones. The only thing that can get me through each day is the taught that I am helping my family back home- that they have a decent life because of me-to say the least.

KJ of KrisJasper.com, UK

Me: How long have you been working as an OFW?
I moved here Feb 2003.

Me: What’s the biggest challenge that you have encountered as an OFW?
Hmmm.. luckily my agents had put me in a cool workplace (up to now) I was the only foreigner before so it was cool! The only challenge I guess is just becoz I have chinky eyes they always assume I can speak chinese. LOL!

If you're thinking if I miss Pinas! Oh yeah! definitely! But good that there's TFC, everytime I see these terrible politicians arguing with each other, that puts me off from "early retiring" in Pinas. lol!

Rye aka Flamindevil, Malaysia

Me: How long have you been working as an OFW?
I’ve been in KL since August 18, 2008. I’m turning 8 months old. Yippee

Me: What’s the biggest challenge that you have encountered as an OFW?
Being away from my family and friends has been the biggest challenge yet. There are only two things which can happen when you’re working abroad--- either you’ll survive or not. The first few weeks were hell. I missed my family and friends terribly. Being away from one’s comfort zone is not the easiest challenge that a person may encounter. Most of the times, I still have to prepare my food after a hard day’s work. Even if I’m dead tired, I have no choice.

What are the pros and cons being an OFW?
I learned to be independent here in KL. I believe I matured fast. I made bold decisions without consulting my parents. I learned and realized that one could really survive and make it if he wants to. ‘If I Can, I will because I’m good at it.’ However, there are still times when I get lonely as much as I dun wanna entertain the idea. It usually happens during birthdays and holidays. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic of the times when I was in Manila . I sometimes feel deprived of familiar warmth and affection. I inevitably wish for people who could light up my need for familiar faces, familiar voices and tested bond.

Sherwin, Iraq

How long have you been working as an OFW?
Worked in Saudi Arabia for 3 years and another 3 years in Iraq.

What’s the biggest challenge that you have encountered as an OFW?

Working abroad was like searching a needle inside the dark room, clueless and totally blind. I don’t have any idea what path I’m walking through but aside from those, I have learned to stand on my own feet, making decisions without somebody’s influence and live my life everyday as exciting as riding on a bicycle for the first time. A doubtful skin is all I have (maybe it’s just the thought that I’m a Filipino) and the fact that I’m in a religious Muslim country where the perfect intensive authority is implemented. But then again, I was able to gain experience when it comes to my chosen profession.

There you have it. The very inspiring answers of our OFW blogger friends. Hmm... I'm just soo excited to work abroad.


  1. You're right. Lot's of cute faces. Hehehe! I haven't gone abroad but I could relate to what Rye said. Living away from family really teaches independence.

  2. parang ok ang lagay ni kris, pero kahit ano pa man ang sabihin e napaka hirap ng malayo sa sarili mong bansa..lalo na kung may pamilya ka na

  3. mahirap talaga malayo sa pamilya, isama mo na din ang culutre shock! pero kaya mo yan, it has its own great rewards later on ^^

  4. Thanks Mon! alam mo naman siguro kung bakit hindi ako na ho-homesick hehehe! kasi papauwi na ulit ako, fortunately every 3 months ang vacation namin, after all the sacrifices and pain...hahaha drama ah! balik pina sna ulit ako sa June hehehe!

    once again, thank you for letting me share my thoughts he~he

  5. at last Monding, at na post mo na rin to after 48 years.. nyahaha. joke lang. This is such a good idea of yours. Thank you. :D

    @sherwin: buti ka pa every quarter ang vacation nyo.. ang taray!

    P.S. natawa ako sa interracial dating mo..at nagbigay ka pa ng link.

  6. it's true then. :)
    haayyy ganun talaga ang layp. ang KRUWEL! :D haha.. :D mabute nga, ndi ikaw yung tipong nagccomplain sa KRUWEL-ness eh.. good! :D

    napadaan lang ako.. :D hehe..

  7. hmm ...mahirap nga talaga ang magwork abroad.....culture shock at minsan language barrier ang unang masusumpungan mo...loneliness at being lost in a strange land...prevalent din yan.....
    pero sa isang banda.....maganda rin kasi it would widen ypour perpective in life at saka mas lalalim talaga ang kamalayan mo sa iyong sarili at sa mundong ginagalawan mo.....

  8. ahaha buti nalang hindi mo ako tinanong dito eh englisan pala ang sagot taragis! ^^

    mahirap ang nasa abroad mahirap kasing malayo sa pamilya.. pero kahit ganun sige lang! pinoy tayu eh may dugong palaban hehe kahit ano pa yan isasakripisyo para sa ikabubuti ng mahal sa buhay!

    pero wag masyado magtagal sa abroad! dapat alam mo din kung hanggang kailan ka lalayo s apamilya mo kasi sayang din ang panahon.,kailan mo pa makakasama ang family mo pag oldy na? diba nakakahinayang...

    tyaga at ipon lang muna then in a soonest possible time, uwi na! or get the family with you.!

    yun po! bow! ^^

    long live filipinos! hihih!

  9. ahaha buti nalang hindi mo ako tinanong dito eh englisan pala ang sagot taragis! ^^

    mahirap ang nasa abroad mahirap kasing malayo sa pamilya.. pero kahit ganun sige lang! pinoy tayu eh may dugong palaban hehe kahit ano pa yan isasakripisyo para sa ikabubuti ng mahal sa buhay!

    pero wag masyado magtagal sa abroad! dapat alam mo din kung hanggang kailan ka lalayo s apamilya mo kasi sayang din ang panahon.,kailan mo pa makakasama ang family mo pag oldy na? diba nakakahinayang...

    tyaga at ipon lang muna then in a soonest possible time, uwi na! or get the family with you.!

    yun po! bow! ^^

    long live filipinos! hihih!

  10. nu ba yan monmon kala ko kaya mo ko tinanong dahil ipopost mo sa dating site...nyak!!!

    available naman akong makipagdate online ngayon eh.hahaha (nakikiusap talaga?)

    thanks for being one of your interviewees..it's my pleasure. :p

  11. aba at may interview pala dito. hehe

    lahat naman ng umaalis..lahat ng nagsasakripisyo...lahat ng nagtatrabaho may kanya kanyang dahilan.

    ang masasabi ko lang, wag nyong kalilimutang umuwi dito sa bayan natin.

  12. mon bakit si kuya blu di mo tinanong hehe..madaming pang kulang sa list mo bout sa working abroad nila hehe..

    nakakatuwa naman at uuwi ulit si kuya sherwin hehe,,,eto taong to ang walang takot talaga hehe..

    ikaw mon kylan ka mag abroad hehe...

    ako nagbabalak na din para sa pamilya pero kylangan ko munang mag isip na 1 million times sa gagawin kong move hehe...

  13. @ Rico:
    - yeah, maraming cute girls and guys sa blog ko diba? haha

    @ payatot
    - mahirap nga talaga yan kaya nga tinawag na bagong bayani ang mga OFW. hehe

    @ cindy
    - dapat pala kasama ka dun sa mga in-interview ko dun. hehe.. baka kasi busy ka. thanks.

    @ sherwin
    - wow. i should thank you for sharing ur experiences. wow balik-pinas. pasalubong ko pinsan ah. haha

    @ Reesie
    - haha.. may pakulo ako jan sa interracial na yan. thanks Reesie for sharing your throughts and experiences. ;p

    @ gladys
    - life is still beautiful despite of the trials. thanks.

    @ bluguy
    - thanks parekoy, na iingganyo na talaga ako mag-aborad. dapat din pala tinanong din kita kaso baka busy ka eh. nahiya ako.

    @ krisjasper
    - lol. do u like ur pic? hehe. btw, i like ur answers. thanks.

  14. wow naman, pretty faces pala ang mga OFW bloggers ah! this is one nice post, mon! obvious na pinaghirapan... nung mga sumagot ng questions mo. hehehe! i give you triple A for effort :)

    btw, am a bit well now. konting kalog na lang ng utak. hehehe!

  15. nice interview...

    isa lang naman ang kalaban ng pag aabroad eh... LUNGKOT.

    nevertheless, kung iisipin mong para sa future mo at ng pamilya mo ang ginagawa mo makakalimutan mo ang lungkot.

    p.s. infairness mga cute nga ang mga ininterview mo... hehe

  16. @ bonistation
    - sayang, dapat talaga tinanong kita. kaso, parang u were on vacation that time at mejo nahihiya pa din ako sa'yo. hehe. thanks for sharing ur thoughts. i learned a lot.

    @ Rye/flamindevil
    - ah available ko pala ha. hmmm.. ayos lang ba kung ipamimigay ko tong YM mo sa lahat ng DOGs(Dirty Old Gays) dito sa office ko. haha. seriously. thank u Rye for giving very nice answers. kung napansin mo, ikaw lang yung may tatlong questions. haha. pinahirapan kita ng kunti kasi magaling ka. haha

    @ eli
    - uu nga tama ka eli. wag kayong makakalimot umuwi ah. wag kalimotan ang pasalubong ko pag-uwi nyo. hehe

    @ anakngpating
    - nahihiya pa ko kay blu eh. hehe. sabay tayo mag-abroad lovely

    @ Winkie
    - haha. pinaghirapan ko rin tu ng kunti. peru halatang mas may effort yung mga interviewees. hehe. thanks Winkie. yey thanks for the triple A.

    @ yhen
    - tama. yun din ang fear ko. baka mamatay ako dun sa lungkot. hehe. korek. mga cuties nga sila.. sige pa bolahin pa natin. haha. thanks yhen. balik ka ha :)

  17. at talagang me link sa inter-racial dating site! wahaha! (at talagang napa-click ako) wahaha!

    ikaw mon ha, napaghahalata... nyehehe!

  18. sinasabi ko na nga ba eh. kahit seryoso ang topic KJ will still find a way to showcase his humor! hahaha!

    working abroad is really a challenge. kelangan ko talagang i-prepare ang sarali ko bago ako sumabak sa ibang bansa...

    mon! thanks for changing your comment box! hehehe! kaya hindi ako makapagcomment dati...

    3 times??? kaya pala nangunguna siya sa poll ko! grrrrrr! hehehe! :P

  19. Nice adventure!

    Ganda pala talaga diyan sa Mactan Island!

  20. @ deejay:
    - haha.. na-loko kita.. LOL
    hmm? napaghahalatang ano? umayos ka deejay. tsk!

    @ lucas
    - yeah. di talaga ako nagkamaling tanungin sya hehe.. More power to Matt! hehe

    @ Lionheart:
    - Uu naman maganda talaga dito. peru nasa maling entry tung comment mo ah! hehe. halina kayo.. :D

  21. kulang ang post mong ito kasi wala ako dito haha joke lang. alam mo masarap magtrabaho kai nakakatulong ka ng malaki pero yung emosyonal talaga ang nahihirapan kasi malayo sa pamilya

  22. Hahaha! to Ressie, alam mo bang 6 years ko tong hinanap I mean ang work condition na ganito, yon nga lang WE KNOW for a fact that everything is not gonna be perfect, every 3 months nga ang vacation ko kaso lang na war-torn country naman ako...hahahaha! pero ok lang

    to anakngpating: sorry po hindi ko talga alam ang tunay mong pangalan eh, nyahahaha! tama ka dala lang ng matinding pangangailangan kaya kahit warzone pinatulan ko na hahaha, not too sophisticated ang place pero ayos naman kahit papaano...hehe! to all please visit my blog kahit boring basahin hahaha! http://sherwines.blogspot.com/

    honestly na excite naman ako sa post ni mon kasi I told him that I really him to introduce me to the blog sphere na to kasi wala naman akong kakilala na nag ba-blog meron man puro kano eh ni hindi ko naman kayang magsalita ng straight na english palagi akong nose-bleed! hahahaha! xaxa hanggang dito na lemeng at mahaba na ito...belat! ;)

  23. @ Dencios:
    - kasi di ba sabi ko i-email mo sakin mga sagot mo.. hehe i'd love to display sana ur poging-poging picture parekoy kaso, hindi mo sinend yung sagot mo e. thank u for the nice throughts.

    @ sherwin:
    - ayos lang yan bro! exciting nga yang nasa Iraq ka diba. at malaki naman kita diba. at magaan lang ang work so ayos na ayos yan! hehe tenchu!!

  24. jusko at pinuntahan ko naman daw yun dating site n sinabi mo haha

    mon I love this post!mejo bitin nga lang sana dinamihan mo!best post ever mo to!inggit ako di ko naisip to LOL!

    at sinu yun taga iraq na yun?cutee ha!sana naman nilagay mo ang website nila haha<--demanding daw!

  25. wow..that's nice.. i love the scenery.. i've been there to cebu for quite sometime but i haven't explored it's beauty yet... cool shots u got there.

  26. i heart sherwin! hehe... pinuntahan ko yung site... la lang...

    hirap nga tlga lumayo sa lupang sinilangan. kakalungkot. pero nakakaadjust naman pla sila so i guess yun ang pinakamahirap na part. yung makakaexperence ka ng withdrawal syndrome.

  27. @ MAC
    - haha! i got u there. napa-click ka din talaga ha! LOL. Yung taga-Iraq si Sherwin yun, distant relative ko. ;) *wink

    visit his blog: http://sherwines.blogspot.com/

    @ kathrinx:
    - thank you. peru parang nasa maling post ang comment mo. hehe. i'll visit u later ha. ;)

    @ kokoi:
    - ah basta pagnaka-abroad ako. wala yang withdrawal syndrome na yan. hehe. ang importante malaking kita. LOLs

    Thanks guys.:)

  28. wow ang nice ng place..... hope to visit that!

  29. Nice Place nga peru parangnasa wrong entry ka nag-comment. lol

  30. uy ang saya naman dyan meron pa kayo mga underwater pics.. ang cool

  31. underwater pics? lol. malamang nasa wrong entry tong comment mo. hehe

    Bakit kaya lately andaming misplaced comments? lol

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  35. Wow! Nagiinterview ka na pala monz! Hehe!

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  37. Nice interview you have here. :)


Please don't be hard on me. ♥

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