Sadly, 60 Years Old Pinay OFW not yet ready to retire.

PinayExpat is one of the almost a million counts of Filipinos living here in The United Arab Emirates. Like other OverSeas Filipino workers, I have also my own reason why I chose to work abroad.

Being here for quite long, I’ve seen and met many Filipinos who are really hardworking and eager to reach their goals. Mostly are for their families.

My recent encounter was yesterday. I met one Filipina working as a domestic helper for more than 20 years. She just finished her contract and currently looking for a new job opportunity. I asked her if she still doesn’t want to retire, I didn’t realize that my question is a bit heavy for her to answer.

She got teary eyes and told me with a shaky voice;

“if you are in my situation that you still have an obligation and suddenly your employer would not renew your contract, what you would do? are you just going to accept to go back to the Philippines?”

After hearing those words, I quickly let my senses to realize that she was having a problem. I immediately divert the topic in a light way and let her speak her emotions.

I gave her comforting words and a little tap on her shoulder telling her to be strong and praying for her that everything will be ok.

The way I asked her was actually in an exciting and normal way, coz her age is totally on the retirement stage. She is already 60 years old, the age that one should be looking forward to enjoy the fruit of her hard work. Sadly, she still needs to push on working as the obligations on top of her head was unbelievable.

But that is the reality that many OverSeas Filipino Workers are experiencing. They are busy working hard and happily supporting their families back home not realizing that time flies so fast and one day they wake up and already old.

Don’t get me wrong supporting our families are actually the main reason why we chose to work abroad. They are our priority. But still, all OFW let us not forget ourselves. Pay yourself by saving a portion of your salary. This will be a big help in case unexpected things happen we have a fund to support ourselves. We never know what will happen tomorrow.

All OFW’s wish that their loved ones back home will believe when they say;

I am not Rich:

  • Let’s face it and be realistic, OFW’s are working hard and struggling so much every day far from their families. True that their earning is higher than the Philippine Peso rate but their cost of living, expenses are based on the standard of the particular country they are working at. Don’t be too excited about converting their salary into Peso!

I don’t have yet salary:

  • Sadly, many thought that OFW’s are getting their salary every day. They just sent the remittance and they will suddenly receive a call asking for money again because of never-ending reasons. You never know how much stress and pressure you are giving your OFW family especially if they are battling with their own problems too.

I don’t have big savings:

  • OFW’s are trying to save for their dream house or any other goals they would like to achieve. Don’t expect that they always have extra money to lend you. If they do, it is their decision whether to grant your request or not. Try to understand and not to judge easily that they are selfish or arrogant. Having an empty pocket abroad is scary as you never know if there will be someone to help you in case of an emergency.

My life here is not easy:

  • They seen on news, they heard a lot of stories that OFW life is not easy. Still, these words are hard to believe for many. The saddest experience I hard from someone is; when someone borrowing money from her, she told her that she doesn’t have enough as she will be using her spare money for her medication as she was sick. (that lady has depression illness and she spent a lot of money on her treatment. Though she has medical insurance her condition is not part of the coverage.) The answer she got makes her more depressed and felt so selfish. “At least for you, you have money to use for your treatment while for us we only have a prayer” Really? is that the best response you can give? OFW life is not easy and it is not their mistake if their families back home life is hard. They are tying but sometimes no matter how much they tried life reality is really hard.

The families back home should be comforting and understanding as well. Don’t put all the obligations and blame to your OFW family. Instead, help each other to achieve whatever that dream fast.

I hope that above will not offend anyone, the purpose is just to enlighten everyone and help many OFW’s express their sentiments.

(Just sharing thoughts on behalf of millions OFW)

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