I come from a family of OFWs. My father was an OFW Seafarer for most of his life, so were some of my uncles from both sides of the family, some of my aunts used to work as domestic helpers in Hong Kong and Singapore, and as an office worker in Bahrain. When I was growing up, friends and family asked me if I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a seafarer like him. My answer was always no. I had no desire whatsoever to work overseas or be away from my family. Fast forward many years later, here I am- an OFW.
According to the most recent statistical data, there are about 10 million Filipino OFWs all over the world. 1 out of 10 are financially broke, while 8 out of 10 will go home with no savings, or funds for retirement. If you are an OFW, those are scary numbers and those numbers are REAL!
“I’m coming home.”
“Uuwi na ako.”
“Ayoko na mag abroad.”
Whether it be due to homesickness, poor health, or just tired of being away for so long, we all have to come home at some point. One cannot be an OFW forever, unless he/she plans to become an immigrant in another rich country. The question however is, are we ready to come home? Some of us have been here in the UAE, or worked abroad for over five years, some even more than a decade. We all left our home country for the same reasons. To seek greener pastures, to earn more, and be able to save more for our future, and that of our loved ones who are waiting for us back home. But with the current global uncertainties, and economic crashes happening around us we may not have much time left to work abroad. So once again, let me ask you. Are you ready to leave everything behind and come home? I’m not. And for most Filipinos working abroad it’s also the same. Not every one has an Exit Strategy in place, yet. Some, if not most, don’t have a strategy at all! So if you’re one of those who STILL doesn’t have an exit strategy or even thought about it, this is for you.