Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are well known multi-taskers, performing several duties at the same time. This delicate balancing act requires not just skills but a deep sense of commitment and focus to make life better for their loved ones.
This perhaps is best illustrated in “Europe”, a short film by BDO Kabayan, about a female impersonator who works in Europe. Inspired by true events, “Europe” shows the great lengths a father will go to in order to provide for his family.
Jacks and Jills of all trades
The story is a familiar one, resonating among the millions of OFWs around the world, wherein many of our kakabayans resort to accepting odd jobs to earn for their families back home.
Dolores Perez, a registered nurse, discovered a hidden talent that became her source of extra income when she was working in Dubai.
“One time my friend asked if I could give her a massage. After I gave her one, she said I was really good,” recalls Dolores. “So after that, I decided to do massages for a fee on my days off.”
“I chose giving a massage as my sideline because it only lasts for an hour, no more, no less,” Dolores continues. “If a client wants to extend the session, then she must pay extra.”
Having a few practical skills can be quite useful, according to Teddy Santos, Jr., a husband and father of two. Having lived in Italy for the past 18 years, he has gone through many ups and downs when it comes to work. Today, he prefers having several part time jobs over regular work as this set-up pays him more and gives him more flexibility in terms of work hours.
According to Teddy, his regular day consists of working in a pharmacy from 7 to 11 in the morning, doing odd jobs like housekeeping, babysitting, or driving for various clients from 11:30am to 2:30pm, and doing clerical work in a law firm from 3:30pm to 7pm.
“It’s tiring and sometimes the travel time between jobs is challenging,” Teddy admits. “But the work that I do every day pays good money and is enough to support my family.”
Everything for the OFW Family
Indeed, their family’s welfare is the main motivation of OFWs wherever they may be in the world. Making sure that their loved ones back home are well provided for is top priority, no matter how difficult.
“I guess every padre de pamilya would say family comes first above anything else,” Teddy says. “All that they need should be provided by the parents, might it be in the manner of financial or moral support.”
Dondon Mangilog, Jr., a telecom technician in Saudi Arabia, agrees. For the past 15 years, he has been installing TV satellite dishes for private clients after office hours and during weekends. But despite its financial rewards, Dondon admits working extra has its disadvantages.
“Tinitiis ko ang init o lamig sa pag-aakyat sa bubong at hirap sa pag-install at pagbabarena sa dingding (I endure the heat or the cold when I go up on rooftops and the difficulty of drilling walls),” Dondon admits. “Ginagawa ko ito para maitaguyod nang maayos ang pamilya at makapag-ipon para sa magandang kinabukasan. (I do this so I can give the best support for my family and save money for our future.)”
Building the ideal future today
For Dolores, it’s important to teach her children how to prioritize their needs as early as now.
“Tuition fees, books, baon…these are the most important,” says Dolores. “If there’s extra money left, that’s the only time we buy other stuff or go malling.”
Too many sad stories have been told about OFWs not being able to save or losing their money because of uninformed financial decisions.
“You don’t have to be good in Math to manage your income,” Teddy says. “It’s just simple: don’t spend too much above your paygrade.”
For OFWs, it’s also crucial to have a trusted bank that will assist them in making sure their earnings make it to their families back home. BDO Kabayan understands this and commits to providing OFWs with products and services that adapt to their ever-changing needs.
“Having a bank that looks out for me is really helpful,” says Dondon who regularly sends money to the Philippines. “It makes me feel more secure knowing that my family gets the money I worked so hard for.”
The story of “Europe” is a familiar one, resonating among the millions of OFWs around the world. Just like in the story of “Europe”, many of our kababayans resort to accepting odd jobs to earn extra cash for their families back home.
While they find ways to earn for their families back home, BDO finds ways to safeguard their keep and provide innovative options to send this money to their loved ones. The service called Cash Agad for instance was introduced by BDO as a channel for the beneficiaries to withdraw the remittances without the need to go to a bank. Neighborhood establishments like sari-sari stores, water refilling stations, hardware stores, and pawnshops can be their “go-to-bank” as long as these establishments have the Cash Agad terminals. Cash Agad is currently offered in more than 5,000 partners nationwide. For more information, you may visit this link: www.bdo.com.ph/kabayan-remittance-services.