Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Buhay OFW

We have been living abroad for more or less 10 years. OFW kami for many years now. Nasanay na rin kami sa lifestyle at way of life dito. We have worked and lived in Saudi for 5 years and now we are in the UAE. Saudi is more strict while here in UAE it’s an open country, you can wear whatever you want although there are still a couple of restrictions as it is still a Muslim country. Honestly, I’m having a hard time imagining myself living in the Philippines, we would most likely go home for vacation and  might decide  to settle down for good back home but not really that soon.  We want that by the time we do decide to go home, we have a stable business, a home, car, enough funds and savings for the kids education and have done a European tour (wishful thinking). It’s not cheap here however we have gotten used to it. It is so easy to buy stuff, take loan etc. The salary earned is 10x as what I was earning when I was in the Philippines. We could buy whatever we want and spend on luxuries as we know we have enough to pay for it. It’s very important to budget, kami kasi sa “paglaki ng sahod, paglaki din ng gastos”. Coz you know you have money to pay for it you spend more than you should, you tend to spend on your wants aside from your needs. My mantra on this is that I would buy whatever I want kasi pinaghirapan ko to, pinagtrabahuan ko to. I am spending my own money and not anyone else’s.  My children have gotten used to having everything they want and not taking public transportation as here, me and hubby have our own car each. This is something quite difficult in the Philippines, bukod sa mahal ang gas ang mahal rin ng sasakyan. 
Me wearing an abaya in Saudi
 Dito dahil sa takot nila makulong, maputulan ng kamay etc. kahit maiwan mo bag, wallet, cellphone for sure andun pa rin yun pagbalik mo mapa mall, CR, restaurant etc. Kami nga naiwan namin sasakyan d nakalock overnight, andun pa rin naman kinabukasan d nacar nap. There is low crime rate here unlike back home. Sa Pinas, napaparanoid ako na baka masnatch, madukutan o mahold up. Pag nagbanggaan tatawag lang ng pulis at sasagutin na ng insurance ang pagpapaayos ng sasakyan minsan magtatanguan na lang pero sa Pinas, mag aaway, worse magbabarilan pa. Even health insurance is mandatory here so if you get ill, d ganon kamahal babayaran mo.

There are also downsides to working and living abroad. Language Barrier is one kasi pag nag Arabic na yan patay na d mo na alam ano sinasabi dito pa naman most Government institutions, banks, Arabic ang mga staff. Another thing would be the mix culture and nationality. In our workplace there are about 30+ nationalities, imagine having to deal  and relate with all of them. People have different personalities and way of working. This is frustrating and irritating at the same time.   

I would really want to go home to be with my family but it may be in 5-10 years from now, maybe by then the economy in the Phils. would be good and stable and not so many Filipino’s would opt to go work and live abroad.

Life in abroad is difficult. D madali ang trabaho dito, kaya minsan nakakainis din yung iniisip ng mga tao na pag galing ka abroad mayaman ka na at naglalakad ka na dollar, we work for every cent that we earn, d napupulot ang pera. These are sacrifices that needs to be made for a better and brighter future. Homesickness talaga ang kalaban at I am just lucky that I am not alone in this journey. My husband and kids are here and we are all in this together.


Kristen said...

life overseas becomes easier when you're with your family. :) I myself cannot imagine going back to the Philippines unless I'm a millionaire. Haha meanwhile, let's enjoy the pleasures of living in countries where things work and traffic is bearable :)

Larla Anne said...

so true, we're just lucky that our life away from the Philippines is good, swertihan lang din sis ^_^

MACY said...

agree with all these. it's really safe in Dubai. i grew up in Dubai and my parents worked as OFWs for 15 years. I know it wasn't that easy as relatives from Pinas expect. But anyway, there are lots to enjoy there too right? have fun! i miss Dubai so much!

Larla Anne said...

Yup Enjoy din naman being abroad although mahirap at times, you just have to cope at adjust kasi eto bumubuhay sa atin ^_^