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9 Tips and Guides to Succeed as Overseas Filipino Worker

By: Pinoy-OFW.com

When you leave the Philippines to work overseas, you probably have set your objectives already. Earn bigger wages, save most of them and return home may be one of them. But in reality, working overseas is more likely to be complicated than what we initially imagined. There are many distractions that dissuade us from pursuing our goals.

Many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) spent many years working abroad yet they found themselves almost empty handed and unable to figure out why they were unable to save by the time they decided to go back to the Philippines. Remember that a high paying job does not guarantee savings, if you are not diligent in doing so. Or if unfortunate things happen (you figure in an accident or get sick, you get duped, you get laid off from work, etc).

hk-filipinas
Filipina domestic helpers spend their day off at a Hong Kong street. Photo credit: Ian Riley

Successful Overseas Filipino Worker sounds very subjective. But for the sake of this article, let’s say successful OFW is one who is able to provide the needs of his/her family along with sustainable source of livelihood long after he/she decides to go back home for good.

Therefore, if you don’t want to take the same route as these ill-fated OFWs and instead be successful, the following tips may be helpful to you.

1. Apply the job without spending a fortune. It is not practical to spend a fortune to land an overseas job, no matter how high-paying it promises. Many Filipinos take the radical route of selling farming lands, houses and other family properties to pay for placement fee for a job that pays only a fraction of that amount. While you successfully get the job, your family’s livelihood or convenience is compromised, putting you in a bind to contribute a significant amount of your earnings on a regular basis. This becomes the main reason why OFWs are unable to save for themselves.

2. Save before you spend. The fact that you are receiving much higher salary abroad than what you did back in the Philippines is a big temptation to spend more. After all, you have the money to spend, right? You might say you deserve a new car or a fine piece of luxury jewelry after all the hard work. That’s not a problem only if you already managed to save a reasonable amount on a regular basis. That amount may be from 5% to 15% of your monthly income. Many Filipinos want a taste of luxury even for a short while, only to regret what they did. You can be like them, but make sure you put money into the piggy bank first.

3. Become a property investor. Investing in farmland, house for rent or lots is a wise investment with guaranteed yields better than passenger jeepneys or sari sari store because they require a bit less maintenance and whose value doesn’t depreciate as much as others.

4. Invest in retirement savings plan, educational plan or life insurance. Even when you’re working abroad, be diligent in contributions to SSS, Pag-Ibig Fund and educational fund for children or future children as well as health and life insurance to safeguard financial security during challenging times.

5. Educate your family members on spending your remittance. Don’t make your beneficiaries think making money abroad is an easy task. Instill in them the value of saving and less reliance on your money remittance (or balikbayan boxes). By doing so, family members are motivated to help stretch the budget and save whatever you send instead of immediately seeking help from you for financial assistance.

6. Don’t pretend to be a millionaire when you’re not. Sometimes, neighbors have this mentality that if you are on vacation, you are poised to give away stashes of money or bags of chocolates. And many OFWs oblige to avoid being maligned as too prudent and don’t know how to share. Sharing what you have is a good gesture but it does not need to be too extravagant that it’s like starting from scratch when you return to work abroad. What about if your company suddenly shut down or have to let go of people (you included) due to financial difficulties? Or you got sick and unable to go back to work?

7. Think of a good investment while you’re abroad. If you are business-minded you can think of ways to establish business in your home town. Internet cafe for computer-literate family members, eatery for cooking mothers and siblings or a business center offering photocopying, typing, and book binding near a school. Don’t invest on a business you have no idea how it’s run. You better save your money in a bank than get involved in a highly risky business venture.

8. Think of acquiring new skills. Acquiring new skill can be accomplished through short-term courses such as dressmaking or cooking courses. Or maybe enroll in a distance learning institute. Other skills are not necessarily for livelihood but are good to have, such as guitar or karate lessons. Being an OFW should not limit you to be part of working class only.

9. Set short-term, middle-term and long-term plans. By planning on a short- (within the year), medium- (2-4 years) and long-term (5 years or more) plans, we are more focused on what we can accomplish on a daily basis. Do I want to own a new house within two years? Do I want to go back home in five years? Can I establish my own business before I reach the age of 40? Draft your own plans first and you’ll be able to steer towards a clearer direction.

These are practical tips that are not hard to do. Even the lowest paid Filipino abroad can still be a candidate to succeed in life overseas. It just begins with forward thinking, a little self sacrifice and focus on achieving dreams.

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Encouragement, Entrepreneurs, Financial Literacy, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

How to be become a successful OFW

How to succeed as an OFW:

There are many Overseas Filipino Workers who work abroad for many years but are not successful and no investments were acquired by the time that they have already retired.

The worst situation is that there are some OFWs who have been in an accident
overseas which prevented them from working again. Regardless of working in or outside the Philippines, Filipino worker should know how to value his labor and sacrifices while aiming for his dreams.

The following tips are worth reading that will serve as guides for typical
Overseas Filipino Workers. Information given is based on my own experiences and from the experiences of other fellow Overseas Filipino Workers.
  1. Do not spend too much of your income. Not because you are earning big now and you have extra money, you are going to spend too much for your vices and unnecessary things. Some Filipinos who are only on a temporary working visa are buying luxury and brand new cars which I think is not necessary. If your earnings are high, it should be okay but I know some Overseas Filipino Workers who buy expensive and brand new cars but do not have any investment on important properties yet. They could not even eat proper meals anymore as luxury is more important to them. They are not thinking that their job abroad is just temporary, anytime they can be sent back home if some unpleasant situation happened such as war, bankruptcy, slow economy or as I have mentioned above, when they become paralyzed and couldn’t work anymore after an accident.
  2. Always keep some income for savings. Save some of your income in Philippine banks as well as banks in the country where you work. And because you will stay abroad for about two years or more, it’s better that you’ll keep your money in a term of savings where you can earn more interest such as Time Deposit or Funds. Some Philippine banks offer special savings program for Overseas Filipino Workers and their beneficiaries.
  3. Obtain pension plans for retirement, savings fund, children’s educational plan, health insurance or life insurance. Get more if you can, although you already have the OWWA Benefits or Social Security Insurance (SSS) or Pag-Ibig, it is also better to get another one from private insurance company.  It is not always safe to work anywhere, you will never know if you can have an accident in the future that will prevent you to engage in any kind of jobs again. Having some insurance is always a big help.
  4. Once you start receiving your salary and suppose you have no debts to pay anymore, make sure you would invest in a property first. If you will buy some property, its’ value does not go down; it’s always accumulating or increasing every year. House and Lot or Lot is the best investment of all.
  5. If you want to build a house, unless you already got many houses, it is better to build an apartment first to have some additional income. Your wife/husband is in Philippines can take care of your property in case you want them to be a commercial or residential apartment for rent. If you are earning from the rental of your apartment, you may now save your income and with some additional money from the last few years of working abroad, you can build a new house again for your family.
  6. Do not give so much allowance to your beneficiaries that could only make them spend your remittance for unnecessary things as well. You should let them know how hard it is to work in a foreign land and earn that money that you are sending for them. You should let them know how to spend wisely as well.  Do not stay quiet or ashamed to tell and explain how hard it is to work as Overseas Filipino Workers abroad to your family. If they do not know about your real situation, they would just think that you are just “collecting” money while you’re walking on the road. So, they would just spend your remittance on things that are unnecessary.
  7. If you cannot bring your family while you are working abroad and your vacation is not yet due, why not try bringing them to your country of work. Sometimes, you need to spend a little to maintain the relationship and bonding of your family.
  8. If you are on vacation, do not spend all your savings thinking that you still have a job in abroad upon returning there. It is not always like that. I have someone that I knew, who had bought brand new car, spent most of his savings while on vacation but by the time that this fellow overseas Filipino worker is now going back to work abroad, his employer’s company suddenly closed. He did not know that the company was already failing and facing bankruptcy.
  9. Rather than spending too much of your savings on less important things, just improve your skills. You will never know that your current job will still be on demand after one or two years. You should try to be knowledgeable of other types of skills and profession.  If you are a carpenter, acquire some skills that could help you to become a contractor just in case you want to have your own business and would like to get your own carpenter to do the jobs.
  10. Do not start your own business if you do not have any idea about the business. Do not just listen with other people’s suggestions, think about it. It is not because having an Internet Cafe is one of the good businesses these days, you will engage yourself with that same business even you do not know anything about computers.If you have an experience in carpentry jobs, start business that is related to carpentry such as cabinet making, construction materials retail, painting etc. Do not engage in other kinds of business unless you have also experienced it before. This is not the proper way to do business. Put up a business that you  are familiar with and that you most love to do.
Tips and advice above are just guide and suggestions for Filipino Workers.
It’s still up to the person if he/she would like to follow other
people’s suggestions. Not anything that had happened to you is other
people’s responsibility it’s your own responsibility…
Source: PINOYROCK45

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Encouragement, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

Lessons from thousands of miles away

By Chao Wai Yee /philstar.com

Being a child of a modern-day hero, also known as OFWs, taught me a lot of valuable lessons. My mother, being a single parent since I was three years old, worked abroad for eight years in order to raise me and my brother. At first, she worked in Taiwan as a sewer. After her contract in Taiwan ended, she transferred to Saudi where she almost got herself in prison because she fought for her rights. Fortunately, her employer gave her the option to just go back in the Philippines.

This incident did not stop her for striving hard. She went back to Taiwan and worked there as a caregiver. These things happened while me and my brother were in our adolescence — a stage crucial to most of the youth, a stage wherein most of us needs proper guidance from our parents. Despite my mother’s physical absence, she did not fail to guide us the best possible way that she can. Together with all her sacrifices, hardships, longings, sleepless nights and thousands liters of tears, she taught us values that we will treasure for the rest of our lives.

First, she taught us to always strengthen our faith in God no matter what happens. In telephone conversations and in her letters, she kept on telling us that our strong faith is the first thing that will keep our family together and will help us succeed in overcoming the obstacles we will face in our lives. Then, she taught us to be independent in a responsible way. During grade school, we learned to cook, wash our own clothes and be responsible for our own stuffs. This helped us to become more mature than other children we know. Third, it is the value of education, which I think is one of the things that most parents would want to teach to their children. My mother instilled in our minds on how important it is for us to study hard and finish our studies no matter what the obstacles are. That is why, I am proud to say that Kuya and I are both scholars and I graduated from a reputable school with flying colors. These are our gifts to our mother, which brought her so much happiness and seeing her happy is one of the greatest feelings I have ever felt and would always want to feel.

Last but definitely not the least is the value of contentment and appreciation. Because with contentment comes appreciation. She taught us to value whatever it is that we have especially the people surrounding us, loving us and acting as our second parents during Mama’s physical absence. We learned to appreciate our aunts, uncles and grandparents who never failed to fill our hearts with their loves so as to ease the sadness that we feel whenever we miss our mother. Because of them, it has been a lot easier for us to grow up righteously even without our parents. I will seriously not trade my family for even all the treasures in this universe. Also, we learned to appreciate and be thankful for even the smallest things that we get. Be it a piece of toy, clothes or anything for we know that each of this is the result of our mother’s hard work and sacrifices abroad. These are some of the lessons she taught us from thousands of miles away.

OFW’s around the world are sacrificing a lot for the sake of their loved ones, especially the parents who are forced to be physically far from their children just to support their financial needs. I hope that we, OFW children, don’t waste our parents’ efforts and sacrifices abroad. Let us not make the physical absence of our parents and loved ones as an excuse for us to be irresponsible be an additional burden to our society.

Filed under: Encouragement, Inspiration, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, Overseas Jobs, Youth

China receives “SUPER” computer lift

BEIJING, June 2 — A Chinese supercomputer has been ranked the world’s second-fastest machine in a list issued by United States and European researchers.

The accolade enhances China’s ambitions to become a global technology center.

The Nebulae system at the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen of south China’s Guangdong Province came in behind the US Department of Energy’s Jaguar in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, according to the list released yesterday.

Supercomputers are used for complex work such as modeling weather systems, simulating nuclear explosions and designing jetliners.

The semiannual TOP500 list highlighted China’s efforts to join the US, Europe and Japan among the global technology elite and its sharp increases in research spending, driven by booming economic growth even amid the global crisis.

Nebulae was built by China’s Dawning Information Industry but uses processors from Intel and NVIDIA, both American companies.

The Nebulae is capable of sustained computing of 1.271 petaflops – or 1,271 trillion calculations – per second, according to TOP500.

By Lin Zhi

Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2010-06/02/c_13328986.htm

Filed under: Computer Matters,

Pay with your life for a younger hubby

Women who marry significantly younger men, or significantly older men, have a shorter life expectancy than women who wed males about their own age, according to new findings by German scientists.

Previous studies showed that men with younger wives live longer. For years, researchers thought that this data was true for both sexes.

They assumed that an effect called “health selection” was in play – those who select younger partners are able to do so because they are healthier and thus already have a higher life expectancy.

It was also thought that a younger spouse has a positive psychological and social effect on an older partner and can be a better caretaker in old age, thereby helping to extend the partner’s life.

In a new study, however, Dr Sven Drefahl of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany, has shown that the same is not true for women.
The greater the age difference from the husband, the lower the wife’s life expectancy, regardless of whether the woman is younger or older than her spouse.

“These theories now have to be reconsidered,” Drefahl says. “The reasons for mortality differences due to the age gap of the spouses remain unclear.”
Using data from almost two million Danish couples, Drefahl was able to eliminate the statistical shortcomings of earlier research, and showed that the best choice for a woman is to marry a man of exactly the same age.

An older husband shortens her life, a younger one even more so. According to Drefahl’s study, published in the journal Demography, women marrying a partner seven to nine years younger increase their mortality risk by 20 percent. Hence, “health selection” can’t be true for women.

It is also doubtful that older wives benefit psychologically and socially from a younger husband. This effect only seems to work for men.

While many studies on mate selection show that women mostly prefer men the same age, most of them end up with an older husband.

“On average, men have fewer and lesser quality social contacts than those of women,” Drefahl says.

Thus, unlike the benefits of a younger wife, a younger husband wouldn’t help extend the life of his older wife by taking care of her, going for a walk with her and enjoying late life together. She already has friends for that. The older man, however, doesn’t.

The question that remains is why a younger partner would actually shorten a woman’s life. “One of the few possible explanations is that couples with younger husbands violate social norms and thus suffer from social sanctions,” Drefahl says.

Since marrying a younger husband deviates from what is regarded as usual, these couples could be considered outsiders and receive less social support. This could result in a less joyful and more stressful life, reduced health and finally, increased mortality.

While the new MPIDR study shows that marriage disadvantages most women when they are not the same age as their husband, it is not true that marriage in general is unfavorable.

Being married appears to raise the life expectancy of both men and women above those that are unmarried.



Editor: Zheng Limin |Source:  China Daily

Filed under: Belief & Tradition, Research, Scientific Study,

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