Hello mga Ka-Tsong! Can you believe that we’re now at our 50th cool tip since the start of OFW on Air? Wow, time sure flies by! Thank you for sticking with us through all these tips. At this point, we hope that the past 49 cool tips have been extremely useful for all of you, mga Ka-Tsong. We do try to touch on a variety of topics in our cool tips, so that we can provide you with help on many different aspects of the OFW life. Of course, if you have any suggestions for future cool tips please don’t hesitate to let us know – we’d be glad to accept them. 🙂 After all, we do rise by lifting others!
So for our 50th cool tip, we’re going to change things up a bit and give some tips not for OFWs and OFW aspirants but for their loved ones who are or will be staying in the Philippines. As their loved ones, what can you do to help out your OFW family member while he/she is working abroad? Remember that help should not only come from OFWs; it should be reciprocated by you, their loved ones, as a way of saying thank you for their many sacrifices and as a way of encouraging them in their day-to-day life abroad. Which brings us back to the question: what can you do? Here are some of our tips for you:
- Maintain a steady amount of communication. You have as much responsibility as your OFW family member to check in with each other every now and then. Don’t just wait for calls from an OFW family member—try calling him or her yourself. Update each other on happenings in your respective lives. Send him or her a handwritten letter once in a while. These will surely liven up the spirit and complete the day of any OFW abroad. Also, this will help fight back loneliness, which a lot of OFWs experience from time to time.
- Spend your OFW’s earnings wisely. Do not waste the money you receive from your OFW family member abroad. Think before you spend. Spend the money only on things that absolutely matter—bills, rent, food, school, and others. Don’t think that you have unlimited amounts of money just because you’re supported by someone working abroad.
- Study well. If you are still studying while your mom or dad (or any family member supporting you for that matter) is working abroad as an OFW, then study well and do your best to finish your education to the end. Access to a good education is one of the best legacies you can ever be left with. Don’t waste the opportunity! Once you finish, you can be in a position where you yourself can help out your family, which in turn greatly helps out your OFW parent or OFW family member.
- Don’t engage in illegal or illicit affairs. Simply put: behave well, don’t break the law, and don’t do things that would destroy your relationships with the people around you. Don’t give your OFW family member more things to worry about.
- Don’t ask for too much. Sure, it is okay to ask for things from abroad once in a while like say, a souvenir or a food item that can only be bought out of the country. However, don’t make it a habit to ask for things too frequently, or to ask for things that are too expensive to obtain. It costs money to buy them and, depending on whether it will be sent to you via a balikbayan box, it costs money for you to get them. Also, while we’re on the topic: refrain from asking for huge sums of money from your OFW family member unless it’s really, really, really important or if there’s an emergency.
- Be considerate and supportive. Working abroad, OFWs have their own share of challenges and problems to overcome. Help them with these by constantly showing your support for them—you can do this, for example, during your communication sessions. Also, always be considerate of your OFW family member’s situation. OFWs go through a lot, and it will not help if you start demanding money from them at a moment’s notice or if you start ranting off about how horrible they are for leaving you behind and such. Remember that they sacrificed a lot to get you to where you are now: think of that before you say anything hurtful.
- Offer or provide them help when needed. If your OFW family member needs some documents from a local Philippine office then be sure to take it upon you to obtain these and send it to him or her abroad as soon as you can. If your OFW family member needs you to do a favor for him or her then, if it is within your ability, do your best to accomplish it. Whatever the case is, as long as your OFW family member asks for help, don’t delay! Help immediately!
- Establish yourselves. The reason why your family member became an OFW is probably to give you and the rest of your family a good life. Probably because no opportunity exists in the Philippines for this to be possible. And so, as your OFW family member’s loved ones, it is your job to try and find ways to establish yourselves in the Philippines—to find out how you can live a good, happy life even without a member of your family going abroad just to work. This is, in fact, the dream of most families with OFWs: for an OFW to stop being an OFW and stay for good in the Philippines. There are many ways to do this. You can start by saving up money from your OFW family member’s earnings instead of mindlessly spending them. Accomplish you and your family’s big goals such as getting a house, paying off all debt, graduating from college if you’re still in school, and so on. You can even try setting up a small business, as this can be a sustainable source of income. Whichever thing you do to establish you and your family in the Philippines, do it with persistence and do it to bring your OFW family member back as soon as you can.
- Find a job. For those who can, another thing you can do to help out your OFW family member is to find a job. This is another way of establishing yourself, as in tip #8 above. By introducing another source of income for the family, there is now less pressure on your OFW family member to earn as much as possible to keep everyone back home in good condition.
- Pray for them. Every day, pray for your OFW family member, that among other things they may stay safe, healthy, strong, positive, and happy as they work and live in a place that’s miles away from all of you. These will go a long way, trust us.
We have only listed 10 ways above as to how you can help your OFW family members as they carry out their work abroad. We are sure there are more, which is why we invite everyone to give us more tips by any means you can (commenting below, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or messaging us at Facebook @ofwonair). Let us all do our best to make the lives of our OFWs easier. After all they’ve done for us and the country, it’s the least we can do for them.
‘Till next time, mga Ka-Tsong! See you for more cool tips in the weeks to come! Thank you again for all your support.