Most Filipinos go abroad mainly because they believe the grass is greener outside the country. If an overseas worker is smart and sensible, the job he takes on abroad should pay much more than the same role back home.
Still, we hear of OFWs coming home for good without much savings. So, the question is: What happened between the time he left and the time he decided to come home?
There are varied scenarios that could explain the sad ending. But rather than delve into what possibly went wrong, let us attempt to proactively look at ways to make those years of separation from families well worth it in the end. Let us learn a thing or two from these words of wisdoms from successful personalities in their fields:
1) “My father once told me, ‘this is one trait of some Filipinos you should not emulate: ‘ubos-ubos biyaya, pagnaubos, nakatunganga.’” – Construction magnate David Consunji, on how to be a billionaire.
Lesson: If you (a) mortgaged your payroll debit card to a lender; (b) are regularly opting to pay the minimum amount on your credit card’s outstanding balance; or (c) are defaulting on your payments, then you might be exactly what David’s father was referring to.
Having a high-paying job or working overseas does not mean you will be rich for life. The job is just your first step toward, and not yet your final, financial destination. The next step should be to figure out how to invest the hard-earned cash and make it grow so that that you would not have to leave your family again for a job abroad.
2) “Just because one of you earns the paycheck doesn’t mean that person should lord over how the money is handled.” – Suze Orman, American personal finance author.
Lesson: Like anything in marriage, it takes two to tango. The couple should be in sync with regard their financial goals and how to spend the money. Each partner should be financially literate, so to speak. It is not ideal that only one is investing and saving, while the other half is wholly preoccupied with the spending part.
3) “I made a conscious decision to earn enough to be able to choose my husband rather than not have a career and marry someone who would have to earn enough for us both to live on.” – Sarah Beeny, English property developer and TV presenter.
Lesson: In simple terms, any one hoping to be rich must rely on his/her own skills and work on it. Waiting for a rich man (or woman) to save her/him from perpetual poverty can be like hoping to win the four-digit lotto.
4) “Everyday is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor, we’ve got 24 hours each.” –Christopher Rice, American best selling author.
Lesson: How each uses that 24 hours can spell the difference between a loser and a winner. Spend weekends in front of the TV or do cardio workouts in the gym? Friday nights attending review classes or club hopping with friends? Are you using your 15-minute breaks informally chatting with your manager about your next bright idea or do you tend to reserve that time for your share of office gossip?
The choice is yours.
5) “(Filipinos could be) doing better in giving back, especially in giving back to where we come from.” Dado Banatao, Filipino billionaire venture capitalist.
Lesson: Dado comes from humble beginnings. He is the son of a farmer and a housekeeper in the Cagayan Valley, graduated cum laude in electrical engineering at the Mapua Institute of Technology and later, built IT businesses in the United States worth millions of dollars.
Today, he pays it forward by offering university scholarships to kids of Filipino heritage who are pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.
“Giving back” here might be to some unknown recipients or to a family member in dire need. Now, isn’t quality education a more noble gift? Sure, “education” does not sound as exciting as “Iphone”. Your relative might not be jumping up and down when you surprise him with a fully paid matriculation. Your effort might not even be appreciated at all (Unless it comes with an Iphone). But heck, when one pays it forward, one should not expect anything in return anyway.
Do you have a more apt quote that you can share with OFWs? Do share below.