My 10 Lessons and Realizations as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker)





It was the second of November, year 2011 when I first experienced being in an airplane and it was bound from Manila to Saudi Arabia. The day I officially became a Filipino expat, more popularly known as OFW or Overseas Filipino Worker.

My initial assignment was 6 months (at least that was what I was told) which became 1 year. I did have some thoughts of quitting along the way but big decisions had to be made, making me reach my tenth year here in the Kingdom.

Through the years, due to circumstances, an expat can either become weaker or tougher starting from day 0. The decade of being an expat have taught me some life lessons I will carry forever. (Note, however, that these are the lessons that I learned, hence the 'my' in the title, and therefore are subjective and may not be readily applicable -- or not at all ‐‐ to anyone.)


1. Save/Savings. That's our primary reason for working abroad: for ourselves, families, and the future.


2. Health. Taking care of our health should be a priority. No one else will take care of you other than yourself. This is our our primary asset that will allow us to continue. Eat right and exercise.


3. Work hard. Take your work seriously. Have discipline. You will carry your work ethic not only to your next job but also to other things/disciplines that you want to pursue.


4. Leisure/recreation. In whatever way, whether it requires money or not, engage in some leisure activities. Though not excessively. Walk, read, listen to music, or treat yourself to some delicious food from time to time.


5. Continuously learn. Learn something new that isn't related to your job. Learn to cook exotic foods or learn another language.


6. Do nothing. A pause or break is sometimes needed. Rest from anything. Resting the body and mind are just as important.


7. Plan and start. We are not going to be OFWs/expats for the rest of our lives. There has to be a escape plan. Set small goals to achieve bigger goals. Set goals in saving, in researching about small businesses or investments, and actually starting.


8. It is NOT always true that "you are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with" (or something like that). Because you can always be more. It's up to you whether you're going to conform or you'll have a different mindset regardless of whoever you're usually with.


9. Build and keep relationships that matter. Family. Friends (old and new). They are among our biggest whys for many things.


10. [To be determined because...]


Life's lessons never stop.


Be open to new ideas, new life lessons that will help us improve ourselves.


Same thing, be open to forget or unlearn things that no longer serve you.


Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid for not trying.


#WAGMI #WeAllGonnaMakeIt

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