Bantay OCW (Ang Boses ng OFW)

A wake-up call for overseas working moms


Sarah is a single mom who has been working in Italy for several years now as a caregiver.  She left her four children in the care of her youngest sister in Manila.

Sarah sends enough money for her children’s needs. Sometimes her remittances even exceed their daily necessities, she says.

Her eldest daughter, Baby, entered college and had asked Sarah’s permission to stay in a dormitory to be able to focus on her studies.

Sarah was happy with her daughter’s decision. She believed it would be good for her daughter and assured Baby there would be money to pay for her dorm.

Sarah had high hopes and expectations that Baby would be the first one who would help her support the family. Sarah sent money directly to Baby’s bank account to cover her tuition fee, dorm and other school expenses—with a little extra added.

Sarah gave her children all the things they requested. But truth to tell, she often didn’t have enough money and had to borrow from other Filipinos in Italy just to meet their demands.

Still, she sent them the latest mobile phones and modern electronic

gadgets. “It’s okay to spend a lot for my children because they are  the main reason I sought work overseas,” she would think.

Sarah also thought that providing all the material things her children desire would fill the void left by her absence.

With the month of March fast approaching, Sarah was very excited because she expected Baby would finally graduate.

However, she received an unexpected call from her youngest child, who broke down and told her, “Ate Baby has a baby already.”

Their eldest sister had given birth to a baby but the children kept this from her. Baby told them not to tell their mom the truth, including the fact that she had not been going to school for a long time. All the money Sarah had sent for her tuition, dorm rental, allowance and other school expenses  were apparently just used to hang out with her friends, enjoy her relationships, and pay for her childbirth expenses.

Sarah was stunned.

She realized that her sacrifices overseas did not seem to matter to her children. After sending her remittances, she had little left for her own personal needs, Sarah rues.

Sarah now regrets working abroad.

She thinks, maybe if she hadn’t left, this wouldn’t have happened. She also feels remorse at having sacrificed her own life and happiness.

To our dear OFWs: Wake up. You need not spoil your children or see yourself as their slave.  Learn to say “No.”  Someday you may find yourself alone and discover that your children did not appreciate the sacrifices you made for them.

* * *

Susan Andes, aka Susan K. is on board at Radyo Inquirer 990 dzIQ AM, Monday to Friday 11a.m.-12:00 p.m. and   12:30-2  p.m., with live  streaming at  Helpline: 0920-9684700.


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  • batangpaslit

    ang lungkot naman
    daming kuento na very similar sa kuento na ito
    wala bang counseling na ma provide ang Phil Government sa mga nag abroad at sa mga naiwanan?
    laki sa layaw, hubad

    we have a painful experience too about providing scholarships to kids whose parents have no regular visible income
    naging mayabang ang dalaw naming recipients
    ang isa nagpabuntis at the age of 18 at humingi ng “second chance”.
    ang isa…tinakwil ang magulang dahil pobre, nang nakapag graduate.

    minsan, hindi rin naka tulong na maging charitable.
    dapat busisiin din ang bigyan ng tulong

  • warpiglets

    isa lang ito sa mga milyong milyong kwento ng mga ofw na nakakalungkot. just because stupid governments was and is  so lame that it couldnt provide decent jobs for it’s citizen. di na sana kailangan mag abroad kung maayos ang sistema. kaso puro kurakot at bwaya ang mga namumuno. 


    To sacrifice one’s daily physical contacts with one’s sons and daughters,sisters and brothers,and mothers and fathers is the pinnacle  of one’s personal total deprivation for the common good of”the Family” is a sad result of the PWO’s.
    And,quite commonly,that concept can be turned into a device to spoilingly favour the receivers in Pilipinas.
    It really is time to completely reverse this adoration of the sacrifices made by overseas Pilipinos sending most of their earnings back to those who are jobless in their own country..IT IS TIME to alter the goalposts so that work can be obtained in this Pilipinas..NOT overseas.

  • Batz61

    Kailangang mag-Parenting 101 ang mga may anak at gusto mag-abroad. Akala nila, pera at bigay ng gamit is all there is to it. Ginogoyo na sila ng mga anak at mga kamag-anak, nag-bubulag-bulagan pa rin or nagpapaka-ignorante. 

  • indiosbravos2002

    Working abroad is the great equalizer. You cannot earn the money offered abroad in the philippines unless you have a executive position or a good business.

    However, with possibility of gret rewards come great risks. You need to sacrifice time away from your family and most of the time cut relationships. By the time all of your sons and daughters have graduated, all of them are already strangers. Even your wife who was young when you left is already old. Time flies fast. Sometimes too fast that you’ve lived your life for others.

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