Bantay OCW (Ang Boses ng OFW)

There’s more to life than work and money

/ 12:15 AM April 13, 2014

Bantay OCW partners are being heard regularly over Inquirer Radio from different parts of the world. Like Arlene Andes in Belgium and Berly Tugas in Paris, they share interesting stories about Buhay Pinoy Overseas.

Andes and Tugas share the same observation that overseas Filipino workers are not contented with one job. They usually land two or three more jobs.


“Lagareng Hapon,” they call it. They shuffle back and forth from one job site to another. They are always at work. There is little time  to rest. Pinoys worldwide are often dubbed “Jacks of all Trades”. And for many employers, it is always a plus to have a Filipino employee.

For example, a driver can also be a plumber, carpenter, gardener and electrician all at the same time.  Filipinos are known to complain little, work hard and keep smiling.


Sometimes, if a Filipino worker has cooking skills, he or she can double as a cook, waiter, and entertainer when an employer has visitors. According to some Filipinos overseas,  one guitar would suffice to entertain guests.

A story shared by Berly tells of one Filipino worker in Paris.  Settled and working in France for the past 20 years, he is fondly called “metro-boulot-dodo.”

“Metro” because he rides a train everyday from home to work. “Boulot” means work and “Dodo” means sleep. So, commute-work-sleep had become his daily routine.

Work and no play makes this Filipino very rich. In France, he owns a big house. It is also said that he owns several properties and also businesses in the Philippines.

Sadly, because he is all metro-boulot-dodo work; he apparently forgot about his spiritual life—to be thankful to his Creator, who lent him his life. He even forgets to take care of himself. He only stops working  when he’s sick and can’t get up to go to the train station.  Here is a man who doesn’t know how to manage and balance his time wisely.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Money can only buy material things. But it cannot buy  our emotional, social, and most especially our spiritual needs.  Our  OFWs should not forget that their work abroad is not for a lifetime.

Machines also depreciate, get old, get destroyed, and in the end are no longer useful.  No one knows about tomorrow.


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Susan Andes, also known as Susan K., can be heard over Inquirer Radio dzIQ 990 AM, Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 noon. Audio/video live streaming is at  Helplines: 0927-6499870 E-mail:

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TAGS: money, OFW, Overseas Filipino workers
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