Staying connected | Global News

Staying connected

Filipinos are a close-knit community. We value our family ties. This is why the hardest part in working overseas for a Filipino is being away from the family. I know this from experience.

In my line of work, I have to leave the country quite often. Just like any other traveling Filipino, I never forget my essentials to combat loneliness and homesickness: Photos of my husband and children, a small diary to keep track of highlights of my trips to share with them, and a drawing of my family which my daughter made with crayons when she was four.  These are must-haves that magically take away stress from my busy life at crucial times. Of course, there’s still nothing like staying in touch in real time.

Thankfully, it is no longer hard to stay connected with one’s family. Advances in technology have allowed our millions of kababayan to communicate with their families back home on a regular basis.


Not too long ago, I needed to spend a considerable amount of money on long distance calls and SMS to my kids every time I would work abroad. I remember meeting an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was working in the hotel industry in Canada a few years back. As we were chatting about her life overseas she mentioned that she used a part of her first salary to buy a laptop computer so she could communicate with her daughter who was barely four years old when she left.


Today, thanks to the Internet, I can even get in touch with my kids through video calls as often as I want without spending a fortune. A lot of free instant Internet messaging services or applications are also available which we can access easily through a smartphone on minimal data plan.  We no longer need to invest in a personal computer to take advantage of these services.

Another way of communicating with your loved ones is through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, where video, notes and photo sharing has been made convenient. My friend uses Twitter to send her son pictures of beautiful places that she visits, allowing her to immediately share with him her experiences without spending much.

If you are not tech-savvy and you do not exactly know how to use a computer or a smartphone, you may take advantage of the OFW SIM cards being offered by local telecommunications companies that offer considerably cheaper overseas calls and text rates.

With all these tools, you can worry less about how to keep in touch with your family. Thanks to technology, you don’t need to feel too far away from home.

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TAGS: Filipino, OFW, Overseas employment, Technology

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