10+ Things OFWs Won’t Tell Their Love Ones


What you see in FB posts taken from beautiful places were only visited once in a blue moon and the chance to take these photos were actually very rare. They just take a looooot of photos, for their family to see. Actually, it is just 1/16 of the whole picture.


OFWs carefully choose what they post in their social media because they want to avoid getting their family worried about them. They won’t show you how hard their work is or how difficult it is to be alone from a thousand miles away.




They are eaten by sadness especially during that particular time when they go to bed. They actually realize no one is waiting for them to share the bed with. (I mean, those precious moments you have when you know that after a tiring day, you are going to have kulitan moments with your kids, your parents, your siblings, your wife/husband and share the comfort of that soft, mushy, cushy, velvety bed back home).

Read More: OFW Story: Things We Miss From “Pinas”


BALIKBAYAN BOX is not just an ordinary box. It is a huge box where all the love, care, affection and sentiments were accrued together to form and fill the box, complete. It is not just the pinaglumahang gamit, or “just those things taken from the sale.” It was carefully and wholeheartedly planned and bought just for you, that’s why you often receive it with your name written on it somewhere. This is hard to explain, but it is the reality.



They rush to SALE to get you the newest model or item you can possibly have with an affordable price. So even if their monthly budget is very tight, when the sale comes, they forget about the budget and rush to buy your bilin or pasalubong, just to make you happy.


In order to complete the BALIKBAYAN BOX, what they do is to buy items from sale, or from flea market. They do it one item after the other. They do not buy the contents or items to complete the whole box all at once, because believe me, it’s not possible, because we can’t afford the whole thing.


After buying one item after the other, some months will pass until they’ll finally realize it’s time to order the “box” from their maaasahang courier agency, most of these boxes are pre-paid so they shell out some part of their savings to pay for it. (One large box is more or less a hundred bucks, 100USD, so it’s quite expensive, some are cheaper depending on the destination).

Read More: 5 Problems OFWs Hide Their Families


Even if they plan to send the balikbayan box in the next 6 months, they already have the “list” of what to buy and to whom it will be given.


Every time they go to malls or department stores, most of the things they’ll see are items which are fit to a certain family member. Let me say it in Tagalog, “Ah ito bagay kay Nanay,” or “Siguro magugustuhan ni Bunso ito.” Actually, they seldom do think about buying themselves new things because they always prioritize their family who are left in the Philippines. They want you to be happy, and even with just a simple shirt or item from that mall, we expect that you will appreciate it because we remembered you.


A simple “thank you” means a lot to us.




Most of our OFWs are always in their best behavior and stance when they are in their job, even if they are sick. So no matter how difficult it is to work when you have high fever, excruciating back pain or your cough is getting worse, they will patiently finish their shift because they do not want salary deduction. “Sayang kasi eh, pantuition na lang ni Bunso.”


The reality of having no one to care for them when they’re sick is a life-sucking reality.


After a tiring day, they won’t go straight to bed, because they still need to cook, do the laundry, iron the uniform, or to tidy up a little because nobody else will do this for them. Indeed, they are their own heroes.

Read More: 5 Problems OFWs Hide Their Families


Most of them stay at home for Skype calls or short period rests during their day off.


Hindi masarap ang buhay sa abroad. Akala mo lang iyon.


They suffer a lot from being spendthrift. For example: They do not use the heater even if it’s freezing outside because their electric bill will explode, basta lang makatipid, kahit lamigin, ok lang. Another example is: They actually eat the same food everyday, just because it was the cheapest version of bread or whatnots in the supermarket. Whichever the sale is, ‘dun lang dapat ang choice mo.


Their appetite is actually limited by their budget.


They love you so much that’s why they are willing to sacrifice everything for you, even if it means being away from you.




Choosing to work overseas doesn’t mean we want to escape the poverty in the Philippines, but we want to be the solution to this poverty.


There are times when we’re alone in our room, and then we suddenly burst out in tears, because we miss you.


Short messages from you means the world to us. Photo messages of daily events in your life are even better.

Read More: The Hardest Part Of Being An OFW


Please do not think of us like we are very mayaman or big time, because we actually are not. Naninilbihan lang din kami sa ibang lahi, kahit gaano kahirap, titiisin para lang sa pamilya.


Most OFWs go home without savings because they send their salary straight to their family. Salary means remittance. In short, dadaan lang sa kamay mo iyong sahod mo.


When exchange rates are high, we are the happiest.


We wanted to give you everything, or buy everything you want, but sometimes, the budget can’t make it, and we are deeply sorry.


We are terribly sad when we miss all the important events in your lives.


Social media” is our next hobby.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I did this post without the intention of making all the families of the OFWs (even mine) to feel sad or to feel guilty, but I did this on behalf of the OFWs out there.  All the things written in this post may not be true to every OFW all over the globe, but at least one is true, I must say.

To our families,  we just want you to know that we love you so much and you are always on our minds and hearts every waking moment of everyday. Your happiness, your presence, your care are the things we dream about before we go to sleep. You are the force that gives us determination. Just the thought of you being completely happy is what makes us get up every morning. We ask you to remember us always and pray for us every day, and make sure you are healthy and safe, because these things are the ones we want to make sure at the end of every tiring day away from you.

To GOD be all the GLORY!

Kudos to all OFWs!!!


Above photo from Skitterphoto via pexels.com

Read More: OFW Story: Things We Miss From “Pinas”