According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, hustle (v.) means “to make strenuous efforts to obtain especially money or business.” In today’s conversation, we say “hustle” when we mean working hard toward the goal of generating an income. When it comes to “hustling,” overseas Filipino workers are experts.
Many OFWs take advantage while they are abroad by performing several duties at the same time, juggling full-time and part-time jobs. This delicate balancing act requires not just skills but a deep sense of commitment to make life better for their loved ones.
Jacks and Jills of all trades
Dolores Perez, a registered nurse, discovered a hidden talent that became her source of extra income when she was working in Dubai.
“One time my friend asked if I could give her a massage. After I gave her one, she said I was really good,” recalls Perez. “So after that, I decided to do massages for a fee on my days off.”
She continues, “I chose giving a massage as my sideline because it only lasts for an hour, no more, no less. If a client wants to extend the session, then they must pay extra.”
Having a few practical skills can be quite useful, says Teddy Santos, Jr., a husband, and father of two. Having lived in Italy for the past 18 years, he has gone through many ups and downs when it comes to work. Today, he prefers having several part-time jobs over regular work as this set-up pays him more and gives him more flexibility in terms of work hours.
Santos’ regular day consists of working in a pharmacy from 7 to 11 in the morning, doing odd jobs like housekeeping, babysitting, or driving for various clients from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and doing clerical work in a law firm from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“It’s tiring and sometimes the travel time between jobs is challenging,” admits Santos. “But the work that I do every day pays good money and is enough to support my family.”
Doing it for the family
OFWs are one in saying their family is their motivation to work hard abroad; making sure their loved ones back home are well provided for is top priority, no matter how difficult.
Dondon Mangilog, Jr., a telecom technician in Saudi Arabia, agrees. For the past 15 years, he has been installing TV satellite dishes for private clients after office hours and during weekends. But despite its financial rewards, he admits working extra has its disadvantages.
“Tinitiis ko ang init o lamig tuwing umaakyat [ako] sa bubong at hirap sa pag-install at pagbabarena ng dingding (I endure the heat or the cold when I go up on rooftops and the difficulty of drilling walls),” shares Mangilog. “Ginagawa ko ito para maitaguyod nang maayos ang pamilya at makapag-ipon para sa magandang kinabukasan (I do this so I can give the best support for my family and save money for our future.),”
Santos echoes Mangilog’s statement: “I guess every padre de pamilya would say family comes first above anything else. All they need should be provided by the parents, might it be in the manner of financial or moral support.”
More than providing for her family, Perez also wants to teach her children how to prioritize their needs.
“Tuition, books, baon…these are the most important,” says Perez. “If there’s extra money left, that’s the only time we buy other stuff or go malling.”
Too many sad stories have been told about OFWs not being able to save or losing their money because of uninformed financial decisions.
“You don’t have to be good in Math to manage your income,” avers Santos. “It’s just simple: don’t spend too much above your pay.”
For OFWs, it’s crucial to have a trusted bank that will assist them in making sure their hard-earned money makes it to their families back home.
BDO Kabayan, a savings account made for OFWs and their beneficiaries, recently released a short film illustrating the story of many overseas Filipino workers who work hard abroad to provide for their family.
The video, entitled “Europe,” is about a husband and father who works as a female impersonator in Europe. Inspired by true events, it shows the great lengths a father will go to in order to provide for his family.
BDO Kabayan commits to providing OFWs with products and services that adapt to their and their families’ needs.
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