Tuesday, May 21, 2024

9 Factors That Contribe to OFW Stress

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There are many annoying or stressful things around us in the Philippines. Video customer in the neighborhood beerhouse singing out-of-tune tracks.

Double parking vehicles were causing monstrous traffic — men who urinated on side streets and homemakers throwing trash out to creeks, clogging the waterways.

Annoyance is also common to Filipinos abroad too. Let’s check out the common ones.

Troublesome colleagues and uncaring bosses.

These are co-workers who are either incompetent or unreliable or both — some sow rumors to tarnish one’s name for his or her favor or advantage.

Even though you love your job and are passionate about it, such annoying colleagues could quickly destroy the good vibes. Because of their skills (or lack thereof), you end up finishing the job yourself or else get a memo from the boss about not being a team player.

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Those working as domestic workers also experience various levels of stress from employers who maltreat and abuse them and overwork them with tasks that extend beyond normal working hours.

Betrayal of relationships.

OFWs who are involved in long-distance relationships have to extend their patience, adjust their time zones, and constantly compromise to make relationships work. However, there are those who feel taken for granted and betrayed of their trust.

That is why many OFWs consider relationships and emotions as a stumbling block to their financial and future goals.

Uncaring and insensitive family.

From a nagging wife to an unloving husband and further to an abusive child, family members can cause stress to Filipino workers abroad. Instead of asking how you are, they bypass the intros and immediately ask for money, to pay for bills, attend to a relative whose problem is beyond the priority of the family, or an expense that’s hard to justify.

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They can be irritating until you give in, and when you do, they don’t even have time to say thank you or ‘I got the money.’

Expenses abroad.

Living abroad is costly too. Ask the domestic helpers who live outside the confines of their employers, what they spend on their housing and food. They also have to pay for transport costs and personal items such as toiletries. Sometimes, cash-strapped close friends or those who claim they are approach and ask for a favor.

Troublesome housemates.

These are people who fail to make a house a home; they are lazy, ill-tempered, and insensitive. They don’t flush the toilet, steal your food, and fail to do the assigned work at home. At the end of a long and tiring working day, the last thing you’d like to see as a hungry border is to discover someone else consumed your packed dinner, and dishes remain unwashed.

Traffic mess and long commutes.

Not only in the Philippines where Filipinos experience traffic jams and extended hours on the road. In many cases, living near workplaces can be expensive, so workers tend to find apartments further away, hence the longer commutes. But the long becomes longer once traffic congestion builds up during peak hours.

There are cases when workers spend a long time on the road from home to the workplace. They might need to wake up early in the morning or arrive late home.

Extreme climate.

Most Filipinos are used to the summer heat – but not to the mid-40C’s in Middle East summers or below-freezing winter temperatures in higher latitude cities.

Even when labor ministries impose mandatory work breaks in the middle of the day, it is still scorching to stay outdoors. On the flip side, heavy snowfall during winter could also mean hazards on the road, if not an inconvenience, plowing snow out of the backyard.

Misguided, spoiled children in the Philippines.

One of the most heartbreaking things to happen for an OFW parent is to leave his or her children back in the Philippines. As parents try to augment lost time with children, they sometimes buy whatever children want, often excessively. As guidance and attention get replaced with wads of cash remittance, children become spoiled and occasionally wayward. Others get pregnant before finishing school, and others become hooked on drugs.

Unfaithful spouses.

OFWs may have perfectly imperfect spouses left in the Philippines: normal but struggling to cope with being a parent acting as both mother and father to kids back home.

But when insecurities set in — unable to answer the phone or missed a regular Facetime conversation schedule — they start thinking their spouses must have been unfaithful to them, even without any grounds. As a result, mistrust towards spouses leads to arguments, hurting each other in the process.


Stress can impact work productivity, exacerbate health conditions, and adversely impact the general well-being of a person. For overseas Filipino workers, this can sometimes can be unbearable.

Looking after each other is key to maintaining good mental health and healthy well-being.


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