Sandra Gutierrez is an OFW of five years who is currently working in Qatar as a homecare nurse. She is the only child of an OFW father and a housewife. Sandra, 31, is a single mother to a loving son. It is one of the primary reasons why she decided to work abroad; to earn and save money for her family’s future, especially her son’s. Also, she wanted to be independent. Being the only daughter proves it. She doesn’t want to be a burden to her parents for the rest of her life.
Sandra also pursued work abroad to learn new skills, meet new people, new culture, and to have the confidence of becoming self-efficient and independent.
What makes you decide to work abroad?
To earn and save money. Because there aren’t good paying jobs in PHL. To provide the financial needs of my family especially my son.To be independent. As a only daughter I want to prove myself that I can do it. I don’t want to be a burden to my parents for the rest of my life.To learn new skills. To meet new people, new culture, and to have a confidence heading anywhere on my own.
What is the hardest part of being an OFW?
For me the hardest part of being and OFW is being sick. You need to work even when you are sick. You had nothing to depend on but yourself. And that’s the time you will feel the homesickness. Feel the loneliness, sadness, boredom… but you have to fight for it and be strong.
What are the things you have established/bought since you became an OFW?
Just some small things that I can’t buy before. At least now I can buy my “luho” without waiting for my parents to give me money. ? And as of now I’m helping my father on paying the housing loan.
Do you have a bad experience as an OFW either abroad or in the Philippines?
Do you have any plans in mind so that you don’t have to work abroad for the rest of your life?
Would you ever consider working in your home country again? Why?
How do you handle being homesick (homesickness)?
Video-calling to my love ones in Ph. And watching Korean dramas.
Do you think the popular social media platforms can help fight boredom? Why?
Yes of course.
What do you miss most in the Philippines?
Lifestyle. Foods, especially pork and street foods. Special occasions.
What are the things you regret not doing because of your time spent working abroad?
As a mother, being not on my son’s side was the regretful thing I’ve done. Being absent on some special events of his life. Every year he wants me to be there on his birthday but I can’t.
Can you give tips or advice for people who are planning to go abroad?
Think a million times before deciding to work abroad. Make sure you are 100% ready. Spend money wisely. And trust no one. Be wise on choosing friends abroad.