We often hear Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) as modern-day heroes because of their hard work and sacrifices. Their cash remittance is no doubt one of the major reasons why the Philippine economy is growing. However, the ultimate challenge for most OFWs is how to handle their own finances.
Unfortunately, one out of 10 OFWs are financially broke, according to a 2011 study conducted by Social Enterprise Development Partnerships Inc. In addition, eight out of 10 of those who return to the Philippines have no savings. Despite working abroad for many years, few are able to save substantial amount of income.
The question is why? If you are an OFW aiming for financial success, here are eight money mistakes you might want to avoid:
1. Some OFWs don't treat savings as an expense
Being OFWs in Thailand, the first thing my wife and I do with our salary is pay the bills, and ensure we pay them on time. The rent, internet bills, house amortization in the Philippines, electricity bills, car loan, and others are the first things we take care of. However, we don’t include savings in our expenses. In other words, we save only on whatever is left after paying all the bills. If nothing is leftover, we have no savings at all.
However, the best way to break this habit is to pay yourself first. Of course, this is after returning your tithes to God. Today, my wife and I treat savings as part of the expenses. Normally, we diversify by putting money into stock market and mutual funds every month.
2. Failure to define asset versus liability
Because many OFWs fail to define asset versus liability, they often purchase liabilities, which they think is an asset. Robert Kiyosaki emphasized asset as anything that puts money in your pocket, while liability takes money from your pocket. An asset generally increases its value over time or it has a potential to gain yields in the future.
An example of a good asset is when you purchase a real estate or condo unit that can translate into rental business. However, you need to consider several factors such as the location, time frame of finding a renter, the reputation of the developer, and the payment or financing options before you make the big decision of buying a unit.
3. Get-rich-quick-scheme attitude
One common money mistake for OFW is they put their hard-earned money in the wrong kind of investment instruments. They are tempted by the high returns, even in such a short period of time. You must be cautious when an offer is too good to be true; because unfortunately, it’s probably not true.
King Solomon reminded us one important principle of money management, "Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow” (Proverbs 13:11).
4. OFWs as milking cow
There is nothing wrong with helping your loved ones. However, your family members back home should not be too financially dependent on you just to be keeping up with the Joneses.
It’s important how to say no unless it’s an emergency that demands your financial support. Learn to save for yourself and avoid over-remitting. You will not be a burden to your loved ones when you retire financially stable. Remember, planning for your own future is also one way of helping not just yourself but the family as well.
5. The nakakahiya mentality
Imagine an old high school friend comes to see and offer you something. This could be clothing, books, gadgets, or any other business ventures. Because it's nakakahiyang hindi kumuha or omorder, you find a hard time saying “no” even though your budget is tight.
Helping loved ones is quite okay; but if it happens many times, the nakakahiya mentality can certainly affect your budgeting and eventually ruin your finances in the long run.
6. Lack of knowledge how to invest
There are many investment opportunities for OFWs including real estate, trust funds, business ventures, mutual funds, stock market, bonds, and others. However, they do not invest due to lack of knowledge. On the other hand, some OFWs have the desire to invest but they don't know where and how to start.
I believe financial education should be the first priority of any OFW. Once they have the knowledge, they will be able to put their hard-earned money in the right investment instruments. Furthermore, financial literacy is the best weapon against any form of scam or other related fraudulent investment scheme.
7. Lack of financial goals
It’s essential for OFWs to plan ahead. If you want to buy a house and lot, put up a small business, or help your siblings finish college, you have to set goals. Regardless of the intended number of years working abroad, setting realistic financial goals will put you in a right direction and avoid wasting a great deal of time as you work overseas.
OFWs must take advantage of saving or investing while still receiving better wages.
8. OFWs have no emergency fund
Not having an emergency fund is another reason why many OFWs are struggling financially. They become devastated when emergencies happen such as critical illness, being laid off from work, and other unforeseen emergencies either in the Philippines or abroad.
Due to a lack of emergency funds, they are obliged to borrow money from their friends, or even take a loan from their company. As the interest rate is usually high, they feel the financial crunch later on.
Avoiding these money mistakes and making the most out of your hard-earned cash while working in a foreign land will help stabilize both your present and future financial outlook.
The decision to buy a condo does not come easily. After all, relocating is a major life event, not to mention the amount of money to be shelled out in buying one.
When you’re relocating to a new city or area, you’re faced with a big decision on where to live. There are plenty of options, like buying a single-family dwelling or buying condo unit. Each option has its advantages, disadvantages, and risks.
So, should you buy a condo? Here are some points to consider so you can make an informed decision:
As with any major decision, you should always consider your finances. Condos are typically more affordable than a house, but you should also think about whether your monthly budget can handle the possibility of homeowners’ association fees, and the like.
Of course, the basic question is where you want to live. In choosing an area, plenty of factors can come into play, like your daily commute to work or school, or even your lifestyle and hobbies. From there, check out the options for condos and single-family homes. If you’re looking for a place in the heart of the city, you’re more likely to find a suitable condo.
A single-family home affords you privacy. Some people value their privacy more than others, so living in a condo might not be an ideal setup because of the close proximity of the units. The condo association typically sets up rules and regulations that address this concern, but you may want to look closely into this when you’re considering a condo.
If maintaining a lawn or cleaning out gutters isn’t really your thing, then condo living might just be for you. Unlike living in a single-family home, condo life usually means that the admin is taking care of exterior maintenance and other similar concerns.
5. Security and safety
Living in a single-family home in a gated community can definitely give you peace of mind. Condos also offer that kind of security, with guard services or buzzer systems. You can also work with the building admin if you want additional security systems in your unit.
Ultimately, it’s about buying well to suit your lifestyle. If you carefully consider the points above, you should be able to benefit from a good investment, whether you choose a condo or a single-family home. And even if you think that house is something for you to live in, consider the fact that condo is a reliable investment to earn and make first steps to your future house.
In an effort to provide residents with the best possible combination of luxury and convenience, SMDC's Shine Residences, located right in the heart of the bustling Ortigas City center, offers you an opportunity to live in a work-life balance in an exclusive address while ensuring the convenience of being near everything you need.
Promising only the most privileged lifestyle, residents have access to serene pools and amenities without having to leave the development. For something more than the usual fare, Shine residences also have access to the exclusive clubhouse amenities of the iconic Renaissance Center, including a Bramante pool, tennis courts, specialty retail shops, a gym, functions rooms, a gazebo and a park.
Boasting a wide range of unit types to suit your specific budget and taste, residents are afforded spectacular views of Ortigas, Quezon City, Makati City and Antipolo skylines, no matter what unit you're in.
True to its promise of providing five-star living, SMDC Shine Residences boasts of top-notch property management service in ensuring the maintenance and security of the development and its homeowners.
For its residents, Shine Residences truly lives up to its name and shines in all aspects of their lives, whether professional or personal.
Purefoods Hotshots PBA player Jerwin Gaco said he decided to invest in Shine Residences because it was close to key locations in the metropolis.
"[I like Shine] because living here means I am close to cities such as Makati, San Juan and Manila," Jerwin said.
He noted that his favorite feature would definitely have to be Shine's pools.
"When the weekend comes, my kids and my friends find the time to hang out at the pool area of Shine Residences. It's great!"
Recently back in the country, Kat Soriano, a nurse from Seattle, USA, said SMDC properties have always seemed like a very good investment.
"Whenever we come back or take a vacation in the city, it's very convenient that we can go to Shine."
Security is also top-notch for Kat. "I can see CCTV's everywhere. I feel very safe when I'm here!"
Getting decorating ideas and inspiration is the fun part, especially now that we can easily draw inspiration from Pinterest or other decorating blogs. But after taking note of the styles you want, how do you make it happen? That’s when it can get pretty overwhelming.
The key to decorating your space is to break it down into steps and develop a system for working. If you plan on decorating your living space by yourself, here are some tips on how to give your room a quick and efficient makeover:
1. Do your measurements.
This lets you know how much space you’re working with. Taking measurements helps prepare you for the next step, which is ordering your materials. Measuring properly ensures that you don’t order too much paint or wallpaper, or get the wrong size of furniture. Mistakes like these can be costly on your part.
2. Order everything in one go.
Once you’ve chosen all your paint, furniture, fabrics or other working materials, order them all at once if possible. Some of these materials will take longer to arrive so you need to get a head start. It’s a big inconvenience if you start working on your decorating while having to wait for certain materials to arrive.
3. Call in your decorating team.
Identify the professionals you need, like a painter, electrician, or upholsterer. Do some research or get referrals ahead of time so you won’t be scrambling at the last minute. When you’re rushing, you may not end up with the best person for the job.
4. Start with the floors.
If you’re planning to sand or stain your floor, or even put down carpeting, always start with this first. This is so you minimize any damage to your walls.
5. Install cabinets before you start painting.
If you’re decorating your bathroom, kitchen or any space that requires cabinet installation, do this first before you start painting. Doing it in reverse can cause damage or scratches to the paint job.
6. Hang your light fixtures.
After painting your room, you can start hanging your chandeliers, sconces or other light fixtures. Install these first before your drapes or anything else so they don’t get in the way.
7. Arrange your furniture.
If you can, prepare a floor plan of where your furniture will go. In case your plan doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, don’t be afraid to experiment and move things around.
8. Add the accessories.
After all the furniture is in place, add your artwork, figurines, lamps and other decorative items like books and pillows. These small items add touches of personality to a room, so be unique and have fun!
When choosing a home, location is always on top of the list of considerations. Nowadays, finding a home at the heart of the city where young professionals can build careers, where businesses can thrive and where parents can provide a suitable environment for their kids, has become quite a challenge.
Luckily, SMDC's Jazz Residences provides just all that. Located at the corner of Nicanor Garcia St. and Metropolitan Ave. in Bel-Air Makati, Jazz Residences is just minutes away from offices in Ayala and Gil Puyat Ave. It is also near Jupiter St. and Makati Ave., where entrepreneurs can put up restaurants and shops.
Aside from being near schools and hospitals, Jazz Residences also has children-friendly amenities such as kiddie pools and a play area, making it a healthy environment for raising a family.
The four-tower vertical village boasts of five-star amenities such as grand lobbies, function rooms, five swimming pools, a fitness center and landscaped gardens. It also houses the Jazz Mall complete with commercial and food establishments and SM Hypermarket for all household needs.
As an investor, Riqui Raymundo always chooses properties in prime locations. She has properties in SMDC's Sea Residences in the Mall of Asia complex and Jazz Residences in Makati City.
"Because of Jazz Residences' prime location, my tenants, who are mostly foreigners and balikbayans, love my place. They love the fact that everything is within reach. It is right in the middle of the business district, near hospitals and world-class shopping malls," said Riqui.
Riqui also shared that she used to live in Bel-Air so even before the condo was built, she knows that Jazz is centrally located and it would be convenient for her potential tenants to live there.
Riqui also praised the five-star amenities of Jazz Residences. "What I like the most about Jazz are the swimming pools and the Jazz Mall. The pools are huge and sufficient for everyone. Also, it's so easy to go down to the mall when I want to eat, shop or go to the bank," she added.
After seeing the return of investment in her Sea and Jazz properties in her Sea and Jazz properties, Riqui plans to buy another condo in Grace Residences located near Bonifacio Global City.
Radio personality Monica Tobias and celebrity yoga instructor Al Galang found a new home in the bustling city of Makati where they can conveniently attend to their kids and their business. In December 2014, the couple decided to have a place in Jazz Residences which is located near their restaurant, Sweet Ecstacy in Jupiter St.
"We felt the need of having a place near the restaurant because the travel time to and from our house in Quezon City became almost unbearable and physically exhausting especially during the holiday season. Our place in Jazz is perfect not only because of the location but also because it has everything we need. It is a place where we can nurture both our family and business," said Monica.
For almost seven months now, Monica, Al and their kid enjoy every aspect of their new home. They especially love the convenience of having everything - hypermarket, hardware store, restaurants, coffee shops and salons - literally at their doorstep.
As a yoga instructor, Al also finds Jazz Residences' gym and pool area very useful. "The state-of-the-art gym equipment are sufficient for all off us. Five pools are also perfect for those who need cardio exercise and those who just want to have a fun under the sun," added Al.
When choosing a condo, here are some tips students should keep in mind:
1. Check how accessible the condo is to your school.
Traffic is a major downer in every student’s life, so make sure your condo is accessible via different modes of public transportation. When you’re inspecting the property, take note of the public transportation terminals nearby and familiarize yourself with the routes you’ll be taking. SMDC Berkeley Residences along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City is walking distance from Ateneo de Manila University and Miriam College, and is accessible via jeepney and tricycle.
2. Review the condo’s security features.
Safety, of course, is definitely a priority. Most condos have security guards stationed at the entrance of the building, as well as receptionists who monitor people who come and go. SMDC condos like Blue Residences in Quezon City are equipped with automatic fire detection and an alarm system as well. You can also ask condo management if additional locks or security features can be installed in your unit.
3. Take note of the condo’s amenities.
The amenities of the condo should be conducive for your studies, so take note of what you’ll need throughout the year. For example, Green Residences in Taft Avenue, Manila has student-oriented facilities such as a study hall, several function rooms, a fitness center, and a swimming pool.
4. Familiarize yourself with key locations.
Go around and check out key locations like hospitals, places of worship, grocery stores, affordable restaurants, coffee shops, laundromats, and similar spots. Sun Residences on España Boulevard in Quezon City is not only accessible to the schools in the university belt area, but also has its own Hypermarket, as well as various dining spots in the building.
Naisulat ko ang "Paraisong Kurtina" matapos akong mapadalaw sa iba-ibang Filipino flats sa Bur Dubai at Karama. I remember crying as I was writing the closing part.
Over a thousand Filipinos arrive in Dubai every month. And why not?
Literally, the sun shines here all year round; prosperity is in the air; and it's a place where people have reasons to dream of waking up in the morning as millionaires or with kilos of gold on their lap!
Yun nga lang, habang hindi pa nangyayari yun, iba ang nakikita ng maraming Pinoy pagdilat nila sa umaga — kurtina!
Hindi yan dance step. That's the latest move ngayon sa mga sharing flats. Sa sobrang liit ng space, patagilid ang galaw. Kaya minsan, mga ka-flatmates, hindi na magka-kitaan. "Hoy, where have you been, ba? Hindi ka na umuuwi sa flat!" Kasi nga lagi silang naka-sideview!
Warning: Smoking is dangerous to your room.
Yes, naunahan ng Pinoy ang IKEA sa innovation na yan — Yes, styrofoam walls, styrofoam doors, styrofoam room. Di ba nga naman, styrofoam keeps you fresh! Para kang gulay, o kaya ice candy. Pero siguro mas feel mo minsan na 'tuna' ka, o di kaya 'sirena' kung feel mong si Claudine ka.
"Ate, di ba fire hazard yan?" "Anong fire hazard ka dyan? Rent ang mas nakakamatay dito!"
"Illegal ang partitions sa Dubai. At least ang styrofoam, pag nagkahulihan, mabilis sa baklasan. Gets mo?!!!" "Yes, Ate."
Therefore, 'no smoking': ang sirena baka maging daing!
Burj Al 'Cupboards'
Hindi lang Emaar Properties ang may 'K' na magtayo ng skyscrapers? Haven't we heard, the Philippines is a major supplier of architects in Dubai? In other words, nasa dugo natin yan! Kaya ba ng Arabong gumawa ng rooms out of cupboards, luggages and shoe boxes?
Dati sa airport lang bida ang mga luggages, ngayon multi-purpose na: dividers na rin sila — para ang isang kwarto maging lima! Pampataas sila sa mga cupboards kasama ng mga shoe boxes na pinaka-antenna. Siyempre, the taller the better — you keep your neighbor's eyes away.
Pagpasok ko ng flat, akala ko sinehan, ang daming kurtina. Mga kuarto pala. Pero ang cute, cinematic!!! Parang barangay—complete with skinitas. Kada bukas ng telon parang movie — sari-saring life. May natutulog, may nag-eemote, may naka-curlers, may nakasimangot. Sa panlimang kurtina, may nag-totong-its, sa pang-anim, may naggugupit.
Ang gandang movie, di ba? "Ang Pinoy sa Likod ng Kurtina!”
Our Paraisong Kurtina. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry.
Be proud of our Paraisong Kurtina. They exist because we'd rather send our money home than spend more for our comfort. Within their enclosure are our desire for a little privacy, our groans, our tears, our dreams, our struggle for some little savings.
My curtain says a lot. It says, "I have saved again, inay; I'll be able to send money home next month."
“Huling bakasyon ko na ito! Uuwi na ako for good sa isang taon; may naipundar na. Bakit naman ako mananatili sa abroad kung pwede namang mabuhay nang maayos kasama ang pamilya?”, masayang bungad ni Reuben sa kaibigan habang nag-aayos ng maleta.
Bago magbitiw ng salita si Arnel, bumuhos na parang tubig na may yelo as ulo niya ang narinig. Heto siya, magwa-walong taon na sa Dubai pero wala pang napundar kahit na lupa sa paso.
“Pare, masaya ako para as iyo,” pilit na sambit in Arnel sabay dagdag, “Talaga, isang taon na lang? Ano na ba ang napundar mo doon sa Pinas?”
Pinipilit ni Arnel igiit sa isip na hindi inggit ang kanyang nararamdaman kundi purong pagtatanong lamang.
Sagot ni Reuben, “Masinop si Misis. Akalain mo, sa padala kong P10,000 buwan buwan, nakakaya niyang magtabi ng P3,000 para unti-unting makapagtayo ng poultry. After 6 years, eh meron na kaming abot sa 10,000 na manok bukod pa sa maliit na tindahan na may kapirasong bigasan. Ewan ko, paano niya pinalago yun! Tapos pala, yung gratuity ko naman, ida-dowpayment ko sa tricycle. Di ba ok na ‘yun”.
Pilit ang ngiti ni Arnel, naiinis sa sarili dahil hindi magawang magsaya nang todo para sa kaibigan. Nauunahan kasi siya ng tanong sa sarili, “Bakit ako wala pang naipon, gayung mas matagal na ako sa UAE?”
Napansin ni Reuben na tahimik ang kaibigan.
“Alam mo Arnel, dati, madalas akong mahiya sa mga barkada sa trabaho dahil hindi ako makasama sa mga gimik dahil nga nagtitipid ako. Pero, mabuti talaga na nagtipid ako. Isang taon na lang makakauwi na ako for good!”
Tahimik pa rin si Arnel.
Dugtong ni Reuben, “Ikaw pala, may plano ka bang umuwi na for good sa Pinas?”
“Oo naman,” mabilis na sagot ni Arnel, bagamat sa isip niya ay umuukilkil ang hindi matapos tapos na utang sa dalawang credit cards, mga utang na nawaldas niya lang sa pyramid scheme at sa luho niya sa electronics, sapatos, at gimik.
“Kelan?” dugtong na tanong ni Reuben.
Napatitig nang matagal si Arnel kay Reuben. Hindi niya alam ang nararamdam – naiinis ba siya sa kaibigan na naglantad ng kawalan niya ng direksyon sa buhay --- o nasisilaw lang ba siya sa liwanag na dumadapo sa isip niya?
Sabay ring naman ng mobile nya. Tumatawag ang barkadang si Joseph. Nag-alintana si Arnel na sagutin ang tawag. Tumingin sa langit at huminga nang malalim.
“Hello, Joseph”. Pasensiya na. Hindi ako makakasama sa inuman mamaya. May gagawin akong importante. Sensya na, ha.”
Nakatingin na naman si Arnel kay Reuben, hindi kumukurap.
“Huy, anong iniisip mo? Nakatitig ka na para kang na matanda!” “Ano yung importanteng gagawin mo mamaya?”, pag-uukilkil ni Reuben.
Ngumiti si Arnel. Hindi na sumagot. Sumaludo na lang kay Reuben at biglang tumakbo paalis.
If you’re looking for a good investment opportunity, you may want to consider investing in a condo.
With properties currently being built and still lined up, the Philippines is definitely enjoying a major surge in the real estate market. After all, condo living is an attractive offer. Living in a condo lets residents enjoy five-star living in key locations that allow them easy access to their favorite establishments.
A condo also makes for a sound investment. Here are just some of the reasons why you should consider investing:
If your condo is situated in a prime location, it can bring a premium resell price or monthly rental.
Condos can help you rent out your unit through their rental services, ensuring that the unit is occupied and the cash keeps flowing.
The purchase price is lower compared to a single family home. Renting it out tends to be cheaper than a typical home because the maintenance costs are shared, even if the property value is high.
Because condos have restrictions when it comes to maintaining the property, its value is maintained as well, which is great for when you’re renting it out.
Condos offer great amenities like pools, gyms, gardens, and so on. These are great perks for renting or reselling.
Reselling or renting out a condo is a great way to benefit from the property boom. Because of shortages in housing, it can be said that there is a demand for property rentals. Plus, your market is not limited to locals. Recently, it has also been observed that tourists consider condos as alternatives to hotels because they are cheaper.
Given that there is a market for rentals and reselling, investing your money in a condo is definitely worth considering.
Keeping your money tucked away is good, but investing it can help generate more money for you in the future. One great investment option you can explore is investing in a condominium.
Luxury condominiums are on the rise in all the key locations. These condos are a great investment, not just as a place to live in, but also as an instrument that you can profit from.
Do condos make sound investments? Absolutely. High-rise living in a condo is an extremely attractive offer. For one, these condos are typically located in prime locations, allowing them easy access to business districts, schools, and their favorite establishments. Luxury condos also have amenities like pools, gyms, gardens, and common areas, so residents enjoy resort-like living without having to leave the city.
Thinking of investing in a condo to make a profit out of it? Here are some helpful tips:
1. Check your finances.
Before you look into condos, make sure you have a steady flow of income, or at least a solid source of finances to make the downpayment and other fees for the property.
2. Treat the property as a business.
If you’re going to profit from renting the condo out, treat it like a business. This means you have to really understand the property and its features. Knowing the property from the inside-out is key in figuring out how to sell it.
3. Know your market.
Taking your cue from #2, you have to identify your market so you know how to communicate with them. For example, if it’s a condo near a school, your potential tenants would be students. If it’s in the business district, your prospects would be yuppies and businessmen.
4. Know how to talk to your market.
Your unit be nice, but other condos could be as well. This is where the knowledge of your property and market comes in. You’ll know what features appeal to your target tenants, and you’ll be able to communicate that to them. Like if you’re targeting students, you can highlight the easy commute to their school, the communal area where they can work quietly, and so on.
5. Be prepared to market your property.
You’ll need to get word out that you’re renting out your unit. You can do this through classified ads, or online.
Looking to purchase a home? A sky high lifestyle in a condominium could be for you.
For those looking to find a new home, purchasing a condo is one of the options you can consider. Condos are a popular choice in real estate in the Philippines. Having a condo not only provides you with a good home, you also enjoy the luxuries that come with it. With condos strategically located in or near business districts, it’s definitely advantageous to residents.
However, it’s understandable that buying a condo can be intimidating, especially if you’re buying one for the first time. While condos are generally less expensive than house and lots, it’s still a major purchase decision.
Here are some tips for you to consider, if you’re looking to purchase a condo:
1. Analyze your financial capacity.
Before you start your search, you have to know what you can afford. Evaluate your funds and where these will come from. Visit your trusted bank, and they can give you the details you’ll need before you purchase a condo. They will also work with you on setting a reasonable budget for your income.
2. Check the developer’s track record.
If you already have properties in mind, do research first. Are the projects finished on time? When is the turnover date for your prospective condo?
3. Consider your location.
Aside from the general location, pay attention to the neighbourhood. Consider things like your daily commute, the proximity to grocery stores, malls, and other factors that could be appealing or unappealing.
4. Attend open houses for your preferred condo.
Typically there are scheduled open houses for different properties. If not, you can get in touch with your seller to set up a schedule for viewing. It’s best to really take your time in going through the condo and take note of things you like and don’t like. Don’t forget to take note of these on a notebook or on your smartphone. This way, you’ll be able to compare notes when you’re trying to narrow down your choices.
5. Ask questions.
If something is not clear to you, don’t hesitate to ask your seller. Ask about details like fees associated with the property. Are there association fees you need to pay? What comes with these fees? Know what benefits come with what you’re paying for.
It can be pretty scary for a first-time buyer, but keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to approach the condo-buying process with confidence.
Huy, kumuha ng condo si Karen. AED 800/mo lang.
‘O, talaga?’, ‘Hindi nga?’, ‘Nice naman!’, ‘Afford nya?’, ‘Ay, gusto ko rin.’
Different reactions -- may na-iintriga, may natutuwa, taas-kilay, may na-enganyong mag-inquire?
EASY 4-POINTS HOW OFWs MULTIPLY EARNINGS WITH SMDC CONDO FROM AED 800/MO
If you co-buy with a friend, AED 400 each na lang! Di ba wiser to spend AED 400-800 for property investment kaysa sa gimik? Absent ka sa gimikan, condo owner ka naman.
EARN UP TO P1M IN VALUE APPRECIATION AT HANDOVER!
At 2008 launch, 1BR unit in Grass Residences near SM North was P1.75 million. By 2012, 1BR unit was P2.75 million. That’s P1 million profit just by waiting! So, why leave money in the bank?
YOUR BEST OFW REWARD: RENTAL INCOME
Manila employees and college students now prefer to live in condos. Most cannot buy but they can rent. OFWs are major condo investors. At handover, you pay amortization from condo rental. So, from hardworking OFW to condo landlord!
FIRST, PROFIT FROM CONDO RENTAL– THEN, BUILD YOUR HOME
Ideally, build a house kung gagamitin mo na. Mabagal ang value appreciation sa province; if you rent out naman, sobrang mura. Multiply na lang your hard-earned dirhams with SMDC condo. After some years, ibenta (kung kailangan) to build your home. Yung sobra, i-negosyo mo!
What they don't tell you about the OFW`s life
'It isn't whining to speak about OFW realities, nor does it mean that they are ungrateful for their overseas jobs; it's simply a peek into our not-so-ideal lives'
"Ang pangarap ko ay ang makapag-abroad. (My dream is to go and work abroad.)"
How many times have we heard this as someone's ambition? The fact that the Philippines receives over $20 billion in annual OFW remittances does not lie. Many of our homes are built and children's educations are funded by overseas money. To ambitious young people, it doesn't even matter what kind of work they end up doing, so as long as they are paid in a different currency. Landing a job abroad has become the ultimate dream, and the OFW life is associated with flowery images of success and prosperity.
But there are a few things they don't tell you about the OFW life; things that are often kept secret from those we leave behind.
1) It's not as pretty as it seems
Social media posts of gifts and balikbayan boxes, photos of travels and dining adventures – these make up less than a tenth of our real lives. Away from camera phones and the tags of our Facebook friends, it is far from being all glitter.
Nobody ever takes pictures of hard and menial work, long hours, or getting scolded by an employer. Nobody talks about the constant immigration struggle, or the fear involved in the life of an undocumented immigrant.
Cramped quarters and poor living conditions rarely make it to Facebook posts. We don't talk about bad bosses, layoffs, or the complete physical or emotional exhaustion overseas jobs guarantee.
Nobody puts in a status update that they came as a nurse or a scientist but actually work as nannies. Nobody brags about being a tenured professor in the Philippines who works as a factory worker abroad.
We do what we can and we keep the drama away from home, even if our lives aren't exactly what we imagined. At least our families can imagine otherwise.
2) It's a lonely life
Especially in countries where a worker doesn't speak the language, our interactions where we can really be ourselves are limited to meetings with fellow Filipinos, most of whom are also busy with their own lives.
Moving to a new place always comes with displacement. And believe me, that good English that you boast about is no match to a particular region's version of English, especially when spoken fast. No matter how Americanized or how independent you feel you are, you'll always feel like you've been dropped overboard in cold water without a life jacket. It takes a while before you adjust and tread water on your own.
There will be a point where you'll want at least one person to know you well; you'll want someone of the same blood to be around you just to feel some kind of permanent bond. You'll want someone to recognize you on the street or look for you if you haven't passed by in a while. You'll wish someone would visit you just because they were in the neighborhood.
But nobody really does that, nor has the time. One has to make time to bump into someone they know, or simply get used to being invisible.
3) OFWs become banks
Whenever there's a financial need at home, the first person in mind is always the one who is abroad, believing that money is easy for OFWs to come by.
As an overseas worker, everyone seems to think you won the lotto simply because you work abroad. People ask for special favors or to fund their children's baptisms and birthday parties, or for loans for a new business, just because it's almost a given that you might have extra cash on hand.
Many OFWs ignore their ringing phones because they know that most of the time it's just someone asking for money. They wonder sometimes if money is all they're good for, especially when they're pressured to keep working abroad even if they've expressed their unhappiness in being away and their desire to come home.
4) Money is not endless
We forget that those who work in a place where a decent salary can be earned also have a higher cost of living and their own financial commitments. Many Pinoys go into debtbecause of these responsibilities and the ready availability of credit cards which easily trap the inexperienced consumer.
But rarely will an OFW admit that money is in short supply. They will borrow just to send money home, if need be. They will max out their credit cards to get their children the fanciest toys and clothes. Their reasoning is that if their loved ones can't enjoy the rewards of their efforts, why else would they make sacrifices in their lives?
Even if their children grow up seeing them just as a source of gifts and cash, OFWs will take that over nothing, and over coming home and not being able to provide.
5) You're always one step away from ruin
Especially when a worker doesn't have health insurance or government protection, each one of us is one serious illness or accident away from losing our livelihood, or becoming disabled without any nearby family support to care for us.
When we are sick, unless we have close friends or loved ones around, we usually have to just shake it off or ride out a cold or the flu. If we don't have sick days at work, we might actually work through our illnesses rather than lose the money we were going to earn that day.
There is always that fear of being one step away from disaster, and we take on those who rely on us and our income. We carry on anyway with crossed fingers and prayers because there are those who depend on us back home.
6) You'll wish you could give it all up and go home
Every OFW comes to a point where he or she just wants to drop everything and go back home. Sometimes the sacrifices, the loneliness and the challenges are simply too much to make up for being away.
But most OFWs have made enormous sacrifices to be where they are, and have amassed enormous debts just to be able to go abroad. It isn't uncommon for an OFW who has gone home to be pressured to go back abroad because of the unparalleled financial rewards. Many are stuck in cycles of debt and can hardly get by with their daily struggles, let alone think of a long-term financial plan.
Each OFW is thought of by their families as a savior – and it's very difficult to give it all up and let everyone down just because they are tired.
7) There's no place like home
Every Filipino who has been displaced and is stuck in a cycle of work and sleep longs for a return to simplicity and the lack of huge financial expectations.
For those who left children behind, no amount of money can replace that lost time, but they do what they can and what needs to be done for everyone else to survive.
It's hard to admit that it isn't always better on the other side. But the more we realize what is at stake when our friends and loved ones leave the Philippines for "a better life," it's important to see whose life is actually better, and what its cost is to relationships and families, as well as on one's long-term financial stability if they're not careful with their money.
It isn't whining to speak about OFW realities, nor does it mean that they are ungrateful for their overseas jobs. It's simply a peek into our not-so-ideal lives.
Maybe when OFWs speak up about their experiences, more Filipinos won't think of it as the ultimate goal. Maybe that could help fix the broken system back home rather than be satisfied with constantly sending our labor to other shores.
Kahit magmukhang cheap. Mahalaga, makasama ang pamilya!
Honestly, the thought of flying on Cebu Pacific was not appealing at first. I imagined 8-9 hours of seating in a cramped seat without the benefit of inflight movies and thought--oh no!
But I took the flight last February and I didn’t regret it. In fact, I’d do it again, soon (if it’s God’s will).
When I flew home in August last year, I paid AED 3,700. With Cebu Pacific I paid about AED 1,300 including 20 kg of luggage and a single meal both ways. If I didn’t purchase the 20kg luggage allowance and the meals (which I don’t recommend), I would have paid only about AED 1,150.
That’s a savings of about AED 2,500! I could have been with my family 3 times with that amount I paid on a regular airline!!!
Of course, if going on annual leave means your company’s taking care of your airfare, then fly with a standard airline and enjoy a better experience. But if you’re paying and budget is a consideration, Cebu Pacific makes sense.
The timing too is perfect: You depart from Dubai at 11pm, you reach Manila at 3pm. Who needs to watch movies when it’s sleep time anyway?
Well, if you insist on enjoying on this cheap Cebu Pac flight, here’s what I know other passengers do:
1. They watch movies with their own PCs or tablets.
2. They bring their own food (sandwiches and simple baon; pls don’t be tempted to bring binagoongan—just be sensitive, may nan-Filipinos din sa flight).
3. They have their own blankets, eye mask and ear plugs.
4. Of course, kanya-kanyang tsitserya!!!
Mabait talaga ang Diyos. With budget airlines like Cebu Pac and Pal Express, I believe I can be with my parents at least 3 times a year -- 1 ticket from my company, 2 tickets on my own.
Above all, hindi natatapatan ng pera yung pagkakataon na makasama ang pamilya.
Lumilipas ang panahon.
Natutuyo ang dahon
Magulang mo nasaan na?
Dinala tayo sa malayo ng pangangailangan
Sa cheap na flight, lumbay ko’y maiibsan
Maghulog ka six dhs lang araw araw
Sa anim na buwan, nasa bayan ka nang minamahal!
Naku, nakalibre ng advertisement and Cebu Pacific through this article. Ok lang, basta maikalat ko lang ang magandang karanasan.
Here’s their website. Book na!
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