Staying in Touch With Loved Ones: How OFWs Do It

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Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are no strangers to sacrifice. Reports show that up to 1.77 million Filipinos are working abroad. This statistic is from April to September 2020 alone.

They leave their homes and families for months or even years to work in foreign countries, often in difficult and dangerous conditions, to provide a better life for their loved ones back home.

But just because they’re sacrificing their own comfort and safety doesn’t mean they don’t miss their families dearly. In reality, one of the most challenging aspects of being an OFW is being away from the people they love. So how do they stay in touch?

Here are some ways OFWs stay connected to their homes and families, which give you an idea of how you, too, can keep in touch with your loved ones even if you’re miles apart.

Social Media

One of the most popular ways OFWs stay in touch with their loved ones is through social media. Platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram allow OFWs to easily share photos and updates with their friends and families back home. These platforms also make it easy to connect with other Filipinos living abroad, which can help OFWs feel less isolated in their adopted countries.

Chances are, you and your loved ones are already on one of these social media platforms. If not, now might be a good time to create an account and start connecting. Here are some ways you can use social media while you work abroad and away from your family:

  • Take advantage of the direct messages to send personal messages, photos, and videos to your loved ones.
  • Share stories featuri7g pictures and videos of the things you loved the most when you lived in the Philippines.
  • Post status updates to let your loved ones know how your day went.
  • Video call loved ones during your free time.
  • Post reels of your most current adventure.

Send Money Through Remittances Services

Most OFWs work abroad to earn more money than they could back home. One of the ways they stay in touch with their loved ones is by sending remittances. A remittance is a financial transaction where money is sent from one person to another.

sending money in an envelope

OFWs usually send remittances to help loved ones back home with their daily expenses, such as food, tuition, and utilities. It’s also a way to ensure they can afford the things they need in an emergency. If you’re an OFW who wants to do a money transfer to the Philippines, it is crucial that you choose reliable remittance services before sending your remittances.

Here are some tips to help you choose the best money transfer services:

  • Check the rates and fees of different remittance services before sending your remittance.
  • Choose a service that offers the most competitive rates and lowest fees.
  • Consider convenience when choosing a remittance service. Choose one that will allow you to send money in the most convenient and fastest way possible.
  • Make sure the money transfer service is safe and secure. Check reviews and compare rates before making a decision.

Some reliable express courier and cargo providers also offer remittance services. This allows you to drop remittances and send balikbayan boxes using one company. Choosing the same company for both services can help you save time and money when you are too busy dealing with multiple tasks.

Balikbayan Boxes

Many people know Filipinos for their love of giving and receiving gifts, which is one way OFWs stay in touch with their loved ones. Balikbayan boxes are big boxes filled with goodies that Filipinos who work abroad send to their friends and families back home. These boxes usually contain items that are difficult to find or too expensive in the Philippines, such as imported chocolates, branded clothes, and gadgets.

Sending a balikbayan box is not only a way for OFWs to express their love for their loved ones. It’s also a way for them to share a piece of their adopted country with their family and friends back home. If you’re an OFW who wants to send a balikbayan box to your loved ones, here are some things you need to know:

  • Choose a good and reliable balikbayan box company that will deliver your box safely and on time.
  • Pack your box carefully, including items your loved ones will appreciate and use.
  • Include a personal note in the box to let your loved ones know how much you miss and love them.
  • Don’t forget to include your contact information if your loved ones need to reach you.
  • Share tracking information with your loved ones so they can track the box’s progress.

Good Old-fashioned Phone Calls

Despite the availability of video calls and other digital communication channels, many OFWs still choose phone calls to stay in touch with their loved ones. After all, nothing can replace the sound of a loved one’s voice.

If you’re an OFW who wants to make a phone call to your loved ones back home, here are some tips you need to know:

  • Buy a prepaid SIM card to make international calls at a lower rate.
  • Use a reliable international calling service to make sure your call goes through
  • Choose a calling plan that fits your needs and budget.
  • Consider the time difference between your location and the Philippines when making a call. Make sure to call during the daytime in the Philippines so you can talk to your loved ones without interruptions.
  • Use callback services to make international calls. This is a cheaper alternative to using your mobile phone’s roaming service.

Staying in touch with your loved ones back home is vital, especially if you’re an OFW. There are many ways to stay connected, such as using social media, sending balikbayan boxes, using remittance services, and making good old-fashioned phone calls. Choose the method that works best for you and your budget.

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