Is it Wise to Leave One’s Children Home to Work Abroad?

As husband of a Filipina I get to know hundreds of Filipinos who work in my country and I’ve come across dozens of situations in which it took years before Filipinos who moved to my country could meet the legal requirements for family reunification thereby forcing said Filipinos to delegate the responsibility to raise their children to the children’s lolos (granparents).

I’ve stumbled upon an interesting blog post (https://www.getrealphilippines.com/2012/06/the-folly-of-economic-dependence-on-foreign-employment/)that says some of the things I think about this issue and the article partly says this: ”

Having children, then suddenly finding ourselves unable to provide for them is irresponsible. Seeking foreign employment at the expense of sound parenting and labeling it as heroism white-washes this collective irresponsibility and further adds to the counts of this irresponsibility.

It is irresponsible for one to produce offspring without considering one’s long-term ability to provide for them materially as well as emotionally and spiritually. Foreign employment and abortion are sometimes the results of this lack of planning. Leaving one’s young children to seek employment overseas is different from abortion in only one aspect: with abortion, the social problem ends right there and then; with foreign employment involving young children, the problems just begin. OFWs who “sacrifice” family life and the people who lionise them as “heroes” forget that these absentee-parents are turning loose unto an already dysfunctional society a whole generation of absentee-parented youth. Their “sacrifice” is our society’s sacrifice as well in terms of the burden of absorbing this absentee-parented generation. The absentee-parented generation will be no improvement over a generation that already failed dismally at collectively building a strong state”.

Sound parenting, as the article says, entails much more than just sending one’s children money and being able to put them through college. It entails, as the article says, providing emotionally and spiritually, not just materially.

The negative effects of lack of sound parenting through actual physical presence, not just presence through Skype or Messenger, are nicely illustrated in the “Anak” movie, which I mentioned in a previous article, where a Filipina, upon her arrival at the Manila airport, realizes that the prolonged absence of the mother had driven an irreversible wedge between her and one of her daughters.

The article also talks about lack of planning. Obviously children need material things that is why the Bahala na approach that gets Filipinos to make kids without first calculating the expense is seriously messed up.

16 thoughts on “Is it Wise to Leave One’s Children Home to Work Abroad?

  1. As a son of both OFW parents. I feel half-hearted about the article. Yes, it is irresponsible to leave the children to the grandparents yet at the same time how can I blame them? Some Filipinos are very resourceful. I should know since I can’t find a decent job lately, I managed to scrap a few through writing and other stuff. Then there is also the factor that there are some government policies that are screwing up with some Filipinos’ diskarte sa buhay. Like on the recent tax implementations for online sellers and content creators. There those who are willing to do anything to provide and for something to screw with their plans.

    Not that I’m trying to point fingers and blame someone but there just no way for sure the cause of the said problem. Yes, there are irresponsible parents who choose to raise their children beside them and there are those who left their family behind only for them to start a new family somewhere else. I think leaving the children to work abroad is not solely the problem. It makes me think that it is an opinion of an entitled individual who hasn’t faced real hunger in life.
    It does make me wonder where the compassion is.

    But that’s just my 2 cents of the matter and of course, I always mean well! 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am obviously talking about Filipinos who just make children without calculating the cost. Here in Italy there are Filipino immigrants who as soon as they arrive here they make kids before they get a resident permit or find a stable job.

      Some work live in jobs and leave their children in another apartment (maybe with another family) but they have all the latest electronic gadgets and a nice car.

      I am of course speaking from my perspective as someone who knows Filipinos who live separate from their kids because of messed up priorities.

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      1. If that’s the chance, then yes a agree. That is irresponsible.
        I’m talking about the source material. I think it was written by those insufferable and entitled rich kid Filipinos who never seemed to suffer anything in life. But the thing is, irresponsible parents are the caused of irresponsible parenting

        Liked by 1 person

    2. …I was not talking about the well meaning and hard working ones who had no other choice.
      I am sorry if I have come across as offensive to OFW who were forced to leave their children home reluctantly because of unavoidable circumstances….I was simply talking about poor planning which is often the case with Pinoy (and not just Pinoy of course)

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      1. Nah i understand that, like I said there are some, I can’t deny that. But the source article, it seems to me that they are trying to place the blame on OFWs. There are plenty of irresponsible parents out there who don’t even have to go out of the country to work to produce messed up children.

        We ended up as decent people despite having OFW parents but I’ve known parents who never left their children side but ended up differently. 😅

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Speaking of taxes on content creator and online sellers: here in Italy the government made it almost impossible to earn online sa dami ng tax. Only if you have millions of views can you earn. So I basically gave up on my plans to earn with a blog and I am switching to blogger.com (mas mura kaysa sa WordPress)

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      1. Here if I want to earn with a blog I have to pay a minimum of 500€ a month in taxes (because blogging qualifies as a business) and an average blogger in Italy is lucky if he can make 50-100€ a month with ads. Hindi sulit…

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      2. Mahal ang paid account. That’s why I am switching to blogger.com (my paid account will expire in October so unti unti inilipat ko ang mga post sa blogger.com: piso lang ang paid account…)

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