Working Abroad May Affect Your Family If Not Planned Properly

While I was surfing around, I bumped into a whie paper with the title, “The Uninsurable Social Class? A Marketing Stance by Jomar F. Rabajante of the University of the Philippines [March 24, 2008], which discusses the social and economic dimensions that have a significant impact to the Philippine life insurance business. [Click here to read the paper].

One of the topics of that paper involved is the “Who’s Who” in going up the so-called “social ladder.” It says, “It is economically impossible for most Filipinos to step up into the social class ladder if they get same-same income. One needs to innovate to go up (as shown by some rags-to-riches millionaires).” In that paragraph, it lists some of the “Filipino ways” to innovate and lends some short comments about some of these:

  1. Going abroad to get a higher paying job;
  2. Becoming an entrepreneur (but there is a big probability of failure — *tell me about it*);
  3. Being promoted or looking for greener pastures in the Philippines (but competition is high and the increase in income is slow);
  4. Getting high commissions (but if the person has the skills in selling);
  5. Investing (but this is usually the way of the upper class only, since they have enough capital to have a higher yield);
  6. Marrying the rich (but the rich usually marry the rich);
  7. Gambling and winning big (but if the person is lucky enough); and
  8. Acquiring large amounts of money from illegal transactions (of course, this is unethical, very illegal and is not encouraged).

Today, as these points are all very common in us Filipinos (except the last point), everyone thinks that the fastest way to innovate with lower risk is to become an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). That hurts the family in many ways regardless if it’s the husband or wife who leaves the family for work abroad. In its worse result, it destroys the family where both spouses maritally separate and leave the children wondering what they did wrong to deserve a broken family. I know a few families where separation was a result of working outside the country, including my own. The money is great but, in the end, I and many others have come to realize it wasn’t worth zilch! The cause of the marital failure was when you stepped into that plane bound for some place where you thought you could provide happiness to your family through money.

If you or your spouse intends to go abroad to work, the ability to resist temptation and loneliness, plus putting anger way, way below understanding, love and compassion because one is physically away and can’t even help in the domestic demands of the family, has to be at the highest peak and form you have ever gone through in life. Trust me to say that you will confront all these, in one way or another, large or small, and your deep understanding about your chosen faith, marriage and parenting is your only ally to succumb negative emotions, ingest sincere compassion and move forward towards solutions and your dreams and ambitions of having a happy family.

Tough? Yes, very. Impossible? No. You and your spouse have no choice but keep meeting half-way every single hour and day. And I’m not just talking about the one who was left at home; it includes the breadwinner who thinks that only because he or she is bringing the bacon doesn’t mean he or she has the authority to dictate his or her terms. If both of you can come to terms on the many, many things about marriage, faith, relationship, children, in-laws, household chores and needs, bills payment, income, insurance, car, mortgage, school, friends, Sunday gatherings, church, telephone calls, e-mails and chats, vacation trips, new things to buy, and so many more, then you and your family will be more than fine — and the experience will make all of you a stronger family unit.

Single Parenting is a Financial Challenge

The Economic Times came out with an article today entitled “Economics of Single Parenting” where the author espouses a quote on the gist of parenthood:

Parents try their best to provide all the necessary resources and opportunities to children. Good upbringing of children is a dream of every parent. But, this dream comes with a price tag and it then becomes the duty of parents to plan in advance for future finances in this regard.

It is critical that parents, single parents or families where only one parent receives an income, plan for the future multiple expenses of a family financed by a single income. One of these is to Build a Contingency fund that fills the gap on unplanned things. Another is Home rentals or mortgages. It also talks about Insurance — life, health, emergency illness or disabilities — something that many Filipinos do not think is important considering that only about 10% of the population have life insurance [Insurance Commission, 2006 circular]. Many overseas and migrant Filipinos still carry this notion in other countries where their purchasing power to buy insurance has increased.

Three other items of discussion by the article include Investments, Appointing a Guardian or Nominee and Drafting A Will.

Read more of this interesting article at The Economic Times.

Clive Owen’s Role as a Parent in The Boys Are Back

The true story, family drama “The Boys Are Back” stars Clive Owen, number 25 in Empire Magazine’s list of 100 Sexiest Stars in 2007. Owen, an Oscar nominee and winner of the Golden Globe, Sierra Award, Critics Choice Award and others, plays a journalist whose wife dies of cancer, leaving Owen to raise a young son and a teenager.

Interviewed by Vancouver Sun during the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), Owen says, “It felt like I was exploring a big part of my life that I haven’t explored in my work before. I am a parent of two girls and I’ve always seen that as very separate. I go off and make movies and the rest of the time I’m a parent. And this was a script exploring all that world.”

Read the Vancouver Sun for the complete story.

Before and After Parenting – What’s Your Story?

I was having fun reading the article posted by Toni Fitzgerald of The Sentinel about her life before she became a parent and after. The nice thing about her literary piece was how it was personalized, simplified, and even funny to compare each particular topic, like:

Before: Regularly used four-letter words.
After: Stopped using four-letter words after son used one during dinner and told the entire table that he learned it from mommy.

Probabaly the two best I read was:

Before: Spent extra money on clothes and shoes.
After: What is “extra money?”


Before: Considered the bathroom a private place.
After: Ha. Hahahahahaha.

You can read Toni’s article from the link below. But, why not share your “Before” and “After” experiences?

Source: The Sentinel.

Parenting by Two Male Actors

In today’s modern world, parenting by two people of the same gender has gotten both its raves and criticisms, whether the reasons pertain to religion, ethics, legal or morals. Whatever the peeves are for many in this small world we live in, acceptance is both easy and difficult.

Take Neil Patrick Harris as an example. The celebrity and popular actor, whose main role in Doogie Howser M.D. propelled him to American entertainment stardom, came out of the “closet” and made public his long relationship with David Burtka in People magazine, admitting that he has always been openly gay but saying that people have never chastised his decision and have been happy living that kind of life. Harris and Burtka even publicly attended the 2007 Emmy Awards night where he was nominated for his role in the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”

In 2008, Harris and Burtka performed at a Broadway musical “Take Me or Leave Me,” a gender-bending concert of show tune favorties benefiting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in New York. According to, “Burkta is already a father to twins from a previous relationship, and Harris counts himself as “the fun guy who takes them to Disneyland” and a stepfather figure to the two.”

But, in our still conservative world of Philippine parenting, going out in the open to say you’re raising kids between two gay parents is still something that’s kept inside the home. The call center industry opened the floodgates for gay and lesbians to come out in the open and publicly announce their gender preference without being humiliated. But these are the young ones who, maybe, will be tomorrow’s dads and moms, combined. It may not be “bad parenting” but it will sure be a challenge to raise kids from “husband and wife” parents where they are now exposed to both the traditional sense of marriage and parenting and the new wave of gay parenting.

In some schools, there are children whose single-parent are openly gay and without the convenience of a spouse. I still have not witnessed or heard two gay parents in Philippine schools but someday, as we inherrently follow American way of life, it is very possible to happen.

Sources: Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, PlanetOut, Just Jared

Share your views and stories, especially our Filipino parents who live in a more liberally-minded world like North. America.

US Poll Show Parents Poor Examples for Teen Drivers

Parents in the United States are setting a poor example behind the wheel for their teenaged children by talking and texting on cell phones and speeding, according to a Reuters article.

“Nearly 60 percent of 500 parents with teenage children questioned surveyed admitted that they chatted on their cells while driving. Forty-two percent said they were guilty of speeding and 17 percent sent a text or email. Another 40 percent listened to loud music while driving.”

Read More: Reuters.

Parenting Creep

The word “parenting” gets author Gail Lethbridge on deeper levels. The word itself is passive aggressive. It’s imbued with layers of meaning and expectation. It has a “do-this-or-else” whiff about it. When someone drops the word in conversation, the parent is suddenly saddled with an expectation that is pre-ordained, codified and professionalized by people they do not know.

These people are called experts. Parenting experts. Parenting experts proselytize and prognosticate on parenting. They write books and produce videos. They appear as guests on talk shows. They have websites and magazines that sell advertising directed at parents. Parenting experts often have honorifics like Dr. before their names and letters like PhD after their names. They know more about their subject matter than the non-experts — people like you and me, the parents.

Read more: The Chronicle Herald of Halifax Herald Ltd.