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:
- Going abroad to get a higher paying job;
- Becoming an entrepreneur (but there is a big probability of failure — *tell me about it*);
- Being promoted or looking for greener pastures in the Philippines (but competition is high and the increase in income is slow);
- Getting high commissions (but if the person has the skills in selling);
- Investing (but this is usually the way of the upper class only, since they have enough capital to have a higher yield);
- Marrying the rich (but the rich usually marry the rich);
- Gambling and winning big (but if the person is lucky enough); and
- 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.