In my previous article, there was a commenter there that argued that Filipinos are good at creating opportunities for themselves because they become OFWs. This is despite the fact that those opportunities are not really created by the OFWs themselves but their host countries. Thanks to the media hyping them as “bagong bayani” or modern day heroes, a lot of Filipinos talk as if OFWism is such a great thing and we should all be proud of it. I beg to disagree. There are a lot of social consequences brought about by families being apart for long periods of time, with the children lacking guidance and growing up in an environment with incomplete parental components. I have observed this because I was an OFW myself and have seen how families and individuals behaved both abroad and in the Philippines.
Let me begin with just one of the consequences that people have been trying to hide or are too embarrassed to even admit. I am going to open up a topic that has mostly been just discussed in the form of whispers between groups of idle housewives or in alcohol charged bouts of bragging between “kumpares” about who “scored” yet again.
Do you really know what happens when you board that plane and sign off one or two years of your life to a job thousands of miles away from your partner? It has been happening since the beginning of the OFW phenomenon and it is just part of human nature that if you feel the itch, you just have to scratch it. If your husband or wife is not there to do the scratching, then your kumpare, kumare or even some random person they meet on line, at work or at the mall will be more than happy to do the job. Not all turn out this way, or this exact way but here is how it typically goes:
THE SEVEN STAGES OF OFW SPOUSAL INFIDELITY
1. The OFW finds a job that pays a wage that would give his or her family a better lifestyle so they tearfully say their goodbyes, renew their promises of love and vow to keep their chastity until the other to returns. The OFW then thinks that everyday, his wife is just longing for the day she will pick him up at the airport while she stares at his pictures every night.
2. The wife then goes out with her friends, each of her “amigas” have boyfriends, husbands or “friends with benefits” while she is by her lonesome trying to ignore the fact that while others have warm bodies around them that they could rub and vice versa, she is on her own with nothing but her cel phone and laptop to warm her up at night. She keeps her libido like a little lizard concealed underneath her blanket hoping it will stay there and never get out until her husband comes back. But that little lizard grows by the day and eventually becomes Godzilla.
3. One of the amigas is a “bad influence” and jokes about how the OFW spouse is “tigang” and she should “take care of her needs”. She just laughs it off and says “kayo talaga” but thoughts come into her mind. They then see the numerous “affair movies” like Ex with Benefits or The Other Woman which trivializes infidelity and helps makes lecherous behavior a norm.
4. A guy gets introduced into the group of friends who is single or has a wife who is an OFW and is also alone. They start talking about how hard it is to be apart from someone you love, how sometimes they argue but she still longs for his arms and stuff like that. She now has a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear but she vows that they should only be “just good friends” because they simply have so much in common. Just friends, just friends, just friends… she repeats like a mantra.
5. They do Karaoke, go out to the beach, have some alcohol, physical activities and something just… kinda happened. They then become a couple and the OFW wife spends her husband’s hard earned money to support her unemployed boy toy and nothing gets saved. They all go to the SoGo establishment where hot nights of schmoozing and oozing take place.
6. The OFW husband then wonders where all the money he sent home went. That is the money he sent home after spending it on dates with his own girlfriend in the country he is in.
7. The kids grow up without a complete set of parents to guide them. If they are boys and their father figure is absent, they become weak willed and lacking in confidence. The girls meanwhile, become slutty and may get pregnant early.
Could the OFW phenomenon be a major contributor as to why the generations of Filipinos are becoming worse and worse? The lack of parental guidance and love seem to have made the youth weak and lacking in intelligence. It has also made our women vulnerable overseas. I am sure no one will say this in polite conversation but it is well known that a lot of Filipina Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong or Singapore are slutting themselves out to Bangladeshi construction workers while their pedicab driving husbands who they remit money to in The Philippines use it for their dates watching the latest Aldub movies with the labandera next door.
Then we have the wife of the high paid OFW in the Middle East or in the high seas who get swept off their feet by their dance instructors or gym trainors paid for by “Katas ng Saudi”.
So next time you think that OFWism is such a good thing, take a closer look at the spouses of OFWs and see what they are doing. You will be surprised. Or not.