Although I try to keep this particular website away from topics centered on the Philippines, I do live in the Philippines, so sometimes I have to write about that kind of thing. Ways to Make a Living if you live in the Philippines. For my readers in other part of the world, who have no interest in the Philippines, I am sorry, but this particular article or topic may not be of interest to you.
Every Filipino, and others who have an interest in the Philippines probably know what an OFW is. OFW stands for “Overseas Filipino Worker” (some say it should be “Overseas Foreign Worker). The Philippines is a nation of about 100 Million people. Of those people, around 11 to 13 Million Filipinos live and work overseas. These people go overseas specifically for jobs. They mostly send a great deal of their earnings home to their family in the Philippines. Jobs are not easy to come by in the Philippines, and when a Filipino can find a job in the Philippines, they pay is usually very low.
What about foreigners?
What about people who are not Filipino, but have chosen to live in the Philippines? Well, they are not Filipinos, so they cannot be OFWs, right? Still, the can seek employment or money-making opportunities abroad, and to be honest, I feel that they can do very well by doing so.
This year, for the first time, my wife and I are exploring this possibility. Not so much “I” but I include myself because I am helping my wife in exploring the possibilities. Frankly, due to some significant medical expenses, our nest egg has suffered and we need to replenish our savings so that we can feel more comfortable and stable. Although I will not be going to work abroad, my wife will, and one of my sons will as well.
The title of this article is about OAW work. What is an OAW? Well, it is a play on the whole “OFW” thing. Overseas American Worker! My wife and my kids are all dual citizens – Philippine Citizens and US Citizens. Because they are US Citizens, they can legally travel to the USA and work there. Working in the USA offers significant advantage over working in the Philippines. Principally, they can earn a nice income, and build up some nice savings even if they work only for a few months.
I wrote a few weeks ago that my wife was thinking about, and looking into available jobs in Alaska. Since that time, my wife, Feyma, has been hired by two different companies in Alaska. Starting in June, she will be working for 2 months (these are seasonal jobs and work is only available for short periods) in a place called Naknek, Alaska, which is on Bristol Bay. After finishing her work in Naknek in late July or early August, she will be going to a place called Yakutat, Alaska to work for another company there for about 2 months again. In most cases, a lot of overtime is available and you are often asked and expected to work 16 hour days. When you can work that much overtime, you can often earn nearly $1500 per week (this is at the starting wage, it only gets better). Work that for 4 months and you are looking at earning around $20,000 for a 4 month stint. It is hard work, but also quite rewarding for somebody who does not have skills for a real high paying job.
This could be attractive
A lot of people write to me who are interested in living in the Philippines. The majority of those who write to me about this need to earn some income. They mostly ask about getting a job in the Philippines. This is a terrible idea! For most jobs in the Philippines, you will earn $6 or $7 per DAY. Not per hour, per day. There is basically no extra pay for overtime in most cases. So, if you work, say, 25 days in the month, you will earn less than $200 per month! That just is not enough to have a decent life!
For these foreigners who are interested in moving to the Philippines, they would do much better by seeking seasonal work in the US (or another western country) for 2 to 4 months per year, then spend the rest of the year enjoying life in the Philippines. Even if they earned only $10,000 in a year, they could live a decent life in the Philippines for the other months of the year.
It is an option
So, this is an option for foreigners who live in the Philippines or in other countries. Go back to the US and earn some quick cash that will sustain you where you want to live.
One of my other sons is only 16 (nearly 17) and he wants to do this type of work as well. To do these jobs in Alaska, though, you must be 18 years of age or older. He plans, though, to go do it in 2018.
My wife feels that she wants to do this year after year for the foreseeable future. Maybe 5 years, possibly longer. But, she will need to see how she likes the work, and if she is able to work that number of hours. I am sure she can do it, because she is tough and a hard worker. But, we will see after trying it out this year.
OAW? Sure, let’s see how it works out.