Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Good and Bad of Being OFW in Singapore

It is quite a long time, I’ve been working here in Singapore as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). With God’s grace I became a Sales Operation Analyst for about one year and eight months in one of the biggest distribution company in the world.

At first it is tough because I did not know anyone here in Singapore except my former boss when I was working as an IT Head in a bank before. But that time he was in Taiwan, and as a culture in the Philippines, we had this issue of shyness type wherein we tend not to ask help because we do not want to be burden for other people.

These are the lists of pros and cons of being an OFW in Singapore.
Challenges Encountered

1.)   Cost of Living. Primary challenge I encountered is the cost of living. At this time, exchange rate for Philippine peso in PHP 33. (SGD 1.00 = PHP 33.00).  So normally I always converting my purchases to Philippine Peso, but when I get used to it, I just buy without any conversion. Simple meal would cost S$3.00 – S$5.00. Vices such as liquor and cigarettes are more higher which play around S$10.00 – S$20.00.

2.)   Flat or Room Accommodation. Since I did not know anyone. I am always changing my place because of some issues such as snoring roommates, expired contract, misunderstanding, crowded places and etc. But this time, I tried to adjust into it and think that I am working in a foreign country so I need to talk and face it with confidence. Lesson learned! Normally flat rate in HDB cost S$300.00 up to S$800.00 while in condo would range S$400.00 up to S$1,200.00. 

3.)   Multi National Environment. Working in a multinational company is one of the challenges I faced. I need to adjust with the Singlish accent and need to mingle with different cultures and nationalities. But now, I always think that I am in a Harry Potter movie.
Advantage

1.)   Salary.  When it pertains to work salary, of course it is an advantage. To be honest my salary it double of what our former Bank President is earning. But since the cost of living is high we need to spend wisely.

2.)   Friendly Singaporean. Mostly Singaporeans I met are friendly. Actually, most of the people who helped me during my train rides, directions ,and a lot of more are Singaporean. Now my boss and my former boss is a Singaporean. They treat us fare and when they do decisions, they are just. I also I enjoy community service in return to their goodness.

3.)   Systematic Living (SMART Nation). Since, this place is an island, mode of transportation is very systematic. You can easily search what you want to find, sell, or buy. Those are just over the internet or using an app using your smart phones.

4.)   Healthy Living. Normally, you will see a lot of people are engage with Physical Fitness. Hawker centers (“kainan” in Filipino) offer vegetarian meal. In addition, since I am a fruit lover, I love the fruits which are sold in a cheaper price. Added to that is the freshness of air we breathe.

5.)   Singapore is near in Philippines. In case you always want to go back in Philippines, it is much easier to travel compare with other countries in Middle East, Europe or US. Added to that, cheaper airfare is advantage. Promo fare is one of the best choice for every Filipinos who wants to enjoy holiday from Singapore to Philippines or vice versa.
If you want to be an OFW, I suggest you to read www.pinoysg.com. Then most importantly pray, be humble, and be good to everyone so that you are not just here to work but be a blessing for others.

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