Millions of Filipinos travel outside the country every year and the reasons vary. Many Filipinos go abroad for work, business and leisure, education, permanent residency, and medical treatment.
With attractive salaries and benefits, more and more Filipinos are going abroad to work. In fact, a report released by the National Statistics Office last September 2013, states that there are around 2.2 million Filipinos who go abroad as Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFWs) anytime between April to September 2012. These OFWs work as laborers or unskilled workers, service and sales workers, professionals, plant and machine operators, and more. According to the same report, majority of these workers’ destinations are within Asia, particularly in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Qatar, and Hong Kong. Even though far from their families, OFWs find it more bearable these days to work abroad as technology now allows for more efficient and cheaper way of communicating with family members and friends back home. There are also more frequent, as well as less expensive flights offered by different airline companies that one can easily go home on special occasions, provided that employers allow it. Finally, with the increasing number of Filipinos working and living abroad, one would easily meet new Filipino friends who can help with adjusting to the new living and work environment.
Business and leisure
Some Filipinos also go abroad for business and leisure. People travel abroad to attend conventions, training, seminars, conventions, and meetings. Many Filipinos also travel outside the country simply for a vacation. Especially during summer when kids are on summer vacation, it is an opportune time for families to go on a leisure trip, as well as visit some family and friends who are working or living abroad. It is also a great time for children to visit their OFW parents. In fact, according to SunStar Baguio, DWSD has observed that the number of minors in their region, who are securing travel clearance for travel abroad have increased in 2012. Around 50% of these minors have stated the reason to be visiting their parents or relatives. Apart from Filipinos visiting their relatives abroad, many people also travel outside the country to celebrate special occasions, including Christmas, New Year, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, honeymoons, and more.
Filipinos also go abroad to pursue their studies, usually to take up specialized or advanced courses not offered here in the Philippines. According to IDP, an educational placement firm based in Australia, the number of students applying and getting accepted to study outside the Philippines has been growing every year. In 2012 alone, IDP was able to process placement of over 12,000 Filipino students to different countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, and Canada. Scholarships offered by different countries, including the aforementioned, as well as the European Union and Japan, make it more attractive for students to study abroad. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, some 75 Filipinos are studying abroad as scholars.
Many Filipinos go abroad to migrate. One of the main reasons for migration is employment. High salary and great benefits attract Filipino workers to migrate. Other Filipinos also bring their families along with them in their country of employment. There are also Filipino citizens who are married to foreigners, causing their migration abroad. For the senior migrants, they migrate abroad for retirement. They may have saved enough money from years of hard work and may want a new and more peaceful place to grow older.
Finally, some Filipinos go abroad to seek advanced medical treatment and surgeries not available in our country. Some cancer patients, for example, go to Guangzhou, China, for consultation and for more advanced and less invasive treatments. In a report by GMA Network News, the Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou is said to treat foreign patients, including Filipinos, and the number of these patients increase by 20 percent each year. Other popular foreign medical destinations include the Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India, and South Korea.
Whatever the specific reasons are, Filipinos go abroad for one main reason – to make their lives better.
If you are also planning to travel abroad, do not hesitate to make a comment below or contact us for assistance.
1. http://www.census.gov.ph/content/total-number-ofws-estimated-22-million-results-2012-survey-overseas-filipinos (removed from active link since it had downtimes)