Pinoy Student Tries Being ‘Kargador’, Shares Hardships of OFW Life

A lot of people think that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are quite lucky to have found jobs with high salaries and that they enjoy great vacations in the new places they could easily visit as they work abroad.

When they talk about how difficult the life of an OFW can be, many don’t really believe them at all. Some might even say these OFWs are just bragging or perhaps being overly dramatic.

But a Pinoy engineer currently studying in Taiwan tried out being a stock keeper and ‘kargador’. He only did that for 5 hours, yet the experience had such a big impact in his life that he shared it on Facebook where it quickly went viral.

Photo credit: Facebook / Jan Marvin Frias

Jan Marvin Frias is in Hsinchu, Taiwan to study. He shared on Facebook that he actually has a scholarship from the university that covers not just his tuition fees but also provides him enough money for food, personal things, and even some extra cash for recreation.

Yet he tried out the part-time job for 5 hours, just to experience what it was like to be an OFW.

As the son of former OFWs, he wanted to know exactly how it feels to be one. He was excited to learn that he would be paid 700 TWD (Php1,200) for the 5 hours he would be working at the shop. Big pay, right?

But the big pay wasn’t as easy to get as he thought, because he had to spend every single second in his 5-hour job working so hard that he almost ready to give up just a couple of hours into the shift.

Buhat dito, buhat doon. May nakasalamuha pa akong mga Indonesian at iba pang lahi. Iba iba ng ugali at kultura. Pero dapat dalhin mo sarili mo. Bukod sa bigat ng trabaho, may language barrier pa. Pag sinabing akyat ng 6th flr, akyat. Pag sinabing buhat, buhat. Bawal maarte. Bawal magreklamo.

Nandito lahat para magtrabaho. Kailangan mabilis. Bawat segundong binabayaran ka, paghihirapan mo. Bukod pa yan sa nami-miss mo pamilya mo ha. Pag nagkasakit ka, iba pang usapan yun. Ang hirap pala talaga. Ngayon naiintindihan ko na.

Frias realized that he had to work hard for every single second of that 5-hour job, even though it was hard, heavy work!

Sa loob loob ko, ang hirap potek, ang tagal ng 5pm. Pero pag iisipin kong mabuti, ako limang oras lang? Pero sila araw araw, oras oras ganito ang trabaho? Lalo akong humanga sa katatagan na meron sila. Sa isip isip ko, sana nakikita ng mga pamilya nila yung nakikita ko ngayon. Di ako emosyonal na tao, pero nung nasaksihan ko to, ang lit, durog puso e.

He recalled how he enjoyed the life his OFW parents was able to give him some 15 years ago. He loved the pasalubong and the balikbayan boxes filled with chocolates, gadgets, new toys, clothes, and other stuff that people come to expect from OFWs.

But now that he tried being an OFW, even at just 5 hours, he realized the hardships and sacrifices OFWs had to do just to give their families a better life and to give pasalubongs and other stuff to everyone when they go home for a short vacation.

Photo credit: Facebook / Jan Marvin Frias

Frias also noted that most OFW only share photos of them having fun, smiling photos taken with coworkers and friends, yet those smiles readily hide the difficulties they are experiencing.

Pero teka.. ginhawa? sa picture, oo nakangiti kaming lahat. 5pm nung kinunan yang litratong yan. Laylay na dila ko nian, pero mukhang masaya pa rin ano? Ganon naman e, kayang itago sa ngiti yung hirap. Kaya pag nakita niyong may magagandang pics, nagffacebook live ang kapamilya, di ibig sabihin non masaya, di ibig sabihin non walang hirap.

Kudos to all OFWs out there!