What are some ways OFWs can do to cope with spending their Christmas abroad?
- Plot your rest days
- Celebate with the local community
- Go to a place you've never been before
- Volunteer to communities
- Look forward to a better future
Going home to their family, close friends, and loved ones is one of the activities OFWs look forward to. This is especially during the holidays because the Filipino culture often encgourages families to be together this time of the year.
Unfortunately, not everyone will have the chance to go home to the Philippines. Those who have overseas jobs sometimes would need to make a few sacrifices so they can provide for their families.
Despite the fact that they can't fly home to the Philippines, Filipinos will always find ways to celebrate Christmas whether they are alone or they are with their fellow kababayans working abroad. While it will not be quite the same as going home, this is your chance to do some of the things that you probably do not have much time to do when it is not the holidays. Here are a few examples of them:
1. Plot your rest daysWe Filipinos get used to Christmas as a public national holidays. But countries like China, United Arab Emirates, and Japan don't consider it as such. For them, it's just a regular working day.
In order to get through this, you can always make use of you day offs and/ or your leaves. Inform your employer weeks before so that they can get someone to replace you during the holidays. But if you rather work on these days, you can also do so. It's up to you, really.
2. Celebrate with the Local CommunityEach culture has their unique way of spending the holidays. You can take this time to learn a thing or two about spending Christmas abroad. For instance Filipinos in London would take a leisurely stroll around Trafalgar Square to see the giant Christmas tree. They would also sing-along to the choirs singing carols while grabbing a drink at a nearby pub.
In Hong Kong, Filipinos do a lot of partying. They often have several events happening almost daily so be sure to check them out. In Italy, you can celebrate Christmas by going to church to see the re-enactment of the Nativity or the birth of Jesus Christ. Afterwards, you can atend a mass and say your prayers.
3. Go to a Place You've Never Been BeforeIf you ask an OFW what they miss most about living in the Philippines, they would probably say that it's the country's warm climate, beautiful beaches, and the comforting taste of Filipino cuisine. You might not experience them this Christmas but you can definitely gain some new memories by going to places you've never been to before.
Many employers from Japan, Canada, and United States allow their employees to leave for a certain period of time to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. During the holidays, take some time off to see and appreciate the places, the people, and the local cuisines. Go ahead and get out there! Feel free to travel and even complete your bucket list. Who knows? Perhaps you can get to know more about the nation’s culture and hidden treasures.
4. Do Volunteer WorkThere is no greater feeling than helping out people who are in need.
Filipinos are known for their outstanding hospitality and being generous not only to their fellow countrymen, but also to others. You have endless opportunities to reach out to those who are in need by simply volunteering at a soup kitchen, at local orphanages, or at various charities. This Christmas, remember that it is better to give than to receive.
5. Look Forward to a Better FutureMost people get sad on the holidays thinking about not being there physically for their loved ones but always remember that this is just temporary. Even if it is a painful feeling of not being able to fly back home due to work duties, try to be grateful for the blessings that you have despite being away from your loved ones. It only shows how strong you are for them and that you're looking forward to better days when all of you will be together again - not just during the holidays, but for good!
Key TakeawayIt's normal for OFWs to feel homesick when they can't fly home to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones in the Philippines. Their overseas jobs could be keeping them or they could be saving for a better future.
Whatever your reason is for spending your Christmas abroad, know that there are a few things you could do that will help you cope with being away from home.