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Should I migrate and leave the Philippines? 5 things to consider before DECIDING to move abroad and leave the Philippines.

I moved to Canada and left the Philippines five years ago this year, and I thought of making a list of five things Filipinos should think about before deciding to move or work abroad.


1. Why are you leaving the Philippines?

This is the most critical question. What's your reason for leaving? Are you currently mad at the government? Are you disappointed with the traffic? Do you want a better life for your family? Why are you even thinking about leaving?

Answering this question is essential, and your reason needs to be so strong and powerful that when things get tough abroad, it will be a source of strength.

For example, your reason for leaving is you're disappointed with the government - WHAT IF the new country you moved in to has the same problems, are you going to leave again?

My answer to this question: I want to be with my family. My parents and siblings moved to Canada, and I got left behind because I'm already working and supporting myself (i.e., I'm no longer dependent on my parents). When things got tough, and I went through a phase of depression, thinking about my siblings and parents gave me strength. How I won't be missing birthdays, graduations, and Christmas celebrations with the family anymore.

Your answer: Now, take time and think about why you're considering leaving. Make sure you're calm as you reflect on making this decision.

2. Is it a permanent or temporary move?

Based on your answer to question one, you can move permanently or temporarily.

Permanently means migrating - packing your whole into luggage (in my case, I fit all 25 years of my life in 3 bags). Meanwhile, temporarily means being a worker abroad, but coming back to the Philippines after x number of years or months.

How to know what the right move is for you? Go back to your why.

If your reason for wanting to leave is because you want to send your child to the best school in the Philippines (and we know that costs money), you maybe able to work as an OFW and send money for your child's schooling.

My answer to this question: My family moved to Canada, so it's a no-brainer that I'll move here permanently too. Another reason for my decision is access to quality healthcare. Don't get me wrong, I think The Philippines has some of the best doctors in the world, BUT the fact that we have public and private hospitals already feels wrong to me. I had a minor eye operation in 2012, and I had zero savings as a naive 22 years old. My parents paid for it. From that point on, I thought to myself that I should be saving money for emergencies and hospital bills. At the same time, I also like to travel, so it frustrated me that I had to choose between saving for hospitalization and things I want. In Canada, at a minimum, I don't have to worry about it. The system is not perfect, but I feel secure.

Your answer: Go back to your response to number one and think whether a permanent or temporary move is right for you.

3. Where are you going?

Where are you going to work temporarily as an OFW? Or if you have decided to move permanently, which country? The answer to this question goes back to your answer to 1 and 2. You may also want to research based on which country addresses your WHY in the first place.

4. Can you bring your family?

If you're moving permanently, are you going to bring your family with you? How are you going to do it? If you're working abroad temporarily, are you able to handle being separated from them for x number of months or years to fulfill your WHY?

Another part of this, can you convince them to move? You're leaving the familiar and comfortable life you have in the Philippines, would everyone agree?

I remember during my medical before I got my Permanent Residence - a family (mom and three siblings) were in line with me. They're also going to Canada. They kinda remind me of my mom and siblings - same birth order and gender too. Anyway, the eldest daughter is about to start college in The Philippines, and she was telling me how she's going to miss her friends. She would rather stay. I told her my sister is the same thing, but right now, she's having fun in Canada. She's working part-time while adjusting. She's now able to earn money (something she didn't and couldn't do while she's in the Philippines). She can afford things she likes and buys stuff for my parents as well.

5. Can you afford it?

I'm a lucky duck that my parents paid for my application to ensure that I go to Canada. They also supported me during the months I was unemployed and underemployed. However, not everyone is as lucky. The big question is, can you afford all the fees for applying to work or move abroad. Are you going to loan it? Would it be worth it? After the charges, there's flight cost, renting a house or apartment, and adjusting to life in a new place. Think and plan this part as you make the decision.

Closing Thought

I hope these five questions help you in DECIDING if moving abroad and leaving the Philippines is the right move for you. I would be happy to answer questions you may have about life in Canada in the comments below.

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