"They accused me of kicking them out, being selfish, and refusing to let them stay in my nice condominium. "
Dear Ms. M,
Since emigrating to the United States 5 years ago, my parents have depended on me to cover all their needs, and I also put my two brothers gladly through college. I also started investing in real estate and bought a condo about three years ago, and my parents and two unemployed brothers (both of whom are now college graduates) seem to want to rely on the money I send. After a year, I recently told them that I intend to have that condo rented out to augment my income since I have to pay its amortization for seven years. They can easily move back to our home in the province I have renovated, and where living costs are much lower, especially since they don't have work in Manila.
They accused me of kicking them out, being selfish, and refusing to let them stay in my nice condominium. I offered one more year to stay in the condominium before having it rented out next year when it's safe to travel to the Philippines.
Now they call me proud, ungrateful, and someone who feels so superior. The situation has been affecting me too much.
Emily B. Nurse based in Newark, New Jersey
It is the usual case of Filipino families who become financially dependent on their relatives abroad. It is a cultural problem, but whether you admit it or not, this is a classic case of enablers. Emily, unfortunately, you have allowed this to happen as many other OFWs. Now you have to set boundaries as this has made your family too dependent on you, to the point of not working ( two unemployed brothers). This practice has led many Filipinos to become irresponsible for their finances while waiting for their families' remittances. You have to make it very clear to them that they are not your only obligation. You have your bills and your own life. You have to schedule a family meeting, maybe through zoom, so all of you can see each other. Let them understand that as much as you can be generous, you have to set a limit. They should realize that you got your concerns with your life. Your support is only complementary to their expenses. They should not be entirely dependent on you. They have to learn that money is not easy abroad as they think.
Love and Light
Dear Ms. M is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, mental-health professional, or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. By submitting a letter, you agree to let The Spotlight Media Entertainment magazine use it—in part or in full—and we may edit it for length or clarity.