5 Reasons Why OFWs Live the One-Day-Millionaire Life (and Don’t Be One of Them!)

What is the best thing about working overseas? Is it the opportunity to go in a different country, which you only get to see in pictures? Is it the ability to travel? How about the chance of earning in dollars, which means bigger cashflow for your family every month?

Whatever it is, one thing is for sure: you want to make the most out of your stay abroad. The opportunity is already there and within your reach, so why not live in the moment, right? After all, when you get back in the Philippines, it will be back to the old life.

Still, this doesn’t mean you should spend most of your hard-earned money shopping and keeping up with the latest gadgets. Otherwise, you might end up having nothing in case of rainy days.

Why do many OFWs live the one-day millionaire life? Here are some of the reasons:

Social Pressure

With the popularity of social media these days, it is easy to see what others have that you don’t. You know the latest trends and whose friend has it already. If you don’t give in, you feel left out because you can’t relate to what they are talking about.

As a result, you felt the sudden need to belong, so you gave in to temptation – even if it means using a portion of your savings.

Show Off

Did you know that showing off is the enemy of simplicity, practicality, and frugality? Boasting what you have sends a certain impression to people that you are “rich” because you are capable of spending money on expensive, yet non-important things. Little do they know that it took you months and skipped a lot of meals to be able to afford the things you are showing off.

Keeping up with the Joneses

You will always have this friend or neighbor who can buy expensive things. Because you felt the need to impress people, including people you don’t really like or are jealous off, you also spend money on stuff you don’t really need.

For instance, you saw a colleague who went to Hong Kong and checked in at the Disneyland Hotel with his entire family. You suddenly felt that need to go on a vacation as well the next time you go back to the Philippines, so you have something to show off.

The problem with this is what if the time comes when you can no longer buy material things just to keep up with your friends or neighbors? You might end up getting buried in debt just to maintain the lifestyle you are aiming for.

Spoiling Children 

You don’t want your family to feel that you left them behind. Since you can’t be physically present in every milestone in their lives, you try to compensate it by showering them with gifts and giving them everything they want. This way, you can make up for the time lost – while compromising your savings.

Enticing Ads 

You pass by the mall on your way home when you saw “Buy One, Take One” on the rack. Or a free item when you purchase something worth this much. That’s a steal, right?

Well, not exactly. Businesses can be creative in coming up with gimmicks just to entice customers to buy from them. If you’re not “strong enough” to resist temptation, you’ll end up buying a lot of things you don’t really need and justify it with an excuse not worth it.

More Practical Business Ideas for OFWs for Extra Income

There are many ways to ensure that you and your family are financially secure. Aside from saving and buying things that are necessary, one of the things you can do is to put up your own business.

“Wala akong pang-capital,” you might say.  That’s fine. There are businesses you can try with little capital. In case you are willing to take a risk and there is extra cash, here are business ideas you can try for additional income:

Water Refilling Station

Who doesn’t drink water? Clean water is essential in every Filipino household, so if there is none in your area, then why not put up your own one?

Look for various suppliers for water refilling equipment and then compare prices. If you want to make it easier, consider franchising a water refilling station. Make sure to inspect how the purification process is done to ensure that the water is clean. One customer brought to the hospital for possible poisoning could negatively affect your business.

Required Capital: Starts at P80,000 to P500,000

Food Cart or Kiosk

Aside from water, everyone loves to eat. This is a good opportunity for you to capitalize on by offering food to people at an affordable price.

The good thing about food carts is that it is easy to operate and with minimal manpower. Place the food cart in areas where there is high foot traffic such as LRT station, market, grocery, mall, or even outside the school. You can even put up your own food cart and who knows, you could open up your own franchise to other people.

Required Capital: Starts at P20,000 to P500,000, depending on the franchise


Surprisingly, people are willing to pay for someone to clean their cars. Why not try it too?

The good thing about carwash is that you don’t need fancy equipment to make it work. All you need are people who will make sure that they will get the job done properly so that people keeps coming back for your service.

You can also sell car items such as cleaning materials, wax, or car soap. Check for these items in the country where you’re working and sell it in the Philippines.

Required Capital: Starts at P20,000


Do you have an unused property? Why not utilize that property and turn it into something that could generate income?

You might be spending a big chunk of your savings for the construction, say one- or two-storey building. Make sure to advertise the property during construction period so that people will know that there is a new commercial area in town that is available for leasing.

If you think that construction is still out of your budget, you can use spare room in your home and look for boarders. There is a security risk here since you are allowing people to enter your home, so make sure to scrutinize closely every possible boarder.

Required Capital: Minimum of P100,000 for construction of property

We understand that not all OFWs have sufficient capital to start their own business. This is why Balikbayad is here to help to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true.

Applying is easy. Simply fill out an online application form for pre-approval, submit the documents needed (don’t worry, the requirements are reasonable and easy to comply), wait for approval, and you can get your cash in no time.

Say Goodbye to OFW Life with the Help of These Tips to Attain Financial Stability

How many times have you heard that OFW life is not forever? It may sound like a broken record, but this one is true. This is why it is important to think long-term because what you have right now is only as good as the term of your contract.

Don’t worry. There is still a way to make the most out of your work overseas in order to attain financial stability.

Here’s what you can do:

1) Make saving a habit. 

They say it takes 21 days to establish a habit. Start allotting a small portion of your monthly salary exclusively for savings and you might be surprised with how much money you will have at the end of the month – but don’t stop with 21 days. The more you save, the better.

Before you splurge for your family or make any purchases, make sure you set aside a portion for savings as well. You’ll never know what will happen in the future, so it’s better to be prepared.

READ: The importance of having a savings account. 

2) Know the difference between needs and wants. 

Needs are necessary expenses or something you can’t live without such as water, electricity, and food. In other words, these items are non-negotiable. On the other hand, wants are something you can live without. Wants are not necessary expenses and something you can delay such as new clothes, shoes, or even vacation with the family.

Know the difference between what you REALLY need and items you can delay. Would you rather maintain an extravagant lifestyle even if the hole in your pocket is getting bigger or having a bank account that could last you for years?

3) Involve your family in your journey towards financial stability. 

Being financially stable should not be placed in the shoulder of just one person. In fact, it should be a collective effort, which involves every member of your family.

Therefore, train your spouse and children to save and prioritize only what’s needed. Don’t immediately give in to their material demands and instead, instill the value of saving. You’ll be happy to see how much you have every end of the month because everyone in the family is financially responsible.

READ: Money Management Techniques for OFW Spouse and Children 

4) Consider a sideline for extra income. 

How much you’re currently earning will never be enough. Your cost of living and family’s needs are constantly increasing, leaving you no choice but to reduce your contribution for savings.

At this point, you might want to consider getting a sideline for added income. Take advantage of your off days and look for jobs you can do for a few hours. It may not be a lot, but what you’re earning can be allocated exclusively for savings or any sudden expenses back home.

READ: Sidelines you can try for extra income

5) Invest your hard-earned money wisely. 

No, a car is not an investment. An expensive bag, gadgets, and even home appliances are not investment. You are throwing your money away because the value of these items don’t appreciate or increase over time.

By investment, this means a facility where your money can grow. It includes mutual funds, stocks, UITF, time deposit, and if budget permits, a property. Their values increase over time and in case you need to sell something to finance an urgent need, these items could yield higher return.

6) Start your own business. 

Not all businesses are meant to succeed. Still, this doesn’t mean it is a risk not worth taking. Starting your own business, even if it’s a small one, can be a good way to secure your family’s future financially. With the right business practices and techniques, you can make your business bigger in no time.

Speaking of expansion, Balikbayad is here to help We offer loans to OFWs like you when it comes to cashflow needs at an affordable rate. Submit your application now and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

How to Start an Online Business for Extra Income

At this point and with the situations affecting several countries overseas, you figured that OFW life is not forever. In fact, you need to start looking for alternatives to make sure that you have enough to help you last through the rainy days. At the same time, you want to keep that promise of providing a better life and brighter future for your family.

What do you do next?

There are many ways to help you grow your money and achieve financial stability. One of them is by opening your own business. In case renting a space is too much for you, you and your family can try online first to “test the waters.”

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start your online business:

Step One: Identify your business idea. 

Every business starts with an idea and every idea is rooted at a particular inspiration.

Before you do anything, it is important to establish what you want to sell. It could be any products – clothes, shoes, food, homemade crafts, the list is endless.  If you still cant figure out where to start, you can try asking yourself these questions:

  • Can I fill the gap that a specific market needs? OR
  • What is something I am passionate about? OR
  • What products are not available in the Philippines which I can get in the country where I am currently based?

These questions could help you narrow your choices and could even set you apart from the thousands of sellers in the digital world since you penetrated a specific market only.

Step Two: Establish your source. 

Now that you know your product, it’s time to identify and establish where to source them.

Whether you decided to go for your passion or re-sell items, it is imperative that you scout suppliers that not only offers products with affordable prices but also someone who is easy to talk to and transact with.

Take note that your source is a trade secret, so don’t divulge any information.

Step Three: Choose your name wisely. 

This can be tricky. Choosing a business name, even if it’s online, requires creativity because you need something catchy and at the same time, easy to remember. If your name can be recalled easily, it will also be easy for your customers to recommend you to their friends and friends of friends, which could translate to sales.

There are various ways to choose a name for your online shop. Just make sure the name is related to the product you are selling.

If time and creativity permits, consider making a logo or profile picture for your online business. This will come in handy once your business starts to grow.

Step Four: Decide on a platform. 

There are many venues where you can sell your products online. For starters, you can try free online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and OLX. These websites can be a good platform to showcase your products and make people aware that you are in the market. Hashtags can help a lot, so make sure you use the appropriate ones for your products.

E-commerce sites like Etsy, eBay, Lazada, and Zalora are also excellent platforms because you are able to introduce your product to a wider audience. Also, you don’t have to put too much effort on website and logistics since they’ll do it for you. On the other hand, be prepared to pay for fees since these sites get a certain percentage for every sale you make.

If budget permits, consider putting up your own website through e-commerce hosting sites like Shopify and Squarespace. You get to save on percentage fees, but you have to consider fees for domain name registration, web hosting fees, and design costs.

Step Five: Take (really good) pictures and post. 

This is essential. Online business is all about visual presentation, so make sure you take good pictures to entice people to buy your products. There’s no need to invest in an expensive camera since your smartphone can manage, especially when coupled with good lighting.

Step Six: Advertise. 

Now that you posted your products, it’s time to advertise. There are many ways to do this. You can start with asking family, friends, and work colleagues to share your page in their respective walls. Hashtags is another way to advertise your new venture. If budget permits, you can run an online campaign in Facebook or Instagram to reach more customers.

Step Seven: Legitimize your business. 

More importantly, don’t forget to legitimize your shop. This means you need to register your business in DTI (for single proprietorship) or SEC (for corporations). Registering your business is important, especially if you plan to grow your business by borrowing money through OWWA Loan or other financial entities.

Are you ready to start your online business? If you need additional funds, Balikbayad is here to help. Send your application now and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

5 Practical Ways to Get Funds for Your Business

One of the many ways to help you attain financial stability or financial freedom is by starting your own business. It doesn’t matter how big or small. A business is still a business that gives extra cash during rainy days and teaches your family about money and responsibility while you are away.

It doesn’t end there. You need funds, additional funds or working capital, to make your business grow. Initially, you would go for banks since these are still the top choice. At the same, banks offer loan facilities and give special rates or treatment if the borrower is an Overseas Filipino Worker. Unfortunately, applying is not easy and you need to go through a process and prove your credit-worthiness before you get approved. What are your other options to make sure you get funds for your business?

Here’s what:

1) Liquidate (some) of your assets. 

It can be an old gadget like mobile phone or computers (the parts are still worth something), portfolio investments such as time deposit or stocks, few pieces of jewelry, or even some of the things that may no longer be valuable to but still worth something that you can sell online. Liquidating some of the assets you have, regardless of the amount, can help bring funds to your business. Plus, you get to clear some space in your house too.

Go ahead and schedule that garage sale. Just make sure you leave items that really matters to you.

2) Reduce unnecessary expenses. 

Your family doesn’t need a balikbayan box full of goodies every month. The money you use to buy them material things can be helpful when used as working capital in your business.

Make sure to check your budget and see what expenses you can minimize or eliminate. Adjust lifestyle habits as well since it could help you save more. This way, you get to use your hard-earned money for more valuable things. It’s a sacrifice worth taking.

3) Consider the government’s micro lending program. 

OWWA Loan can be helpful if you need working capital, but the requirements can be too much to handle. Aside from OWWA Loan, you can maximize the micro lending programs offered by various government agencies such as SSS or GSIS Family Bank. The government encourages Filipinos, especially those who work abroad, to go back, stay in the Philippines for good, and consider putting up a business, so take advantage of that.

4) Try online cash loans. 

It could range from P1,000 to as much as P50,000. Online cash loans are popular these days because of the ease and convenience they offer to borrowers who are in need of cash – fast. Application happens online and there is no collateral involved as well, which makes loan processing easier and faster.

Just make sure you choose online cash loan provider wisely. Go for a company with proven track record and excellent customer reviews such as Loan Ranger.

5) Borrow from private financial companies. 

Private lending companies offer loan facilities to make every OFW’s entrepreneurial dreams come true. Unlike banks, private lenders such as Balikbayad make borrowing easier by relaxing the loan requirements and faster loan processing. You can even apply and submit documents online first, thereby saving you time.

There are several options to help you raise money for your business. As long as you choose a legitimate lender and employ legitimate means, you will achieve the amount you need in no time.

5 Simple Ways to Boost Your Online Business Venture

Did you know that approximately 26 million Filipinos used the e-commerce platform in buying goods? This means hundreds of thousands of Filipinos are glued to their laptops or mobile phones and doing some online shopping. You decided to take advantage of this and entered the world of e-commerce for added income.

You have a business name, you chose a platform, and you know what to sell. You also asked your family, relatives, friends, and friends of friends to share your online store and gain followers. The next challenge now is to turn those views into sales.

Here’s what you can do:

Start now.

There’s no better way to start your online business but now. Use your downtime to take good photos of your products, keep your page updated, and interact with your potential customers as much as you can. Don’t forget to introduce yourself, the type of product or service you are offering, and keep everything as detailed as possible, especially your contact details.

It’s now or never.

Post regularly.

This is a must in the world of online business. People need to see not just what you are selling but also the list of items that are still available to help them decide what to get.

The good thing about online business is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. Take advantage of your off days or breaktime to attend to your online store.

Tip: Choose one platform only, say Facebook OR Instagram. This way, it will be easier for you to manage the postings instead of having too many accounts. 

Widen your target audience. 

One of the things you need to establish is your target audience. You can do this by identifying a particular demographic such as single women between 20 and 35 years old, housewives, or even men aged 20 to 40 years old. This will make it easier to sell your products since you have a target customer in mind who will most likely buy what you are selling.

Still, don’t limit your audience. This is why posting content regularly is essential since someone, who is not part of your target audience, might see your online store and share what you can offer to someone who you want to target. That may convert into sales.

Share relevant posts and information that are related to your product or service. 

There are tons of articles posted online. If you find something that is related to what you offer, go ahead and share it. There is a possibility that potential customers accidentally landed to your page, so s/he decided to browse it. Who knows, that person may find something s/he likes. This may turn into sales.

Offer promotions. 

It could be in the form of discounts, buy one take one, first 10 customers, after-purchase discount, exclusive offer for repeat customers, and the list goes on. Boosting your online business requires creativity, so make sure you think outside the box and offer something that will entice people to buy. Just make sure to put a time limit on your promotion and you’ll still earn profit from it.

Starting an online business is one of the many ways to help you earn extra income. If this didn’t work, then that’s fine. The good thing is you tried and use your learnings and experiences the next time you try another business.

All About Utang: Where You Can Borrow Money in the Philippines

Admit it. At one point in your life, you borrow money from your sister, friend, co-worker, and even submitted a loan application in the bank. Despite the monthly income and savings you have, the money is not enough to finance a particular need. Don’t feel bad because even businessmen and big companies borrow money for additional working capital. In fact, utang has been a part of Filipino culture to help us get through tough financial situations.

Where can you borrow? Consequently, what are the perks and downside of borrowing from different entities?

Read on to find out.

Family or Closest Friends

These are the people you always turn to in times of need, whether it’s financial or otherwise. More than that, they are willing to help you and lend you money – as long as you don’t abuse it.

The good thing about borrowing from family or any of your closest friends or colleagues at work is that there is no deadline. You can “pay when able” as long as you pay. You don’t have to worry about interest rate since you are only bound to pay the amount you borrowed.

The downside is that there will always be a risk in your relationship, especially if you can’t pay on time. The next time you are in need, you might have a hard time borrowing from them since you don’t live up to your promise.

Private Individuals 

Aside from your friends and family, other private individuals such as independent lenders can lend you money in times of need. Unlike your friend or anyone in the family, these individuals may impose an interest, depending on what you agreed on, which can either be a fixed interest rate or  incremental.

The downside of borrowing from private individuals who are not licensed lenders is the interest rate. Surely, you want to keep the rate as low as possible. On the other hand, the private lender wants a higher rate to earn profit from the transaction.

Paluwagan System 

This is common in the workplace. The idea of paluwagan is that a group of people, regardless of how many, will collect a certain amount from each other and will be placed in a common fund. Then, you will decide among yourselves the lineup on who gets the fund first, second, and so forth. Once the collected fund goes to the first in line, new funds will be collected again until everyone gets their share.

This is good depending on the number of participants, agreed contribution, and willingness to continuously give so that everyone can get their share. Nonetheless, you might have a hard time sustaining the paluwagan system.

5-6 Lending / Loan Sharks

Desperate times call for desperate measures. This is the reason why despite the skyrocketing interest rate, some people still borrow from loan sharks out of urgent need and necessity.

You can borrow from loan sharks IF you can pay immediately (which means the next day). Otherwise, stay away from them since you’ll end up swimming in debt.


If you are looking for safety and legitimacy in the world of borrowing, then banks won’t let you down. Banks can offer various loan products depending on your specific need, which could come with additional benefits.

Banks mean well. Still, banks want assurance that they will be paid no matter what happens, which is why they ask tons of documents to prove that you are worthy of credit. Loan processing take some time too, usually a week or more. This is not ideal if you are in a hurry and you need money instantly.

Private Financial Companies

These are companies with assets not as big as banks but are legitimate and recognized by the BSP to function as lenders. Similar to banks, they also offer loan products that cater to a specific need, although it may not be as extensive as what banks can offer.

The good thing about private financial companies is that the requirements are more flexible. Some companies even have online application facility where borrowers can apply and submit required documents, thereby making borrowing easier and more convenient. Loan processing and cash disbursement are faster too, which usually takes one day to less than a week.

Balikbayad is among the trusted and legitimate financial companies that can help you address your financial needs. Send your application now and we will get to you as soon as we can. 

OFW Loan: Qualifications, Requirements, and When Is the Right Time to Get One

Borrowing money is not easy, but somehow, lenders are making it more convenient for Overseas Filipino Workers. This explains why many lenders, both big banks and private financial companies, offer facilities and products specifically for OFWs.

Why do OFWs borrow money?

It could be for the following legitimate and acceptable reasons:

  • Buy or invest in real estate property
  • Buy a vehicle, regardless if it is brand-new or previously-owned
  • Family emergency such as medical emergencies, payment of tuition fee, unexpected increase in prices of utilities

Some OFW families borrow money to afford a vacation, but this is not highly recommended. It is still better to save up for it instead of applying for a loan to accommodate a not-immediate need.

Qualifications for OFW Loan

Lenders have different requirements in accepting applicants, but below are among the most common qualifications every lender is looking for:

  • Must be an overseas Filipino worker with existing and valid employment contract. You can either be agency-hired or direct-hired.
  • Borrower must be between 21 to 59 years old at the time of the loan maturity. This is a standard requirement imposed by lenders since the said age group is “mature” and “responsible” enough to handle a loan. In case you are in your 60s by the time the loan has matured, co-maker or attorney-in-fact (assigned through Special Power of Attorney) is required.
  • There must be a sufficient and consistent salary every month. This is necessary because lenders want to make sure that the loan and monthly amortization will be paid on time.
  • Personal appearance since lenders require certain documents to be signed by the OFW-borrower. Nonetheless, there are lenders who allow OFWs to borrow money even if s/he is still overseas. In case you can no longer wait for the release of loan proceeds, SPA is also needed.
  • Co-borrower who is of legal age and in good credit standing. Applying with a co-borrower can also increase your chances of approval since lender is assured that someone will be obligated to pay the loan in case of default.

Requirements to be Submitted

Similar to qualifications, lenders have their own set of required documents needed for submission. This includes:

  • Philippine passport. If seaman, OFW-borrower must also submit Seaman’s Book.
  • Overseas Employment Contract from the POEA
  • At least two valid and government-issued IDs
  • Billing statement as proof of residence in the Philippines
  • Any document that will prove monthly income such as payslip
  • In case business is already existing, OFW-borrower must submit at least three years audited and interim financial statements and Income Tax Return
  • Collateral or security documents in case of collateral loan. This includes TCT or CCT of the property, OR/CR of a vehicle, receivables, and Lease Contract among others.
  • Special Power of Attorney authorizing someone to act on behalf of the OFW-borrower in case the latter cannot be physically present during the processing of loan application

It is important that you check the requirements of your lender and make sure to submit all documents to avoid delay in the processing of loan application.

Balikbayad makes borrowing easier and more convenient for you. Submit your loan application now and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible so you can start using the funds according to your needs. 

Get Approval in Your OWWA Loan with the Help of These Tips

We understand your need and the demands of everyday living. This is why aside from earning in dollars (or any other currency), you still want to put up your own business, regardless of how small it is, to contribute to the growing needs of your family.

This is why OWWA Loan is here to help. It is designed to aid Overseas Filipino Workers in their entrepreneurial dreams by allowing you to borrow as much as P2 million. At the same time, this facility encourages you to stay in the country for good through a sustaining and profitable business.

Here’s the thing: it’s not easy applying for an OWWA Loan. OWWA wants to make sure that they will extending credit to the most deserving workers where the money will be used for a legitimate purpose. More importantly. OWWA wants OFWs who are not only willing but also capable of paying the loan.

Here’s what you need to do to boost your chances of approval:

Verify your OWWA and OFW Status

One of the requirements for OWWA Loan is that the OFW-borrower must be an active OWWA member, as shown through your proof of contribution.

In case you are still working abroad, you can still get your membership certification from OWWA through the Welfare Officer in the Philippine Embassy in the country where you are working. Don’t forget to get your membership certification in OWWA Office once you are back in the Philippines.

Complete the documentary requirements

Once you verified your status as an OFW, it is time to complete documentary requirements needed by OWWA and Land Bank (partner bank) to determine your credit-worthiness.

Below are some of the requirements needed:

  • Certificate of Attendance proving that you completed the Enterprise Development Training (EDT). Read more about EDT here.
  • DTI Business Registration Certificate (if sole proprietorship) or SEC Registration (if corporation)
  • Two (2) valid government-issued IDs
  • Biodata
  • A formal business plan or contract growing, service contract, feasibility study, or purchase order.
  • Business permit
  • Income tax return (ITR) for the last three years
  • Financial statements submitted to the BIR for the last three years
  • Latest interim financial statement
  • Special Power of Attorney (SPA) authorizing your spouse or any immediate family member to transact on your behalf in case you have to go back to the country where you’re working.

Don’t forget your collateral

This is required. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, OWWA and Land Bank want any form of assurance to make sure that they will still be paid in case of default.

Ideally, collateral is any piece of land under your name, the borrower. In case you don’t have a property under your name, you can submit the following as collateral:

  • OR/CR of a vehicle under your name
  • Proof of receivables
  • Lease rental contract where your business is situated
  • Contract agreements such as Deed of Assignment of goods or Purchase Order
  • Apply with a co-borrower with good credit standing

Few more thing to remember

There is a higher chance of approval if you already have a ready market for your product or service. If the business you plan to put up has a projected monthly income of P10,000, then much better. EDT is also crucial, so make sure you call the OWWA Regional Office near you and ask for the schedule for the training.

OWWA Loan may be strict, that’s true. In case you want more relaxed application to help you grow your business, Balikbayad is here to help. Send your loan application now and we’ll help you grow your business – at the most affordable rate.

Everything You Need to Know about How to Become a Seaman

The average salary for seaman vary on the position, employer, and salary guidelines set by the Maritime Board , but one thing is for sure: you can earn minimum of $1,000 or at least P20,000 every month. This is the reason why many Filipinos are aspiring to become a seaman because aside from the salary, you get to travel the world as part of your job.

Riding the ship is not as easy as it seems. There are requirements you need to fulfill, which includes training and submission of certain documents. If you are planning to become a seaman, here’s what you need to do to be able to fulfill that dream:

1) Take the Basic Seaman Training (BST) Course

This is the first thing you need to do if you want to become a seaman. The BST course is a seven-day training course that includes the following:

  • Personal Survival Training
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
  • First Aid
  • Fire fighting and fire prevention

Make sure to get a certification of completion because BST is used and recognized worldwide to allow aspiring seamen to work on boats or ships. Once you have a certification, you can now start your maritime career.

You can enroll in training centers and schools recognized and accredited by Maritime Training Council of the Philippines, OWWA, and TESDA.

The training course also costs P4,500 or higher, depending on the training center you are applying for.

2) Apply for the Seaman’s requirements.

This includes the following:

  • BST Certificate, which you will get once you completed the training.
  • Seaman’s Book, or a document that serves as your passport in the maritime industry. You can apply for a Seaman’s Book through the MARINA website.
  • Passport, which can get from the DFA.
  • Transit visa, although your employer will assist you in getting one as soon as you are hired.

3) Apply for a job in manning and shipping agencies. 

When applying for a job, make sure to check the POEA website for a list of legitimate and accredited agencies to avoid falling for scam. This may take some time, so be patient.

4) Legitimize your status as seaman. 

Once hired, don’t forget to register at POEA to legitimize your status as an official and registered Filipino seaman. You will also be issued a Seafarer’s Registration Certificate (SRC) as soon as your status is legitimized.

OWWA is another agency you need to check and apply for. OWWA offers various benefits to its registered members, which could be beneficial for you, especially when you want to retire from being an OFW.

5) Constantly look for learning opportunities. 

Don’t settle with riding a ship and being able to send remittance to your family back home. If time permits, make sure to look for learning opportunities, which you can use to boost your credentials as a seaman. There are many maritime programs you can apply for to boost your knowledge.

If you are an active OWWA member, which means you pay your dues regularly, you can apply for the Seafarer’s Upgrading Program or SUP for additional learning.