The Pandemic Viewed Through the Eyes of Overseas Filipino Workers in the Emirates A Phenomenological Study

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Henry II Lemana
Ayman P. Calbe
Katrina Cassandra S. Engracia
Rolland Fillippe E. Francisco
Daniel Austin M. Ignacio
Carmela Rei Van E. Mojica
Ruth D. Ortiz
Jerard Terence R. Salas


The majority of the global population has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, a global health emergency. In particular, migrant workers were discovered to be one of the most vulnerable groups among the general population during lockdowns. Hence, the impact of the pandemic on their lives has been apparent. This study was pursued with the purpose to describe the pandemic experiences of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) living and working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In-depth interviews with seven participants revealed that the pandemic was an avenue for insight construction and reevaluation for them in which their values of faith, gratitude, commitment, and responsibility were accentuated. Moreover, these OFWs considered the pandemic a situation where their emotions and aspirations as migrant workers were tested, which led them to seek means and strategies to keep thriving in the midst of the crisis, facing risks to continue working during the pandemic for the sake of their families who depended on them. This experience thus calls for policy-makers to implement measures in response to migrant workers’ needs to ensure their safety, well-being, and livelihoods in foreign lands, especially when a crisis like a pandemic arises.


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