Latest Stories

Emily’s Post

Amazed at illicit relationships among OFWs


Dear Emily,

I’ve been working here in Saudi Arabia, and it’s amazing to see some of our married kabayans engage in illicit relationships while they still have spouses there in the Philippines.   We call them TFCs, or “the false couples.”   They even show bogus marriage certificates to the religious police,  live in apartments reserved for families,  and have the gall to attend church functions as couples.   If you didn’t know these people, they can, in fact, pass as married.

I once asked a friend of mine point blank what happens when he goes back home for vacations.   He said it’s like having controlled amnesia, and simply forgetting his illicit relationship abroad.   Once home, they go back to their families, act like the loving husband or wife,  dote on the achievements of their children,  and go to church like what a devout parent and spouse does.    When they return from their vacations, they go back to the same illicit relationships like nothing has happened.

What is the dynamics for this sort of relationships?


Who knows what goes on in the minds of these people?  Loneliness?  Giddiness at their newfound freedom?  Revenge at how fate has dealt them a bad deck of cards?  Anger at not finding the promised milk and honey in the streets of the dreamt-up  paradise?  Self-pity and despair at indebtedness despite nonstop hard work?   It’s almost like provoking fate with the arrogance of,  “So what if I am blatantly having an affair? So, what now!?”   Imagine being in a strange country with almost no close friends at arm’s length to tug at their moral consciousness. So,  what’s a lonely person to do?

Isn’t it ironic, if not pathetic, that the reason these OFWs go abroad is to earn money to improve the lives of their children by providing them the kind of education they never had?  Or to build that dream house to grow old in? Yet, they have shortsighted  and flash-in-the-pan relationships that destroy the very essence of those dreams.  And these rootless,  permissive  scenarios are happening like it’s nobody’s business.

Similarly, some of those husbands and wives left at home suddenly find themselves flush with money,  and give the same excuse—loneliness—to try some excitement of their own.  Many of those I’ve flown with who are coming home for vacation often lament that instead of looking forward to a warm and pleasant homecoming,  they dread coming back to a broken family, where their spouses  have left them for younger mates.

It shows how people react when left to their own devices.

You, as a man of conscience, cringe at  what you see, while those you’re seeing have comfortably created the “solution” to their perceived “problems.”

Different strokes for different folks?

E-mail emarcelo@inquirer.com.ph or emarcelo629@gmail.com, subject: Lifestyle.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Illicit Relationships , Lifestyle , OFWs

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Businesswoman allegedly killed by husband, brother-in-law
  • Roxas suspended from golf club for outburst over P5,000 guest fee
  • SC reschedules oath-taking of new lawyers
  • Ex-COA chief seeks bail after arrest for plunder
  • Aquino expects more from new Air Force chief ‘since I know him so well’
  • Sports

  • Guiao fined P100,000 for ‘mongoloid’ comment vs Meralco forward
  • Hawks and Grizzlies revel in home wins
  • Floyd: Manny’s power gone
  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Plane lands at Bali airport in suspected hijacking—Indonesia air force
  • Obama lands in Seoul as N. Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Militant protests vs Obama, US set
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology