Lived Experiences of University Students in the Philippines with Overseas Contract Worker Parents

  • Apolonio I. Machica, Jr. Eastern Samar State University
  • Joy F. Montallana College of Information Communication Technology


Children cherish the personal time and attention that their parents give them. However, personal time and attention cannot be available to children with parents who are overseas contract workers. Anchored on family systems theory, attachment theory, and structural family theory, this phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of children of overseas contract workers. There were 9 college student-participants studying in a university in Eastern Samar, Philippines who were interviewed face-to-face. Data extracted from personal interviews were recorded electronically with participant’s permission, transcribed verbatim, triangulated with available information, and analyzed thematically in conjunction with the research questions of the study. The experiences of overseas contract workers’ children included financial security, feelings of desertion and isolation, affected academic performance, unhappiness, and worry. The use of social media played a significant role in sustaining family relationship between the parent-migrants and the children left behind.