OFW: The Game of Life #OFW1
A weak young man...A first true love...A beautiful-rich woman obsessed with love...A kind-loving wife...A circle of friends...Chasing their dreams abroad as OFWs...All brought together with their destinies to love aflame with conflicts, lies, lusts, ambitions, hatred, revenge and the struggles for life in a faraway place.
Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW): The Game of Life is a story of young man from a small island of Negros Occidental, the Philippines, who explored his life in the city and found his true love. He never thought that life in Manila (The City of Hopes) is a rugged terrain of heartaches, lies, hatred and revenge. He found his true-self when destiny engulfed him working in a faraway place called Dubai (The City of Dreams) as an OFW.
Lied and played his game so well to reach his dreams; used his charms to build corporations and became a Billionaire!
Marco Fernando’s new status in life was confronted by a series of discoveries he never imagined. Poverty consumed him to continue his journey until a rich woman Danielle Gustilo shed light playing the game he mastered; she never thought that Marco became her enemy for life.
Marco decided to play the dirty game of love without the knowledge of his wife - Ayah Isabel Gonzales - while reaching his dreams abroad and a lifetime journey in molding his future. He longed for happy-family-life through his money, but boredom surrounds him that nearly broke his family.
WARNING! This book contains scenes of a sexual in nature, violence, drugs, but it’s a vital part of the story. It is not intended for the easily offended individuals. You have been warned, so if you read on, it’s with your own accord, knowledge and motivation without the author’s liabilities.
The names, characters, places and events in this book are products of the writer's imagination through his experiences or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any similarities to real persons; living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
All Rights Reserved@Fernando Lachica 2014
Chapter 1: The Dreamer
It all started because of Marc.
Marc is Marco Fernando, twenty two years old, Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), married, a dreamer.
The story of the dreamer began in the...Thirtieth day of December 1985, Monday, Manila International Airport, Departure Lounge, Philippines: “Calling all passengers bound to Dubai, you have twenty minutes left to board the plane, Thank you!” The announcement nailed in my ears with excitement, hope and fear.
I recalled that day when I left my country, the Philippines, to work in Dubai City, United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. It was such a ravishing feeling, thinking that I could reach my dreams and fulfill my pledge to a woman who sacrificed for me. I was looking forward for my visions to have meaning, in which, I could balance things into proper perspective. And, aiming for a stable job and income, made me anticipate all the possibilities in this world of becoming happy with my life and family. I was determined to succeed and saving money for whatever I can afford to keep in my possession. Living alone with the dream inside my heart propelled my existence to put forward over for twenty years, working as an Overseas Filipino Worker or OFW for short.
It was in the...
Year 1976 – 1980, Bacolod City, in the island of Negros Occidental, Philippines:
I met Ayah Isabel Gonzales in college of Chemistry Department at San Agustin College, Bacolod City, in the province of Negros Occidental. Bacolod City is the capital city of Negros Occidental, one of the island of the Philippine archipelago struggling for development at that time, where students from different towns used to study their college degrees and their destinies. Different people with different characters met; a place for newcomers to discover what this place meant for their lives.
Ayah and I were on the same academic course, that each day, we had time to discover ourselves together. Had taken this Chemistry course just pleasing my father. I was not interested in taking this course, in fact, I hated Chemistry subjects. It did not give me an interesting value with my whole being. It was natural for me to be there inside the classroom, only for the sake of going to school and finished my course. I was too young to comprehend things into proper perspectives. I fall in love with Ayah Isabel, which triggered my inner feeling and thoughts to continue studying. She was the one driving my motivational force to finish my course. Ayah propelled my existence for the life I was treading on and my future. She was a woman with simple outlook in life, but with courage to face the world with dignity. She was brave to confront things that had substance on her life. Ayah’s personality made me as a weakling in terms of finding a better life for myself and for her. A strength that I cannot find on my personality, almost, with our lives in Bacolod City, I relied upon her.
My ambitions in life and loving Ayah formed a doubt inside of me. In which, I have undecided feeling which way to move forward; dug deeper with my love for her or find my own course after graduation.
Financial incapability entangled my parents and ensuing to extend my college education faltered. I gathered enough courage to think for the solution that could give me a positive action with my present situation. Ayah helped me with every undertaking I made, even aiding with my day-to-day living. She lied to her parents the whereabouts of the money she was always asking for her schooling. To augment with my insubstantial entity, we lived together in the same roof without the sanctity of marriage. Our parents did not have knowledge of what was going on with our lives on this stead. We continued schooling with this kind of set up. We wanted to be together always.
I had to find a job to alleviate our situation, and could help with my studies, but in vain. Ayah Isabel can withstand the poverty, but I cannot. I wanted life that's comfortable enough for me, my ambitions and love.
I used to sit in the public plaza when I am worn out in finding job. One day, as I was sitting alone thinking of my dilapidated situation, looking at a far distance of the seashore of Bacolod Seawall, suddenly a guy sat beside me which made me think negatively about him. He smiled at me and introduced himself, “Hi, my name is Edward,” extending his hand to me. I accepted his right hand but I was adamant with my actuation. I wryly smiled at him and answered, “Hello, I am Marco…. Marco Fernando….”
“I saw you sitting here in the public plaza when I passed by heading for my job these past few days. And, I think you need some help or, friend maybe? I worked in a restaurant as a waiter, just across the main street,” as he pointed his finger westward feeling agitated. He looked at me squarely and said, “How are you? How about you? Are you studying? Working? Do you have a job?” His action was more of a brother to me. And I answered, “No, I’ve been searching for two months now, but…” my words was not formed into a sentence but I looked and sized him up.
“Do you want to work in the restaurant?” Edward asked with a smile on his face. “There’s a vacancy right now,” as he moved towards me.
“I don’t know any job in the restaurant, but I’ll try…. I really need a job to support my studies. You know, Edward, I am studying in college right now… maybe I can ask the manager for the schedule of my work? Is that possible?” I asked him with constant confident that deep into my heart I needed a job very badly.
“Yes, I’ll recommend you. Come with me, I’ll introduce you to my manager.”
As we were heading to the restaurant, the sparkling light inside of me multiplied a billion times, hoping something beautiful will come along the way. Those crumpled thoughts that bothered me for some time, disappeared as quickly as the bubbles in the air. Never in my imagination had I felt so close to my feelings and thoughts. What I was hoping for, really on this moment for me to move upward even though I knew, how hard to pushed those negative things to be materialized.
Working in the restaurant with a salary to depend upon, built my ever changing confident, that helped sustain the rigors of my daily endurance and continuing my college studies. I have done so much of my learning system, wherein I developed my personality to acquire freedom to do the things that I could learn somehow. The negative thoughts inside my head blown into a multiple rays of hope for my goals in life; adding some motivated aspects of my ambition triggered my inner sanctum to prolong the basic human emotions.
I resumed my schooling through the help of Ayah Isabel who supported me from A to Z. Even with my deepest soul I knew too well that all of these were just a stair to heaven. The most important things that I could revive with my weaknesses were the ones destroying my dependent personality. But even though I experienced hardships on my existence, I was still aiming for whatever hopes inside of me. Battling through poverty was not my forte, and I didn’t have the inkling of eluding them. I had such an amazing way of defying myself with what I’ve learned to fake things that came into my life.
I began to discover things the hard way. I worked as a server in a restaurant near my boarding house. Some customers wanted to know me personally. Others befriended with me. At first, I thought that these people wanted to uplift my well-being and to extend some wonderful things that I wanted in life. I considered my situation and emotion to be cultivated by what I valued as new adventure to me. They explored me high enough as mountain climbers reached the mountain tops. It was such a feeling of developing your inner self to the people who liked to dig deeper and deeper until you cannot fathom the deepest evil in you.
After my duty hours, I was with them, daily as what they wanted me to, as what they molded towards the new day; drinking spree, parties and drugs. Nightlife seemed to be the breathing element of my soul. I discovered it, I wanted it, now, but deep inside my heart, I knew what this meant to be with them. Nevertheless, I continued schooling but my soul and energy cannot withstand the rigors of every day event. Even though how hard I tried to run away, still, I kept on coming back and wanting for more. Earthly things captured me like prisoner, like a virus eating my flesh, and released the ecstasy within me. Believing that I could extend the wondrous feelings that I discovered, explored and tasted; my discovery made me a fool, until I found myself doing the craziness of humanity; money, drugs and sex.
The more I valued my vices, the more I succumbed to its essence that I could not faltered to taste it; every minute of it. The happiness that I felt gives the real meaning to what I wanted in my whole life. But, little by little, it destroyed my self-esteem and even my whole personality. It changes the core of my soul, my being, even my heart, resulting to my downfall. The decreasing energy within me continued negatively. The goals that I cherished most were lost over time. I found myself lamed, weak, sad and alone.
I cannot coped up with my life in the city, alone, and it’s Ayah Isabel who cared for me, came to the rescue. Even my friend Edward Ramirez helped me without any boundaries. I released the very core of my existence to the people who loved me. Edward and Ayah were the two human beings that always lifted me-up for whatever problems I am entangled with my vices.
Edward and Ayah nursed my soul to be back again. Knowing that I can revive my spirit and resumed the ambition I have had. They stayed for a while and encouraged me all the way.
“Best friend, are you alright now? I’m very happy for the changes…I mean, the changes in you. Glad to know that you can work again. I’ll tell our manager about your comeback... You know, he’s asking about you and I lied, knowing that I want you to work there again. Yes my friend?” Edward asked me one day.
“Yes my friend, now I realized… how foolish I was…how weak,” I answered crying.
I started to concentrate with my studies for two consecutive years through which I gave a real meaning to it. The vital things that matters most to me were the ones that triggered my motivation to grow. The development that I almost conquered was reeling to be mine; for I excelled for all my subjects, extra-curricular activities and friends. It’s nonetheless a revival!
I joined the college publication to explore the possibilities of motivating my inner self to reveal what’s inside of me. A written form of expressing my thoughts and feelings; poetry, short stories and drama guild, healed it gradually. Most of my time, I spent with these activities, not knowing that I am changing the values of my life. My life now was a reverse of what I experienced during my first year in the city.
The first free verse poem that I constructed was entitled: "Closer to Me."
Your beauty captures my heart
Your soul surrounds me wherever I am.
Perhaps, you are Goddess of beauty?
I feel you are endless.
I feast my vision to you
Turn towards the light
Perhaps by chance
But definite in direction.
I am drawn
By the deepest awareness of you
Which wane my heart to think of you
And feel your soul throughout my life.
I know so very little yet feel so much
Oh, it’s a great feeling to see your soul!
Unable to gaze to your beauty
My soul provides to my heart, a vision…
Unable to touch you.
Our soul’s touch which sends us to pleasure
And our bodies shiver with ecstasy
In oneness of perfection.
I am amazed by you, as you are
You are not far, you are close
And I held you so tenderly
Closer each moment...
Closer to you...
TO BE CONTINUED###
Note: This novel will be published in paperback through National Bookstores, Philippines this coming March-April 2015.