Friday, February 28, 2014

Dubai: The City of Dreams #OFW18




“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.

That was the…

Thirtieth day of December 1985, Monday when I left my beloved country Philippines, bound to Dubai City carrying the reverie inside my heart. I am an Overseas Filipino Worker, OFW for short.

The International Fast Food Chain of Restaurants that hired us, as a group of 100 workers, to manage the stores in different places within Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quain, Al Ain, and Ras Al Khaimah. Everyone was assigned in the whole of United Arab Emirates, and Dubai was for me...my dream city...the city of dreams...

Dubai was young for its infrastructure, but an open city in the Gulf region with busy commercial outlook compared to some other places in the Middle East. It has a long river that cut-through the city center and the nearby places. Government restrictions were quite lax. Local citizens and expatriates of numerous creeds combined their wares and knowledge for building the future. International companies were starting to intensify their footing for their visions, to explore the place into the future of Dubai. Workers from different countries, with diverse cultures mixed up and intermingled with each other, for a hefty salary that they cannot get from their beloved countries. Moreover, Filipinos consists a large part of the service industry, making as one of the three largest labor resource of Dubai, the whole of the United Arab Emirates, over the Gulf and the Middle East.

The city center, named Deira was ten minutes ride from the store outlet where I was managing. The company rented a villa for our accommodation near the store - walking distance. I managed the free accommodation of the employees, its maintenance and security. I had a separate room as a manager, one of the benefits the company offered. Also, we had a free meal inside the restaurant when we’re on duty, another benefits for us.

I was in the management section as a Store Manager with sixteen staff and two assistant managers. The staff includes four Egyptians, two Indians and twelve Filipinos. I scheduled them all, for a two shifts per day. My two assistants were Filipinos; Ronnie and Jack. I can easily handle them than the non-Filipinos. The problems of the non-Filipinos were they could not speak English well and have had a different culture. As a newcomer I pushed myself to learned Arabic language. I had to be on-guard always, for me to implement the systems and procedures of the company.

For the first year of my employment, I worked professionally with high self-esteem and performance. My Area Manager congratulated me for my assertiveness to managed the employees and increasing the store revenues. I bought all kind of electronics for my enjoyment inside my room. I fulfilled some of my dream of having these material things.

I used my intelligence, charisma and my daring personality to conquer the difficulties, but deep inside of me, I knew, I have weaknesses, ever ready to explode, just in case. I kept on praying that what was happening with my life now, will kept going forever until I reached my goals. “If only, I could hold the wheel of fortune,” I said to myself.

I was glad that everything's going according to my goals. Even my family back home, felt the same way as I did. Ayah Isabel sent a letter with hope and happiness in my heart.





Seventeenth day of July 1986

Dear love,


How’s my love? I am hoping that you’re in good health always. I missed you. Tsssuuup!

The children were very busy these past few weeks for their Opening Party Presentation. I personally attend to their costumes that required much of stitching and decorations. The primary school principal told me that Anne Rose would be included for their school extra- curricular activities, same as with their academic standing. I am happy for them that they tried their very best to have that standing.

You know, Kent got some of your character traits and facial features; a Xerox copy of you! And Philip’s fine. I taught them how to read children books.

Love, do not forget to save money for our dream house and lot, so that we can transfer to a bigger one. The children need space while they’re growing up. You know our environment here in the city, much polluted and not safe anymore.

By the way, do not forget to pray. Always pray and thank to the Lord for the blessings that we received every day.

Remember, be a good father to your three loving children. Take good care of yourself. Refrain from evil deeds and bad people. Never give up for the things that could broaden our horizon.

I am here to support you always. I love you and you are the only one in my heart.

Sweet kisses, coming from your children (Anne, Kent, and Philip).


Always,


Ayah Isabel


I enjoyed reading Ayah’s letter, kept in my wallet to read from time after time when I was on duty. I was happy with my success, which gave me strength and courage to face life with enthusiasm.

TO BE CONTINUED###


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.






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26 comments:

  1. Notice from the Author: Just click the + sign at the topmost portion of this page, and your comment link will appear here. Comments in the past gave me an inspiration to go on posting for the continuation of the Modern Romance Story. Thank you.

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  2. Is this your life story Kuya? Like you, my family and I are also in Dubai. We don't plan to stay longer. We've been here for the past 15 years and I guess, another 5 years won't hurt to save more. Then, it's back to the Philippines for us. Home is where the heart is.

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  3. It goes on to say, you have been an essential part of the great successes of Dubai til this day. From that letter you posted, hindi pa uso ang 'mwah' hehe.

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  4. Dubai is not called the City of Dreams for nothing. It is like Singapore where many of our fellowmen work to support their family with finances.

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  5. It was a good thing there's internet conncetion nowadays. We can get connceted to our loved ones who work abroad instantly.

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  6. The content I always wanted to see from a letter, especially coming my loved one, my better-half so to speak is a phrase that says: "Don't forget to pray always." and Marc's wife is so thoughtful for her hubby and she never fails to remind him.

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  7. That was such a sweet letter from Ayah Isabel and it's good that you are doing good in Dubai.

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  8. I wonder what's going to happen next in this beautiful city of Dubai? Another well-written story. Can't wait for the next installment to this story.

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  9. I know how hard it was to leave your family behind but sometimes you need to do whats best for your family

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  10. Distance can't deny the love that you (I am assuming it's you, lol) and Ayah have for each other.

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  11. Good thing that you've found an opportunity in Dubai and the letter from your daughter can touch any father's hearts. :)

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  12. You made me bathe in tears while reading your post. You're a good person! Stay safe and blessings always to you and family.

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  13. Long gone the days of ofw-family writing a letter or sending a recorded casette tape. That is so sweet of Ayaw Isabel.

    Btw, how Dubai looks in the circa 80's? I only imagine Dubai with Burj Arab and Khalifa.

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  14. I have heard many stories about OFWs some were good and others were bad, I just hope we can limit the number of Pinoys working abroad and help them make a living back home.

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  15. Ai! Naibitin me again. Oh well, living alone so far away from the family is a difficult decision to make. I've been there, but not that kind of a long distance separation, but I can feel the longing.

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  16. It's also nice to see Dubai during 1985 through this story.

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  17. Letters are really a good way to express what's inside your heart. I always adore people who are making letters to their partners. Especially that you kept it all along for how many years now. :)

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  18. It's so hard to make such a decision but everything happens for a reason and an opportunity like should be grabbed. :)

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  19. I know that you work hard there for your family :) I'm sure all of your hard work paid off because you have a loving wife and beautiful children

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  20. I wonder if Ayah and the kids would also be going to Dubai.

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  21. Are you still an OFW now? This is a story of your life, right?

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  22. This story is heart-warming and inspirational. I wonder what will happen next. Working abroad to earn a living is indeed a sacrifice and being away from your loved ones makes it more difficult to bear.

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  23. I do hope you guys get that dream house soon!

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  24. I have a few relatives and friends and Dubai who really work hard to support their families. I enjoy reading the letter, filled with love and faith <3

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  25. most of my cousins are at Dubai. I love the pictures

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  26. My friend is leaving for Dubai next month to work and she is bringing along her family. Seems like there are many opportunities there.

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