Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Was Meant To Be An Overseas Filipino Worker #OFW17

It’s my day-off; I had more time to searched and applied for a job abroad. I went to Makati area where I began my adventure, in finding job abroad.

The first thing I noticed when I entered the square were the glass stained windows. They were awash with water, paused to look because intricate designs had always intrigued me. Water streamed down the glass like a fine, undulating curtain. It was probably being released from hidden ducts or some kind of similar system in the ceiling, then recycled back through intricate piping. I watched it for a moment, fascinated, before pressing closer to the glass, peering through this constantly-moving, liquid curtain, my eyes resting on banks of the most beautiful flowers I had seen for a long time. Color flamed vividly in a profusion of variegated reds and oranges intermingled with magenta and purple, paled to soft fading yellows and crisp white; and interspersed amongst these brilliant hues and the more fragile tints were innumerable dark light greens, leaves so luxuriant and shiny they looked as if they had been individually polished to a glossy sheen.

A smile touched my lips and my spirits lifted.

The array of flowers and plants were like a breath of spring, evoked images of sharp clear sunlight on green meadows, trees newly bursting with tender young leaves, and blue and radiant skies. And if the flowers made me feel light-hearted, then certainly they would bring luck to me.

This time there was no hesitation on my part. Decisively, I pushed open the door of the Sampaguita Manpower Agency and went inside. Instantly my nostrils were assaulted by all manner of mingled scents of the applicants and workers too. I sat down observing other applicants; the information table and the system of processing for the new applicants. Each applicant paid five pesos for the form, including me. I filled it up with my personal information, waited for almost two hours and was told to complete the requirements first to be included in the personal interview list. I roamed around the places nearby which consumed the beauty and wealth of the surroundings. Rich people were the only one who deserved to share their fame, the comfort and privilege which came with their wealth. But I had not lived to see and enjoy these blessings, for I was the one making my life who truly knew the heartaches, the sacrifices and the immense work it had taken to grasp it. And later, the effort expanded to hold onto what I called love. That was perhaps the hardest part of all – holding on with my dreams to fulfill.

I went home feeling quite exhausted for I was wondering what lies ahead with me, my family and my dreams. “Ayah, love, get dressed, and the children too.”

“Where to?” she asked me surprised.

“Manila Zoo, next to Harrison Plaza! Anne, Kent, John, let’s go!”

I was happy to see them roaming around feeling contented with us, the joy of having these innocent children, brought satisfaction and challenges. With them I felt the greatest love of all, love that can never equaled for any wealth in this world. They were the prime movers of my life, a life so hard to comprehend with my being and the strengths that I reserved for them. I valued them as my gems; the shining light that showed me the way, the hopes of wanting for a bright tomorrow and the inheritor of my innate self. Two weeks had passed; I received my educational documents coming from Edward. I was glad for the development that I pursued my job application abroad. I skipped my duty hours or asked for a day off, if I had to processed my papers.

The Manpower Agency called a meeting to all that were shortlisted. We were screened by the Company’s representative with strictness and care. I excelled from other management applicants because of my job knowledge and personality, which they told me after the feedback session. I knew I had the capabilities of managing people through the system and procedures of the company. I was selected as a Store Manager of the fast food chain of restaurant in the United Arab Emirates.

I went home feeling the joy of being an OFW already, but I didn’t have the knowledge of being one. Heard some news about it in the past; but not fully in my head to contemplate that one day I am one of them. I resumed my daily duty hours at the restaurant but my mind keeps on revolving to where I was destined.

One day while I was on duty, my assistant called me up, “Sir, our Operations Manager, Mr. Villanueva’s on the phone.”

“Okay, work this out, I’ll answer the phone.”

I answered the call inside the restaurant office, but I hesitated when I heard my superior’s voice to report at the main office, as soon as possible, (ASAP). I instantly went to the Caloocan Office to met Mr. Rene Villanueva. I went inside the Main Office hall, seated, composed myself and looked around for office workers that I knew of. It’s a usual office day for them; nothing seemed so unusual for their behavior. I went to the Operations Manager’s room, knocked and open the door knob slowly.

“Come in Mr. Fernando, have a seat.”

“Thank you Sir.” I responded courteously. He got a piece of paper in the folder, handed in to me.

“Please read that memo.”

“Yes Sir.”

“Is it true that you’re planning to work abroad?”

“No, Sir, that’s not true. I went to the manpower agency for possible job for my cousin, not for me, Sir,” I lied defensively.

“Then, this is just a rumor? You know, your performance are exceptional and truly an asset to the Company. I am planning to promote you as the next Area Manager of your territory. So, please, Mr. Fernando, stay away from any negative elements while you’re under the system of this Company. I’m sure you can do that. Thank you for coming.” I extended my right hand to him, “Thank you Sir!”

I left the main office feeling undecided, back to the restaurant, and held an emergency meeting for all the staff. “Today, I met our Operations Manager, and he told me, that there were staff who applied to work abroad. Anyone of you, really did apply?” I asked in strictness on my voice.

“Sir, as far as I know, in some other branches, I’m positive about it,” a staff said.

“Okay, give me list of those people. Thank you. That’s it. You can go back now to your assigned work.”

The next episode of my life was meant for me to decide, or to hold on whatever I can do with my employment status. I knew too well, to be promoted in a job, was like an opportunity of the century. It’s a feeling inside of you which conformed to your performance to excel and proceed with dignity. But, working abroad was an unknown destiny molded to be explored and discovered, without the presence of your loved ones. Really, intimidating for me to think in a manner that I had to choose between two different employment opportunities like choosing between Danielle and Ayah Isabel.

I was meant to be an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), that’s my fate, that’s my destiny, and my future.

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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  1. Your story reminded me, when I worked in my hometown, Every time I talked to my manager about resignation, he promoted me. One day I submitted my resignation he ripped in front of me and he did not accept it. One day my mom gave me a ticket to tour in Thailand where my sister worked as a teacher, I filed vacation for a week but I did not go back after that. I called my manager and resigned and told him I want to extend my vacation if he can't wait he starts to find a replacement on my position. at first he was upset after a while he was okay and accepted it. I find a better job in Thailand as a Teacher. OFW is not easy at the same time it is rewarding once you are in professional job. I still friends with my manager until today and he just laughed what I did. hahaha.

  2. I sort of remember my boyfriend with this post.. since he is working overseas too - it was tough and a big decision to make talaga.

  3. And the story becomes even more exciting! Can't wait to see what will happen next. Will he stay, or will be follow his dream of becoming an OFW?

  4. Nice move for Marco to be OFW for his family.

  5. So I get it that you chose to be an OFW rather than taking the promotion?

  6. This is a nice opportunity for you and being an OFW can really help you raise a family.

  7. "my nostrils were assaulted by all manner of mingled scents of the applicants and workers too" _ This reminds me the first time I went in a manpower agency in Makati.

  8. I can definitely feel you... it's somehow intimidating (speaking from an ofw's son's perspective) and hard at first especially that you have to sacrifice your family in order to provide a better future.. kudos to you sir!

  9. What did your family think when you decided to be an OFW?

  10. My husband is an OFW too and is currently working in Dubai.


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