Wednesday, March 5, 2014

OFW Friends and Stories #OFW20

I was glad that Ronnie will send the money. I was excited to know that Ayah Isabel can repay her debt. I trusted Ronnie since we worked together. Ronnie encouraged me again for the cough syrup addiction. We were doing our ploy to support our vices and I continued using the “cough syrup overdosed”.

“Friend, Marco, I heard you’re rich now?” Ryan Mallari called me up one day.

“Ohhh come on, still the struggling Marco Fernando, “What’s up man?”

“Some of my wealthy friends, have a party tonight, at the Jumeirah’s house?"

“Wallah, are you sure, saddique?”

“Yes my friend, I’ll fetch you in your accommodation seven in the evening. Are you alright with that time?” asked Ryan.

“Yes, I do. Do we need to energize or not?" I asked.

“No, not at all, we need to be in normal state to gather their beauties and riches….ha-ha-ha-ha…”

"Okay then, I loved it. Bye!”

At the Jumeirah beach, we arrived at the mansion house with awesome feeling about this special party. Ryan Mallari parked the car near the gate where some bushes camouflaging the vehicle. The gate was near the front door wherein we can view people inside. The Indian guy asked our names politely, and we introduced ourselves with unusual names. He nodded his head, up and down ...left to right, as an Indian customary gesture. He guided us going to the swimming pool where the party was held.

“Hi Glenda…hi girls...this is my friend Marco!” Ryan introduced me when we reached the poolside. Glenda and the girls greeted me in unison. I saw some girls were beginning to undress me the way they looked at me. But I noticed a female helper looking at me with soulful eyes. Some of the males were busy preparing food, drinks and other accessories to be used in the party.

“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we celebrate my birthday, my 28th birthday. I’m one of the worker of this house, and this house belongs to my employer who’s vacationing in Italy. But don’t worry I have a permission to use this pool as my birthday venue and the adjacent guest rooms too. If you want to eat now, just do it, and...if you want to drink liquor or soft drinks, we have a table over there,” as Glenda pointing at the beverage table, “Enjoy my friends!”

Ryan and Glenda began to pour their drinks, I started to pour two shots of tequila, and drank bottoms up, with sliced of lemon and salt, my favorite. I came nearer to a lady that I spotted before who’s tending in the BBQ grill, “Hi, my name is Marco, and you?” I extended my hand to her with energy within me.

“Vivian...Vivian Montoya,” she accepted it and looked at me.

“Good Vivian, nice to meet you. Can you give me your address or contact number. I’ll visit you in the flat.”

“Here’s my number, 04-4558098, landline, call me first and I’ll give you my address.”

“Okay thanks.” I helped her grilled some marinated meats and seafood while drinking liquor. We’re laughing because of my polo shirt smelled fish, Vivian’s too.

“Marco, come on, the water’s cool!” Ryan shouted at me.I undressed instantly besides Vivian, went to the pool and enjoyed the water. Every visitor seemed agitated when I approached Vivian again for another shot of tequila and a stick of BBQ. I did not know why but I enjoyed being with her. She knew how to handle my questions with sense.

Ryan Mallari introduced another lady named Susan Magtoto. We chatted near the pool almost an hour which made Vivian Montoya to act differently. I glanced at her, still grilling but now, drinking canned Heineken beer. Susan gave her mobile number and address. Left my place and chatted another male guest at the end of the pool. Around one in the morning, I was quite tipsy, tried to find Vivian around the place. Glenda told me that she wanted to go home.

“Glenda, she left just now?” I asked.

“Yes, she told me to ride a taxi.”

“Okay, just a minute, I’ll call her.” I went outside the gate, and saw her at the main road waiting for a taxi cab. I shouted at her, “Vivian, it’s me Marco!”

“Yes, Marc, why are you here? I’m waiting for a taxi cab...,” she answered shouting too. When I approached her, “Come inside, we’ll wait until morning to go home, but at this hour, it’s very dangerous for you to travel alone.” We spotted a police car approaching us, Vivian told me to hide, but I grabbed her and run near the mansion house. We hid in a prone position under the bushes, near Ryan’s car. After awhile, we embraced totally feeling our hearts like a thunderstorm. The police car left and we got back inside the house. We enjoyed chatting together telling some amusing OFW stories.

“You see, what happened to us, we’re running and hiding like rats in a desert, but I believed that this city could give us hopes to fulfill our dreams. Do you believe that Marco Fernando?”

“Deep in my heart, I can say yes, but it depends on us, as OFW, to take good care of ourselves. Vivian, how long have you been here in Dubai?” I asked seriously.

“Okay, Marco, give me another doubled shots and I’ll tell you my story? Okay?”

I got a bottle of whiskey and six canned beers on the table, bucket of ice cubes, slices of dried beef meat and green mangoes. We sat at the sculptured Bermuda grass, positioned a small table at the center. I prepared these stuff alone, and she’s quite groggy, I observed. But she wanted to tell her story. I mixed the two shots of whiskey to a canned of beer in a transparent glass, put some salt and gave to Vivian. She grabbed at once and tasted it. I also mixed the same for me, but I squeezed the lemon-halves on my drinks. “Vivian, go on tell me your story, I’m interested to know about it. Come on, go on.”

“Okay friend Marco, I’ve been hired as a domestic helper, so, my visa status is in domestic helper with white card. For you a blue card isn’t it? Because you’re in a service industry. Actually, I graduated in BS Nursing, but I’ve got pregnant with that bastard, you know, got two kids for him and left me. My family got messed up for our financial capabilities to survive with our daily existence. So, I applied even as a domestic helper. I’ve applied for a loan to process my departure, got bored with my job and missed my two kids.”

Her tears started to fall which I wiped it out with my bare hand. She wiped it too and smiled. Vivian Montoya began to tell me her story.

“I left my employer without permission...and I stayed with my friend hiding from authorities like a criminal. But I need money to send with my family, and for my unpaid loan. So, I worked, part-time job for hotel catering, but I’m very careful not to get caught and came into contact with people in authority. I’m a TNT here in Dubai.”

“What’s TNT?” I asked.

“Tago ng Tago...So, I stayed for more than six years now without any documents; passport, white card, etcetera...etcetera...If I want to go home in the Philippines, deportation process must be applied to me. And, there are some Filipinos who offered to help me, but in exchange, I’ll have to live with them as partner. I turned them down...and here I am, still chasing my dreams. But I do believe that this place can give financial freedom on my part. By the way, call me tomorrow so that we can talk some more, okay Marco Fernando?”

“Yes, it’s my day off tomorrow. I’ll call you in the afternoon, that’s fine for you?”

“Yes my friend. It’s six o’clock in the morning now, where’s the other guests?”

“I think they’re sleeping in a guest’s room.”

“Want to go home in your flat? I’ll go with you then.”

“Okay, let’s wash ourselves first.”

We got a taxi cab going to Al Riqqa Road where she stayed, and I headed to Satwa District. I went down the taxi cab, walked upstairs to my room, but Ruel Mondragon, one of my staff greeted me.

“Good morning Sir!”

“Yes Ruel, what’s up? Anything I can do for you?”

“Sir Marco, can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Yes, come inside. Want some coffee?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Okay, make a strong coffee for me too I’ll take a bath first.”

When I finished bathing, I went outside the bathroom drying my body with towel and sipped my coffee. I observed Ruel crying silently. “Ruel, why are you crying? Is there any problem?”

“Yes, sir, I received a letter yesterday from my mother...that my wife left my children. She eloped with her boyfriend.”

“Ohhh, my, my, my…why on earth!’s a fashion now? What can I do to help you?”

“Sir, I want to go home in the Philippines, but I don’t have enough money for my plane tickets and extra money for my children. Could you help me please...”

“Don’t worry, I’ll help you.”

“Thank you so much Sir, you’re the best Sir! Bye!” When Ruel left, I began to close my eyes to sleep, ready for another encounter with Vivian Montoya. When I awoke, another knocked on the door, I opened and Ronnie came in. “Sir, there’s a problem with our stocks yesterday. We ran out of some important items needed for today’s operation.”

“Make an emergency order to the commissary at once. You send my remittance as always?”

“Yes, yes Sir!”

“I trusted you about this remittance. Be sure you send it on time, so that Ayah Isabel can have it for the children. Okay Ronnie?”

“Yes Sir!”

"I wonder why I did not receive any letter from her...Anything I can do for you?”

“Sir, I observed that you’re getting closer with Ryan Mallari? Are you fine with him?”

“Yes of course! Why? What about?”

“Nothing, sir.”

“What’s this, why and nothing? Okay, I have an appointment now.”

“Okay Sir, bye, enjoy your day off!”

I smiled at him and went to the shower to cool myself. When I reached the bath soap I remember Ayah Isabel, that encounter, I loved it. Whenever I am in front of the mirror and saw my scar on the forehead, I remember Danielle.


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. Each one has an interesting story to tell. Can't wait to find out about that scar!

  2. The scar of memories, hmmmnnn. Another interesting episode.

  3. I smell that Ryan Mallari spells trouble for Marco.

  4. Hmmm. This is new, a story within a blog. REally interesting story.

  5. Oh, isn't Dubai like the US where you can be a citizen after staying for consecutive five years? How long does one have to be there to be legal citizen and not a TNT?

  6. Another great installment. Can't wait for the continuation. I wonder what Ryan Mallari's real role in Marco's life would be.

  7. the is no doubt reminds a lot of things no matter who long that scenario happened. i have two scars and it does reminds me of my childhood. Money is somehow indeed the root of everything. the story is getting more intense.

  8. I hope that Ronnie can really be trusted and hope that Ayah Isabel really does get the money.

  9. Being an OFW is to hard and if you think that they have so much money right? you're wrong because they have earned it by sweat.

  10. What an interesting turn of events. I can't wait to see what happens next.

  11. It was a very nice story. Very anticipating.

  12. This is now one blog that I am getting more hook because of the genuinity of the story . A very different blog I can rest from reading all of the other blogs. Life is short but a long journey and full of uncertainties i hope this story that I am reading won't be another bad ending.

  13. Another wonderful story! But now I'm wondering if these events were real.

    1. Hah, I wonder and asked the same Daphne lol.

  14. “Sir, I observed that you’re getting closer with Ryan Mallari? Are you fine with him?”

    It's one intriguing line that makes me raise questions. Will he be something that he can trust or not? Or will be a big problem in the future?

  15. Iba din tlga noh - when you have something to remember someone.

  16. I've meet characters like those you depicted when my hubby and I were new in Dubai. I know those secret parties pinoys held in their employers' villas, I know those TNTs and I certainly have seen a lot of families broken because of the double life most people have here in Dubai. It's a sad plight but people "bite" it.

  17. really an awesome story,so nice to read.Good post.

  18. Nice story. I'm intrigued about Ryan Mallari.

  19. these tales of OFWs about their life and struggles abroad is really quite fascinating, i cannot wait how this will unfold.

  20. I wonder if the characters in Dubai can be related to people in the past of Marco and Ayah.

  21. Your story reminds me of my uncle who works at US na TNT for 10 years yata. Good thing his papers got fixed by our relatives the time he was about to be deported. To cut the long story short, nabigyan ng pardon then yun nga Us citizen na. I wonder how scary to be a tnt sa ibang country.

  22. I've been following the story and it shows how a filipino struggle through life and also being an OFW.

  23. Ah, Marco has too many girls! Haha, still following his story though.

  24. This story surely promises more twists and turns for the protagonist, just like in real life.

  25. I love your stories, Sir Fernando. We look up to the OFWs with awe. With your stories, you are opening our eyes to how an ofw life really is.

  26. What an interesting blog episode. Can't wait for the next stories! ka excite :D

  27. Ugh... cliffhanger alert... haha... Good thing you shared a story that tackles information about TNT. I'd rather go home than being a TNT in a foreign land.

  28. ooohh. what is happening to that dude!

  29. This is a promising story. I hope everyone will learn from it.

  30. I don't know but i have a feeling this is somewhat close to what have happened in real life. Yes? :)

  31. Ohh that's what TNT means pala. My dad was a TNT in Japan before and he also had a nice story to tell. can't wait for the next part.

  32. Just like what the others have commented, I was wondering if this is a real story? I am just curious like them.


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