Friday, April 4, 2014

Those Were The Days My Friend #OFW31

“Well, since you asked for it, then I’ll tell you my childhood years in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental, is that fine with you Roger?”

“Yes friend, go on...I’m listening...”

I looked at him with honesty and found the hidden personality of a young man willing to hear the life of another individual with gusto. Roger Ferrer was very eager to learn from other people through interacting, or knowing different facets of other people’s wisdom. I started to tell him part of my life that molded me, of being me.

“Roger, you know I’m the fourth child in a family of ten, where my father worked as a route driver in a soft drink company. His meager income cannot sustain us all; school, food clothing and some other necessities, but he tried his best to meet both ends. That was, when I’m in grade five, year 1966, that started our family to undergone the poorest of the poor. My father, for the second time approached my grandfather in Barrio Tabu, Ilog where I was born, for a parcel of land to be cultivated by him and source of his income. He wanted very badly that even his own brothers were against for this agreement. But, my grandparents were willing to help my father one way or the other. So, my father developed the land and produced revenues intended for his family. He bought some hectares of land near the place up to the secluded area in the mountainous town of Candoni, Negros Occidental. In Hinigaran, Negros Occidental, when I graduated from elementary school, I enrolled in a Christian private school together with my sisters and brothers, but after a year, we were transferred to public high school."

It was in the...

Year 1972 – 1975: When I started attending college education in West Negros College, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
I was enrolled in West Negros College taking up Bachelor of Arts, as what my eldest sister told me, without knowing that continuing this course was very hard for me. I was just enrolled but my mind cannot comprehend why I took up this course, and where my schooling was heading. The youthful thinking deep inside of me cannot give the real meaning of my existence; just learning of different subject matters without giving any sense on my welfare.

It was in the...

Year 1972 of September: When Martial Law was imposed by President Ferdinand Marcos.

The imposition of Martial Law gave much hard time for me as a student. Even my classmates and instructors were agitated by the nationwide system. Some other subjects were deleted from the curriculum without much explanation. Even my father’s business was affected by strict implementation of taxes levied by Sugar Industry. Negros Occidental was being hit by total devastation of goods imported from other countries. I continued my college studies while my father source of income was affected by nationwide membership of New People’s Army (NPA) in mountainous places like Candoni, Tapi and Tabu. It lowered the sugarcane production that planting rice and vegetables were the only option for land development.

It was in the...

Year 1975 of October: When I transferred my studies in San Agustin College, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

I began my new course; all Chemistry subjects, suggested by my father to pacify his plan of wanting me to work in a Sugar Industry. I hated chemistry subjects because of its vastness and vagueness on my system. I didn’t want to disappoint him, so I went on with my course as a way of continuing my course. But, I wanted to finish my course badly for the purpose of aiding my life after schooling. My father’s business was faltering that he cannot sustain my schooling, and this was the time that I met Ayah Isabel, my wife. And life goes on between us, chasing my dreams until this day. Roger, you absorbed every detail huh?”

“Yes Marco, thank you so much, you’re almost six years in college?”

“Yes and was young at that know...have your coffee my friend, you’re not amazed with my story huh..."

“Very exciting, you struggled through your dreams in life.”

“And you, what’s your story?”

“Well, my life in the Philippines was like a see-saw in a crystal ball, unpredicted and vague. I was born an Amerisian in a place called Olongapo, and I’m the product of the love that’s not the making of my father and mother but the destiny of relationship between two human beings with nothing to offer for the love of their offspring, but for the love of themselves. Really I underwent such humility to accept my identity, for me to go on with my own life. The uniqueness of my physical image magnetized other people to know me personally and my curiosity to know them in return. When I graduated from high school, I went to Manila to search for my future which I considered to be my refuge in finding my inner self without knowing that I contributed damage to the persons I’ve known. With my good looks, I managed to conquer my motives one way or the other. In some aspects of my true personality, I wanted a quiet life to prolong my values that I need for my growth. You know Marco, modesty aside, majority of my friends wanted an attachment to their own terms and whims. Because of my work, I really have to spend time with my clients for money. That’s why I accepted this job to heal my wounded heart deep inside of me. My mother told me that my father was a Latino; a Mexican-American soldier who reside in California. Right now, I’m still single and I wanted to save money for my planned business in the Philippines. Don’t take seriously with my complaint maybe I’m just releasing my sentiments because I don’t have many friends here in Al Ain. You know Marc; I’m planning to transfer in Dubai, if I can find a good employer or if you can help me."

“I’ll see what I can do to help you for your transfer and for the meantime you can help me guide here in Al Ain. Thank you for your honesty in sharing your true self; I admire you for that matter.”

“Thank you Marc, my friend?”

“Thanks Roger, we’re friends now?”

“Yes, all the way! For a start, I’ll accompany you around Al Ain University, is that okay for you?”

“Yes, come now...”

Roger toured me to the beautiful places within Al Ain area, visited his workplace, bought some snacks in the supermarket and seated in the bench of a park near the Al Ain University. The scenery was amazing, like a garden in heaven; multicolored flowers in different varieties, fruit-bearing trees all over the place and rock formations everywhere. We savored the afternoon delights of our friendship while exchanging jokes and other topics of interest.

From my view, not far from where we seated; a lone man was sitting at the bench reading a pocketbook. I am sure that it’s him, I thought silently.

“What’s the matter friend, any problem?” Roger asked me.

“I think I knew that man, the one sitting over there,” pointing to the man reading a book in the bench.

“If you want, we’ll pass in front of him to see?” Roger suggested.

“Okay let’s go.”

As we walked slowly near him, my heart’s kept on telling me that it’s him. Sure, it’s him, I instantly grabbed and punched him in the face that knocked him on the ground.

“So, it’s you fool!!!” I shouted with rage that Roger held me tightly.

“Marco, friend...please...I’ll explain...” Joel pleaded.

“What on earth do you think you’re doing? You connived with Danielle Gustilo to ruin me and my family?”

“It’s not like that Marc...”

“Then what!!”

“Marco I think you have to calm down and we’ll talk it over in my room. It’s very dangerous here in public to fight.” Roger said. “And for you...what’s your name kabayan?”

“Joel Arevalo kabayan.”

“Joel can you come with us to my room to talk this matter?”

“Okay friend.”

We hailed a taxi cab going to the main street in Roger’s room. We seated face to face on the floor while Roger’s making coffee for us. Our silence between us made me realized that Joel was bleeding.

“Ohhh, you’re bleeding Joel!” Roger exclaimed. “Marco, pressed the hand towel to his face, I’ll get some medicine...”

Roger went outside of the room and after three minutes, he’s back with medicine, gauze pad and plaster. Instantly, Roger cleaned and dressed the wound, while I sipped my coffee.

“I think you two must talk peacefully while this matter was between the three of us, because... if the police know about this incident, it’ll be reported to your employers,” Roger warned us.

“Marco, first of all I’m so sorry for the things I’ve done for you and your family. Really, it bothered me for a long time since you left us in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. I asked Edward Ramirez of his decision, that I followed...accepting the money from Governor Gustilo which helped me where I am right now, and to my parents. But, I endorsed Ryan Mallari to Danielle for that job...I knew I can’t do it for you Marco...please my friend…”

“Okay then, but please don’t say anything about this matter to Ryan Mallari?” He extended his hands to me that I hugged him, responded positively and smiled at me.

“You know Marc, Roger, I’m planning to transfer in Dubai for my next employment.” Joel said.

“Why how long you’ve been here in Al Ain?” I asked.

“I’ve been in Riyadh, KSA for three years, then, here in Al Ain. My contract will expire this coming July of 1988. If ever, I could apply in advance for the job before going home, the better.”

“Roger, Joel we’re friends now, well, we have differences but we can respect each other while we are here working abroad, okay?”

We formed our friendship with love and care for each other for the coming days of our stay in Al Ain. Those differences that we discovered with one another, welded us to create a bond until Joel Arevalo left us for his contract expiration. He promised us to be back in Dubai soon.

I contacted Ronnie Ramirez for some information about the happenings in Dubai and the main office. Ronnie was transferred to Al Fahidi Street in Bur Dubai area, and Ruel Mondragon was promoted as the new Store Manager. I was glad for their commitment and development on our company. At least, they’re moving upward with their personal career in the industry. “Ronnie, my new friend Roger Ferrer wants to work there in Dubai. Our company I heard has a vacancy?”

“Yes Sir Marco, there’s a vacancy.”

“Okay, I’ll call our Area Manager for my possible transfer to Dubai.”

“Michael Luna came over here and asked about you? He’s been in Dubai for three months now”

“Yeahh, great! Do you know his accommodation?”

“Yes sir he gave it to me the address in a piece of paper.”

“Okay then, say regards to all of you there!”

“Okay sir, bye.”

I talked to our Area Manager about my comeback to Dubai and possible employment for Roger Ferrer. Our hopes increased when I received a call the next day from the main office for this matter. I was glad for this news that I instantly went to Roger Ferrer to talk it over.

“Roger, for a week’s time I’m going to Dubai...for a transfer of job assignment, you’re going with me?”

“Yes I would like to, but you’ll help me Marc?”

“Yes of course!”

‘Okay, I’ll ask my employer for local vacation leave and I’ll go with you.”

“Okay Roger, hoping for positive result for you.”

I submitted my request to OFW International about my transfer to Dubai. The president, Mr. Fidel Rosales promised me that they’re planning another office in Dubai and the possibility of hiring.


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.

Share This


  1. Makes me think that you've actually been in those places in UAE. You know the places in Dubai too well, esp. those heavily populated by Filipinos.

  2. Always an interesting read sir! Really made my mind imagine and see the actual scenes.

  3. You've been places! And it is quite good too that at your age you are very knowledgeable in the internet!

  4. That was a lil bit long yet interesting stories. We have the same province sir, i am staying at Silay City. I love the Church of Hinigaran. Also i have a friend from Tabu, Ilog. jjeje

  5. I liked the story. This is an awe-inspiring post about our countrymen working abroad and their nice friendship. :)

  6. Another interesting episode. Can't wait for the next one!

  7. wow i guess I learned something about history to day and dates about martial law! My husband always go to dubai! and it is indeed full of filipinos as he say.. x0~

  8. I often love to travel places.It's been real nice and I guess you also love to do so.

  9. With good looks and great personality, individuals can go a long way. Match it with great attitude and for sure success can be attained. :)

  10. Very nice post. It's really cool when you get to meet a fellow Filipino in a different country.

  11. It's always great to hear a story when people come from the poorest of the poor and finally graduate from school and then have a good life.

  12. Now, I wonder how the next plot will follow through?

  13. I haven't been to Dubai yet, and with this article, it's like I've been there. Makes my wanderlust even stronger.

  14. You're a great creative writer! Thanks for sharing this story. What an interesting read! :)

  15. I agree with the previous comments. The way you write the story, it gives me a mental picture on how a certain scene looks like. ^_^

  16. I wonder what comes next. nice storyline.

  17. It's nice to see that the story goes on flashback this time.

  18. The revelations are slowly being unraveled.

  19. On all of the blogs I am reading this one is really very different it is like the Primetime Blog for all blogs because of the story you need to wait for the next episode and yet you will still need to wait for the next after that, very interesting story and very genuine.

  20. First, I wonder what happens to my comment before writing this I already commented after hitting publish it disappears, I understand that you are not techy Sir but maybe sometimes pay attention to your Blogs Interface because it can affect your readers and future readers. Anyways - as i said on my comment the suddenly disappeared - you blog is like the Prime Time Telenovela of all bloggers because each post needs to be observed and wait for the next post or one might miss the story. Very interesting and very genuine story.

  21. The series is just getting to be more exciting.

  22. Marco has been through a lot as a child growing up.

  23. Hopefully Roger will get a positive response.

  24. Nice story bu a bit long. Haha! The photos are good also which helps a lot on making your readers interested.

  25. It's been nice to go through this post of yours,cool one.

  26. I wish I could write stories like you do.

  27. Is this by any chance a true to life story? I wonder,,,

  28. Your stories are amazing because they really allow me to have picture of what you are writing :) All the best for you!

  29. Such an interesting sir and I love reading this! :D

  30. It is always great to have shared our success and lows to friends as well as taking the right step for a better opportunity. :)

  31. This is another story that I'm thrilled to read what is the continuation...I wonder if the people and the events in the story is really real.

  32. Wow.. 4th child within 10 of the siblings - that is quite a lot.

  33. Nice to read about your humble beginnings in Negros.


Email Address

Send message for any suggestion, recommendation, and other concern about this site.

Designed By Seo Blogger Templates Copyright@ Fernando Lachica 2014 OFW: The Game of Life