As many of you know, I am an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) – one of the so called “Bagong Bayani”. I am in Abu Dhabi UAE for the past 8 years and 2 months (never thought I’d go this far…) Like many OFW I have gone through the ups and downs of this life which many of the people in the Philippines especially those who haven’t been abroad don’t know, understand and realize.
It pains me to hear and see family, friends and relatives (or even Facebook friends who are not that close) thinking that someone who is abroad is “rich”, that money is effortlessly gained. That if “naka-abroad ka datu na ka!!!” I think it is because of what most of the OFWs image shows on social media: pictures of the luxurious “kuno” lifestyle, posting food (like feast), beautiful buildings, and gatherings – all smiles and as if life is a bed of roses! Not known to others (or actually knows – but people just play is cool and somehow stays into that illusion that OFWs are = to lots of money) – life outside the country is never easy.
I remember a friend who wholeheartedly wears her heart on Facebook expressing her disappointments to the people who think that way, especially in her case when she married a foreigner. I feel for her! A sad reality every Juan/Juana abroad has to face.
Another colleague gets pressured by her family of buying the latest plasma TV and never even bothers to say thank you for the 32 inches she sent home!
A friend whose family thinks he is a bank… asking money after money, week after week.
Want hear more? If you have an OFW family member/friend it’s your time to show some concerns. Ask how he/she is… Of course most of us would just say we’re okay, we don’t want to burden the people in our life and worry about us.
Dear Fellow OFWs,
This open letter is to encourage you to tell the truth and be open to your family with your struggles. Let them understand what life is.
Dear Friends and Family (of OFWs),
Don’t just think about money – be human enough to care and love those people, who are away from you, you don’t know what they’ve been through. (If you’re not one of them, ignore this letter. If you are guilty – please try to be kind)
* * *
This year the Emirates are hit with another crisis after 2008 recession. The bread and butter of this country – the major field is affected which means the Oil & Gas industry. 2016 is indeed a shaky year for Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other Emirates, news of laying off, termination here and there are the major talks. My own company is not exempted, there has been numerous of expats affected with this crisis and with the threat of Emiritazation of the government companies.
List after list comes and as an expat, I have that premonition that my time will come.
Month after month, names after names, position after position, friends after friends – have received their “love letter”.
Somehow I was at peace. Inside me is the thought that God determines when my time will come. Hearsays heard that my name was on the list earlier this June but haven’t received the letter yet. So I conditioned my mind that one day I will have it.
So, NDC celebrated the 45h UAE National Day on 29th November and in the midst of this celebration, I received a call from the Employee Relations – HR, never thought IT was the line! There is really that time in our life that even when you conditioned your mind that something’s gonna happen – – – but when the situation is really at hand, there is that hunch in your heart that says “opppps!”
No! Don’t get me wrong – It was not shocked… I was something like “uh! – hmm – ok .. moment” . . . my thoughts are battling whether to be happy or sad!
To some of you who know my “NDC work life” – you would understand that I will be happy because of not being able to go through the “Loving thy Neighbor” episodes at work – which actually makes me sin… and if I stay longer I might do the un-doable (MUST NOT – do as a Christian)
To anyone, the FEAR of LOSING a JOB is something not to be happy with. Of course, financially, it would disable me from doing whatever activity that requires money – simply because our adult life tagged it as a “NEED”!
But why? Why am I not sad? Actually, I even got excited! Let me tell you some of the reasons:
1. 2016 closes a door (last working day is on 29th Dec), which makes me excited what 2017 has in store for me.
2. I will now stop the Loving Thy Neighbor episodes (Basically this should go first! )
3. It gives me a month to go back home and spend time with family (although I’ll be apart with Koko for a while) – which is the reason I have kept this post until now because I’d like to surprise them!!!
4. Finally, #InMyHeart is PEACE. A peace that makes me trusts God that nothing happens without a reason. In fact, the moment I received my letter – if I could write on Facebook’s “What’s on your mind” status – I’d say “Answered Prayer”
So, why am I writing this?
Sorry, my introduction (about OFWs) was quite longer than my main body on this blog. What I want to say is that OFW (and even others who are working) has this “FEAR OF LOSING OUR JOBS” special mention to OFWs because of the visa woes, going through immigration problems, processing documents, to do this and that, flight tickets, exit moments, monetary back-up – – – etc. etc. . . but I say:
|*Think of it as a door closed by God because he has better and bigger doors to open including windows even :) .*
Psalms 9:10 says “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you”
As of today, I am JOBLESS, but I”ll never gonna feel down – I claim that God has right timing and plans. I keep holding on.
I will keep you track what happens next . . .
This is my last blog post from NDC computer.
Thank you NDC, it has been a great 4 years+!
JM signing off for 2016. Ciao!