There are myriad reasons why Filipinos move to the UAE, specifically in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Some followed their spouses or loved one who had already established a career here. Others felt it was a great place to start a new life. This includes our compatriots who had initially wanted to move on from a painful heartbreak and millennials who wanted to get into work somewhere, far from home, and experience an independent life.
While we could say that lifestyle in the UAE continuously draws Filipino expats to come here, it’s a no-brainer that the availability of great opportunities, plus the tax-free income, and not to mention the sunny blue skies and beaches, had brought most of us here and chose to stay. Having said that, how long exactly do we intend to work here? Because at the end of the day, it is still better to be our own boss in the place where our heart is, right?
This is where our ultimate strategy comes in: a game plan. Yes! Questions such as ‘how much money do we wish to save,’ ’till when and how’ are all part of it. And no matter how the rhythm of life quickly changes, if we want to come home for good soon, we have to stick to this game plan to make it work.
Have you seen a game plan in real life? Does it actually work? A story of a Filipino couple, who had worked in Dubai, will tell us how to brew este do it right overseas.
Josef and Lilian Marquez, the proud owners of Caffé Nativo in Tagaytay, met and started their life together in Dubai a couple of years back. They both worked for a company here named Caffe Nero. Just like many of us (raise a hand if you don’t), the barista couple turned successful entrepreneurs also experienced unexpected bumps in life, wrote Armando Bartolome in his article in ABS CBN website.
Lilian was 8 months pregnant then and was working as a manager-in-training, while Josef worked as a supervisor. Since it was such a struggle for them to raise a child here given that they both have to work to settle their bills and expenses, they decided to temporarily set aside their respective careers here and settle back home in 2015. Rule number one: they made sure, though, that they had enough savings.
In the Philippines, the couple continued their studies, business management, at the Adventist University of the Philippines.
Although they had a lot of plans, it never crossed their minds that they would go back to their first love—serving espresso and latte to customers. But this time, at their own coffee shop in the breezy place of Tagaytay.
They shared in the article that Filipinos who run their own small restaurants in the busy district of Karama inspired them to set up their own business.
Even though their road to success was not as smooth as they expected, with limited funds to hire professional engineers and interior designers, it never pushed them back. Instead, they found a way to improvise.
The first couple of years, they said, was tough. But success will never be elusive to those who are willing to give it a shot.
With the right mindset, they made the business work. Today, their cafe is not just a place for those who want to sip a cup of hot coffee, it has also become a go-to stopover for tourists thanks to their tasteful food and cozy Instagrammable place. The balikbayan couple from Dubai is set to expand their business after the success of their first cafe’.
The fact about OFW life is that while some of us quickly manage to save, a lot stay far from home much longer because they can’t do so just yet.
Again, there are winning plays to come home for good soon. We all just have to choose our cards carefully and play the game well. Slowly sip away while you ponder on this so as not to burn your tongue.— (Images from Caffé Nativo Facebook)