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Paskong puno ng Pag-asa: OFWs are filled with optimism and hope as they find new opportunities in the UAE

Thousands of Filipinos in the UAE who were placed under a no-work-no-pay policy in the previous months have now returned to work after the steady revival of economic activities continuously spurred employment demand across sectors.

It is a sigh of relief among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who have long made it a tradition to send a bigger amount of money to their families in the Philippines every Christmas season.

For frontliner Jonah Mosqueda, who now works as a nurse in the UAE, it would still be a merry celebration for him and for his family back home—despite the pandemic— thanks to his new job. He was forced out of employment when the bar he used to work at closed down. He struggled for almost one month before he decided to return to his former profession as a nurse. “Umabot ako ng March 15 na wala paring natanggap na sahod. Umasa akong malalagpasan ko ang mga pagsubok kaya naman wala akong ginawa kung di ang magpadala ng CV ko sa mga companies. April 6, 2020 — birthday ng Nanay kong namatay, nakatanggap ako ng email mula sa isang kumpanya na tanggap ang application ko bilang nars. Dito nagsimula ang aking masasayang araw,” said Mosqueda.

“Di ko mawaring babalik ako sa profession kong to. Ito talaga ang pangarap ng ina ko sa akin, alam kong hangang sa huling hininga nya pinagdadasal nyang makita ko ulit ang kagandaan ng Nursing profession at ma-appreciate ko ulit ang trabahong ito. Napakagaan ng pakiramdam ngayon na financially stable na ako, marami rami na rin ang aking natulungan, kahit pamilya ko sa Pilipinas ay napaka saya na nanumbalik ang sigla ko sa buhay at naging aktibo ulit ako sa aking profession,” – Jonah Mosqueda

Just like the Filipino nurse, fear enveloped Sharjah-based OFW ‘Jerome’ when the pandemic struck and disrupted most economic activities for weeks. Then in July, he received a call from his company. The management informed him that his service would have to be terminated. At that time, many companies in the country were just starting to bounce back from the economic impact of the global pandemic. His world crumbled at that moment, but his worries were quickly wiped away by a new opportunity that knocked on his door.

“Napamahal na ako sa dati kong trabaho kaya naman nalungkot talaga ako nung tinanggal nila ako. Nagdaan ang mga linggo na hindi ko alam kung ano yung susunod kong gagawing hakbang para kumita ulit. Pero mas pinili kong magsumikap na makahanap kasi bilang kaisa-isang anak, wala namang ibang aasahan ang aking mga magulang kung di ako lang,” shared Jerome.

His relentless search led him to find another job in Dubai at a flower shop as a graphic designer under its marketing team last September. “Kapag nasa isip mo lagi ang kapakanan ng mga mahal mo sa buhay sa Pilipinas, talagang magpu-pursigi kang maghanap ng trabaho kasi para sa akin, hindi ko lubos maisip na maghirap ang aking mga magulang lalo na sa panahon ngayon,” said the OFW.

“Patuloy na pagsuporta at pagpapahalaga sa ating pamilya dahil sila ang ating inspirasyon at ang kanilang tunay na pagmamahal ang nagpapalakas ng ating loob pra ipagpatuloy ang laban ng buhay sa ibang bansa kahit malayo man sila sa atin,” – Alrose Tugadi

Family first

One of the primary reasons many OFWs fly outside the country is to provide a better life for their families back home. Jerome is thankful that he chanced upon his job through social media which pays him well, enabling him to continue his mother’s hospital treatments and medication so they could celebrate Christmas together, albeit online, since he couldn’t come home this year.

“Ang importante kahit hindi ako makakauwi ngayong taon ay naipagpapatuloy ko ang pagbibigay ng pinansyal na suporta sa aking mga magulang dahil hindi kaya ng konsyensya kong maging malungkot ang pamilya ko ngayong Pasko. Mas enjoy ang Pasko siyempre kung kasama ko sila pero buti na lang at may video call na sa panahon ngayon para makita ko man lang ang saya sa mukha nila kahit wala ako doon sa darating na Pasko,” said Jerome.

Dubai-based OFW Alrose Tugadi echoed this as among those who found new employment prior to the pandemic by earning her degree recently in 2019 – 14 years after she landed here in the UAE. Tugadi stated that for OFWs, family comes first. “Patuloy na pagsuporta at pagpapahalaga sa ating pamilya dahil sila ang ating inspirasyon at ang kanilang tunay na pagmamahal ang nagpapalakas ng ating loob pra ipagpatuloy ang laban ng buhay sa ibang bansa kahit malayo man sila sa atin,” said Tugadi.

“Maraming pagsubok ang mga nangyayari sa atin, lahat ay may mapupulot na aral at nagbibigay ng posibilidad kahit anong hirap ng buhay. Kailangan natin manatiling positibo at huwag mawawalan ng tiwala sa Maykapal at laging magdasal. Sa panahon ng kagipitan mas yakapin natin ng mas mahigpit ang relasyon sa ating pamilya upang mas mapatatag ang ating tiwala sa sarili na may maayos na uuwian tayo anuman ang mangyari,” she added.

Meanwhile, Jonah said that he fulfilled the hopes of his mother, who is now watching him from above, and assures that he will continue to support his family back home.

“Di ko mawaring babalik ako sa profession kong to. Ito talaga ang pangarap ng ina ko sa akin, alam kong hangang sa huling hininga nya pinagdadasal nyang makita ko ulit ang kagandaan ng Nursing profession at ma-appreciate ko ulit ang trabahong ito. Napakagaan ng pakiramdam ngayon na financially stable na ako, marami rami na rin ang aking natulungan, kahit pamilya ko sa Pilipinas ay napaka saya na nanumbalik ang sigla ko sa buhay at naging aktibo ulit ako sa aking profession,” shared Mosqueda.

Neil Bie

Neil Bie is the Assistant Editor for The Filipino Times, responsible for gathering news that will resonate among OFW readers in the UAE, Philippines, and around 200 countries, where the platform reaches both Filipinos and worldwide audiences. ||| Get in touch with Neil at: Facebook: Neil Bie ||| Email: [email protected]||| or by sending a message to the Facebook page of The Filipino Times at: https://www.facebook.com/FilipinoTimes/

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