Wednesday, November 26, 2008

20 Minutes Before Take Off (A Sad Song)

One of the risks that every OFW takes in pursuing a dream abroad is to shatter a love affair that almost took them a lifetime to build. Though we would bravely prove the phrase "Long distance love affair doesn't work" to be wrong, this requires a lot of sacrifices and efforts to sustain, to keep the fire burnin', and to fill the gaps that would definitely goes wider over time if would be taken lightly.

Even if we are a part of a generation where communication is considerably cheap compared to a few years back, thru sms, voice chat, video chat, or a phone call. These are not enough and could never replace the presence of a partner to his/her lover. The touch, the kiss, the scent and a scene where you are physically there are crucial to every relationship to continue to grow.

I didn't even believe this when I decided to work overseas. What I believed was we already laid out a solid foundation of 5 years in our relationship of being together. I believed that our commitment to fight the odds together is enough for us to survive. But I guess we are just tricked by our own imagination. We are not as strong as what we've thought, and now we are facing the consequences of putting an end to a wonderful love that we've built for years. The love that pushed me to work abroad and the love that motivated me to keep moving on.

But... I am still hoping that what situation I am now into would not fall into the meanings of this song. Only God knows what will happen next.


20 Minutes Before Take Off - Dan & Henry (Filipino Artists)




Monday, November 24, 2008

Pinoy style: How to Visit Dubai then Apply for a Job

Hello everyone, to those of you who are interested to work in Dubai, I found this very informative resource to help you out. This is very similar to one of my previous posts here called Finding Jobs in Singapore. In this article the author is sharing his personal experiences in job hunting in Dubai. Keep on reading..

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Base on my personal experience some of the following are few tips you have to read and take note when planning to visit and find a job in Dubai.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

OFW Story: Hopes, Dreams Outweigh Fears

Hello everyone, after a few days of no posts, I am now back into digging and finding interesting ofw stories to share with you. I recently just contracted this illness called love-sickness, yeah no kidding, don't say crap please.. :), so that's the reason why I was not able to update this blog. We have just some misunderstandings with my fiancee back home but we're all right now and continue fighting the challenges of being miles apart. Geez, I may sound already corny just now but that's what happened. It was just a failure of a network service provider to deliver the sms, hehe.. Petty things right? But sms is a crucial part for me to communicate with my loved ones back home, so that was it. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

From Janitor to Entrepreneur, an OFW story

These days, Lady Luck is probably smiling from ear to ear on businessman Sebastian “Steve” Tamayo.

Managing several outlets of his famous chain of restaurants--Tamayo’s and other businesses, including a consultancy firm, a flower shop and catering services, Steve considers himself as one of the luckiest people in the world.

But life was not all a bed of roses for this self-styled restaurant owner. He, like, many of us, had been knocked down and hit rock bottom a couple of times.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dan of Ireland: The OFW Story

Another OFW story of a man who once work as high school teacher and a college instructor back home, working like a horse to support his family but yet the hard-work was still not enough to sufficiently earn thus decided to head on for a roller-coaster-ride of working abroad.

Read the rest of the story of Dan from Ireland.

Filipinos walk a different path in this earth. Our race had left a significant mark in this tumultuous world. We the Filipino overseas worker, the new breed of modern nomads that seek greener pastures elsewhere to escape the clinch of poverty. Our life story, our struggle has always been told. Every day throngs of Filipinos board that one way ticket plane ride. With a pocket of a few borrowed dollars and a lot of prayers. We surrender ourselves to fate and luck, that we may find the promise land. A land far away from home, glittering with better paying jobs and endless prospects.


When I look back years ago when I braced myself to board my first international flight. Mixed emotions was triggered when I looked back to see what I was leaving behind. The land of my birth, my family and my friends that for years I will be parted. I indeed sacrificed all just to alleviate myself from penury. When I was young I never dreamed of life away from home. I dreamed of becoming a lawyer, a doctor, or a senator just like any other kid in our class. But the more you grow up the smaller your dreams become. The more you grow up the more you realize how cruel and unfair life was. From a young age I learned to work hard to continue on with my studies to get a degree. Due to hard work I even got a master’s degree. Even after all that hard work you still haven’t got a sense of security. My earnings still wasn’t enough for a better future for my son and my life still going nowhere. Years of hard labour bring little fruition. Even if I work myself to death the money I earn won’t even be enough for a decent funeral.

In 2005 my wife got a job here in the Republic of Ireland. I was so exuberant upon hearing the news for the first time. It was our way out of from poverty. At last destiny was shining upon us. I was so na├»ve then. I thought that being abroad was the answer to all my troubles. I also succumbed to the mindset that being abroad was a sign of success. Most Filipinos back home treated other countries outside our own as those whose streets are painted of gold and people lucky enough to go abroad will bring back tons of unimaginable wealth. Reality was far too different. The streets outside the country are not painted of gold but stained by the sweat and tears of OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Workers). Outside our country most of us live to work. To earn enough only to pay the bills and send some money back home. Having two jobs was often the way to get by. I was once a high school teacher and college instructor back home but here I started off as someone who cleans rooms and toilets for a living. I totally have no shame about my job and did it with dignity. We Filipinos are a resilient race as they say and I just proven that to myself over and over again.

Article Source: http://expatpinoy.blogspot.com/2008/06/ofw-story.html

Sa Aking Padala (A Song for Us: 2)

Jim Paredes seems to have this connection to OFWs, he certainly aware on the sacrifices and challenges that an OFW would go through in the process. Maybe because as what his friends call him, he is an "Aussie-W", a reverse OFW, because he works in the Philippines and is sending money to his family living in Australia. Though not exactly our case but the feeling of staying away from our loved ones should be the same.

This time he wrote a song called "Sa Aking Padala", I am a music lover (that's why I have my own videoke box) especially of OPM songs. Though this looks like an advertisement of Western Union, but the music itself is good and is really for us OFWs.



If you haven't read his article about how we OFWs became alienated to our own family, please find it here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

As a Mother Who Works as an OFW

Mothers are the most beautiful gifts and treasures that we have ever received, from giving us comfort in their own wombs, they risked their own lives just to give us a chance to see the world, to their sacrifices to raise us into a person that they can be proud of. No one could ever surpass the love of a mother to her own child, and no seas or mountains can ever stop her to get her children back to her loving arms.

This is a story of a mother who works as an OFW, feel her pains and joys, as she tells you her own experiences in battling the challenges of getting reunited with her precious daughter. Read the rest of the story.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Song for Us

This is for all of us who are hoping that a day would come that we will no longer be working miles away from our respective families, that we will be reunited with them for good, that someday would come that we will be saying to them, "I'm Coming Home".

Enjoy the Video from YouTube.



"Home"

Another summer day
Has come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home
Mmmmmmmm

Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
“I’m fine baby, how are you?”
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I’ve got to go home

Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
'Cause this was not your dream
But you always believed in me

Another winter day has come
And gone away
In even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
Oh, let me go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

Let me go home
I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It will all be all right
I’ll be home tonight
I’m coming back home

Sunday, November 9, 2008

World-Class Singer: Vincent Bueno

I've come across this video in youtube, among many filipino singers who proved their talents outside the border of the Philippines, like Madonna Decena, Charise Pempengco, Charlie Green and Arnel Pineda, this fella is also musically gifted and proved his worth by bagging the championship in Austrian talent competition “Musical! Die Show”, outshining a total of 400 participants.

He received a 67 percent of all the televotes cast (landslide win) from televiewers of Austria, with the second placer, Austrian Eva Klikovics garnering 37 percent. He won a total of 50,000 euros as grand prize.

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting a Top-Caliber Filipino Singer..(drum roll).. Vincent Bueno.. Clap!3x.. Enjoy the video..



2008 ESOL Teacher of the Year Award

Alright, I've noticed that I have been posting a lot of sad stories about OFW lately. So, this time I want something that would inspire us, something that would give us a spark to keep moving forward and do excellent performances in our respective host countries.

This one is a story of a Filipino Teacher in New York City, he is Feliciano "Chito" Jaime Atienza, a world-class OFW.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm Sorry Dad

Here is another story of an OFW who wanted to lift his family's financial status by going to Mauritius and to work in a fishing vessel that later on turned out to be a living hell.

This is just an excerpt of the original article from Rinka Chic's blog. The author is relaying the story told by her aunt who happened to be one of the instruments of rescuing the OFW from his floating coffin.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Finding Jobs in Singapore

Many friends are asking me on how to find jobs in Singapore, so I am writing these tips to help them know and everyone else who happens to be interested in landing a job here in SG. These are all based on my experiences and from others' as well that I've accumulated from the different filipino groups, discussion forum and any form of online filipino community in Singapore.

How to Apply:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Clara: Filipina rape victim in Qatar

I happened to read this particular article from mefilipinos dot wordpress dot com. Though this has happened way back in 2006 but it is just so sad for me to pass on this one, without letting you know the situations that some of our domestic helpers kababayan are suffering in the middle east. As mentioned in my previous article "Mail-order Brides, Prostitutes and DH", so sad that even our own government agencies cannot offer an extended hands and services to these victims of oppression and sexual assaults.

Mail-order Brides, Prostitutes and DH

Trying to find interesting stories about Overseas Filipino Workers, I was able to stumble upon a particular post from bilingualpen dot com entitled "On the OFW Phenomenon, Mail-order Brides, Prostitutes, and More". The author presented very well on how the word Filipina would mean to different nationalities around the globe.

While to others it would mean as Mail-order Brides or Prostitutes or Domestic Helpers, comments from different foreign bloggers conveyed a message that a word Filipina doesn't sound that bad. Some were even thankful for having their sons found a perfect Filipina match.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

How to Handle a Hero

Jim Paredes, a member of the famous APO Hiking Society, posted this article back in August 03, 2008 in http://www.philstar.com. It is an interesting fact that he was able to point out the feeling of disconnection when we are away or sometimes even when we go home to our respective families in the Philippines. Continue reading...
HUMMING IN MY UNIVERSE By Jim Paredes

Me and my Videoke Box

I was invited last night by a friend and former colleague to come over to their place together with my videoke box.

So we had fun all night till 4am singing and dancing to the tunes from 70's to 90's. It was a great experience to see my fellow OFWs singing all the OPM songs. In one night we all felt like we are back in the Philippines partying with families and friends.

Videoke is always my best buddy to ease my homesickness. And I think almost every OFW around the globe would agree on that. Like what a Singaporean said, whom I've happened to meet at one pub, "Every Filipino can sing".

Considering that he haven't gone to our country, his comment was plainly an observation on his Filipino acquaintances.

Wherever we may go, it would really show that singing videoke will always be a part of our lives.

If you ask what videoke box I have, it's a new videoke box called ziller from Korea. It has built-in 707 OPM songs and 1,565 English songs for a price of 12k+ Php. I should have been buying magic sing but when I saw this product it was an easy choice for me. Features that I like are as follows:

  1. The main circuitry of the system resides on the box not on the microphone (I can't think what would happen if magic sing falls from the hands of an intoxicated person)
  2. It has built-in OPM songs
  3. It has 8 extra expansion slots for additional song chips
  4. You can use an ordinary microphone (maximum of 2)

There are a lot of other features but those are the top features that I've considered. You can visit the product's website for more information.

Product Site: http://www.realsoundvideoke.com

Friday, October 31, 2008

Imagine a World without Filipinos

You may have probably read this article somewhere in the internet sites, blogs or email but this one is worth a 2nd reading to inspire us and to be proud of whatever work that we have abroad, so long as it is decent and legal. Enjoy reading.

Muhammad Al-Maghrabi became handicapped and shut down his flower and gifts shop business in Jeddah after his Filipino workers insisted on leaving and returning home. He says: “When they left, I felt as if I had lost my arms. I was so sad that I lost my appetite.”

OFW Benefits: Order Negosyo

The Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), under the office of the President, invites all interested individuals especially overseas Filipino workers in search of viable business and investment opportunities in the Philippines through the Order Negosyo or Franchising Program.

The program assists in processing documents needed to establish a new business. It has a list of reputable and seasoned franchise companies with proven track records and financial institutions offering financial assistance in starting a new venture.

List of Franchisors

Among the participating franchisors in Order Regalo are:

- Bench
- Business Box
- Candy Corner
- Facialhaus
- Goto King
- Heltgard Hygiene Systems, Inc.
- Kameraworld
- Metropole Laundry & Dry Cleaners, Inc.
- Miggy's Super Tacos, Inc.
- Mister Donut
- Mr. Quickie
- Nacho King
- Potato Corner
- Toby's

FAQs About Order Negosyo

Why Order Negosyo?

Order Negosyo helps you put up and manage a business by:

- Offering a range of pre-selected business packages available in the Philippines. Order Negosyo provides the needed information, saving you the trouble of going through each franchisor at the initial stages of your research.
- Matching you with the franchise business that meets your interest and financial resources.
- Helping identify financing packages that can be tapped to augment your financial resources.
- Providing documentation assistance.

What businesses are available under Order Negosyo?

Order Negosyo offers franchises covering both food and non-food lines.

Why franchising?

Franchising is a method of doing business where the buyer (the franchisee) runs a business by using the system and trademark of the seller (the franchisor).
Among the benefits in franchising are:

- First, it minimizes the risk of business failure because through the years of running the business, the franchisor has ironed out potential problem areas.
- According to the Philippine Franchise Association, "a franchised business is three times more likely to succeed as compared to one put up from square one".
- Second, you save on the cost of advertising because not only do you have a well-known and recognized trademark, you also pool advertising resources with other franchisees.
- Third, the franchisor provides the franchisee and staff with detailed training and help. If you were an independent operator, where would you and your staff train?


Who may avail of franchising opportunities under Order Negosyo?

- Any interested individual. This means either you or any of your family member/s, or any group of individuals who may pool resources together;
- A Filipino based or working abroad who wants to put up and operate his own business here in the Philippines. Also included are those who are planning to return to the Philippines.
- Interested parties must possess the following qualities:

  1. Committed and hardworking
  2. With positive outlook in life
  3. Willing to be trained in the disciplines of the franchise business systems
  4. With financial resources to put up a business


Can I qualify even if I have no experience or background in business?

A business experience and/or background is an advantage. However, interested parties with no experience in business need not worry since franchisors will provide training programs.

One of the benefits of franchising is the transfer of information and technology necessary to successfully operate the business.

The rest of the personnel such as supervisors and staff will also be trained. The length of training will depend on the type of the franchise business.

Can I apply even while I am still abroad?

Yes! You can start your own business here in the Philippines while still abroad. You may appoint a representative from among your family member/s to apply and operate your business. Of course, they will be subject to the franchisor's evaluation process.

How much investment is needed?

Your investment will depend on the nature of the franchise business you choose. Order Negosyo has carefully selected the franchise package it offers. Your investment could range from as low as PHP 200,000 to as high PHP 4 million.

Other factors that affect your investment size are:

- Size/area of establishment
- Location
- Equipment
- Outlet type
- Stock inventory
- Office / space rental
- Insurance
- Permits & licenses
- Other working/operating expenses

In general, your franchise investment includes:

- Franchise fee
- Marketing study
- Store design
- Layout assistance
- Training programs
- Leasehold improvements (outlet construction)
- Equipment
- Signage
- Pre-opening marketing expense, and pre-opening supplies

Do I pay more if I course my inquiry through Order Negosyo?

No, the amount you pay is exactly the same as when you deal directly with the franchisors. In fact, fees are paid directly to the franchisors. With Order Negosyo, you receive the assistance and services with no extra or additional costs.

How much can I expect to earn?

Your income from your outlet/business will depend on a number of factors such as: location, market condition and type of supervision you will your shop, advertising and marketing.

Depending on the franchise business you choose, your recovery period can be anywhere from six (6) to thirty-six (36) months.

What is the ideal location?

The location depends on the franchise business you choose but in general, the following are the locations which are most preferred.

In a mall:

- near cinemas
- near food courts
- near main entrances
- near entrances of main parking lots

Outside the mall:

- near churches
- near public markets
- near pedicab, tricycle or jeepney stops
- near schools
- near municipal halls
- within commercial areas
- near a loading and unloading area for public transport
- where there is heavy pedestrian traffic
- near entrance of populated residential community

These indications do not automatically mean a good site. The franchisor with its vast experience in site selection, shall assess the feasibility of your prospective site. This comes along with an objective and accurate report on the sales potential of the site.

There are instances when you already have a site in mind. Such location will still have to pass through the franchisor's evaluation and approval.

If you have no specific location in mind, some have a list of pre-approved spaces that are to be franchised.

How soon can I start operating?

Again, this varies form one franchisor to another and will depend on how fast you can submit the documentary requirements.

Once the franchisor has approved your application and you have complied with the other requirements such as personnel training, site construction and equipment installation, then you can immediately start.

How do I start?

Choose a business package that interests you. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). For more inquiries, e-mail PITC at pitcoro@info.com.ph

Source: http://www.business.gov.ph/SME_Agenda_SMEofws.php

Taiwanese Co-Worker Idolized Filipinos

Wondering how our neighboring countries think about us Filipinos and our country? This is a conversation of a Filipina and her co-worker, a Taiwanese man in his 40's giving his view about our country many years ago and his question on why Philippines is moving backwards in terms of economic growth. Please read below.

I just had a long interesting chat that I feel like sharing with everyone. Kinda shocked and astonished by it.

Air Damper of a Filipino Engineer

This is a story of a Filipino Engineer in Nigeria who showed his skills and leadership in solving a 6-year old smoke problem of a plant's incinerator. Please read a story from a person named butz from http://mabuhaycity.com filipino forum.

Really I feel excited when I read this accomplishment the pinoys had been making. And as for me I had my own real story to tell. I work before in Saudi for 7 years and transfered to Qatar and then Egypt. Resently I was sent to Nigeria last June 9, 2008. The company where I work (8 years) is a service company for oil drillings (base in UK).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My First $100 Earnings Online

1 year ago, I was so amazed everytime I hear people find their passive income online. And so I started to do my research on how it is being done.

I found out that most of them got the income from adsense thru blogging. Adsense is a service provided by Google wherein google ads will be displayed on your website or blog and you earn everytime a visitor clicks on any of the ads. This is a pay-per-click scheme or popularly known as PPC in the online advertisers and marketers.

This may somewhat intimidate someone who is not into techy stuffs but the reality is not. You don't really need to have your own website (well, better if you do) to get this done. You can start by signing up to blogging services like blogger.com, which is owned by Google or wordpress.com. If you will sign up then you will be given a personal page or blog wherein you can then fill with content of your choice, known as niche and then sign up for google adsense and place the ads all throughout your blog. You don't even need to write an article as there are already a lot of articles all over the internet that you can legally publish as long as the original author and sometimes their URL will not be removed.

Blogger.com for itself provides a very user-friendly interface from choosing the layout even to guiding you on placing the adsense.

This is so advantageous to us OFWs who loves to write on a particular topic of interest and publish it to our blogs for the reason that we have all the time that we need after working hours.

After work when I find myself at home nothing to do, I spent my time on reading blogs of interest and finding articles related to my niche and publish them.

Well, what particular blog that I've earned my first $100? You can check out http://self-publishing-guide.blogspot.com/. And see the snapshot above on the passive income that I've accumulated so far in Adsense. The contents of this blog almost all came from various free article sites. I just grabbed and published them but leaving the original sources of the articles to make it legal. So if you have the time and a personal computer, create a blog and monetized it by adding Adsense, after all even OFWs needs all possible income inorder to send money back home.

-karim

Five Thousand - Peso OEC

This is a story of my friend and co-worker on his way back here in Singapore.

At 18:00, he's already at the MCIAA airport in Mactan Cebu lining up for an available immigration officer. He's flying back after a 2-week vacation in Cebu. When the lady immigration officer asked him for an OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate), he said that he wasn't able to secure one and he told her that he just paid the travel tax. But the lady officer instructed him to go to her supervisor without telling why.

A Usual OFW Story

When i was in my high school days or even in my college years, I never imagined myself to work outside the country. I grew up living a simple life, my father is a mechanic of our own-managed small shop, and my mother is plain housewife. All I wanted was to be like my father and so I planned to get a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

That was 12 years ago. Now, I'm not managing my own auto repair shop, I did not pursue the course that I wanted to back then and ended up finishing BS Computer Engineering, and most of all I am presently working away from home and my country.

In short, all my plans a decade ago turned 180 degrees to what situation I am now into. I am now working in one of the electronic giant companies here in Singapore.

Why did I decide to work abroad? I will try my best tell you.

When I graduated in College in 2001, I was so eager to work immediately to earn my first salary and to help my family. I landed working in a data processing company in Cebu. But the pay is way too low so I decided to transfer to another company as a contractor for 2 years. Then I was given a slot on the same company as a permanent staff and worked for another 4 years.

For a total of more than 6 years of working, I will tell you the figures of my savings. NOTHING, yes you got it right, I didn't have any savings at all and even in debt to some of the financial institutions.

I worked like a horse to support my family and my ordinary lifestyle but I saved nothing, how much more to some of you who are living in spendings more than mine. Over the years, my patriotism to apply my skills on my own country slowly faded, and a new dream to work abroad started to come out.

That's why I'm here, one of the million filipinos working abroad, who tried to find a decent living for my family back home.