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..

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:

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.


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

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 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...

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: