It was a wonderful Saturday afternoon in Al-Khobar corniche, the venue of the “charity run” organized by our company. The weather was great, perfect for the marathon, at first – I have registered myself to experience this fun event; however, I backed out at the last minute and decided to be an expectator.
Early in the morning before sunrise, she heads to the bushes hoping to find root crops for her starving family. She held the stem of the sturdy cassava plant, she pulled it up but failed, she tried again yet the plant resisted. She gave another blow with all her strength from her tiny body, she uprooted the yucca plant full of edible fully grown roots. A usual routine for a young girl’s family living below the poverty line.
It’s four o’clock in the morning, the place is quiet and peaceful. The only sound audible is the alternating crows of the roosters echoing through the valleys signaling a bright new day is about to break out. A day full of hope and inspirations.
Meet Randy Custodio, 35, years old, an Account Specialist, in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an Overseas Filipino Worker. From Ilaya Bulo, Province of Quezon, Philippines.
Its Christmas Eve, the whole family happily sits together as they patiently wait for the last tick of the ‘minute hand’ (wall clock) before twelve o’clock midnight. Alas! The wait is over. Merry Christmas! Greeted everyone with a smile on their faces. The table is ready, kids are so excited to see what mama has prepared on a rare occasion to eat good food.
Sailing alone into the deep blue sea hoping to catch fish to fill his rumbling stomach. As he paddles towards the middle of the ocean where he could see nothing, but the magnitude of the approaching swell.
He looked around back and forth, where there is no more land visible from the distance, realizing he has gone too far. His heart beats fast, though scared and daunted he continued boldly crossing the unrelenting waves that strike against his wooden boat as if yelling him – ‘you can’t make it to the shore.’
Meet Christine, 30 years old, from Indahag Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. A single mother of three. After her failed marriage life, Christine was left alone raising and fending her three children. Thinking to provide her kids brighter future, Christine left the country and decided to work in Saudi Arabia way back in 2013.
Meet Jilbert Calpito, 45 years old from Bacoor Cavite, Philippines. Like many Overseas Filipino Workers in Saudi Arabia, Jilbert decided to leave his country in search of a greener pasture to support his family’s growing needs.
Prior to working in Saudi Arabia, Jilbert used to work as a teacher in Kazakhstan. Back in the Philippines Jilbert is a licensed teacher of English Language, Arts, and Literature after acing the American Board Exam in 2009.
It was among the darkest moment of my life, I have to start all over again from the scratch. I was desperate and overwhelmed with negative thoughts, I have lost self-esteem and self-confidence.
The incident worsens my depression, I am unable to concentrate for a month or two, I kept on blaming myself for what had happened. I tried to stay strong and pretended I’m alright, until one day I have given up! I have accepted my defeat and that I’m a loser. I was jobless for 8 months, I was worried my money is running out fast, I need to find a job by hook or by crook before I am penniless.
However, my happiness in this American I.T company was short-lived, I have to leave and go back to the Philippines. In an unfortunate event, I have accidentally washed up my passport in the washing machine! Yes, I washed-up my passport in the washing machine of the hotel. Isn’t it weird? Or an act of idiocy, what do you think? I’m just human, I’m not in control of everything.
I froze when I saw my passport inside the washing machine along with my clothes, I was speechless – my entire body numbed for a moment. I was scared and worried, my work visa is on my passport and now it has been ruined. I don’t even know what to do and what would happen to me now.
It’s everyone’s dream to land a better job and prosperous career after finishing a degree to provide our needs and support our families. But finding a good company is already a difficult challenge for everyone, how much more getting hired by the biggest energy company in the world?
My journey to my dream company started back in 2012 when I first arrived in Saudi Arabia looking for a greener pasture. My first company was a manpower supply agency that provides staff to reputable companies in the kingdom.