Jilbert Calpito, 45 from the Philippines
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.
The decision to Work in KSA
Saudi Arabia is not a country of his first choice, like many Filipinos and other nationals around the world Jilbert wanted to pursue his “American dream.” However, his elusive “American dream” made him upset and decided to try his luck in Saudi Arabia.
By his excellent work experience and acumen got him successfully hired as a Test Analyst, in an Industrial Training Center of a multibillion dollar company.
Interestingly, barely two months after arriving in Saudi Arabia, his intangible American dream opportunity knocked. Without any hesitation, he rejected his chance to work in the U.S as the salary offered is lower than what he is getting in Saudi.
Adapting To the New Environment
As former Overseas-Filipino-Worker, Saudi Arabia is not considered unusual to him, as it reminds him of his previous job. Saudi’s topography is quite similar to Kazakhstan with a sprawling desert that seems never-ending.
But his first few months didn’t come easily without challenges, he had a financial struggle when he was new, communication issues and adopting a new diet.
Over the time Jilbert able to acclimatize himself of the new environment, although homesickness and the thought of his love-ones struck him for a while. But glancing the joyful post of his kids online and seeing the fruits of his remittance, all his loneliness vanished away.
Saudi People are Friendly and Accommodating
Like most of the new expatriates in Saudi Arabia, he had himself thought that locals are unwelcoming and unfriendly. Thanks to the exaggerated and false information from people who have not been in Saudi and the negative information shown in the bias media. Now by his personal experience, he found out that locals are Friendly and Accommodating.
“Added bonus, they would tell you where the basketball court is even without asking them, knowingly fully well Filipinos are basketball fanatics,” Jilbert said.
Working in Saudi Arabia didn’t make him away from home as he was able to establish friendship among with the locals and with his expat colleagues. Likewise, Jilbert goes home every year to see his family and friends.
Grateful to Saudi Arabia
Jilbert is grateful for his job in Saudi Arabia and considers it his biggest financial breakthrough. His family back home is living comfortably and affords the basic daily necessities through his support.
Jilbert, has also a good advice to anyone who wants to work in Saudi Arabia to follow the proper and legal procedure when applying for a job in the kingdom to avoid any untoward incidents later on.
Apart from being a professional, Jilbert is also an artist and currently hoping to exhibit his artworks in one of the most prestigious cultural venues in Saudi Arabia.
The author is currently based in Saudi Arabia, the holiest land of Islam. He’s a full-time employee of the largest energy company in the world. He’s a graduate of Communication Management, loves to write and travel.