Christmas is a happy day
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.
Meet Marlon Alago, 34 years old from Tayabas City, Quezon Province, Philippines. A Client Coordinator in a huge hospital in Saudi Arabia. Marlon is among the hundreds of thousands of expatriate workers who found success in the country they called their “second home.”
Grew up in Tayabas, Quezon Province, where his family’s source of income was through farming, Marlon is the eldest among his siblings. Despite poverty, his family was considerably happy, though his parents were struggling to make their ends meet.
Poverty Is Not An Excuse Not to Study
During school opening day, Marlon was the first in line despite having no new uniforms and school supplies. As a child, he can’t inevitably felt envy with his classmates having new stuff and good food. During lunchtime, Marlon has to hide himself to avoid mockery and bullying from his classmates. But their destitute situation didn’t deter him to persevere in his studies and often graduated with honors.
Marlon knew by himself that through education he’ll perhaps achieve the fruit of his endeavor at school. However, their situation even got worst during his high school days, where his father’s unstable income was not enough for the entire family. Sometimes his mother had to accept laundry and does some menial works to meet their ends.
Their difficult situation oftentimes led to Marlon’s almost quitting his high school, but on his mind, “what would happen to me if I could not finish my study?” Marlon thought. Through the generosity of his old granny, Marlon could sometimes buy new stuff for school. Finally, in God’s grace Marlon had completed his high school still with honors.
The Struggle in College
But his dilemma didn’t end here yet, as his parents could not afford to send him to college anymore, and that’s something that Marlon knew for a fact, but this didn’t stop him from reaching his goal to pursue his studies. By his excellent marks at school and through his wit, he got a full scholarship in the college where he’s going to study provided he’s going to maintain high grades.
Working and studying at the same time proved to be quite exhausting for Marlon and often found himself too overloaded by his subjects and responsibilities at school as a working student. Though tired most of the time. He’d never thought of quitting out, instead, this encourages him to strive harder as education is the only bridge through his dream success.
After four years and half of the turmoil in college, Marlon has finally achieved his first success in life, earning his degree in BS Computer Science. No words could describe his happiness as he stood in front of the crowd receiving his diploma while his family was in tears watching their son on the stage.
A New Beginning
Not too long after graduation, Marlon got accepted to work in a tremendous bank in the Philippines. As an Account Specialist, in a Credit Card Collection Department, as a diligent worker. He had been constantly awarded as Best Collector of the month.
After four years of working at that branch, he had decided to jump off to another branch of the company and shifted his career as a Bank Teller. However, his changed gear proved to be a wrong decision, two years after working as a Teller. Marlon got terminated due to constant failure at work. The termination made him extremely depressed and hopeless in life.
A Second Chance
His only source of income was gone. But instead of burying himself into the deep, Marlon has found a new opportunity out from his failure. He was hired by a leading manpower company in Saudi Arabia, as a Client Specialist. But his new job didn’t come easy as he has to adapt to the new environment and working atmosphere.
Eventually, Marlon was able to acclimatize and accustomed to his job and gradually got promoted to Client Coordinator in a reputable medical institution in Riyadh. Through his job, Marlon was able to provide monthly support to his family back home.
He has as well bought a piece of land to put up their dream house soon. This year he will be celebrating his 4th anniversary in Saudi Arabia. Marlon has proven that through hard works, patience, and determination we’ll be able to achieve our goals and ambition. Marlon and his family will no longer wait until Christmas just to experience a better food on the table.
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.