PAALALA: Pasensya na po kung taglish ang ginamit ko, para masaya, at kung mali mali ang grammar pagpasensyahan na lang.
I finished college at the age of 21. Five years of kodigo, kopyahan, nood ng sine, tambay sa barkada, kain sa canteen, at buong taong bagbubulakbol.I’ve never had any vacation or sembreak during my college days, and obviously because of my failed subjects (most of them were math). I could still remember during my midterm exams and final exams I just opened my notes and books 10 minutes before the exam time. Some of my classmate (even my friends) asked me “ Paano ka makakapasa nyan eh ni hindi mo binubuklat ang mga notes mo”.I just replied “ Bahala na si Batman”. Good thing di nga ako pinabayaan ni Batman (si Lord yun) But I guess my greatest achievement was, nakatapos ako ng limang taon lang” , and if you will going to ask any engineering student they will definitely agree with me that ,it is a great accomplishement.Kapal talaga!!
Long time ago, I dreamt of having a job in Makati (the center of commerce). I have this superficial idea that working in Makati is the ultimate accomplishment of every fresh graduate. So right after my graduation I started to look for a job. I woke up early (for around 4 am) and dressed myself professionally(kahit sakal na sakal na ako sinuot kong necktie , sinuot ko talaga), as I stepped down in the Jeepney and bus, every passenger was looking towards me, akala nila aatend ata ako ng JS prom kahit nasa kalagitnanan ng April.And also, I have a plastic case where I kept all of my resumes and newspaper clippings. Like every other jobseeker, pwede kaming maging kartero, kasi naghuhunting kami ng address ng kumpanya.
For around 7:00 A.M I was already in the MRT , and everybody was waiting for the train. If I’m not mistaken, we’re almost 300 commuters waiting for the small train. We look like a school of fish (sardines) that waiting for our can. So hayun nakipagsikuhan ako at nakipagsiksikan sa dami ng tao, I thought I was in an Amazing Race competition whereas all of the passengers were my competitors. Basta wala ng lingon lingon!! SUGOD!!!!
That time, I’m very anxious about the time. I wanted to have enough time to look for a job, that’s why I was in a hurry. Inside, the train started to be like an oven, my sweat just flowed continuously, I felt like a faucet was inside my body flowing underneath my sobrang init longsleeve!! But I’m not stinky that time!!! Good thing I took bath for about 1 hour before I went out of the house.. Inside the train you will smell all kinds of odor, some of them smells like tinapay (Anong klaseng tinapay……ano pa eh di the ever strong PUTOK), some smells like sunshine (what sunshine???? Amoy ARAW!!!) some smells like vegetables ( mga amoy sabuyas at bawang) some smells like fruits (bulok nga lang!Di kasi naligo eh) but you have to smell all of that just to be on time. Sacrifice talaga!!!
I arrived in Makati at 8:00 a.m, and it was the start of my grueling day of my job hunting adventure………..
During the interview…….
Human Resource Officer: What’s your Name?
Human Resource Officer: What’s your Name?
Human Resource Officer: Tell me about your Educational Background
Me: I’m just a fresh graduate; I took up Computer Engineering in a State University. Blah blah blah So on so forth…
Human Resource Office: What are your working experiences?
Me ( nanginginig boses pa): I worked in Jollibee and Burger King as a service crew for about 2 years? . When I said those lines, her eyes became pale, and I perceived that time that her enthusiasm dropped down( Teka nga pala hulaan nyo kung san yung inaaplyan ko? Sa isang multinational company sa Makati.Taas ng pangarap!!! )
Then I heard the famous line “ Thank you sir, just wait for our call if you are qualified for the position.”
I asked “Should I call you?” then she replied with a strong waggling of her face “ NO, No, NO, NO sir, don’t call us we’ll call you”. Mukhang bilang natakot!!!
So after several weeks of waiting in vain, I didn’t receive even a single miss call.So, I was very frustrated that time but it did not turn me down to look for other opportunities in life. So, I did the same thing, I woke up early almost everyday, dressed myself professionally, (kahit nagmumukha na akong nagbebenta ng encyclopedia, at worst pa Yakult), and inhaling all pollution in Metro Manila.So from one company to another, I almost applied nearly 50 companies in Makati.Kung tatanungin mo about Makati, pwede mo na akong gawing GPS ( Global Positioning System) kasi kabisado ko nay un, kahit anong building at anong floor pa!! And another trivia: I only have 100 pesos of baon every time I apply, and obviously from my parents again, palamunin na, pinababaunan pa, and if I will loose even 1 centavo, patay kang bata ka di na ako makakauwi, so I have to repress myself from hunger and thirst.
All companies were asking for my working experiences, dyos miyo, fresh graduate ako hahanapan mo ng experience, KAKABWIISSSSSIITTTT!! Then they were asking for 7 years of experience with age limit of 25 years!! Ano ba yun, gaguhan, fresh graduate nga di makuha ng trabaho hahanapan pa ng age limit at may 7 years of experience pa. Then kailangan nila na galing sa reputable school, (alam mo na ibig sabihin nun, pwede lang mag-apply sa company nila ay mayayaman na galing sa UP, La Salle, Ateneo, UST at pangmayamang university, at kaming mga galing sa isang State University, mahihirap na graduates ay wala ng karapatang magtrabaho sa pipitsugin nilang kumpanya! Kung tutuusing di na nga nilang kailnagan magtrabaho kasi mayayaman na sila. Then heto pa, kailangang matataas ang grade mo, nakupo!! Some of those companies were asking for my credentials, diploma, and transcript then hayun namumutla na ako dun.Skulbukol ako tapos dami ko pang bagsak ko.Naku po wala ng kapaga-pagasa!!! Bagsak ang loob ko.I felt that a bomb was dropped over my head (so bago pa ang glorietta bombing nauna muna nilang pasabugin ang ulo ko) At heto pa lagi sa bandang huli ng qualification kailangan my “ Pleasing Personality” (alam nyo na ibig sabihin nun, kailangang magaganda at gwapo, matikas, at sexy) although nakabawi ako dun (naks, kapal talaga), pero naisip ko kawawa naman yung di nabibiyayaan ng ganda, katawan at tangkad!! Dyos ko parang pinagkaitan sila ng pagakaktaon.Naaalala ko pa nun, sa isang kumpanyang pinagaaplyan ko, tinawag kami isa isa, then ang tiningnan lang kami mula ulo hanggang paa , at di pa nakakapagsalita yung di gaanong kagandahang mga aplikante (okay direct to the point yung mga pangit!!!Ang sama eh), sabihan ba namang “next please”. Ano bay un audition for Starstruck, buti na lang at nakaabot ako sa elimination round, kaso natakot ako baka may talent portion pa eh, eh wala akong handang talent nun wala akong cassette tape para sa walang kamatayan kong sayaw, kaya di na ako tumuloy!!! Sayang mukha ako ang magiging ultimate survivor.Starstruck na nga!!!
I passed some of the interviews and then took the examination. That time I have no idea why there’s an examination after the interview, is it necessary? I thought I'm away from school after graduation di pala!!! Hay, hayun bagsak din.Di ko alam kung bakit, though it was not a very difficult exam, so I’m clueless, why I failed??
Although some companies have asked me to joined them, like Platinum Plans.Nice!However there’s one condition that we need to comply that that is..... to recruit one plan holder, Pinagkaperahan pa kami. Some of them are just asking us a little favor before they will hire us, and that is to buy their kamahal mahalang produkto na walang kakwenta kwenta!!!Little favor daw oh!!!
But to be honest I gained a lot of friends from my job seeking adventure! We were comforting each other; we shared our own sob stories, and were able to meet different kinds of jobseekers. Some of them were dressed to kill talaga, but as they open their mouth,whahahaha, walang laman ang utak, mga utak biya, Sayang!!! Some of them were Cum laude, but when you look at them, buti nalang matatlino sila.kundi kawawa naman sila (sama ko talaga)Some of them Matalino na, mga binayayaan pa ng magagandang mukha.So, you just pity yourself and ask God “Why you are so unfair” (Sinisi pa ang dyos!!! Joke lang yun). But the reality bites us, it is the conformity of our society, companies are looking for both, face value (hitsura) and intelligence, but these applicants are just 20% of the Philippine population ,most of them are from the elite circle pa!!!So I’m included among the 80% of the masang Pilipino!!Kawawa naman kami.
So, within 3 months of frustrations I ended up nothing, some of the companies that I applied 3 months ago were calling me up to join their companies but I guess I’m fed up that time. So I just stayed the house for one month. Good thing my uncle asked me to be part of our own Municipality. And I’m so much happy about it. I told myself that it will be my chance to cater my skills, abilities and knowledge. So, on my first day of work, I just stayed in the office for one whole day. He allowed me to meet and mingle with other employee in our Municipality. I thought that it was just on my first day that I will do nothing, but as days and weeks gone by, it seems that I will not do anything at all.I’m pigged out during that time, weighing about 200 pounds, coz most of the time we were just eating and playing games in the computer!! So what could you expect, naging baboy ako. I could still remember that my ex girlfiend used to call me “SEBONG NAGLALAKAD” because of my weight!.Ang sakit!!!
I’m bored and felt useless that time and I realized that I should think out of the box, so I took the chance to look for other opportunities in my life –to look for JOB ABROAD.
I gave up my Makati Dream and look into a bigger picture, bigger opportunities in life. So I shifted from Makati to Malate,(where all Recruting agencies are located). However my health plays important part in finding my luck in working abroad.Why? I almost got a job in Qatar. I passed 2 interviews with flying colors (nice!!!) and able to submit all of the requirements needed, but at the last part of it was - I need to pass the Medical Examination. So I thought everything will be okay!! Then a new adventure unveiled.
As I entered their clinic, they’ve asked me to pay 2,500 for the whole Medical process. I thought that's the only payment that I have to pay, but I was wrong!! (By the way that’s the only money I have that time, at pinangutang ko pa yun eh sa Credit Card-tama ka cash advance!) In that Medical Examination there were so many stages that I have to complete; the first stage was “Eye Examination”. Well at first the optometrist just asked me if I have any eye problem, and I told her that my eyes were perfectly fine. So she asked me to read the Snelen Chart from a reflection in the mirror.So hayun na yung raket.The mirror was not that clear, so I tried to read all the letters in the mirror.So I have 2 mistakes, not because I have poor eye sight but because the mirror was not clear. So I thought it's okay, but when she gave me her findings, she told me that I have 20:25 vision, and according to her I need to wear eyeglasses.I said “Why”? The normal vision is 20:20 and my right eye was just 5 points above normal.But when she saw me that I’m very much angry with her, she just said” Kung di mo bibilhin ito, ibabagsak kita dito”! So hayun tameme na lang ako,wala na akong sinabi, and even I’m totally disagree with her findings I just accepted it ,. Beside she’s the optometrist, and that’s her clinic. Then she told me that she will make an eyeglass for me!! And guess how much it is? Its whopping 2,000 pesos!!!RAKKKEEEETTTTT Talaga!!! That time gustong gusto ko na syang murahin! I have no money to pay for the eyeglass, so I told her that I will be back the following day to pay the walang kwenta kwentang salamin (hayun nakabagak lang sa bahay, di ko naman kailngan yun eh, saka walang kagrado grado, mabuti pa yung reading glass na bibili sa bangketa may grado at 40 pesos lang kesa dun sa bwissit na eyeglass nay un).
So right after her stage I went for 3 more stages, until the last one. So I thought that everything will be fine, but when they checked my Blood pressure. It was staggering 160/120, I asked the doctor to check me again, buti bumaba 150/120.Di pa rin pumpwede. So he asked me to comeback the following day to monitor my BP. Pero talagang ayaw pa ni Lord eh, kasi umabot sa 5 days na monitor di nabago ang BP ko.So they disapproved my Medical examination. Kawawang bata.I just returned home, hopeless and doomed. Another failure, I felt that I was born loser, but after a while I composed myself again, I diverted all the negative vibes into a positive outlook. It became a challenge for me, I know God has a plan for me, maybe that was not the right time for me, and he has a great plan in the near future. I never lose hope that time, but rather it motivated me to look for other job aboard. But first I have to loose some weights and burn some fats. So I went to the gym almost everyday, I ate less than my average appetite (only 2 cups of rice every meal) and really be a healthy man. After 3 months of dieting and muscle building (nice parang kay laki laki ng katawan eh), I then apply in another agency. That time I told myself that I will not ever apply in SAUDI ARABIA, why? Coz you cannot enjoy all the goodness of life in Saudi, plus the fact that I’m hearing so many sad and tragic stories from other OFW’s, so it really frightened me to work in Saudi. But I guess God did have a great plan for me.
I was unaware that I’m applying for a position in Saudi, I thought that I'm applying for a job in UAE, so when the agency asked me to attend the interview, I went there unprepared, coz it was an abrupt call from the agency. When I arrived in the agency I saw fifteen more applicants, some of them were Ex-abroad (meaning dating mga OFW) but God is good coz I got the position, not to mention that I’m just a first timer (first time mag-abroad). I guess my charm helped me a lot in clutching that position, whahahah. Though I was very disappointed coz I will work in Saudi, but I convinced myself that this will be the right time for me to be out of my comfort zone. On the other hand, I was skeptic as well , coz I need to pass the Medical Examination. I was very nervous during that time, most especially about my Blood Pressure. But I guess it was really comes from God, coz I passed the Medical Examination.YEPPIE!!! Though there were some uncertainties and fears, but God gave me the strength that I needed.
Now, I’m here in Riyadh , I’m very happy that I have a very good position here in this company and earning good enough to support my family . I’m working here for about a year, and I think, I will stay here for 5 years more. Before I went here, I was preoccupied by different bad thoughts and bad ideas about Saudi, but upon working here hindi naman pala ganun kasama. Okay naman pala, parang pilipinas din pala!!
I also got the chance to have my first vacation last April, 2007 ( Please read my other entry….” An open letter-My First Vacation). I’m not raising myself but I guess all of my hard works are now paying off. I learned so much from this experience and from working here abroad ( please read my other blog entry “What keeps me going, I have 10 reasons why?”), I value every one around me now, and become closer to God also.
You know guys, I’m still looking for greater heights on my career, and I know God will always have a great plans store for me. I just have to wait for that plan to come. Always remember God has 3 answers, First is YES, ( but we have to thank him always, coz everything you have right now is solely because of him. Please don’t rely with your strengths coz human are born weak without GOD), Second NO (because God has a greater plan for you). Third, WAIT ( we just have to wait, coz he will give us everything at his perfect time, so wait and continue praying).
Guys, I just wanted to inspire other people, not to loose hope. God always have a great plans for us; all we need to do is wait for that plan and wait for God’s perfect time. Certainly the rest will follow smoothly.
If sometimes all of our dreams are not possible to achieve then we should ask more of God’s help, always be positive, never put yourself down, never let disappointments and frustrations overpower your dreams and aspirations and you should learn to stand up and move forward when you fall.
I have a guiding motto in my life and that is “Everything happens with a purpose”, I hope this will be your guiding motto as well. Coz with this line, it teaches us to be positive, it gives us hope, and it assures us that God never forsake us.
I know I am not that successful and some of you might find me a very conceited man, but all I wanted to share with you guys is that the world wouldn’t stop turning if we fail!!! If we fail, life must go on.There's a saying that “Quitters never win, Winners never quit”, so if we fail, try again, if we fail again, try once more, and then if we fail, aba sobra nay un wag mo ng pilitin , hindi na para sa iyo yun, umiba ka na ng plano. Hayan pinasaya ko na uli kayo masyado na kasi tayong nagiging seryoso eh.But it is true, sometimes the other solution to our problem and frustrations is to look for other ways of getting it, or even change your game plan.Right?
So sana kaibigan magsasama sama taong abutin ang mga pangarap natin.Sana nabigyan ko kayo na kahit na konting inspirasyon. Salamat sa time nyo!!! Basta tandaan nyo kaya natin to!!!