I wasn’t able to write something about a year-ender, so might as well make a “pahabol” this time. Better late than never, right?
Back then, I was just an ordinary employee of a Japanese company, having this feeling of dissatisfaction with the tasks being handed over to me, but still enjoying the stay nonetheless thanks to the extra-curricular activities of studying the Japanese language which I’ve been longing for since high school. But then I came to a point when I realized that I’m not growing(technically) and that I wasn’t able to hone my skills probably because I wasn’t given the chance - that “shining moment” as they call it. And so I opened my doors in search for a better opportunity. And I don’t need to wait or hunt for it. One day it just came.
A new opportunity dawned upon me. Everything was new - new people to work with, a new project to deal with, a new working environment, and new friends to hang out with. During that time, I didn’t have to worry about being short of finances. I was able to support my family particularly my siblings (in sending them to school), and I was able to save some money just in case there’s a need for it in the future. I can say that it was way better than my previous job.
During my off, I spent my time with my college friends (watching movies or go strolling in the mall or playing arcade games), I had time to meet my high school friends, and I had time to take my family out for dinner. I was able to travel. To cross the sea, to get out of the big city and to enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer.
But it’s not picture perfect in totality. Few months later I was about to lose my job, for something unexpected happened that left the company with no other choice but to dissolve our department. Fortunately though, few weeks before this company announcement came to my knowledge, I received a call from an agent abroad. She’s offering a work overseas.
It was a Sunday afternoon in July when I took the exam and the interview in their branch office in Makati. I was so nervous because for me this is something “big”, something that’s been part of my plan, an opportunity that I need to grab now. So after I finished the exam and the interview, I was asked to stay for a while and wait for the result. Shortly the HR personnel approached me with a smile on her face. She said that I passed the exam and the interview and that I’m going to Singapore. She started to mention about the job description, the air fare, my tentative starting date of work, etc. It took some time to sync in, that’s why when the she asked me of “Any question?” I promptly replied with “Am I dreaming?” Working abroad has always been on my plans, but I never thought that it was going to be this fast.
The next thing I knew it is that I am now officially an OFW. Ang bigat.
After a few weeks, I found myself standing on a different soil. Here I met new people and discovered new places and food. Everything was new again- new people to work with, a new project to deal with, a new working environment, and new pinoy friends to hang out with. The culture is new, too! I met new people and was inspired by their life experiences. My ability to cope up was tested both at work and at home. I gained new friends. There were conflicts, but in the end I think we all learned to give and take. I felt happy and sometimes sad. I had fever during the rainy season. I experienced “homesickness” (I miss my family so much!). I missed GMA Telebabad. I craved to have a taste of pinoy food back home. I gave, and I was hurt. I forgive and I forget. I had the courage to say what’s on my mind. I learned to have no resentments on the outcome of things that I allowed to happen. Experience truly is the best teacher.
The year that was is like a roller coaster ride for me. It started slow, gathered some momentum, reached the peak, fell so fast, looped, and then ended abruptly. Looking back on the year that was, I realized how blessed I am. I learned the importance of saving, in having time for your friends and family, in the importance of expressing your mind, in striking while the iron is hot, in enjoying life. Sure, I had my ups and my downs but what’s important is that I survived. I am victorious, thank God.
As I welcome 2008, the roller coaster ride continues. We will all continue to move forward. More of this life’s “thrills” is yet to be discovered.