Filipino Expats in UAE - Odds and Happiness - Ceddy's Random

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Filipino Expats in UAE - Odds and Happiness

Overseas Filipino Workers- How Do They Do It?

I was dreaming of working out of the country. Ever, Since when I was in high school.  Working in a country where there are 4 types of seasons, wherein you can enjoy the winter, spring and so on.

That was my mindset before then until I graduated from college, and found a suitable job in my country.
When my salary comes, I always give money to my auntie, pay for the accommodation, electricity, and other miscellaneous kinds of stuff.

For 4 years I've been working in my country. I didn't see any progress in myself. Career-wise?
to put in perspective. It's like a snail: very slowly yet late for something that is not worth to have for.

I have plans. Career-wise and for my future endeavors.

Then one thing happened.  

My Uncle asked me if I was interested in working in the Middle East. 
Of course. I want! but how? I don't have any resources at the moment. And I am financially unstable.

By all God's Grace. I was able to work in the United Arab Emirates. My Uncle's Daughter aids me financially. 

To make it short. I am working now in The UAE - I work in a retail company.

I was so overwhelmed, the first time I stepped into this country. 

  • From the underpass to the stoplights- everything is being monitored by CCTV.
  • They call the comfort room as "washroom"
  • Your grammar shouldn't be perfect as long as the thought counts (or you can make body language so that you and the person can understand each other)
  • Luxury cars such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Mustang are just so normal here
  • You will get easily intimidated by the locals here (If you are a first-timer).
  • Every washroom regardless if it's public or private. The tissue is well refilled.
  • Instead of an elevator, they called it a lift (because of the British language that they follow)
  • You can boil an egg under the scorching sun, particularly during summer

 As a social media enthusiast, I'm always updating my status on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
 Why not? taking pictures of the scenic places that I'm visiting throughout the Emirates.
 I was fascinated by there futuristic designs of the buildings. I fell in love with it.

I was so blessed that my relatives were here. So in case of any uncertain circumstances, I have someone to call for help. But how about the others? Those people who are looking for a job in this country without any relatives or connections? It is hard. 

The first time I got separated from my cousin. It's hard for me to adjust to another environment. Culture shock indeed.
I'm not getting used to it. But I consider this as a challenge to myself.

It's my first time staying in a flat wherein a lot of my Kabayans and some other nationalities live in a single flat. Paying 650 Dirhams for a bed-space double decker in a room full of 8 people. I was like, "For real"? 
"How can I survive?"

But guess? I did it! I survive these circumstances. With the guidance of God and prayers.

 My Aunt was asking how am I doing. Of course, I will tell her that I am fine. Because I don't want to bother her. But in reality, it is the other way around

Imagine that? People in my country think that OFW is enjoying their life here. Going to these places, buying branded clothes, expensive pieces of jewelry etcetera. For me, in my personal opinion. I think for some time,  despite hard labor and earnings, you should treat yourself somehow. Think of it as a reward.
The fact that they don't know how hard to work for a living in this country.
I'm not saying that all people will judge this person but somehow people will think of it. Make sense.

I cannot say all Filipinos are having this situation in this country but of course, the majority of them happen like that. I personally experienced it.

For the first 3 months of working, I can say that I'm a little bit too lazy to do these basic things that I never get used to before. I need to get up early in the morning, cook my own food pack lunch to go to work, and by the evening cook food for dinner by. 

People think that we are eating so fancy foods here. 
Reality check: I prefer to eat sardines with malanga for lunch with rice. 

Or will eat kudos (Arabic Bread) or Roti (Flat Bread from India) because it is much cheaper (around 1 Dirham ) and you will get full easily. It's very economical.

Time flies so fast and so does the salary.

In the Philippines, Normally people will receive their salary during the 15th and 30th or 31st of the month.

But in UAE, It is different. Salary will be distributed after the end of the month or some companies will give it on the 28th.

So when salary comes, do the expenses arise.

But for me, I have my own technique.
It should be Savings-Expenses-Miscellaneous= Allowance.

It's effective! So every time my salary comes I deposit it in my bank immediately, pay the home rent, and send money to my country. Sometimes if I have enough money apart from my allowance for the whole month, then I can eat at some restaurants that I never tried before or buy cheap kinds of stuff. Treating myself once in a while.

Work > Salary > Save > Send Money > Pay Miscellaneous Things > Allowance *Repeat 26 times in a month. (4 Days off *in retail)

Working Hours?

I'm getting used to it. I work for more than 8 hours if necessary and if manpower is needed.
The only benefit from it is that I can travel to places that I've never been to.

But how about the others?

The longest time that I rendered was 17 hours on a single night shift. Imagine traveling at night from Abu Dhabi to Dubai doing the night work and going home to see the sunrise. (

Here it's normal and I got used to it. I can't complain. It's paid overtime. hehe.


Most of the companies here are required to provide a necessary benefit for the employees.

As for my Company, They are providing these benefits:

  • Every 2wo Years: Yearly Plane Ticket
  • Annual Salary Equivalent to One Month 
  • Free Medical Insurance
  • Paid Annual Leave
  • Paid Sick Leave

So, therefore?

If you are confident and willing to accept challenges. Then try to work abroad.
Why not? For the sake of helping your Family? Getting a better career? for greener pasture? 

Go for it!

But if you are financially stable and have a good life. Then I think it is not necessary.

But as I said, it depends on the people whether they like it or not. Make sense right?

As for me, I enjoy working in this country. Getting the benefits that I couldn't get before and at the same time saving money for my future endeavors.

That's it for now. Hope you enjoy reading my article.

Don't forget to share, subscribe, and comment.

Have a good one! :)


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