May 10, 2008

Clockwise from the top: at the famous Esplanade, at the Merlion
with Spiderman, at Raffles Place, with housemates, with Archie,
and the goofin face
Center: dinner with colleagues at Newton Circus

Hi, it’s been a long time since I visited my site. Thanks to Rona for the reminder. Sorry guys if you keep on visiting without any new update.

So what have I been up to lately? After my last post, a lot had happened.

I resigned, left home because I wanted so badly to move on after mom’s passing. I needed to be strong and left the place that reminds me of her to start anew. So I flew to Singapore, packed with just faith.

Initially, I planned to stay here for just a visit. But when I arrived, I was in complete awe. I fell in love with the place. And so I decided to look for a job. Luckily, I got one.

Let me share my experience in getting the job. At first I thought it was easy to outwit other races in getting a job for our Pinoy skills generally. But I was wrong. Even if we think we have the edge, it is not enough reason to risk and leave our comfort zones especially if we have families to support. I've learned that companies strictly follow a certain number of foreigners to hire. And I think the government prioritizes their own residents in getting employment. So if a company reaches its quota for foreigners, even if you are very much qualified, no way you are getting in. So it is not that easy after all.

Before I got the job, I was grilled so badly with questions that were practically irrelevant. Mind you, it was a 3-page list of questions. (Sigh) In my entire career, I never had such an interview; I went through an excruciating process i.e. an exam (for 1hr) then a 3-hour one-on-one interview with a manager. It was really helluva. It didn’t end there. On my way home, I got another phone call. I thought that call was to tell me I’m hired. Not so fast sweetie, it was the supervisor asking me to spare some more of my time. So I told the supervisor on the phone to call me back as I am a few blocks away from home. It would be better to have a conversation. So when I reached home, she called back. Darn, it was again an hour and a half follow-up interview. Whew! Exhausting like hell. Believe me, I cried after that call. I cried not because of the questions but because of exhaustion. I was emotionally traumatized for a few days. I couldn’t get over the manager and supervisor who grilled me to death.

There is nothing else more I can do of what happened, but to surrender everything to Him. It may have been tough but after a few weeks, I got a call. I got in! Praise God. I couldn’t refuse because the company is well-known. I know I will be secured. Who am I to dwell on that little drama and refuse the offer right? And so I took the offer, and thankfully everything ended up well, nothing personal. I think it all goes to what they say “No Pain, No Gain.”

So if some of you guys are planning to try your luck on your own abroad, make sure that you’re well-prepared to accept consequences. Don’t just be financially ready but emotionally, psychologically, physically and mentally ready as well because not all battles are won that easy. Sabi nga nila, dadaan ka muna sa butas ng karayom. True enough.

Life abroad is not as easy as what I thought before. I always had the impression that Filipinos residing out of the country are very lucky and that they never run out of money. Now that I’m here, I defy that impression. Haha

I’ve been here for 7 months now and things have been so different. Sometimes, there are moments when I wish I could go back to the “simple” life I had back home. The happy life I had when my mom was still around. I know it will never be simple again without her.

Tomorrow is mother’s day and mom has gone. She had her last mother’s day celebration last year. Sad, but I still feel like it was just yesterday. It is really tough to lose someone closest to us. And it breaks my heart remembering her. Though I know she is happier where she is right now.

Happy Mother’s Day to you Mama and to all the mothers out there! May you continue to shape the minds of your children to become better persons. Godbless!