Saturday, October 23, 2010

Houseless to Houselord

Believe it or not. This is me, in Dubai not so long ago.
I am like a bird, I don't know where my home is.

Life is really fascinating and geographers don’t have to circle the earth just to lend credence that the world is one big round apple. Our own experiences will testify that life isn’t always happy, sometimes it's dismal, sometimes there's love, there's hate, sometimes there's fear and sometimes it's not clear. It begins right where it ends, such that anyone in pain or in predicament shouldn’t dwell in their misery for there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. Just the same, a person's happiness cannot be judged based on what he has, for any moment, misfortune may overwhelm and vanquish everything that makes him complete. Cest la vie – sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down.

ot so long ago, unemployment almost erased my faith and took away my sanity. I had a rewarding job, but discontentment fueled my decision to look for another. I got one. But even before I joined Middle East's largest real estate developer, the global financial crisis struck and I was dead left in the middle of nowhere. For a staggering period of 8 months, in Dubai, I was jobless, penniless and homeless. I have exhausted all my savings and came to a point when I got nothing else to lose, but life. Bravely, I have chosen to move on amidst all the heartbreaking ordeals. In between endless job applications, Kish exits and heavy borrowings, a mighty heart refused to surrender. During those times, I would not die in shame to admit, I have sought shelter in parks, in bus stops and from people who I don't even know.

For the longest time, I've been house hopping from one friend's to another. It's a tough situation to be in and having left with no choice, I endured the tragedy until my current job came after months of waiting. The first I did after getting hired was to find a decent place to stay. Grand accomodation is probably not the top priority among Filipinos working in Dubai. A decent bedspace where one can comfortably lay himself to sleep after a tiring day would do. In my case, after renting a bedspace for a couple of months, I decided to get my own apartment where no bedbugs would share in the space, where there would be no shaking beds from arguing couples down below and where privacy would be a little respected.

With the help of some friends and officemates, I rented a 4 bedroom apartment for a one year contract. Consequently I have re-leased three of the four rooms to co-officemates. The bird that once flew without direction has finally found a decent habitat, a far cry from where and how he used to live months earlier. Landlord, that's what they call me right now. But I ain't taking it in any terms because we come in and out of the same door, share common expenses, watch the same kapamilya shows and cook with same gas range, it just so happened that it was my name inscribed in the contract.

We have been living together in the house for six months, asked if I plan to renew the contract, the answer is a resounding yes. I have stayed already in eight other flats/villa here in Dubai, I gotta to say, nothing compares to what we have right now. The place itself and the company of people I am living with, has left me with nothing much to be desired. Just last night, one of our housemates celebrated her birthday. It was a joy to see Filipinos converged in one place as if we've never left home. There were plenty of traditional Pinoy food and of course, videoke singing to the max. You could never do that in some other place and unconviniently, in some other house.

Hotel? Not really, it's my bedroom.

Before I go to sleep, sometimes, thoughts of how things were, revisit my mind. Looking back, I kinda feel proud of myself more than ever, not necessarily because I got a house and a bed where I could fall into slumber anytime and no one's gonna disturb me. My house is just a fraction of evidence of how I have turned my sad luck into a progressing page of hope and endurance. My bed itself, comfortable and soft, reminds me of how I have picked up the pieces after that stiff fall into oblivion, after that many nights of heading nowhere and desperately looking for a place to sleep. My pillow is where I rest my head that dreams of home and underneath, is where I kept the memories of those sad yet humbling experiences.<>


  1. Wow! 'ta mo, bilog ang mundo. Dagdagan mo pa picture ng tirahan niyo dyan.

    (Mag-volunter ka naman sa KaBlogs Journal, Chico. Kailangan ng manunulat na katulad mo. Hindi ka kasi nauubusan ng isusulat.)

  2. I guess you get to appreciate where you are more than ever because of your experiences.

    The recession too left my husband out of work for six months, and we are thankful we've been ok still, with all three of us (with our son) surviving Dubai...

  3. @RJ

    truly is, bilog talaga! susunod kong post ay tungkol mismo sa bahay namin, yung mga kwarto, yung mga tao sa loon at mga kaganapan.

    weekends lang ako nakakapagsulat, busy din sa opisina. pero il be proud kung mkapagcontribute man lang ako sa kablogs.

    madami talaga kwento dito sa disyerto, araw araw may kaganapan.

  4. @Gremliness

    that's what i learned talaga from this experience. mag appreciate kung anong meron ka. wag padalos dalos ng desisyon, wag padadala sa emosyon.

    buti naman stable na rin kayo, ganyan talaga, maraming pagsubok ang maging OFW, sa huli, getting up and picking up the pieces is all that matters.

  5. nman...tlga ksma kmi sa bblog mo ah....

  6. Nice one...very inspiring..and also nice bed..

  7. long as we have breaths to give..never ever lose hope..thats the only thing we need when all else fails....

    so mayaman ka na ngayon? penge pera kuya...bili ako ng condo.ahaahha


    hehehe, great wisdom you got there maldito.

    mahirap pa rin ako. wala ako mabibigay seo pambili ng condo.pambili ng condom na lang. wahahaha.

  9. @Anonymous

    naman, kahit ganon ka pa kalaki. isasama kita sa susunod kong blog.!

    watch out!

  10. nman..ayusin mo landlord....hehehe...wag mko msyadong balahurain julius na lng...hahahha....

  11. wow, nice po, congratz po hehe / malapit na rin ako makapunta dyan.

  12. @Jinjiruks

    wow talaga, siya pag napunta ka dito, buzz ka lang, sabay tayo maglibot libot. hehehe