Thursday, November 4, 2010

Part-Time Lover

" Basta trabaho, sa OFW, Ain't no mountain high enough.."

"Today's work ended at 4:3o pm. It's weekend, while the rest of the office crew stormed the mall, she headed right straight to home. She needed to prepare diner earlier than usual, pack some sandwiches, postpone her nightly online teleserye marathon and go to bed as early as possible. She has to wake up before sunset, at 7 in the morning, she's working again - this time not as an office accountant, but as house cleaner. An empty up and down four bedroom villa is waiting to get brushed up white and dust free. She needed all the rest and energy she could get for the big day ahead."

This is Ate Digna's itinerary for tomorrow. She is going to spend what is supposed to be her rest day, cleaning somebody else's house. And it's not gonna be a mere hour of strenuous floor, wall and tile exercise, but a day long manned and rigorous no-stone-unturned cleaning job. At the end of the day, she will receive 100 dirhams for her quality service, with no food allowance. When she comes home, she'll probably just want to lay in bed and put her strained body to rest. She won't have time to chat with her family back in Batangas because all of them are already sleeping. Her day off is over. She missed her weekly family chat though she will be able to send them 100 dirham more. Ate Digna is a part-time lover. She takes in the extra job because earning that 100 dirhams will definitely make a difference and she has no qualms engaging in another part-time job when opportunity knocks in.

Jobs in Dubai don't flourish much these days thanks to the recent financial crisis that almost made this city bunkrupt. It's religious background also limit the possible alternative sources of income for our Kabayans. Hence, finding one is just a matter of good luck, hooking on to right connections, being resourceful and setting a record of getting things done. While housekeeping services (Arab houses are usually mansions and housekeeping is a must) and catering services (hotels, venue openings, weddings) top the list of part time jobs available all year round, a handful of seasonal events in Dubai also requires additional labor resources where one can apply. The GITEX, The Dubai World Cup, the Eid, Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises are just some of the few annuals where one can apply as merchandisers, marketers, waiters, clowns, receptionists, entertainers and many others.

If finding the right connections seems a long shot, then finding the right ingridients and right customers can proved to be a more dependable source of extra income. Filipino's cunning way of making money out of ordinary talents doesn't spare Dubai. In the office alone, somebody is selling packed lunch for 10 dirhams, on a 30 day credit. For special occassions, the numbers to call when you need pancit, refrigerated cakes, leche flan, cookies are numerous. If you are sick of taking public transport going to office or somewhere else, lots of kabayan are willing to give you ride on a regular or per trip basis, only this is too risky as government prohibit this kind of shuttling. If you're hair has gone too long and you need some trimming or you want a new dye for your gray hair, a neighbor can give you the trendiest cut and colors at a friendly price. Massage, kakanin selling, lipat-bahay, bedspacing, manicure/pedicure, baby sitting, tutorial, the possibilities of sideline business are as endless as our capabilities.

Filipinos will never run out of talents, or should I better say, will never run out of the heart to go the extra mile to achieve a purpose. Ate Digna is just one of many OFWs here in Dubai who earns extra money aside from their regular jobs by doing part-time or sideline- a sign of Filipino's hardwork and tenacity to better their lives and their love ones' at whatever cost. It is inevitable that somewhere along this less appreciated journey, people will start to think of OFWs' materialistic character, our willingness to sell unsaleable items or scrub toilets for an extra cash. True maybe, but it shouldn't stop there. The desire to earn additional income equates to a long list of sacrifices, and it boils down to one thing - OFWs love for family. We work doubly hard - making night day, turning rest days to restless days so that our family back home can receive more and enjoy life.

1 comment:

  1. kudos to her and all the OFW who work their ass up just to earn more and be able to send more to their loved ones in the Phils!