December 2010 – Singapore, my very first trip abroad. It was love at first sight! I was amazed by how modern and advanced this country is, from its well structured high-buildings, to clean streets (well almost), up to the i-love-to-have-the-latest-smartphone-regardless-of-what-job-i-have kind of people.
Dahil dito naisip ko, Singapore na ang bagong Japan, siya na ang sagot sa kahirapan haha. And so, I applied! Eventually, someone called and asked me if I’ll be interested to be interviewed, of course I said yes! Luckily, I succeeded my first and only interview. Yes, I got Hired! And then, there came the real challenge (kala ko yung paghahanap ng trabaho ang challenge eh).
I’ve experienced every salesman/OFW’s nightmare! Frustrated customers shouting at me for not getting the ideal mobile phone package they want, stressful encounters with the process flow at work, and of course, the almost daily routine of being scolded by my colleagues (ang nature ng naging trabaho ko talagang stressful at na adopt na siguro ng mga nakasama ko sa work ang sobrang stress kaya pag minsan naiipapasa nila sa mga gaya kong foreign employees ang galit nila).
It was a really hard time for me. I can still remember, one time I called my mom and asked her if I can go home already even if I’ve only been here for 3 months. I was really discouraged to continue. When we hung up the phone, my tears just fell. Yes I cried! For the very first time, I cried because of my job, maybe because I was too comfortable working back home and this is really something I did not expect. Not so real man right? haha! Then after that, I remembered my work back home. There, I got so much respect from my colleagues. There, my colleagues became my closest friends.
My first months working here, I was, let’s just say, in a different direction. I chose to lose communication with my friends because I tried not to tell them that I actually regret my decision of working here. I pretended that I’m fine in front of my family and let them feel that I’ve made the right decision. But deep down, I really want to be “rescued”.
At that time, every night, I burst out all the depressing things that were happening at the office to my girlfriend, even though I know that our relationship is also on the verge of failing because, long distance is a not a joke! She tried everything to comfort me. I know she is very supportive with every decision I’ve made but I really felt disheartened and hopeless. I just felt that I have disappointed a lot of people, most specially, myself. I lost focused and started to ask myself, “why am I really here?” “Is it just for money?” And there, I began to hate money.
I tried to entertain myself with every means that I can. I can say that lived beyond my means during that time. I was shameful to myself and I even hid what I really feel from the LORD. I admit, on my first 6months here, I was really broke, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. I even considered myself back then as part of the 1 out of 10 financially broke OFW. I was really angry these times that I became uncertain going to church. My prayers alone would not include sincerity. I was a total disaster!
And then, December 2011 came. A friend introduced a book by Bro Bo Sanchez. She said that I should try to read the book and maybe, just maybe, my questions will be answered (HOW TO LIVE A LIFE OF MIRACLES). At first, I hesitated to accept it simply because I hate reading. But she insisted and eventually, I accepted it (wala nga namang mawawala sakin). Anyway, about the book, as I said, the author is Bro. Bo Sanchez. I first heard of his name when we (me and my friends a.k.a pHp movement) visited ANAWIM (www.anawim.com.ph). Bro. Bo built this for the homeless elderly people.
And again, back to the book (sorry dami segway). I have the book right in front of me. First, I’ve read the back cover of the book, this is for me to get the synopsis of what I am about to read. It was ok, I told myself and so, I started reading it. As I was continuously reading it, I never realized that I’m already getting hooked. It’s like a reflection of me. The book is actually talking to me.
Honestly, I think that book is all about myself (parang love songs lang, feeling mo laging ikaw ang pinatatamaan)! It’s all about my trials and God’s reason for giving these challenges to me. I again reflected with all the things I did in the past. And now I started to realize that God is talking to me all this time. HE is giving me challenges in life because HE wants me to encounter these trials so that the next time another challenge is about to happen I already know how to handle the situation. I will be in control of my life! I already know how to analyze all the challenges and its purpose why it has to happen.
And so with all of these realizations I got hooked with Bro Bo’s books and on my very first vacation for this year I made sure that I will bring back some of his books. Right now I have a total of 7 of his books not including the ebooks from my collection (I have 5 from Bro Bo). I now have a time reading and expanding my knowledge and my beliefs in life. The book was the start of everything to me. I also encountered reading the book of Bro Bo in relation to financial investing, My Maid Invests in the Stock Market-And Why You Should Too.
(You can also start with Choose to be Wealthy, 8 Secrects of the Truly Rich, The Turtle Always Win- Read the book My Maid Invests in the Stock Market first before reading this one)
Another realization that this book brought me is the importance of investment! I opened up myself into the world of investing in the stock market and other forms of paper assets. My curiosity for investing in this type of investment started when that same friend who gave me the book invited me to attend a financial coaching by IMG, which is usually held at Lucky Plaza Singapore (most of the group’s free financial coaching is every Saturday at 2pm onwards, located at 4th floor Lucky Plaza Bldg Orchard Road Singapore- they also have a regular coaching in almost all parts in Metro Manila) I eagerly sat down and listened to the speakers.
That same day, I decided to join the group. I told myself that, this time I need to educate myself financially! As an OFW I need to prepare for my future because I know that my stay here is just temporary. And from then on I became a believer of long term investing and how passive income work in our lives. A strategy that will lift my future for a better retirement. A discipline that will not just help me financially and my legacy but as well as one way for me to also help my country, Philippines to prosper more. Yes this is true! P.S. Floi’s life peg = Warren Buffet! (thinking positively!)
(I will tell you more of my financial strategies and realizations on my next blog, I’ll keep you posted)
With all of these realizations, I have one thing that I need and believe needs to be continued, that is, the group, pHp Movement (mentioned in my previous blog).
I received one of Bro Bo’s article “GOD WILL TAKE YOUR BURDEN” and read this biblical passage with a very good interpretation, “Take MY yoke upon you and learn from ME, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For MY yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30 (read the article here at http://bosanchez.ph/god-will-take-your-burden/ ) It was well explained which again pertained to my own thoughts. I knew from the very start that this is all true; all this time we have been saving for our family, our partners, maybe our friends, and even for ourselves to achieve a better future. But we should always think that the best investment we have is our investment to the CREATOR, our GOD! With this, we should start expressing our love for the poor, our dear brothers and sisters. That’s why I am making a commitment! From this time on I will make sure that I will contribute to the community even if I am far away from my home. Nothing is impossible! Because I know I have my pHp movement behind my back, my family, my partner, and of course I have GOD! We can do this! We can contribute to our community in our own little way. JOIN US! BE A VOLUNTEER OF THIS MOVEMENT! Be part of the People HELPING People Movement!
More blessings will come with GOD’s LOVE.
(As of this writing, me and my friends from the Philippines and here in Singapore TROFI- IMG is having a regular meeting for the upcoming activity this August 2012 at CHILDHAUS Foundation in Project 8 Quezon City)