Just came across this article about a fixer, a lady driver and now an abandoned OFW by Susan K of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Maybe you can relate.

“Winnie (not her real name) used to assist other aspirants for overseas work facilitate the release of their documents from government agencies for a fee.

A Sad Story of A Female OFW in DubaiShe was a hardworking “fixer” before she herself applied for a job in Dubai as a lady driver.

Fixing was her means of supporting her three children ever since her husband, on overseas Filipino worker (OFW) abandoned them.

Her husband worked in Saudi Arabia for several years. But he was a womanizer and had taken up with two other women. So Winnie had no choice but to find creative ways of earning a living.

Winnie was apparently good at her job. She was able to get a driver’s license even though she didn’t know how to drive.

When she learned that there was an opportunity in Dubai for lady drivers, she immediately applied. With her contacts, her application was approved in just one week. She asked a friend to teach her how to drive.

Winnie was determined to work overseas to make more money to support the family and send her children to school.

When she met her Filipino agent in Dubai, she admitted that she did not know how to drive. In tears, she pleaded to the agent to convince her employer to send her to one of their driving schools so she could familiarize herself with international traffic rules, especially those in Dubai.

She was very thankful that the employer gave in to her request. Winnie took a 21-day driving course in Dubai, all expenses paid. But when she took the written and practical examinations, she failed. Winnie had only finished the fourth grade.

She took the exam a second time but failed again. Before her scheduled third attempt to pass the exam, her angry employer said she would not wait any longer. By that time, she realized Winnie was not qualified to be a driver.

At first the employer threatened to send her back to the Philippines. But later on, she decided to transfer Winnie to her sister’s house to work as a caregiver to their ailing mother. 

Winnie was grateful for her employer’s new job offer. She did not want to return to the Philippines. She was determined to find any kind of job and take advantage of every possible opportunity.

For the next six years Winnie worked as a cook, beauty therapist, reflexologist, house cleaner, among others. She sent all her earnings to her children: two were in college, one in high school. She trusted her children so much that she saw no need to appoint a relative or somebody else to act as their guardian.

When Winnie returned to the Philippines, she was surprized to learn that her home, which stood on government land, had been demolished. She also learned later that her estranged husband had taken the children with him after the house was demolished.

She was devastated to learn that all her children had stopped schooling. The eldest boy had gotten married and his wife was pregnant. The second one, who had only one more year in college to go, had dropped out as well and was spending his time drinking with friends. He had used her remittances for his vices. The youngest, the only girl, was a lesbian and did not even finish high school.

It had never occurred to Winnie that her children did not appreciate all the pains she went through. Every time she had talked to them on the phone, they assured her that everything was fine, and that they were good students and getting good grades.

After several weeks of searching, Winnie finally tracked down her children at the home her estranged husband shared with another woman, somewhere in the South.

The children were not excited when they saw their mother. They even pleaded with to her to leave immediately and not to make a scene because it was the house of their father’s partner. Her husband warned her not to return to their place anymore.

Poor Winnie. She just left the house crying. Her children apparently didn’t need her anymore, especially now that she was back: no home and no money to remit to them every month.

She is now contemplating whether or not to return to Dubai or resume her fixing job. She is now the abandoned OFW.”

SOURCE: A fixer, a lady driver and now an abandoned OFW

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