Mr. Rapahel Coberal is working as a Project Manager is a local bank in Singapore.
I reached out to Mr. Raphael on Instagram and we chatted on how it’s like to work and live in a place where majority, if not all, wants to visit. We also touched on managing staff in a multicultural organization.
My takeaways from our conversation are you have to adapt yourself to your audience, manage your resources well, and if one door closes, another one opens.
Hope you’ll be inspired after reading!
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Let’s dive in:
Mr. Raphael: Hi I am Raphael Coberal. I am 34 years old. I am currently living here in Singapore since 2011 and working as a Project Manager in one the local bank here. I am originally from Valenzuela City, Philippines.
I love travelling as it gives me that relaxing vibes and I get a chance to learn other’s culture too.
Me: Great! Sir Raphael, how did you end up po in Singapore? We’re you hired po directly?
Mr. Raphael: I actually went back to Manila after working for a year and a half in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia as IT too, because we are having issues on renewing my visa. Then, I was assigned to do a Thailand Project but the timeline was impossible to meet. I’ve tried my best and it was a non-stop work within 2 months. Then, one day I told myself, I want to quit! Then I went online and submit my CV, got interviewed over the phone, and get hired. Then, I flew to Singapore from Manila with a job offer already.
Me: Ohh wow! Nice naman po nun. One door closes and another opens po talaga. Are there any difference po ba working sa Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore?
Mr. Raphael: Working in Malaysia and Singapore is the same as their ethnicity, culture and foods are the same. Travelling to my workplace is also very convenient.
On the other hand, the working environment in the Philippines is more relax and more fun I guess! Every payday there’s a barkada gimik after work! But travelling to my workplace from my home is really bad, my travel time is 2.5hrs! 😂
Me: 😂 I agree sir. By the way po, have you experienced any challenges po working sa Singapore with a high position?
Mr. Raphael: Yes, and I think it is common. Managing individuals who came from different culture, who has different wavelengths and etc. is indeed challenging. I think at the end of the day, the most important is you can adjust yourself according to your audience without compromising your standard and your expectations from them.
It’s like you have to adjust to how you’ll convey your message without compromising your expectation from them.
Me: Ohh I see po. I believe it’s important po that we don’t compromise on standards. How’s your typical week po as a Project Manager in Singapore?
Mr. Raphael: True!! 🙌
Too many meetings, presentations, managing projects and people, budgeting but still enjoying what I am doing! 😇
Me: Buti naman po kung ganun. It’s very necessary po that we enjoy what we’re doing Kumusta naman po yung life in Singapore? How does it like living sa place na a lot of people wanted to visit?
Mr. Raphael: That’s so true, we need to enjoy what we’re doing. Else, we will be just dragging ourselves to work and hate each day.
Honestly, it feels like I am in the Philippines. You can hear and meet Filipinos everywhere. It is like I’m in my homeland. But of course, it is more organize and clean here.
Also, I have my Hope Filipino Church Singapore Family with me, my family away from home. So it really feels like I’m in the Philippines! 🙌
Me: Ohh wow! So you don’t really feel homesick po. Great naman po kung ganun. By the way po, why did you decide to work abroad? Ano pong mag changes ang nangyari na sa life nyo since naging OFW po kayo?
Mr. Raphael: As an IT professional, it is my dream to work in Singapore as it is the Financial Hub of Asia.
Also, a few major reasons too are as follows:
1. The power of Exchange Rate (Dollar to Peso equivalent), same effort or amount of work, but quadruple to quintuple salary versus on what Philippine company can offer. In this way, I’ll be able to become a blessing to my family and people around me.
2. Traffic in Manila going to work is really bad!
3. It is safer abroad compared to the Philippines.
4. Taxes in the Philippines is too high and not reflecting on the infrastructure or services given to taxpayers.
Me: These are very valid reasons po. I’m glad naman po and you’re able to achieve your dream po to working in Singapore. Do you consider yourself na po as successful? Since na-achieve nyo po yung dream nyo, meron po ba kayong mga tips so that we too could reach ours?
Mr. Raphael: Praise God for His Provisions and Favour! 🙌
I still not considered myself being successful but I guess I’m on track heading there, with HIS guidance! 😇🙏
Tips ko sa mga kababayan nateng OFW din, living away from our love ones is really hard. That’s why we need to use our resources wisely while we are still capable! Try to achieve having 7 streams of income while we are still young. Be financially literate. So that on our retirement day, we’ll be able to enjoy the fruit of our labour! 😇🙏
Me: Great advise po! I’m taking notes. May tips naman po kayo sa mga OFWs specifically na nag-aaspire magkaroon ng high position po like you?
Mr. Raphael: Find your passion and always do your best on whatever position you are at now! Also, never forget to bring back the GLORY to HIM! 😇🙌
Me: Thank you po for that tip Mr. Raphael. We’re now heading towards the end po ng interview, would you like to share any anecdotes po or any last words po for our readers?
Mr. Raphael: In everything you do, always give your best! Always seize the moment as tomorrow is not guaranteed! 🤙🏼
Follow Mr. Raphael on Instagram @iamraphaelcoberal