Migrating from one country to another is frightening, but a risk worth taking. This is an insight from Tin Collantes, who moved from Singapore to Dubai. This is especially helpful to those who are thinking of moving to a different country.
Her dream is to work at Singapore, but after seeing opportunities in Dubai she moved despite having only a visit visa. She gave an overview of her budget when she migrated.
Through our conversation, I understood the importance of having a strong character and passion. It is not always fun working abroad. One has to be strategic and mature when working abroad. Sometimes, your life trajectory will change and the journey might be risky. If you are willing to risk, then you might end up in a much better position from you are now.
Without further ado, below is our conversation:
Me: To begin po, If you could introduce yourself po to our readers.
Tin: Hello there! I’m Tin Collantes, 27 years old. I’m an OFW since 2015. Started my journey in Singapore as a Management Trainee in a fast food chain. After almost a year I transfered to Dubai and currently working as a Guest Relations Executive in a hotel. I’m a jolly and outgoing person. Loves to eat, travel and explore new places.
Me: Ohh that’s nice. Would you mind sharing how you end up in Singapore as a management trainee?
Tin: I flew to Singapore under a visit visa since my aunt is already working there. Found an agency that can help me find a job and assisted me with my papers. Hospitality industry in Singapore is very competitive in terms of job offers because they need to follow certain rules for foreigners that the Ministry of Manpower has implemented.
Me: Interesting. How long did it take before you received on offer?
Tin: In Singapore, 2 weeks.
Me: That’s quick! How was it like working in Singapore as a Management Trainee?
Tin: Honestly it was tough. Singapore is as fast-paced country. Lahat dapat mabilis. Lahat nagmamadali. Naging mahirap sakin because it was all new to me. Culture shock na din siguro and homesick. But I considered that experience as my training ground.
Me: Ohh I see. That’s a new insight to me, tho it kinda make sense na developed country sila. How long did you work in Singapore po pala?
Tin: Yes, kaya maoobliga ka talaga na maging fast paced din. Hehe! I think almost a year din.
Me: I see. How did you end up in Dubai naman po?
Tin: I was young and I really wanted to explore. Some of my friends nagwowork na sa Dubai so nacurious ako. Sakto naman na di masyadong okay yung salary ko sa Singapore so again I took a risk and went straight to Dubai under a visit visa.
Me: Nice! How was the transition from Singapore to Dubai? How long naman po yung waiting time nyo until you find a job in Dubai?
Tin: Hmm, may konting adjustments din pero mas madali na sakin kasi as I said naging training ground ko ang Singapore. On my 3rd week sa Dubai may mga nag offer na sakin pero I really wanted to get in sa current company ko ngayon, so I waited. Took me almost 2 months, but it was worth it.
Me: At least po. I’m glad that you’re able to get in sa gusto mong company. If I may ask, how much po yung na-spent nyo when you were still under visit visa in Dubai for 2 months. I know that there are a lot of Filipinos who are interested in going to Dubai using visit visa. It might help them po project yung expenses.
Tin: I only had like around 30,000 pesos that time. Good thing I have some family friends and schoolmates that lend me some funds. Around 1000 AED or almost 14,000 pesos ang expenses ko in a month (rent, food, metro card).
Me: Ohh! Great to know. Thanks for sharing that. How do you find Dubai? Is it the same like Singapore?
Tin: At first medyo nalungkot din ako kasi Singapore has always been my dream country to settled down to. First love ko talaga Singapore. But then when I transfered to Dubai na-feel ko agad na andun yung better opportunity for me. For me it’s different, culture and people. Siguro kasi mas maraming expats sa Dubai so diversed talaga.
Me: It must have been difficult moving for you po siguro. Nonetheless, I’m glad po na you found better opportunity in Dubai. Have you experienced any challenges working in Dubai?
Tin: Yes, meron din naman pero na overcome ko naman agad kasi nga sa Singapore mas tough yung work ko. Siguro naging mas madali sa Dubai kasi na eenjoy ko na yung work. Naka-adjust na ako sa buhay OFW.
Me: Cool! What’s your greatest achievement so far?
Tin: I’m proud na I was able to help my family financially. But then, I still have a long way to go. I don’t consider myself successful pa para mag-strive harder pa ako to achieve my goals and dreams.
Me: Glad to know that! Do you have any tips sa mga kabayan natin na are kind of in a dilemma in choosing between opportunities?
Tin: My advice is to choose an opportunity na you’re passionate about. Yung sa tingin mo you’ll be challenged and valued at the same time. You’re blessed if this opportunity focuses also on your long term goals. Assess the working environment, tingin mo ba magiging masaya ka. Ofcourse we don’t want to lose steam in an uncomfortable workplace. Then a big plus din yung perks sa company.
Me: Thanks for the advise. Meron po ba kayong gustong i-share sa mga readers 😊?
Tin: Walang madali sa mundo. Yung mga nagpa-plan na mag work abroad dapat ready sila. Being an OFW is not a joke. You have to sacrifice and learn not to complain. Dapat madiskarte at mature ka. Hindi palaging masaya ang buhay abroad. You’ll get more sad moments than happy moments but that will mold you to become stronger in life. Stay passionate, work hard, save and always remind yourself of your goals. Dasal! Hingi ng guidance palagi. Mabilis ang araw hanggat kaya pang magwork, sulitin ang opportunity.