If you have been following my blog, you are aware that I recently became unemployed. It’s only been a month, but it feels like forever. I am still trying to adjust to my new normal, and it has been challenging.
So, when my old friend Jelian told me that it has been difficult for her and her family, my empathy was with her. Jelian is my first roommate in Dubai. We worked under the same company, but of different establishment and department. We parted ways when I changed rooms, but we still communicate.
If my memory serves me right, she left Dubai to join a cruise line not long after I left for Ghana. She worked as a waitress until last year when she’s required to dock due to the pandemic.
We had a conversation and she’s enthusiastic to share what she’s been going through. Check out our conversation below:
Jelian: I’m Jelian Sican an Ilongga. Basta Ilongga gwapa . Wehhh! I’m 28, and never married. I’m the youngest and the most adventurous of all when it comes to traveling.
I was working in Dubai for 5 years but decided to join the cruise ship world. I am working on the said industry for 2 years na with Marella Discovery as a waitress.
• How did the pandemic affected your work?
Jelian: I was supposed to join again after a short vacay last March. But unfortunately, it has been moved and eventually been canceled because of the pandemic. So I have been jobless for a year now.
• In what way/s is your company communicating with you?
Jelian: Actually my joining dates have been moved a couple of times already. The company has been sending me emails about what’s happening so far.
• What is keeping you busy nowadays?
Jelian: At the moment, I’m busy selling foodies online with my family. I opened up a small food stall at home.
• How did Covid pandemic affecting your family?
Jelian: We were affected pretty much because both me and my sister, who is also working abroad, are jobless. So walang source ng income as of the moment.
• What are your plans in the future?
Jelian: Well, since wala pa namang solution for Covid, we are trying to survive every day by doing the best we can. But if this pandemic ends, I’m seeing myself going back to working on the cruise ship. I haven’t given up on my dream of traveling around the world yet. So once everything is back to normal, balik din me barko.
• Do you have any tips on how to survive during this pandemic?
Jelian: Well, kung sa barko, we all work hard. We can do the same naman. Think about something that can guarantee a profit. Kahit konti lang basta may pinagkikitaan. We keep on surviving because we never stop working.
• How can other people help OFWs who are jobless in the Philippines now?
Moral support lang ok na. Let everyone know that this is not the end. People tend to bad mouth fellow workers and step on them just because jobless ang iba. And I think it’s so wrong. So instead of putting other jobless OFW’s morale down, why don’t we just help each other by showing sympathy and kindness. Aba, eh kung meron ka extra cash why not… hahahaha