If you are looking for a story of a new age real life hero, then you should go straight into the Manila International Airport. They’re atleast 3,000 Filipino heroes leaving the Philippines everyday, And today I’m one of them. We all have our own story to tell, just waiting for the right listener.
I’ve been leaving my country for the past fifteen years, today is my 18th attempt tobe a hero but still ain’t getting used to it. I’m still crying whenever I left my home, leaving my wife and kids was never an easy moment. I always felt those heavy load on my shoulder and sticky feet who don’t wanna go to the airport. I know I don’t have a choice but to go and pursue my million dollar dream for my family.
More than a million Filipinos every year leave to work abroad through overseas employment agencies and other programs, including government-sponsored initiatives. Many of them are women applying as nurses or domestic helpers and personal service workers.
In 2012, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, expects official remittances coursed through banks and agents to grow 5% over 2011 to US$21 billion, but official remittances are only a fraction of all remittances. Remittances by unofficial, including illegal, channels are estimated by the Asian Bankers Association to be 30 to 40% higher than the official BSP figure. In 2011, remittances were US$20.117 billion.
This Philippines is the fourth largest recipient of official remittances after China, India, and Mexico. OFW remittances represent 13.5% of the country’s GDP, the largest in proportion to the domestic economy among the four countries. OFW remittances is also credited for the Philippines’ recent economic growth resulting to investment status upgrades from credit ratings agencies such as Fitch and S&P. (ref;Wikipedia)
Enough said with the money, now let me take you to my journey from Manila-Doha-Tehran-Busher.
1st flight: MANILA-DOHA, QATAR. I got an aisle seat , since I cant shoot photos from the window I decided to keep myself busy by watching movies. My first choice, “Captain Phillips”. A story of a merchant navy captain onboard a container vessel “Maersk Alabama” who was captured by the somali pirates and successfully rescued by the US navy. He’s quite lucky to be an american.
I thought one movie will send me to sleep but my brain is still awake and my mind is still at home. I then head back to the main menu on the screen to pick another movie. I watch “Jobs”. A biographical drama film based on the life of Steve Jobs, from 1974 while a student at Reed College to the introduction of the iPod in 2001. The story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century.
Just after I finished watching the movie, the Captain of the aircraft makes an announcement about our landing details. We landed at Doha International Airport around 10:30pm. Ride the airport bus to the transfer terminal.
Now the waiting game begins, it’s all up to us on how we will spend 7hours before boarding for our next flight going to Tehran, Iran. I was travelling with Electrician Benny and Bosun Herman, both of them had a nice sleep on our flight from Manila. One thing I want to mention about Doha International Airport is their “Free Wifi”, it is very strong. I was video calling on Skype with my wife and my kids and it was unbelievably clear on both voice and video. And if you are running low on battery, charging station are all around the airport and it’s FREE!!!
USEFUL TIPS: Charging your gadgets. You can use charger of other gadgets to charge your iPhone, iPad or iPod. I charge my iPod Touch 5thGen. using its lightning connector plugged into my HTC wildfire “Charger”. Both of them have the same output of 5volts but differs on Amp. output. -Big Thanks to my collegue Electrician Benny for this helpful info.
While I was charging my iPod I met a fellow Filipino working inside the airport. Ronald Akama is a security guard inside the Doha International Airport. I asked him if it is safe to leave my iPod on the charging station while I was sitting far from it. He then assures me that even I go around the Airport and comes back after an hour, my Ipod will be on the same place where I leave it. I was amazed, he then explain to me that every section has a HD CCTV watching it. All you need to do is to complain when something is missing to your belongings and they will review the video.
Ronald will be completing his 2years contract next week, Febuary 28, 2014. He leave his wife and his 3years old son almost 2years ago and now he’s so excited to see his wife and a 5years old son. I suddenly felt lucky to have a 5months contract and a far better salary than his 1,500 Qatar Riyals($400USD). And if he wants to return again to his job, he then needs to pay “Placement Fee” equivalent to his 2months salary which is $800USD. Ronald ask me to help him get a job onboard, for he knows he will earn far better on a sea based job and he will also get shorter contracts onboard. I gave him some website where he can seek for job opening for his position as a “Security Guard” onboard passenger/luxury ships. I then asked him if I can include his photo and story on my blog just incase somebody who is willing to give him opportunity for a better job.
If you are interested in giving Ronald a job please leave a comment below or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd flight: DOHA-TEHRAN, IRAN. The morning was breaking when we start boarding.
“This time I was lucky to get a window seat 🙂 “
We waited for atleast 20mins for the document checking formalities before we go to the baggage claim area and meet our agent who will assist us for our next flight.
“On the road, inside the cental district of Tehran, Iran.”
We reach the Hotel after a 45 minutes drive.
After 6 hours… Our agent return to take us to the domestic airport for
our 3rd and final flight to Busher, Iran.
3rd Flight: TEHRAN-BUSHER, IRAN. We actually almost didn’t made it on time due to heavy traffic.
We arrive at Busher Airport after 2 hours. We meet Salehi(our agent in Busher, Iran)
and he take us to Aceman Hotel to stay overnight.
Our agent, Mr.Salehi pick us up at around 10am to join our vessel M.T. Persia.
And finally I’m back on business… I will surely miss my family but I know
I’m not alone, millions of heroes leave their family for one main reason…
We just want them to have a better future…
Thanks alot for spending your precious time on my blog and hope this post encourage you
to enjoy your journey and share your story…