Messy Wins OFW-Partner Personal

A Whole New, Err, Chapter

Riyadh OFW

This week flew by like a whirlwind for me.

We spent last Saturday in Madaum, in a well-known resort called Banana Beach (I’ll write about it sometime soon — I haven’t even written about my Maragusan trip more than a month ago boohoo). Sunday was a bit of shopping and ~some~ eating and a lot of KSA crash-coursing with Job.

Only very few people know this, but I’m sharing the news with you. Job is officially an OFW as of today. Well, he technically hasn’t started work yet, but he’s already there so. Anyway. He arrived in Riyadh last night, 10 pm our time/ 5 pm KSA time. I actually barraged Nilyn of Above Precious Rubies with questions last week lol as her husband works in Riyadh, too.  Thanks Nilyn, super!

As of this morning, he was still staying in a hotel, but now he’s on the road. I don’t have any pictures of him there yet because he still hasn’t found a stable internet connection, whether wi-fi or mobile data.

We’re both half-excited and half-anxious but he’s been looking forward to this for months now so it’s more of excitement. He left his decent-paying job here to accept a job offer in Riyadh and makipagsapalaran; we pray that he will flourish there not only as a worker but also as a person. But it was a long and hard journey, especially for him.



If you remember, last month, I took a blogging hiatus because of a personal problem. That was related to this. You see, even if you already have a job offer, you are supposed to undergo a thorough medical examination. For gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, the medical exam is usually tougher.

Job has always been healthy and fit, no vices, so we were not nervous about it at all. But we didn’t know that his clinic was notorious for making up “sicknesses” to essentially wring more money from the applicants. We were so shocked when his medical results came out, saying he tested positive for hepatitis.

Not knowing about the clinic’s shady background, I believed he was sick. Job was positive (pun not intended) though that he did not have hepatitis so he sought second opinion from a big hospital. We prayed so hard while waiting for the results. God is good because they all came out negative.

He took those results to the aforementioned clinic, but for some reason, they refused to honour it. Instead, they made him take another blood test (and pay for it, of course). Unsurprisingly, it came out positive again.

It was then that we found out that some applicants were given fake positives (e.g. fake TB-positives) just so they will pay for re-tests from them over and over again.

We’ve had enough of that clinic so we transferred to another. I regret not thinking of that earlier — it could’ve saved us a lot of money and heartache! He repeated the entire medical examination and not just the blood test. After just a couple of days, the results came out. They were all negative. He was now fit to work.

The entire process actually took more than a month. It wasn’t as easy as how I’m explaining it now, and there was a lot of praying involved. It was a really trying time for us and, at some point, I even questioned God. But Job remained faithful and cheerful, which taught me a big lesson about life.

After his “fit to work” status was released, everything that was supposed to follow happened quickly. In less than a week, he attended the PDOS (a seminar for overseas workers), his flight was booked, and he flew to KSA safely. Praise God!

It’s actually my first time to have someone in the immediate family work abroad. So tips and pieces of advice are encouraged! Please share in the comments! It doesn’t matter what it’s about. Everything relevant to OFW-hood is welcome hehe.

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  • Reply Nilyn Matugas June 3, 2016 at 5:55 am

    I waited for this post because you said you’d post about it this week. I didn’t know you’d mention me, haha! Thanks! All I can say is, leave lots of messages, he’ll read those when he gets home from work. It’s good that he’s always updated. And let’s pray and hope that WeChat will always be available to video calling. Yakang yaka lagi na! 🙂

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      I couldn’t thank you enough, Nilyn! Sobrang useful ng tips mo as in. I’m just glad that he’s doing well there. Comfortable naman sya doon. Basig magkita diay sila didto ni Dane no? Haha!

      • Reply Nilyn Matugas July 8, 2016 at 6:45 am

        hala, who knows, diba? hehe. ug di didto, diri sa Pinas puhon. lol.

  • Reply Gilian June 3, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Hello. =) About the medical exams. It’s really sad that it is happening. I’ve had friends who have undergone the same experiences, even my brother and cousins. It’s bad. Really bad practice that they do to get money.
    Anyway, I live in Jeddah, hours away from Riyadh. I think the best thing you can do for your husband is pure constant communication(you and your kid/s). Strengthen him through God’s word because it can be really tough. Communicate happiness, less of the petty problems. =) He can’t fly back the moment he hears problems in the Philippines and it will be difficult for him to carry such load the whole day while working, knowing he won’t be there to help you. =) Thank God for internet access. Let him have 24 hrs access of internet, that’s way cheaper than pre-paid card in KSA. =)

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      That is just so sad. We had no prior experience about this since there are no OFWs in both of our immediate families so we didn’t expect this to happen. Filipino niloloko kapwa Filipino 🙁

      Thank you for the tip! I shared the tip and he and his housemate are about to get wi-fi connection for their house.

  • Reply Kim @ Mom On Duty June 3, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Oh my gosh, I can’t believe clinics would do such a thing!!! Applying for a job is tough enough and to add stress from a fake illness, that’s just wrong.

    There are no OFWs in my immediate family, but I’ve had a bite of the OFW experience when my school sent me to London for my internship. It’s super sad being in another place on your own (kahit na may ibang Pilipino doon) so make sure you communicate with him as often as possible.

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      I still couldn’t believe it too 🙁 I’m just thankful that the second clinic he went to wasn’t unethical!

  • Reply Michi June 3, 2016 at 11:31 am

    About the medical exams, that is really true. I’ve heard a lot of stories from friends who have seamen husbands. My husband is not an OFW but he is always out of the country for work but at least, may time in a week or month na kasama namin siya how much more kung ilang buwan, nakakahomesick. Facetime and Viber lang kami to communicate.

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      I hope those clinics get their licenses rebuked. It’s very unfair and cruel, not to mention illegal 🙁

  • Reply Jerzee Benavente; Coffee and Beyond June 3, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    That’s so bad messing with results for money. I’m glad that you went to another clinic. Having someone abroad is way better now since we all have skype, FB etc. It’s easier compared before. When my Mom left to work abroad when I was 7, theres was nothing but snail mail.

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      I’m still thankful God led us to that second clinic, even more thankful that there’s internet today!

  • Reply Michelle June 3, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    My father-in-law is a seaman and I can only imagine how lonely it is for him being away from his family. Specially now that the cargoship he’s been assigned to for this year has no internet access for facebook and skype. Only e-mails. That’s why I always urge my husband to e-mail him. Mahirap kayang malayo sa family. Haaay. And those people who tried messing with your husband’s health results just to earn more money, time will come that they will receive their karma.

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Oh no! But at least he can receive e-mails; it’s still better than nothing. As for the clinic, I just hope wala na silang mabiktima 🙁

  • Reply Monica June 4, 2016 at 1:17 am

    That must’ve been a tough month for you guys! Good thing you sought a second (and third) opinion! I can’t say I know how it is to be an OFW, but I can say I’ve had experience being away from your loved ones for some months. It was difficult then because we didn’t have the technology we have now so I do hope it will be relatively easy for you guys to adjust to this new set-up. Good luck (and I love your IG post!)

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      It was really tough. I was even planning to be tested myself! I was imagining all sorts of things na while he remained calm (thankfully). Thank you for the kind words!

  • Reply Juvy Ann June 4, 2016 at 8:50 am

    My husband stayed in an ex OFW 😊. He worked in Saudi for 4 years. He is a travelling engineer for a telecomm company and was able to see most of Saudi. He did mention how strict it is in Riyadh. Pay off is good and money is easy, but it is also lonely. It is best he finds himself a Filipino community (Good ones ha? Yung iba daw kasi susot!) for support, esp if this is his first time. I hope you guys succeed in this new chapter of your life. It is tough but there is nothing prayers and love cant conquer.

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Thanks for the advice! I’m thankful na okay naman ang condition nya doon, okay din yung housemate nya. I keep telling him to mingle with the Filipinos there haha

  • Reply Celerhina Aubrey June 4, 2016 at 9:43 am

    OMG! Kabwiset yung clinic na yun. Di bale, believe in Karma. Haaaayy! Anyway, my father worked in Jeddah naman for 5yrs when I was small. Para maitawid ang private school ko ng elementary. Umuwi na sya when I was in HS kasi wala ng fee. I remember recording loads of voice tapes. Everyday magrerecord kami until mapuno. Tapos papadala na namin. We don’t have landline so dalawang beses ko lang ata narinig boses ng Tatay ko nun. Pero madami kaming pictures at cards and some of them, I still keep up to this day. Sad thing though was when he got home and my sister met her for the first time. 1yr old lang kasi si sister nung umalis si Papa. My sister thought bisita sya and refused to believe na sya Papa namin kasi akala ng sister ko, Papa namin yung picture. Hahahaha! I saw the sadness in my father’s eyes talaga. Kaya I know the difficulties ng ofw families. Buti nalang ngayon may technology na. May internet. May skype. Kaya nyo yan sis!! Lots of viber/wechat/fb nalang.

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      Oh em, ang sakit siguro ng feeling! But for the family, any sacrifice is worth it. In all honesty, mukhang di naman kami nahihirapan sa transition (so far lol), thanks to technology. Thank you sa advice! :*

  • Reply Edel June 5, 2016 at 12:28 am

    OMG! I hope you can name that clinic. What they are doing is so unethical, the govt or POEA should revoke their license. Imagine the other OFWs who thought that that they are sick! But then, I’m glad that your husband is now pursuing his dreams abroad.

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      I really really wanted to name the clinic kaya lang baka magising ako isang araw with a libel suit! I can name the clinic though if someone (legit) messages me in private.

  • Reply Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag June 5, 2016 at 7:21 am

    That clinic should be sued and should have their licensed taken away! I hope your husband’s work experience abroad would be a smooth one.

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      I really hope so. They couldn’t go around fooling people like that! Thank you!

  • Reply Lique June 5, 2016 at 9:47 am

    That is just so wrong in so many levels! They just don’t extort you for money, but they also cause you extra worry because of wrong results! On the flipside, I’m happy that your husband is well and that he is blessed with his new work. Tama sya, stay positive lang, God is good 🙂

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      You’re on point: we couldn’t care less about the money paid to them. What devastated us was the false diagnosis. I was planning on having myself tested na rin eh. What trying days those were! Thank God tapos na yun!

  • Reply Tetcha Figuerres June 5, 2016 at 9:48 am

    That clinic should close down! On a positive note, congratulations to Job for a new job! Wishing him success in this new endeavor.

    • Reply Maan June 5, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      I really hope so, unless they change their ways! Sometimes I worry about their other patients who are not capable of transferring to other clinics. But thanks Ms. T!

  • Reply Nina Sogue June 5, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Nobody close to me ever worked overseas, but this must be challenging. I’ve been looking for overseas opportunities for myself too, but the thought of leaving loved ones always affects me. Wishing for success for you and your family though 🙂

    Nina |

  • Reply Kati Balayan June 6, 2016 at 1:13 am

    The things some people do just to scam others of their hard earned money! This is actually the first time I’ve heard of this practice and I’m sure this has been going on for a while na. I can just imagine the unnecessary stress this must have caused you guys. 🙁 Good thing it all worked out in the end 🙂

  • Reply Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy June 6, 2016 at 9:00 am

    That thing about making up some sickness is just so sick! Oh the people do to extort money! Anyway, I’m glad it all turned out okay for you and Job in the end. I hope you’ll both manage with the distance but I’m sure you will with lots of love, prayers, and good internet! 🙂

  • Reply Denice June 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    That clinic is just wrong, making you believe that your loved one is sick is just wrong. I am glad though that you and Job are okay. Distance can be hard, but just always keep strong communication lines open and just pray.

  • Reply Arlene June 8, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I used to live in Dubai for work, for almost five years. At first, it was really exciting. Then, I started to get really homesick on my 3rd or 4th year. It came to a point when I was just waiting for my contract to be finished, it was a hard time for me. But God is omnipresent. If you invite Him, his Holy Spirit will be with you where ever you go and His peace will sustain each day until you get home. 🙂

  • Reply Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen June 12, 2016 at 6:11 am

    Husband was OFW in Dubai for almost four years before we decided that it was time to go home. Maan is going to be a big challenge for you and your husband because it’s really hard to be away from people you love.

  • Reply Money Matters: 3 Practicable Tips in Saving Money November 7, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    […] of you know that Job has been working in KSA since last year. I, on the other hand, have been working for Stay At Home Mum AU since 2015. […]

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