Working As An OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) in Taiwan
Life as an OFW is not easy. Working to foreign country and sacrifice to find a job there to earn money to support our family and have a better future. We adjust to almost everything like language, their way of living, culture, customs, belief, foods. Etc.
The day I left to work abroad was the saddest days of my life. I had to left my baby here in the Philippines to earn money for her club foot operation.It’s the only goal that succeed of going abroad. Not all Filipinos who tried their luck working abroad end up triumphant just like me. Behind those sad moments, I learned to stand again and move forward.
I was 23 years old and excited to work abroad for my dreams, bigger plans and goals in life. To give my family a better future.I went to Manila the capital city of the Philippines to apply a job abroad. It’s my first time in Manila. I don’t know where to go and where are these agencies hiring Filipinos for Taiwan. Since I’ll be applying a job abroad I need to prepare all my requirements like passport, NSO birth Certificate, College Diploma, Transcript of Recordss, NBI, SSS ID, Pag-ibig ID, Certificate of Employment from previous company, and other valid ID’s. After completing the requirements the agency will do their part in processing.
It’s time to say goodbye to my loved ones and to my beloved country Philippines. I left for Taiwan and work at Alpaha Network Inc. formerly D-link as a factory worker. It is located in Hsinchu Taiwan. Taiwan is just a small progressive country . It is an island nation located off the coast of southwest of Okinawa, Japan and north of the Philippines. Shaped roughly like a sweet potato. The island nation has more than 23 million people . The weather in Taiwan is different. They have summer, winter, fall and spring. But there is no snow during winter, only cold winds. The country is prone to earthquakes. I’ve experienced that many times.Taiwan is also known for steep mountains and lush forests.
My company offered us a free dormitory, free bus service, and food allowance. If you are working at night, you will have night differential, performance bonus and overtime pay. What is one of the disadvantages applying work for Taiwan? It is the high placement fee. Yes! I spent about 150,000 pesos just to work in Taiwan.
My First impression with Taiwan, Wow! Amazing country! It’s very clean. People were very disciplined and all are well organized.When I arrived in Taiwan I don’t feel that much homesick because I lived in a dormitory and my elder sister is also working there but far from me. I am not alone, I met many Filipino worker in the dormitory with different stories in life. Most of them just like me are college graduates and will be working jobs different from our education and trainings.
I need to prepare myself for my first day of work. My work schedule is night time. I am used to that. I’ve been working in Cebu when I was 18 years old as an electronic factory worker and I survived working night shift. I’m excited to work and received my first salary.
First day of work: A shuttle service provided by the company brought us to our work. We were accompanied by our broker in Taiwan. I was working in Testing and Packing Department. She speaks Chinese Mandarin well so nothing to worry we have interpreter.
I’ll be working in a Chinese Mandarin speaking country. I don’t even know a single Mandarin word. It’s so difficult to speak and understand. Even their writings, it’s quite strange to me. I find it so difficult since we are only 4 Filipinos working in my department and only few Taiwanese speaks English. I am glad I found a friend who’s good in Chinese Mandarin. He’s already working in our company for more than 3 years. But he is not always on my side to be my interpreter. I learned to used sign language. Very funny I am mute in this country. It’s very important to learned their language.
Our company find solution to this problem. I took Mandarin lesson in our dormitory. Yes! I learned few Mandarin words. The easiest and the first words I learned are numbers. Then the words that gets interest in me like ” I love You” and ” I Miss You”. But it’s still so different if you’re already talking to the Taiwanese people. They talk so fast. It’s okay, I have a very good and friendly supervisor. She’s like a sister to me. She assisted me in my everyday work. What we did? She’s the one who do first the work then I follow. That’s a nice idea! I survived and enjoy now with my work and my surrounding. I just think positive ” If others can do it, why can’t I? That’s my motto in life.
What I like most in Taiwan? There’s no work discrimination in their country. The government help the people with disabilities to find job. In fact, I have deaf and mute Taiwanese co workers. Unlike in Philippines even if you will just apply as a sales lady in the mall, have many qualifications. You need to have a pleasing personality. And the salary it’s not worth it. It’s one of the reasons why many Filipinos choose to work abroad than to stay here in our country.
Taiwan is my home for 3 years. Working in Taiwan, does not only gave me a work experience and opportunities but the country gave me a chance to explore this wonderland. We have company Tour once a year and family day that will experience us to go beautiful places like the Aboriginal Village in Formosan. During day off you can explore the country if you like but on your own expense. Well, it’s not my main reason to go there so I focus myself on earning and saving money for my family especially my baby’s future.
I’d never experience crazy things in Taiwan like what other Filipinos did. Maybe I am just too serious in life? killjoy? I think not or just determined for my dreams. My life is just work, back to dormitory and Church Activities. I’m a proud church choir member in Taiwan and a member of Hsinchu Catholic Charismatic.
To all OFW’s around the globe wishing all the success in life and may all our dreams come true.
Jeremiah 29:11 ” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”