The Jungle Chronicles

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Saturday, March 31, 2007 with No comments

Headed home. Finally. A needed time-off from the Urban Jungle we call Metro Manila. I’ve been here for past a year now. My main purpose of coming to Manila really was to look for a job abroad. The Mideast was what I had in mind, since as a Moslem and as an IDB-scholar, I reckoned I wouldn’t have trouble getting one. The plan was, while looking for jobs abroad, we’d also look for a local one just to support our stay here. “We,” because it was my brother and me. So in February of 2006, we decided to fly that thousand miles in search of that proverbial greener pasture. I’m not new to Manila though. I had my PT internship here for almost 7 months and prepared for (by that, reviewed) and took the licensure in CEU, Manila. After that I stayed in Cubao and Espana, and did some work as a call center agent for three months. Boy, PT and sales don’t mix much.

Well, I did get job offers from two Arab employers. One was for Dubai and the other for Al-Khobar in Saudi Arabia. The one in Dubai, I still couldn’t understand why that didn’t work out. I was interviewed, did the medical examination, but after that it all went down the drain. The recruiter was having some issues with the agency she was in. See, she wanted all the applicants to have their medical examinations first and that they will pay 5K (allegedly for the visa processing) even though there is no assurance of a job. One would just have to wait for 3 months max. If no employer will contact the applicant, the 5K will be returned, but not the expenses incurred for the medical. I was not swindled. Thank God I didn’t pay her anything. She said that I was way too trustworthy (ha-ha), and my being a Moslem was an added plus (she was Maranao). It was too late before I found out that POEA prohibits agencies from getting money from applicants and to undergo the ME unless there is a job available. I could have reported her. But, nah. I learned my lesson, and I’m sure she also learned hers.

Al-Khobar. I would have been working there since September 2006 if the agency did the best they could to expedite our documents. We’ve waited for months; even the issuance of the receipt for the ME took some time. Before I knew it, the employer had our visa processing withheld because of “overstaffing.” The jobs that were offered to us were given to other Asians who also applied for the job. That was such a blow. Everybody from home thought I would be leaving. I’ve realized soon that the Mideast is not the place for me. I’m not just destined—I felt like it—to work there. My PT friends think the same way as well. So maybe it was somewhere else—the US? I cross my fingers.

It’s a fact. The US needs more and more health professionals (nurses, OTs, PTs) to care for their aging population. And am I on the opportuned time? Yet again let me cross my fingers. On September of 2006, I answered an ad on the Manila Bulletin about a US-based company looking for PTs, OTs, and nurses. It was just a seminar, so I said why not. I have not been practicing my profession for years now. Having this in mind, I’m sure they wouldn’t offer me a job. So there I was in Shangri-La Hotel—late (haha)—listening to the step-by-step process of working in the US. An interview with the rehab manager was also scheduled after the seminar. The organizers divided the interviewees into three groups: A, B, and C. A, for those who have already done the FCCPT, took the NPTE, passed the TOEFL, et al; B, for those who have already accomplished most of the requirements on A; and C, the helpless—haha. Not surprised that they put me on C. I was on a half-day PTO that time (the first four hours of my shift), and seeing that the C’s will be interviewed last, I decided to go. The contact person said that, if I wish, I could have the interview re-scheduled. So I did. I specifically asked to be interviewed in the morning so that I can still make it to work. And the date was set, September 28, 2006. Yes, Milenyo. Haha.

To be continued...