41-year-old Ruby Lacuña from Davao City was among the 700 students who graduated from the 17th batch of Filipino Institute Abu Dhabi branch last September 6, 2019.
Lacuña, who took up the 24-week caregiving class, said her life as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) was never easy. She started working as a cleaner way back in 2008.
“I do mopping, machine [sic], nagpapolish po kami ng floor [para mapa-kintab], lahat po, naglilimis po ako ng mga salamin sa labas,” said Lacuña.
But through the years, her efforts were recognized by her bosses, allowing her to advance in her career.
Top 1 – Caregiving Class Filipino Institute – Abu Dhabi
“After two years na-promote po ako ng boss namin at naging office girl po ako—all around. Nagtimtimpla ng kape, nagpo-photocopy, lahat,” said Ruby.
Ruby continuously embraced the nature of her work and focused on the idea that it was for her son, Robin, whom she left in the Philippines. She’s been widowed and is solely providing for her son.
Years later, she was offered the supervisor position in the government and has since been working as the Housekeeping Supervisor of Zayed Higher Organization for people with determination.
“Naniniwala ako sa kasabihan na kung ibibigay sakin ng Panginoon ‘yun, para sa akin talagag ‘yun. [Mula noong] naging cleaner hanggang ngayong naging direct employee ako ng government ‘yun paniniwala ko,” said Ruby.
She said she never questioned why she had to go through the hardships of being an OFW and just trusted the process.
“I started with 700AED (Php 9885), ngayon nasa 6500AED (91,792) na ang sahod ko,” said Ruby.
But despite the success, she continuously felt hungry for learning. As an undergraduate of Business Management, she has long been wanting to graduate, which is why enthusiastically enrolled in Filipino Institute – Hamdan.
“Noong nalaman ko ‘yung FI through my friend, nainspire po ako kasi yung certificate po niya sa logistic [course] po, nagamit niya para ma-promote sa trabaho,” said Ruby.
She looks forward to securing her future using the knowledge she has gained in her caregiving course.
“Malay mo ito yung kurso na ito ang makapagbigay sa akin ng magandang simula sa buhay ko hanggang sa tumanda,” said Ruby.
Aside from being a graduate, Ruby said that she’s also grateful for the friendship that she has gained throughout her journey in FI.
Her message to her fellow OFWs: “Wag po kayong sumuko, laban lang po ng laban. Kahit ano pong trabahong ibigay satin, i-embrace po natin. ‘Wag po tayong mamimili kasi si God lang ang may alam kung ano lang ang plan niya para sa atin.”
The founder and President of FI, Mr. Gabriel John Rimando salutes Lacuña’s hunger for learning. He wishes her success in her future endeavors and said that he will gladly support her if she wishes to re-enroll in the institution.
The institution is currently looking for Filipino scholars who would want to get certification in any of their short-courses or diploma courses across the GCC. In exchange of their life stories, FI is willing to give a hundred percent scholarship in any of the courses they offer.