As what the legendary Greek God Zeus said, a true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the size of his heart. Living with these words is the Kuwaiti-based Filipino Dennis Nama Rata who was one of the recipients of the 2018 Bagong Bayani Awards for Community and Social Services, a worldwide search for exemplary overseas Filipino workers.
The Filipino hero has now been working in the Middle East for six years now as an aluminum technician cum steel welder.
Get to know more Rata, the bagong bayani in Kuwait:
Tell us more about yourself.
To describe me, I am a God-fearing person and a loving and supportive family member. I came here to Kuwait in 2014 to work as an aluminum technician but I was assigned in the steel fabrication department. I experienced a lot of difficulties because I wasn’t familiar with the work. The work of my colleagues depended on me. I tried my best and worked harder to master everything despite me being the only Filipino in the fabrication department. It then became an all-around duty as my superiors also asked me to install glass cleaning machines, maintenance, welding brackets, worked on monorail systems, among others.
Of all the countries, why did you choose Kuwait?
Like many other OFWs, I’ve decided to go abroad because I want to help my family. I remember skipping college because we lack money. I worked to provide my brothers and sisters education.
What type of jobs have you worked on in the past?
After graduating in high school, I’ve worked as a construction helper. I’ve saved money and came to Manila and enrolled myself in a security guard training centre. For almost four years, I became a security guard for various fast food chains and commercial businesses around Metro Manila.
Why did you choose this path? What do you enjoy about it?
I am very hands-on and dedicated to my job despite being dangerous sometimes. I just don’t complain as long as I can do it. Sometimes, I also get to share my ideas with my boss.
The most satisfying thing was when I completed the project in Shadadiyah Sabah Al Salem Kuwait University. It’s one of the largest campuses in the world. I consider it as a very historic journey.
Was there a moment you’ve struggled while you’re fulfilling your dreams?
I came from a poor family with 10 siblings. My parents didn’t have enough income to provide us our needs and wants so at an early age, I’ve decided to work and help my younger siblings to study. I’ve become independent and worked away from my family.
Working abroad isn’t permanent, what’s your plan after this?
I’ll probably spend more time with my family as I have missed many moments with them when I was working in the Philippines and while working abroad. I will also continue my advocacy which is by helping Filipinos in need, promoting welfare, and disseminating information regarding OFWs.
Many OFWs, especially the newbies, are getting anxious due to pressure from work and at home. What’s your advice for them?
Giving them advice and answering their queries is my main advocacy. They need to be encouraged despite the pressure in their work and in the Philippines. In terms of spending, you must be wise by saving first for your future.
This story has been featured on the third issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at email@example.com.