Repatriated OFW from UAE starts sari-sari store and carinderia to survive pandemic

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A repatriated overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Abu Dhabi has recently started his sari-sari store and little carinderia business to survive the pandemic. 

Prime Villariasa, a former OFW in Abu Dhabi, went home on July 2 as his employment contract was shortened when Covid-19 started in March. He worked in a perfume manufacturing company in the capital for nine months. 

He put up a business along with his in-laws ‘for us to survive.’ 

Before working in UAE, he also worked in Saudi Arabia for five years as a duct man. 

Recounting his stint in the capital, he said that Covid-19 brought him fears and to his entire family in Davao City. 

“I worry a lot because my wife is pregnant. I am not on her side when she gives birth. The fact that you can’t come home because of the pandemic made me really sad. Thinking about losing my job adds to the stress,” Villariasa was quoted as saying by the Philippine News Agency. 

He continuously communicated with his family through video calling and found relief in talking to her one-year-old daughter. 

As his fellow OFW got infected and were dying due to the virus, he feared for life. Because of this, he decided to go back home. 

“My goal is to come home safely. During that time, airline companies canceled their flight, and fare prices were really high,” he said. 

Villariasa was fortunate to have availed the repatriation program of the Philippine government through the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai. 

He arrived in Davao City on July 9 and was subjected to a 14-day mandatory quarantine. 

“It was a relief. I may not be able to hug my one-year-old daughter and my newborn baby girl, but at least I can see them from afar. During my quarantine period, I think about how to start our living. My wife and I had initial plans. What’s more important during that time is I am with my family,” he further added. 

Photo by Philippine News Agency

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