If there is one thing that Engineer Leo Rodriguez Argoso Jr. learned from life it is to never stop learning and always move forward. Arriving in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when he was only four, the 26-year-old is currently working as a sales and service engineer at Abdulrehman Algosaibi GTC handling Terufusion Advance Infusion System and medical equipment.
Growing up with his parents in Saudi Arabia, Argoso has studied in the host country from preparatory up to high school. He went back to the Philippines to study for a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineer for five years.
After graduating from college, he was not supposed to come back to the Middle East as he had multiple job offers in Canada and the Netherlands, however, plans rarely come to fruition without some bumps. In this case, the bumps were actually steep mountains. His mother got gastric cancer and this prompted him to work in the Kingdom to look after her while trying to find a decent job to sponsor her simultaneously.
As he becomes financially stable and able to pay for his mother’s medical bills, she passed away in 2019.
It was his parents’ idea for him to work overseas so he can learn and expand his options while gaining a substantial amount of wealth.
During his high school years, his mother was an entrepreneur, managing a canteen inside an international school, and his father was a financial manager. While his siblings were studying college in the Philippines, Argoso was the only child who grew up with his parents. He learned how a business operates when he was still young. He learned how to catch business at a glance and to value good honest hard work from his mother. Meanwhile, Argoso learned logistics and supply chain management first-hand from his father.
“Truly, the lessons I learned from back then are the skills I use today in my current company,” he said.
Harnessing these acquired skills, in 2014, Argoso got his first license as an electronics technician. In 2017, having offered a full-time job from where he had an internship, he achieved his license as an electronics engineer. He had to refuse the offered job as he wanted to become an expert in the engineering industry.
In 2018, he started to teach as a Special Professional Licensure Examination (SPLE) instructor at the Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines (IECEP) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)-Central Region Chapter.
In the same year, the SPLE examination achieved the most electronics technician passers. In 2019, Argoso also became the youngest board of directors of IECEP where he handled SPLE programs.
“One of the best things about living in the Kingdom is I am able to actually use my skills for the betterment of mankind, or at least my countrymen,” he added.
“I am able to assist our fellow countrymen as well, and to an extent the whole world. I am also able to converse with our government in order to work for the betterment of our fellow Filipinos. I am able to learn, design, and apply better systems that will change how the world works even if the change is small,” he further added.
Multiple stages of hardships
Argoso said that like many OFWs, he had also gone through multiple stages of hardships. He said that right after graduating from college, almost everyone was expecting him to secure the electronics technician license. Unfortunately, he failed the examination and only passed two years after. “At that time, various events happened, including where I broke up with my college romance. It was truly an emotional rollercoaster ride, but I had to do it as I knew and felt that our relationship was going nowhere and we had continued, then we would have gone further into a spiral of toxicity that we could never recover from,” he said.
As he passed the examination in 2017, his mother’s condition got worse and the economical situation in the Kingdom was also at its worst. “Saudization was in full force. It was difficult for me to get a decent job due to my lack of experience. It’s not that I couldn’t find a job, it was just extremely difficult to land on a good company that will help me support my mother while also enabling me to grow during a time when companies are being forced to hire their citizens,” he further added.
Fulfilling a mother’s dreams
Argoso pledged that he is going to finish what his mother planned when he was still studying in college by establishing the Jasminda Enterprise in Daet Camarines Norte. He is also going to implement his design for his father’s piggery. For his personal enhancement, he is planning to advance his career and move on to international levels through ASEAN and ACPE and beyond.
“Always study. Be vigilant but also be open to new opportunities. If you are having a hard time trusting other people, especially the government, remember that the government acts for the good of the public and not for the goof of one. Do not be afraid to learn how every single process works,” he said when asked about his advice to his fellow Filipinos abroad.
This story has been featured on the seventh issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr Orli Gayeta at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.