Despite all the problems that hit her, failure has never overtaken her determination to succeed in life. Rhona Morada was just an employee, now, she is a full-fledged entrepreneur as one of the owners and the CEO of COUPOONSHOP UAE, a business model based on subscription and discount offers for various business services.
Hailing from Lipa, Batangas, Morada is the youngest among eight siblings. With a vision to provide a good life for her parents, she took a leap of faith and try her chances as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in 2006. Her first job role in the UAE was as a Project Manager for a Dutch company. “Such paved the way for my development and foothold in the oil industry,” she said.
A few years later, she chanced upon an open position and got accepted to work for one of the leading service providers in the oil and gas industry. There, she served as a Demand and Supply Planner for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Asia Pacific regions and has been deployed for other international assignments to support the United Kingdom and the United States facilities.
Her efforts didn’t go unnoticed. The firm acknowledged her pivotal role in multiple inventory management, financial planning, and forecasting across the regions. As a result, she was rewarded with various accolades for what they cited as ‘remarkable and outstanding’ contributions to the company.
Morada, a mother of two kids, said that one of the reasons why she stayed in the UAE is because she wants to provide her kids a quality life and education. “I don’t want them to get used to the answer, ‘I am so sorry I don’t have money.’ I don’t want to see myself again knocking on someone’s door, pleading to lend me money because my child is in the hospital. My children deserve a parent who can stand firm for them,” she added.
She also yearned to work abroad for her parents. “I don’t want them to work until they are old and frail. I don’t want to be stuck in that life where we have to borrow money for food. I don’t want to endure prolonged sickness because we can’t afford to go to the hospital. I don’t want to stay in the dark for days because we can’t pay our electric bills. I want a comfortable home that withstands storms and a life of comfort and freedom from worry about money,” she further added.
Despite raising eight children, her parents were able to send them to college and secure a bachelor’s degree. To support their education and make ends meet, her mother worked as a housemaid, school janitor, and dressmaker; while her father worked as a construction worker and carpenter.
“I remember what my father used to say that we might be underprivileged in terms of money, but what we lacked, we can make up for hard work and perseverance. This is what I and all of my siblings did. We buried ourselves in books and finished our education and finished our education, hoping that we would have the opportunity to elevate our ways of life one day,” Morada said.
“My family is worth all the sacrifices because they are my world; they are my reason for everything. Working abroad is the only way to make our dreams a reality, and I wouldn’t pass the opportunity up for anything once I had the chance. I thank God for the goal and the passion He put in my heart and the courage, way, and strength to make it happen,” she added.
Staying faithful and optimistic amid the pandemic
Her perfect world has drastically changed when the pandemic hit. She lost her job in July and at that moment, she began to doubt herself and asked if all the contributions she made had been for nothing.
She thought the Covid-19 crisis was the end of her journey in the UAE, however, she heard a voice that says ‘be faithful and optimistic,’ that every door that closes, there is another one that opens.
“Such lingered in my mind, and for months, I fervently hoped for a silver lining that would end my feeling of uncertainty and self-doubt. Losing my job made me leave my comfort zone. I was in a fight or flight mode,” Morada said.
She motivated herself by saying that ‘this can’t be the for me,’ which pushed her to embrace new opportunities. As strange, cumbersome, and uncomfortable they may be, she found herself slowly breathing above the water and learning to love the unique aspects of change that fate brought to her feet.
After months of being on edge, she was finally living in the reality that was once her vision. She switched quadrants–from an employee to a full-fledged CEO.
COUPOONSHOP UAE aims to offer high-quality deals and discounts for its subscribers at www.coupoonshop.com. “We aim for 100% customer satisfaction and loyalty,” the Filipina said.
“As the CEO, I honestly think I was born to do this. You know, something in all these feels right. Looking back to what I have been through–the entire journey, the lessons I learned along the way, the struggles, the victories, and defeat–all of it prepared me for this, the biggest mission of my life,” she said.
The company’s vision is to go on a global scale.
God has a reason for everything
Morada, when asked about her advice to her fellow Filipinos abroad, said to always remember that the only way to fail is when one stops.
“Bear in mind that for as long as we keep on going, we are one step towards fulfilling our purpose: to be the flag-bearer of the family. There will be setbacks, a million and one struggles, but God always has a reason for everything, so have faith and have no trial break because the God who blessed me is the same God who will bless you. The journey is not easy, but it’s all worth it,” the entrepreneur said.
“Trusting is hard and knowing whom to trust is even harder. If you have a trust issue, loosen up a little and not overthink because there is always a risk in life. At the end of the day, if the decision of trusting is right or wrong, what we’ll get is experience, lessons learned, and fuller life. Life is fleeting and happens only once; make the most out of it,” she concluded.
This story has been featured on the eighth 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 email@example.com.