The top reason why Filipinos opt to work abroad is due to the fact that they want to provide their families with a comfortable life. As a provider of a comfortable life, the majority of migrant workers are dreaming to build their own ‘home’. This is why Giebeth Ellaine Laxamana, an SMDC (SM Development Corporation) international property specialist based in UAE, exists–to give overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) a chance to have their own dream house and subsequently provide a better life.
Before joining the SMDC, she used to work in various industries, including logistics, manufacturing, and trading.
This year, during the peak of the pandemic, she took the challenge to be part of the real estate developer. “What I love about my currency job is I have the opportunity to change the mindset of my fellow OFWs on how they spend their hard-earned money and allot into a property investment that will generate passive income and prepare for their future when the time they decide to go back home,” she said.
On the sidelines, she is also a trainer-volunteer at the Filipino Institute for about five years now, sharing her knowledge about document control and basic logistics.
Laxamana considers Jason Macam, the associate sales director of the SMDC, as an inspiration as the latter motivated her to do what she is currently doing. “He is one of the people I am looking up to. At a young age, he is successful in his craft and has a genuine intention to help people,” she said.
Living in Dubai
Like many OFWs, Laxamana has also those down moments, however, whenever she feels like being demotivated, she drives along the Sheikh Zayed Road at night and the lights remind her purpose abroad.
She admitted that living away from her loved ones was difficult as it coupled with sacrifices and homesickness. “I had an adjustment when it comes to accommodation–the cost is expensive for a small space, eight-person in one room. Fighting for what you deserve when it comes to salary and career advancement. There were times that I only had to AED100 in my pocket as I need to pay liabilities here and need to send money back home. During those times, I always pray and ask Him to protect me. Also, my friends are a big help–they are my family. Also whenever I feel down, I go back with my deepest whys,” she said.
“Dubai taught me to dream bigger and not to settle for less as I deserve the best,” she further added.
Laxamana said life for expatriates in the UAE is temporary because at the end of the day, everyone will go back to their home country.
“We must spend our time and energy wisely and with a purpose. Remember, failures and rejections are part of success. Focus on positivity and the benefits that we can get and learn from our mistakes and shortcomings,” she said.
She also advocates for investing in real estate for the following benefits: it can provide cash flow for retirement, indulge in entrepreneurial spirit, and generates wealth.