After working as a house servant in the UAE for the last eight years, Crysler Melad Calagui has finally found himself unshackled from all the responsibilities of being a house boy. He is now a baker for a royal family in Abu Dhabi. This, he did, was only to educate himself through the training centre Filipino Institute-Al Ain campus.
As the royal baker, Calagui is in-charge of preparing traditional Arabic sweets and hot Arabic beverages. He recalled when he first set foot in the host country on February 20, 2012 when UAE was still diamonds in the rough. For almost three years, he worked as a sales attendant at the Abu Dhabi National Oil company. He then worked as a servant for an Emirati family. “My employer always brought me along in her office to assist her. I worked for her for almost three years,” he said noting that it was 2019 when they moved to a villa in Al Ain to work as a plain house boy.
“Being a servant in an Emirati family was a challenge to me. I have zero knowledge of baking and the Filipina housemaid taught me. I learned how to make Arabic sweets,” he said.
According to him, when his employer knew that there was a training institute in the area, he was enrolled in the Filipino Institute. “They asked me what is my passion. I said baking. My employer supported me until I finished my schooling,” he said.
“December 6, 2020, when I started working here and I feel so happy because the eight years of struggles and sacrifices as a servant have paid off,” he added.
He revealed that during the time when he was still working in a gasoline station it was difficult when summer season struck. “You can feel the heat of the car, inhale the fumes of gasoline. And so, I decided to resign and move to Abu Dhabi,” he further added.
Applying survival skills
It was February 19 last year when his father died so he was forced to go back to the Philippines to attend the burial. Calagui and his two other OFW siblings were stranded in their province as many airports across the world, including the UAE, closed their borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “All my savings were exhausted but I was still hopeful. In my stay in the Philippines, I used what I have learned from the Filipino Institute. I baked cookies, doughnuts, and banana cake. The Filipino Institute is not only a school, but it also builds your skills for your future so wherever you are, but you can also use it,” he added.
“I will never forget the sacrifices that I made. I will relentlessly continue my journey towards my dreams until victory is won. Life is a marathon and not a sprint and the race belongs to those that endure,” he added.
This story has been featured on the 9th 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.