Saudi Arabia-based Senior Architect Eldrid B. Refil went abroad not only to provide his family a better life but to help his fellow Filipinos, particularly those architecture graduates who wish to become full-fledged architects by sharing his knowledge with them.
His calling to impart knowledge to Filipinos in the Kingdom started in 2007 when he volunteered as an instructor and facilitator for aspiring architects, master plumbers, and environmental planners, among others by conducting review classes in preparation for their examination. The increased number of Filipino architects in the region resulted in the foundation of their Accredited Professional Organization (APO) the United Architects of the Philippines International Chapter in 2009 where he became the chartered president.
Since then, the organization was able to produce successful architects, and up to this date, there are about 400 architects benefited from their endeavor. Finally, the Filipino senior architect, in 2016, was nominated to spearhead the formation of another professional organization for those who would like to become licensed environmental planners for two years after they were able to get the charter being the first international chapter of the Philippines Institute of Environmental Planners in 2018. In 2016, Refil got vested the status of Fellow by the Royal Institution Singapore for Architects.
Being an architect
“Even when I was young, I always wanted to build beautiful places where people will have a comfortable and enjoyable feeling. And being an architect made me do all these through my works and share my knowledge during the implementation,” Refil, who works as a senior architect at FAST Consortium and who has been living and working in the Kingdom for 16 years now, said.
Presently, his company is engaged with the construction of the Riyadh Metro Rail project.
Refil started his overseas journey in 1993 when he was hired as an architectural draftsman for three years. After finishing the contract, he went back to the Philippines and came back to the Kingdom in 2005 to work as an architect in a consulting firm.
“The life in the Kingdom is also not easy but it will give you great opportunity to earn more and be able to widen your experiences,” he said. He added that working alone in a different country is difficult, however, he put in his mind his goals which are to help his family back home and overcome all the hardships.
Continuing his advocacy, Refil, when asked about his plan after his OFW stint, plans to continue his advocacy to help aspiring professionals achieve their dreams by putting up a mentoring class that will cater to those who cannot afford to pay for an expensive review centre.
“I would like to share with them the knowledge that I have earned during my stay and practice of my profession here abroad for them to use in their future endeavors,” he said adding that he also plans to establish a real estate firm that will cater for OFWs who plant to make their dream homes and be able to share the importance of financial literacy to others.
“Working abroad is not everlasting. As an OFW, we really need to be wise in spending our hard-earned money. We should learn how to save and invest properly for our future needs. Sometimes, things will not fall into places as we wanted but with perseverance and a positive mind, nothing is impossible,” he further added.
This story has been featured on the 11th 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.