THE GLOBAL FILIPINO MAGAZINE Issue 11 Surviving abroad: OFW endures hardships amid the global pandemic

Surviving abroad: OFW endures hardships amid the global pandemic


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While the majority of companies across the world resume their operations since the onset of the pandemic, Dubai-based Florencio Viñegas is still fighting and enduring the effect of it. Currently, he works as a 3D visualizer/graphic designer for an engineering consultant company. He, along with his colleagues at work, is advised to work when they are only needed. 

Surviving the pandemic, he is thankful that he is connected with the educational training centre Filipino Institute. “Aside from giving opportunities for Filipinos to grow personally and professionally, they are also providing trainers with this kind of opportunity,” he said. 

Viñegas teaches 3D Max and graphic design, and for him, earning respect from students is one of the most rewarding experiences as a trainer. 

Prior to venturing an overseas career, he worked in the Philippines as a graphic artist, draftsman, visual artist, and props designer. While employed for 10 years, he also became actively involved in a music ministry serving holy masses every Sunday. 

Involved in many community undertakings, Viñegas was also a trainer-volunteer at the Philippine Consulate with Filipino organizations, spending his day off for four years since 2014, teaching his countrymen with designing software like Corel Draw, Illustrator, and Photoshop. “At the same time, I acquired a lot of computer skills more than what I gave them,” he added. 

Viñegas revealed that getting hired by a consultant company is not that easy as it requires high-level skills qualification. “I am so thankful as one being chosen. Working with professional architects and engineers is a great achievement for me. Aside from working along with my field of specialization, it also helps me deepen my knowledge about the architectural design standard. It also helps me boost my confidence. Moreover, I am happy because it is a different level of designing experience,” he added. 

Struggles come from time to time

Having no full-time job for almost a year now, Viñegas affirmed that struggles come from time to time for everyone. He said he is not used to asking for help from others but at times when he ran out of options, he is thankful to his friends and the Filipino Institute for extending some help. 

Desperate to survive, Viñegas applied for one-time financial assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office here in Dubai, however, his application was rejected. About to give up, he applied for the free repatriation being organized by the Philippine government, his application was ignored. 

Viñegas supposedly got a free visit visa up to December 2020 but it was amended into three months only. “That three-month visa was remarkable for as I don’t have more money to get another visa during the time and I have decided to go back home. I just noticed that when you are doing good with others, you will be rewarded at times of difficulties,” he said. 

“All I can say is always put God first in our lives and trust him. Don’t lose hope, things change in time, do not stop learning. Learn now not tomorrow if there is an opportunity. Whatever trials in our life, God has a purpose, take it positively. Kaya naiintindihan ko kung bakit hindi na-approve ang ticket ko for repatriation kasi kailangan ko pa pala mag-stay sa Dubai,” he said when asked about his advice for his fellow Filipinos abroad. 

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

The Global Filipino Magazine is the only Filipino magazine in the UAE that prints on a monthly basis. Its goal is to champion the success of every global Filipino across the globe.

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