THE GLOBAL FILIPINO MAGAZINE Issue 12 ‘At first, UAE didn’t impress me at all’: Filipino...

‘At first, UAE didn’t impress me at all’: Filipino shares his story as an OFW


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By Nina Eloisa Leuterio

For Christian Marlowe S. Estocada, deciding to work abroad is a tough decision. Personally, he opted to work abroad because of better career opportunities and because of familial responsibilities. He saw UAE as a land of opportunities, as it welcomes more than a hundred nationalities and as there are several career options for everyone.

Image Credit: Supplied

At first, he wasn’t actually impressed with the host country. He came to UAE in the summer of 2011 as a tourist and was dissatisfied because of the hot and humid weather. He then came back in 2015, however, due to his own familial responsibilities. Just like his father who worked as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), he too became one.

As fate may have it, his first job abroad did not define his career goals in life. He started as a medical sales representative and eventually left after only 4 four months of employment. Unlike his previous job in the Philippines, which is to work as an ER nurse, his job as a representative did not fit his expectations and career objectives.

In the beginning, things weren’t easy for him as he felt homesick. It was hard to be far away from family and friends but with technology, it became easier to connect with them. Aside from the feelings of homesickness, he had a hard time adjusting in general. He had to adjust to a new work etiquette, to a new environment, as well as to new groups of people. Being unable to adjust at first, he felt like he was not showing his true potential. Eventually, he learned to make the most of his experience and also gained a new lesson: to not become disheartened and to embrace new challenges.

Through ups and downs, Estocada stood her ground. Currently, he now works in a position that he believes is in line with his experience and goals. As of now, he works as a medical billing specialist where he updates patient records with standardized information needed for data management and billing purposes.

He says that albeit he may not be practicing his profession as a nurse like back in the Philippines, his current position is still something that he enjoys as it is also considered a life-saving healthcare job.

“For example, medical coding errors can be fatal when an incorrect code leads to the wrong treatment. Similarly, common billing errors can lead to failure to verify insurance coverage, which can also cause a lot of harm and crucial delays in rendering care. Ensuring that data is prompt and accurate is an important work that keeps hospitals and clinics running. Therefore, by becoming a medical billing and coding specialist, you will be saving lives, too,” Estocada said.

Future Plans

Despite starting out rough, Estocada has found likeness in working in Dubai. He is satisfied with his current position and he also likes the added benefits that it comes to living here; safety, no taxes, world-class facilities.

He says that if he were to leave Dubai, he would still want to continue his nursing profession in a country like UK or Ireland.

His current goals are to make the best out of his current capability to save lives and to save enough money for early retirement.

This story has been featured on the 12th 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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