An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Dubai who works as a cameraman for a production agency is finally coming back to the Philippines after 17 years of being overseas due to a legal matter.
Antony Sigua has been working as a cameraman in the emirate for five years now. He’s one of the guests at the Bawal Judgemental segment of the noon-time show Eat Bulaga. According to him, he used to work as a gasoline boy in an oil and gas company in the capital. From working as a simple gasoline boy, he rose through the ranks and became a supervisor.
Sigua claimed that in 2010, he was terminated from the company without knowing the reason behind it. For nine years, he hasn’t claimed his end-of-contract benefits.
“That was one of the reasons why I can’t go back to the Philippines,” he said adding that the company had filed a case against him thus a travel ban was imposed against him. Another case was also filed against him by his former landlord for not paying rent.
“Yung tinitirhan ko ng bahay, sinampahan din ako ng kaso kaya meron akong civil case. Kinasuhan ng may-ari ng bahay kasi hindi nakakabayad ng renta. Noon inisip ko na dito na siguro ako mamamatay,” he said.
Sigua was put behind bars for almost a month.
He told The Global Filipino Magazine that he was released through the help of a ‘trusted friend’ so he could temporarily go out of his cell and earn money to pay for his civil case.
“Nakulong ako sa kawalan ng pera, so dahil nga hindi ko mabayaran, wala akong source of income, yun yung law ng UAE na ikulong ako. So now, pansamantala nila akong pinakawalan para gawan ng parran para [makahanap] ng pambayad nga doon sa bahay,” he further added.
When he was jailed, he decided to let her wife and daughter, who was born in the UAE, go back to the Philippines as he could no longer support them.
“Pinakahuhugutan lakas ng loob yung aking anak. Siya ang nagpapalakas sa akin every time. Sinasabi ko sa kanya na dadating yung time na magkikita tayo. Bilang OFW, nandoon yung panghihinaan ka ng loob. Sa tulong ng mga friends at churchmates, yung mga payo na maging matatag, [lahat yun nakakatulong],” he said.
According to Sigua, to be able to solve all his problems, he would be needing an amount of AED30,000. If he could pay this amount, he would be allowed to travel and his travel ban would be lifted.
Before the noon-time show ended, TV host Vic Sotto announced that Eat Bulaga will be helping him to go home with the help of Senator Tito Sotto.
“Yung message ko p para sa EB Dabarkads, most especially kay Bossing Vic and Tito Sen, [ay] walang sawang pasasalamat sa tulong ng pinagkaloob ninyo. Ganun din sa mga taong naging dahilan kung bakit ako napasali sa segment ng Bawal Judgemental, and una’t higit sa lahat kay God, kasi this is a long time answered prayer na hindi ko talaga inaakala na biglang mag milagro siya sa akin through Eat Bulaga show,” he said.
“Excited na po talaga ako makauwi para makita, mayakap, at makapiling ko na ang aking anak at mga kapatid kong matagal ko nang hindi pa nakikipa. Salamat sa lahat din po sa mga taong tumulong sa akin before, napatunayan ko kung sino ang totoong kaibigan at hindi. Sa aking mga church family na hindi nakakalimot na isama ang aking situation sa kanilang panalangin. Lastly, sa aking mga kapwa OFW, laban lang tayo kahit gaano kahirap pa ang laban, basta huwag tayo mawawalan ng faith kay God. Sa lahat ng laban natin dito sa mundo, mahirap at sa tingin natin ay wala nang solusyon, pero if our faith in God is nandoon, hindi tayo pababayaan,” he further added.
Watch the video below: