THE GLOBAL FILIPINO MAGAZINE Issue 24 ‘Finding a way to survive’: OFW in Dubai drowned...

‘Finding a way to survive’: OFW in Dubai drowned in debt shares ‘golden’ rules of success

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Ayah Lacanaria Fuentes lost her work even before the pandemic took a toll on the world economy with more than AED200,000 in debt from the people she knows. She faced many struggles when she pitched her business plan and asked for their support. None from her circle helped her, especially since she was jobless at that time. 

Ayah, who arrived in the UAE in 2014 to work in a leading jewelry company, met with other people to realize her dreams. When she was about to start with it, the Covid-19 pandemic happened, leaving her with piles of debt. Apart from having debt, she had to buy her visa as well. 

“I got so depressed, especially my husband, because we have a loan to pay and so much interest to pay from creditors,” she said. 

At that time, they were fighting for their lives just to survive. The couple fought almost every day when the lockdown was imposed on the country. 

“That was the time I will never forget, slowly, I was losing hope for everything,” she said.

Ayah recalled eating instant noodles for days as they were out of groceries and money to support them. 

Good things happen

The Filipina, who worked in a canteen near a school in Manila as an auditor, finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. He vividly remembered when a guy reached out to her, and it was the owner of the jewelry company she was getting accessories from to sell. The entrepreneur, KD, asked her for a favor, and it was the start of their business relationship and the development of their trust bond. 

Because of their partnership, Ayah was able to pay off her debts. KD then let her borrow some cash and jewelry to sell in the market so Ayah could further pay off her existing debts. 

In December 2020, Ayah decided to be relocated to Dubai, but to make that happen, she needed to settle the AED117,000 debt she had from her previous company. 

“I was very shocked at that time. I didn’t know I had that much credit. But the magic happened. I think KD is my angel in disguise because I paid all my credit,” she said. 

Today, Ayah is now spearheading her Gold Invest business in Dubai, catering gold accessories for expatriates in the country. 

She said that she is grateful to all the people who have supported her all the way. 

The businesswoman said she plans to continue her advocacy to help less fortunate students in the Philippines by providing them with educational supplies. And since she and KD both love dogs, they are also planning to set up a shelter for them. 

In a span of six months, through her dedication, she was able to purchase her first car. She also bids goodbye to bed space as she can now afford a two-bedroom apartment that can house her family. 

“I am very grateful to every person in my circle right now, my staff, my family, and especially KD,” she said. 

Find a way to survive

Ayah advised her fellow Filipinos abroad who are currently struggling not to lose hope. 

“Keep moving and find a way to survive. We come abroad to try our luck and make it work. You just need to believe in yourself and put some effort to do it,” she said. 

She also urged those who love shopping to invest in gold instead. 

“Finding the right people to trust is very hard, especially here abroad. I got a lot of friends here, but as time passed by, people changed. But now I can really see that I am with the right people, especially in business,” she said. 

“To all the online sellers like me, we are all doing a good job,” Ayah further added. 


Read the digital copy of the magazine here: 


This story has been featured in the 24th 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 to eic@theglobalfilipinomagazine.com.

Ryan Namia
Ryan Namia spends most of his days reading over drafts of new written content and determining which ones make the final cut for online and print publication. He received his Bachelor's degree in Journalism in 2015 and has been writing since 2016. Got a story to tell? Email him at eic@theglobalfilipinomagazine.com. Or follow his IG @rtnamia.

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