Life is not easy. One must have perseverance and, above all, confidence. This is the exact formula that Kriselle Hazel Marce, a resident of Dubai for eight years, used to keep herself afloat while living overseas.
The 36-year-old Filipina worked in a multinational flavor company in the Philippines as a quality control assistant and quality control technician for two years.
It was 2014 when she received a message on her LinkedIn account from a fellow Filipino working in Dubai. She was offered to work in a flavor company. At that time, she was just a fresh graduate with a master’s degree and had been on a hiatus in her professional for almost two years. It was also the year when her father died.
Kriselle thought that, perhaps, that was the best time to work abroad to help herself recover from the loss of her father and start again with her career.
She accepted the job offer since it’s also in line with her previous work experiences. Fast forward, through her perseverance, she is now an application specialist at Food Specialities Limited (FSL), a leading supplier of food and beverage ingredients, dairy and agro commodities, and hospitality products in the Middle East and Africa. She researches food flavorings and develops a food product with an acceptable taste profile for their market. She has learned how the other side of the world has different taste preferences and how a strawberry flavor can differ from one country to another.
At work, Kriselle deals with various projects and customers. She treats each project as a challenge that she aspires to win over.
“Working abroad makes me see people from different walks of life; it has shown me the different cultures and traditions of other people and nationalities. In the UAE, the majority of the population is expats. I am better off working overseas; living abroad has molded me into an independent, competent, and compassionate person,” she said.
In 2020, she was tested by fate. Her mother started undergoing dialysis for her kidney disease. It was tough for the Marce family financially as they had to keep up with their mother’s medical expenses. The worst was when their mother contracted Covid-19 last year and the rate of her dialysis treatment per session tripled because she had to go at a different time from the non-Covid patients.
The Marce siblings started a fundraising drive among their relatives, and sold some of their properties in the Philippines for her medical bills. Today, fully recovered, their mother undergoes dialysis three times a week until they can organize a kidney transplant.
“Though we are far from one another as my elder sister is also overseas, this battle makes us closer than before with constant communication and our faith in God stronger,” she said.
Kriselle said when she retires soon, she will be back to the Philippines to fulfill her dream of establishing a coffee-bake shop, a dream of hers since she was a little girl. She also plans to join her mother in her non-government organization that empowers women by teaching them livelihood education, such as food processing, so that they can start small businesses for a living.
“Never give up. Life won’t be easy but keep going; there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Keep open communication with your families back home and make them your inspiration in achieving your dreams,” she said when asked to advise her fellow Filipinos abroad.
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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 email@example.com.