I did not actually dream of working abroad, initially. I was happy with my work when I was still in Makati Medical Center. I was assigned to a medical-surgical unit for 5 years. These are some of our photos after a toxic yet fun duty.
After some time, I felt that I wanted to help my father with my siblings’ schooling so I had to look for work opportunities abroad. This was back in 2009. Together with some of my friends, we walked under the sun along Mabini Street in Ermita inquiring to a number of agencies.
We spoke to one of the agencies and told us that Middle East was the quickest way and most in-demand application. So, I took the HAAD (Health Authority Abu Dhabi) exam. The test was quite easy and the result was immediately out after the exam. I left the center with a passed result. I came back to the agency and handed over the result. They discussed with me the terms, salary package, and the placement fee. I was still undecided so I told them I would come back. But I did not.
2 weeks after that, I received a call from another agency. It was FSL International Manpower. They informed me that they are recruiting nurses to Singapore and I am one of those qualified considering the years of experience and the number of bed capacity in the hospital that I’ve worked for. They asked me if I was interested. I was already thinking Dubai as an option, but I thought it would be much easier if I’d choose Singapore. So, I applied. But before that, I have to take another exam and interview. I took the Singapore Nursing Board at the Heritage Hotel with hundreds of applicants from different parts of the Philippines. I found the exam and interview quite difficult so I just prayed to God that if it’s really for me let me pass. If I can remember it correctly, the result was out after 2 weeks. And to my surprise, I made it.
After which, I did the medical exam then paid half of the placement fee, which was 150,000Php. Few days before, the agency gathered us for some briefing prior to our flight to Singapore.
And that was the beginning of my Singapore Journey…